Forbes has released its annual rankings of best employers in America, and several Maryland companies are on the list.


Forbes has the verdict on which company is America’s best employer, and the company that takes the number-one spot might be a slight surprise. Several Maryland organizations are also on the list of best large and midsize employers, among them school systems, construction companies and others.

At the top of the America’s best companies list is not Google — which finished in second place — but rather Costco, the wholesale retailer. It has not fallen below third place over the past three years, and a big perk is health insurance for part-time employees.

In third place is Recreational Equipment Inc., or REI, marking the first appearance for the company on Forbes’ list. Its place is likely to do with the company’s unique ownership structure. As explained in Forbes, REI is a consumer cooperative; anyone who pays the one-time $20 membership fee and spends at least $10 a year receives an annual dividend.

For its annual rankings, Forbes split employers into two groups: midsized (companies with 1,000 to 5,000 employees) and large employers (companies with 5,000 or more employees).

Among the best large employers, eight Maryland companies made the list; and among the best midsized employers, seven Maryland companies made the list.

To compile the rankings, Forbes worked with research firm Statista. The firm surveyed 30,000 American workers to collect opinions on the companies they work for. The most important factor in determining the rankings were how likely employers were to recommend their company to friends and family. Employees were also asked to recommend other companies, which also factored into the rankings, but to a lesser degree.

These Maryland companies made the list of best large employers:

  1. Montgomery County Public Schools, based in Rockville (No. 55 nationally)
  2. Johns Hopkins University, based in Baltimore (No. 59 nationally)
  3. Johns Hopkins Medicine, based in Baltimore (No. 65 nationally)
  4. Howard County Public School System, based in Ellicott City (No. 157 nationally)
  5. Marriott International, based in Bethesda (No. 181 nationally)
  6. Lockheed Martin, based in Bethesda (No. 194 nationally)
  7. Aerotek, based in Hanover (No. 300 nationally)
  8. Geico, based in Chevy Chase (No. 464 nationally)

According to Forbes, these are America’s best large employers:

  1. Costco Wholesale, based in Issaquah, Washington
  2. Google, based in Mountain View, California
  3. REI, based in Kent, Washington
  4. Memorial Hermann Health System, based in Houston, Texas
  5. United Service Automobile Association, based in San Antonio Texas
  6. MD Anderson Cancer Center, based in Houston, Texas
  7. Penn Medicine, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  8. Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, Minnesota
  9. City of Austin, Austin, Texas
  10. Wegmans Food Markets, based in Rochester, New York

>>>See the full list here.

Topping the list of America’s best midsized employers was Lush, the indulgent retail cosmetics brand. Though the company is headquartered in the United Kingdom, it operates 200 locations in the United States.

“According to respondents, Lush employees were most taken with the company’s image, its diversity, and to a lesser extent its working conditions,” says Forbes.

Rackspace, a could computing company based in Texas, came in second. And in third place is New Seasons Market, a privately owned Portland-based chain of grocery stores. The company leaped to third place after being 42nd on the list in 2016.

These Maryland companies made the list of best midsized employers: 

  1. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, based in Rockville (No. 63)
  2. T. Rowe Price, based in Baltimore (No. 70 nationally)
  3. Whiting-Turner, based in Baltimore (No. 90 nationally)
  4. Clark Construction, based in Bethesda (No. 159 nationally)
  5. Mercy Medical Center, based in Baltimore (No. 174 nationally)
  6. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, based in Baltimore (No. 194 nationally)
  7. Royal Farms, based in Baltimore (No. 292 nationally)

According to Forbes, these are America’s best midsized employers:

  1. LUSH
  2. Rackspace Hosting, based in San Antonio, Texas
  3. New Seasons Market, based in Portland, Oregon
  4. Celgene, based in Summit, New Jersey
  5. National Credit Union Administration, based in Alexandria, Virginia
  6. Slalom Consulting, based in Stamford, Connecticut
  7. Gartner, based in Seattle, Washington
  8. Georgetown University, based in Washington D.C.
  9. CDM Smith, based in Boston, Massachusetts
  10. JM Family Enterprises, based in Deerfield Beach, Florida

>>>See the full list here.

Did your employer make the list? Let us know in the comments!

By Feroze Dhanoa and Elizabeth Janney