Seattle is the biggest city in Washington and is home to many large companies, including tech firms, logistics companies, and healthcare providers. In this article, we’ll fill you in on the biggest companies in Seattle, what kind of positions they hire for, and tips on how to find your dream job in Seattle.
Seattle’s Job Market
Historically, Seattle’s main industries have revolved around the port, which was built more than 100 years ago. The city is still home to many major cargo shipping companies. However, in recent decades, Seattle has pivoted toward technology.
The Seattle region is home to major tech companies like Microsoft, which opened its office 10 miles from Seattle in Bellevue in 1979, and Amazon, which was founded in Seattle in 1994. According to USA Wage, the most common job in Seattle is software development, followed by retail workers. Seattleites earn an average annual salary of $83,000, according to PayScale.
Seattle’s Key Industries
- Manufacturing and maritime
- Life sciences and global healthcare
What Is Seattle’s Unemployment Rate?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the Seattle area in November 2021 was 3.2 percent, down from 4.6 percent the previous month.
Who Is the Largest Employer in Seattle?
Amazon is the largest employer in Seattle. The Internet-based enterprise that sells everything from books and homeware to electronics and toys acts as a middleman between retailers and customers. Founded in 1994, Amazon has expanded to open 235 offices in 36 countries. It employs about 60,000 people at its headquarters in Seattle.
Top Employers in Seattle: At a Glance
|Company||Industry||Global Headcount||Hiring For|
|Amazon||Ecommerce||1,298,000||Amazon fulfillment center warehouse associate, Amazon delivery station warehouse associate|
|Starbucks||Retail coffee industry||349,000||Retail barista, shift supervisor|
|T-Mobile||Telecommunications||75,000||Mobile associate in retail sales, content manager, corporate receptionist|
|Nordstrom||Retail||74,000||Retail stock and fulfillment, replenishment associate, warehouse associate|
|Microsoft||Software||181,000||Writer, content developer, concept artist|
|University of Washington||Education||34,600||UW Police Department records administrator, COVID patient testing assistant, administrative assistant|
|Alaska Airlines||Transportation||20,465||Customer service agent, lounge hospitality host, ramp service agent|
|Expeditors International||Logistics||17,500||Administrative and billing specialist, clerical assistant, support specialist|
|Carrix||Industrial services||10,000||Accounting manager, superintendent, administrative assistant|
|Trident Seafoods||Fishery||9,000||Laborer, Sawyer, Warehouse worker|
Largest Seattle Companies to Work For
Amazon is the largest provider of cloud computing services. Amazon.com started as an online bookstore and expanded into DVDs, CDs, video downloads and streaming, audiobooks, software, and video games. Now, Amazon’s retail site sells almost every product imaginable and the company is making developments in tech.
The company has its own TV service, Amazon Fire, a cloud-based solutions provider called Amazon Web Services, and is working on developments in robotics and artificial intelligence. Amazon’s goal is “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company.”
What Is It Like to Work at Amazon
Amazon’s core company values are customer obsession, long-term thinking, eagerness to invent, and taking pride in operational excellence. Amazon is very focused on results and productivity, so if you want to get a job at Amazon, you might end up feeling pressure. However, some employees simply see the pressure as a chance to improve.
Top Reasons to Work at Amazon
- Excellent employee benefits
- Good work culture and inclusive environment
- Opportunity to work with smart colleagues
Starbucks is an American coffeehouse chain with headquarters in Seattle. It opened its first store in 1971 near the historic Pike Place Market in Seattle and now has more than 30,000 stores in 80 countries. Starbucks’ mission statement is to inspire people one cup of coffee and neighborhood at a time.
What Is It Like to Work at Starbucks?
Starbucks aims to create a company culture that challenges the status quo and makes employees feel comfortable as they grow together. This makes the work environment at Starbucks an inclusive workspace. Plus, you get fair compensation and great employee benefits.
Top Reasons to Work at Starbucks
- Warm and inclusive workspace
- Excellent pay and employee benefits
- Free drinks plus 30 percent discount on all Starbucks beverages and snacks
T-Mobile is a wireless network operator that launched in the US in 1994 as a subsidiary of German-based Deutsche Telekom AG. It has more than 7,000 stores providing mobile phone services across the US. The telecoms company’s goal is to redefine the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through innovative products and services.
What is it like to work at T-Mobile
When you get a job at T-Mobile, you’ll enjoy a positive, collaborative, and fast-paced work environment. The company aims to create a diverse team of employees and has been consistently rated among the top 100 companies to work for in the US by Glassdoor.
Top Reasons to Work at T-Mobile
- Collaborative and positive work atmosphere
- Fair pay
- Excellent employee perks and benefits
Nordstrom is a luxury department store that started off in 1901 as a shoe store. It now offers labeled apparel, shoes, cosmetics, and accessories for women, men, and children. Nordstrom currently operates 468 stores in 98 countries. The store’s goal is to provide amazing customer service by empowering both its customers and employees.
What Is It Like to Work at Nordstrom?
Its core values are family, respect, honesty, and communication. However, the work environment at Nordstrom can be competitive because many employees are paid a commission on every sale. Regardless of the competition, the pay at Nordstrom is fair.
Top Reasons to Work at Nordstrom
- Flexible work schedule
- Fair pay and employee compensation
- Diverse environment
Microsoft produces computer software, hardware, electronics, and related services. Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft is one of the largest tech employers in the world and is one of the Big Five companies at the top of the US IT industry. As of 2021, the tech giant operates in 190 countries and is still based just outside of Seattle.
What Is It Like to Work at Microsoft?
The software company focuses on encouraging its employees to achieve more. This means Microsoft is a people-oriented and diverse workspace with an excellent work culture and great employee perks, such as flexible hours.
Top Reasons to Work at Microsoft
- Supportive workspace
- Great pay, perks, and benefits
- Opportunities to work with brilliant minds
Alaska Airlines is a major US airline headquartered outside Seattle in SeaTac, Washington. It started operations in 1932 as a small airline flying between towns in Alaska, before beginning to expand in the late 1940s. Today, it is the fifth-largest airline in the US when measured by fleet size, passengers carried, and the number of destinations served.
What Is It Like to Work at Alaska Airlines?
Alaska Airlines’ core values are safety, doing the right thing, kind-heartedness, and being remarkable both at work and outside of work. According to the website Great Place to Work, 78 percent of the airlines’ employees like working at the company, compared with 59 percent of employees at a typical US-based company.
Top Reasons to Work at Alaska Airlines
- Good employee pay and compensation
- Friendly work environment
- A great place to learn new things
Expeditors is a logistics and freight company that was founded in Seattle in 1979 and listed on the NASDAQ in 1984. During its first year as a public company, Expeditors reported more than $50 million in revenues. The company currently operates in more than 100 countries with the goal of setting a standard of excellence in its industry by committing to customer service.
What Is It Like to Work at Expeditors International?
Expeditors says it is committed to meeting the changing needs of its employees. It gets good reviews for work at the corporate level, but prospective employees should be aware that work at lower levels within the company is fast-paced and can be demanding.
Top Reasons to Work at Expeditors International
- Great and fast-paced work environment
- Generous paid time off and health care benefits
- Excellent work culture
Trident Seafoods is one of the biggest seafood companies in the US. Founded in 1972, it manages a network of fishing ships and processing plants, as well as a distribution chain. It sells frozen, canned, and smoked seafood products. Trident tries to achieve customer satisfaction through integrity, honesty, and by delivering its high-quality products on time.
What Is It Like to Work at Trident Seafoods?
Trident is an inclusive and diverse company that believes in innovation and sustainability. It also puts an emphasis on employees’ happiness, which makes for a friendly work environment. The benefits are also good, but the work can be tough.
Top Reasons to Work at Trident Seafoods
- Friendly and caring team
- Great employee benefits
- Inclusive and diverse workspace
University of Washington
The University of Washington is a public research institution that was founded in 1861. It has about 60,000 students at its three campuses in the Seattle area. The university’s mission statement is to preserve, advance, and disseminate knowledge.
What Is It Like to Work at University of Washington?
The school’s core values are integrity, diversity, excellence, collaboration, innovation, and respect. The work environment at University of Washington is inclusive and diverse, with many jobs offering a flexible work schedule.
Top Reasons to Work at University of Washington
- Time and location flexibility
- Diverse workspace
- Excellent work culture and values
Carrix is a global network of transportation operations that has been operating for 68 years. It has investments in marine and rail terminals, cruise services, warehouses, and more. It’s the parent company of other Seattle-based companies including SSA Marine, Tideworks Technology, and Rail Management Services.
What Is It Like to Work at Carrix?
According to its employees, Carrix is a good company to work for. The pay is good or on par with the market and the benefits are also great.
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Top Reasons to Work at Carrix
- Fair pay as an employee
- Excellent compensation and employee benefits
- Various growth opportunities
Other Big Companies Headquartered in Seattle
- Swedish Health Services
- Nash Holdings
- Group Health Cooperative
- Laird Norton Co
- Safeco Insurance
- Windermere Real Estate
- Virginia Mason Hospital
Where to Find a Job in Seattle: Top Seattle Job Boards
MetroSeattleJobs is an online network that connects the most progressive companies with the most qualified people in Seattle. Beyond job listings, it provides services for job seekers in Seattle such as dates of upcoming career events and advice on how to impress prospective employers.
Craigslist is one of the most popular job boards in the world, with millions of jobs posted each year in hundreds of cities, including Seattle. Conveniently, Craigslist allows you to search for jobs using filters based on whether you want part-time or full-time work, and in which specific area of the city you’d like to work.
Seattle Times Jobs
The Seattle Times Jobs page allows you to search through hundreds of jobs. You can search by industry and location, or check out the featured employers section.
What Is Seattle’s Tech Scene Like?
When it comes to tech, Seattle is a hub of innovation. It has become one of the nation’s fastest-growing tech hubs, with talent rivaling that of Silicon Valley, and has been rated by Bloom Institute of Technology as one of the top ten cities for tech professionals, with tech jobs accounting for 9.4 percent of Seattle’s workforce.
So if you’re in the tech industry, whether you’re a software developer or are working to become a graphic designer, Seattle might be the perfect city for you.
Can a Bootcamp Help Me Get a Job with a Top Seattle Employer?
A bootcamp can help you get a job with a top Seattle employer, but only in certain industries. For example, if you’re hoping to start a tech job at Microsoft or Amazon, a bootcamp is a great place to start. The short, intensive programs will help provide you with all the tech skills you need to land an entry-level role as a software engineer, mobile app developer, and more.
Top Coding Bootcamps in Seattle
- Flatiron School
- General Assembly
- Hack Reactor
Why Seattle Is a Great Place to Achieve Your Career Goals
Seattle is the biggest city in Washington and has recently experienced a tech boom that’s resulted in more job opportunities and higher average salaries. According to an article in Financial Advisor Magazine, Seattle ranks fifth on the list of the top 10 best cities to start a career, and it was also the fastest-growing city in the US between 2010 and 2020.
Biggest Companies in Seattle FAQ
How much do I need to earn to live in Seattle?
You will need to make at least $72,902 annually to live comfortably in Seattle.
Is Seattle expensive?
Yes, Seattle is an expensive city to live in. According to the 2021 Cost of Living Index, Seattle had the 11th-highest average home prices of any major city in the United States. The index notes that other living costs, such as transportation, health care, and grocery prices were also high.
What is Seattle famous for?
Seattle is famous for Starbucks and its coffee culture, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and its tech scene, which includes some of the world’s biggest tech companies, like Amazon and Microsoft.
Which technology companies have offices in Seattle?
There are a lot of tech companies in Seattle. Among them are Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Expedia.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.