- We took a look at the median pay for employees in 2018 at 30 healthcare companies.
- The typical employee at some biotech companies makes north of $200,000 in a year, while the typical pay at a drugstore giant is a little more than $30,000 a year.
- Here's what employees at CVS Health, Walgreens, Cigna, and more made in 2018, according to regulatory filings.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Not all healthcare employees are paid equally.
To get a better sense of what employees at healthcare companies are being paid, we looked through company documents for 2018, which were recently filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The US recently began to require that companies disclose the median compensation of their employees and a ratio illustrating the difference between the median pay for workers and CEOs. Companies have long been required to disclose how much they pay board members and top executives.
Healthcare companies across the industry employ everyone from scientists to manufacturers to people who work the register at a retail pharmacy. The pay varies, with biotechs commanding the highest median compensation across the board.
Companies can use different methods for calculating the median compensation figure. For example, some include the value of health insurance and other benefits, while others only include cash pay.
Here's what the typical employee at companies like CVS Health, Walgreens, Pfizer and Cigna made in 2018.
Walgreens operates 9,500 retail pharmacies, employing 240,000 people including pharmacists, healthcare professionals, store managers, and cashiers.
Following the merger of Boots Alliance and Walgreens in 2014, Stefano Pessina became CEO of the global pharmacy company. He made $13.5 million in 2018. The typical Walgreens employee makes $31,132.
Pay ratio: 435:1
CVS Health operates 9,900 retail pharmacies and employed 238,000 employees at the end of 2018.
In 2018, CVS closed its $70 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna. CVS CEO Larry Merlo clocked in with a paycheck of $21.9 million, while the typical employee at CVS made $35,529 in 2018. The median pay figure excludes Aetna employees, CVS said.
Pay ratio: 618-to-1
Bausch Health sells various healthcare products like generic drugs and skin products. It's perhaps best known for its eye health products, which include the Bausch + Lomb brand.
To figure out how much a typical employee made, the company based its calculations off its workforce of nearly 21,000 people. Bausch found that its median employee made about $37,872 total last year.
Bausch's CEO Joseph Papa, meanwhile, made roughly $14.7 million last year.
Pay ratio: 389:1
Pharmaceutical company Mylan may be most infamous for its EpiPen allergic reaction treatment, but the company is also one of the big manufacturers of low-priced generic drugs in the US and around the world.
The company's typical worker made about $42,407 total last year, while CEO Heather Bresch made about $13.3 million, Mylan financial filings show.
Pay ratio: 315:1
HCA Healthcare is a for-profit health system that operates 185 hospitals and 119 freestanding surgery centers around the US and the UK.
It employs 261,979 people, including nurses, hospital leadership, and corporate roles. Its typical employee made $55,977 in 2018, while CEO R. Milton Johnson made $21.4 million.
Pay ratio: 383:1
UnitedHealth Group, $57,412
UnitedHealth Group is the biggest US health insurer, and runs clinics and a pharmacy benefits manager. The company also has technology and consulting operations.
In 2018, UnitedHealth employed 272,625 people, with typical pay of $57,412 that year. UnitedHealth CEO David Wichmann made $18.1 million in 2018.
Health-insurer Cigna in 2018 acquired pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts. As of the end of 2018, Cigna employed 39,620 people in the US, as well as an additional 26,000 employees from Express Scripts that weren't accounted for in the median pay calculation.
Cigna CEO David Cordani made $18.9 million in 2018, while the typical Cigna employee made $63,526.
Molina Healthcare, $65,652
Molina sells health insurance plans via government programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and the individual marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act.
In 2018, the typical Molina employee made $65,652, while Molina CEO Joseph Zubretsky made $15.2 million.
St. Louis-based health insurer Centene sells health plans, particularly with a focus on the government-funded Medicaid program.
Centene employs more than 47,444 people. Of those, the typical employee made $66,021. Centene CEO Michael Neidorff was one of the highest-paid healthcare CEOs in 2018, taking home $26.1 million.
Pay ratio: 396:1
Health insurer Humana specializes in Medicare Advantage health plans for the elderly.
The company employed 41,600 people around the world, who took home a median pay of $70,498 in 2018, while CEO Bruce Broussard made $16.3 million.
Anthem offers health insurance under the Blue Cross and Blue Shield brand in 14 states.
The typical Anthem employee made $72,308 in 2018, while CEO Gail Boudreaux made $14.1 million.
Pay ratio: 196:1
Medical device company Medtronic makes products for heart conditions, kidney disease, pain, diabetes and more.
The company employed about 89,000 people around the world last year, paying the typical employee about $73,693.
CEO Omar Ishrak made about $17.6 million last year.
Pay ratio: 239:1
Johnson & Johnson, $75,000
To figure out how much its typical worker makes, the company used data from 22 different countries where about 90% of its employees are based, and added up employees' salary, company retirement contributions, and the value of their medical and dental insurance coverage.
The median Johnson & Johnson employee made about $75,000 last year, while CEO Alex Gorsky made more than $20 million that year.
Pay ratio: 268:1
US drug giant Pfizer makes products like vaccines and drugs for cancer and rare disease.
The pharmaceutical company's typical employee made about $80,011 last year, which includes cash pay, stock and other compensation.
That's compared with former CEO Ian Read making about $19.5 million.
Pay ratio: 244:1
Abbott Laboratories, $80,569
Medical device maker Abbott paid its typical employee $80,569 last year.
Miles White, Abbott's longtime CEO, made about $24.3 million.
Pay ratio: 301:1
US pharma giant Merck makes health products ranging from vaccines, to treatments for cancer and HIV.
The pharmaceutical company had a workforce of about 73,000 people last year globally.
The typical worker made about $82,173, including salary, bonuses, and retirement, while CEO Ken Frazier made about $17.6 million.
Pay ratio: 215:1
The UK-based GlaxoSmithKline makes consumer health products, prescription drugs, and vaccines.
The typical GlaxoSmithKline employee made about $82,381 last year, including salary and benefits.
CEO Emma Walmsley, meanwhile, made about $7.4 million.
Pay ratio: 90:1
Drugmaker Allergan is perhaps best known for its wrinkle-eraser Botox, but it also makes many other products, including a blockbuster dry-eye treatment and the CoolSculpting "fat reduction" treatment.
The median Allergan employee made $89,976 last year. CEO Brent Saunders made $6.6 million.
Pay ratio: 74:1
Eli Lilly and Co, $91,246
Pharma giant Eli Lilly is best known for its diabetes and cancer drugs. In January, it made an $8 billion bid for Loxo Oncology.
In 2018, the company paid its typical employee $91,246, while CEO David Ricks made $17.2 million.
Pay ratio: 189:1
Illumina makes gene-sequencing technology used to turn samples of DNA into useful data for researchers and genetic testing companies alike.
A typical one of Illumina's 5,500 employees made $107,884 in 2018. CEO Francis deSouza made $11 million in 2018.
Pay ratio: 103:1
Bristol-Myers Squibb, $112,174
Biopharma giant Bristol-Myers Squibb is led by CEO Giovanni Caforio, who took home $19.3 million in 2018. In early 2019, the company agreed to buy biotech company Celgene for $74 billion.
In 2018, the typical Bristol-Myers employee took home $112,174. That pay number doesn't account for Celgene employees who may be factored into future employee counts.
Pay ratio: 173:1
New York-based biotech giant Regeneron employs more than 7,300 people.
The median Regeneron employee made $134,115 in 2018, while CEO Len Schleifer had a pay package of $26.5 million.
Pay ratio: 198:1
The typical AbbVie employee made $148,823 in 2018, while CEO Rick Gonzalez made $21.3 million.
Pay ratio: 198:1
Gilead Sciences, $163,963
Gilead Sciences is known for its HIV and Hepatitis C medications.
The company had 10,587 employees as of October 2018, including scientists working in drug development. The typical employee took home $163,963 in pay.
Outgoing CEO John Milligan got a pay package of $25.9 million, one of the biggest in the healthcare industry.
Pay ratio: 158:1
Biotech giant Biogen has been developing treatments for neurological conditions like spinal muscular atrophy, a rare condition that impacts children. In 2019, the company stopped research on a highly anticipated Alzheimer's drug.
The typical Biogen employee made $170,521 in 2018, while its CEO Michel Vounatsos made $16.1 million.
Pay ratio: 95:1
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, $223,882
Alexion Pharmaceuticals is based in Boston and develops treatments for rare diseases.
As of 2018, the typical employee at the company made $223,882, while CEO Ludwig Hantson who joined the company in 2017 made $16.5 million. The company employs about 2,500 people.
Pay ratio: 74:1
Incyte is known for its drug Jakafi, which is used to treat bone marrow disorders and recently got approved to treat graft-versus-host disease, a condition that affects patients who have recently received a transplant.
Incyte employs 1,367 people, with the typical employee bringing home $228,006 in 2018. Its CEO Hevre Hoppenot made $9.3 million in 2018.
Pay ratio: 41:1
Vertex Pharmaceuticals, $232,178
Cystic-fibrosis drugmaker Vertex Pharmaceuticals reported some of the highest median take-home pay in the healthcare industry.
Of the company's 2,500 employees, the median take-home pay for 2018 was $232,178. Vertex Pharmaceuticals CEO Jeffrey Leiden, for his part, made $18.8 million in 2018.
Pay ratio: 81:1
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, $243,720
Alnylam is a biotech company developing drugs that silence particular genes to treat diseases. Its first drug was approved in August 2018.
Alnylam's typical employee took home $243,720 while its CEO John Maraganore took home $5 million. Maraganore is one of the lowest paid CEOs in the industry, and Alnylam had one of the smallest differences in pay between the median employee and CEO.
Pay ratio: 21:1