According to a study by Glassdoor, employees in the finance and technology industries are most satisfied with their benefits. The study compares eight industries by employee satisfaction, with overall benefits ratings and with popular benefits such as maternity/paternity leave, 401(k) retirement plans and free food and snacks.

In terms of overall benefits, the highest-rated industries are finance (3.72 benefits rating), technology (3.68), and manufacturing (3.64). Many high-demand, high-skilled jobs such as data scientist, tax manager and software engineer are found in these industries as well as high-skilled blue-collar manufacturing jobs. Two industries had below-average overall benefits ratings: restaurant, bars & food services (2.73) and retail (3.11). Though retail and food services industries are less likely to offer benefits, according to the study even among employees in the food services and retail industries that receive benefits, they are still rated lower than other industries.

The importance of benefits and perks to job seekers and employers is rising. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, three in five people consider benefits and perks among their top considerations before applying for a job. Benefits like health insurance, paid leave and retirement plans today make up about one-third of the total compensation pie — a share that has been rising in recent decades.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Though the U.S. has no mandated paid maternity/paternity leave, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 87 percent of private sector employees have access to unpaid family leave while just 12 percent have access to paid family leave. Similarly to overall benefits ratings, the finance industry (3.77) and the information technology industry (3.71) lead the pack with the highest-rated maternity/paternity leave benefits. Education, which includes many U.S. universities, follows with a 3.60 maternity/paternity leave benefits rating. The health care industry (3.36) and retail industry (3.41) have the lowest average maternity/paternity leave benefits ratings.

401(k) Retirement

In terms of 401(k) retirement benefits plans, the study shows an even distribution in terms of employee satisfaction across industries. This suggests that employees generally have the same level of satisfaction with their 401(k) retirement plans than other benefits the study examined. This makes sense given many 401(k) plans are standardized across employers compared to maternity/paternity leave plans or free lunch and snack programs.

Free Food & Snacks

Free food and snacks have been made popular by the technology industry in recent years. In this study, the information technology industry (4.06) does, in fact, have the most satisfied employees when it comes to the free food perk. It is followed by business services (3.94) and manufacturing (3.90). Lowest-rated industries for this benefit are the education industry (3.22) and retail (3.34). Interestingly, free food has long been a perk in the restaurant, bars & food services industry, which falls in the middle of the pack but still above average at 3.80.

The study is based on 470,000 benefits reviews shared by U.S. employees on Glassdoor between 6/18/14-9/20/15.  Benefits ratings are based on a 5-point scale: 1.0=very dissatisfied, 3.0=OK, 5.0=very satisfied.