Top DC area employers

The Top DC Area Employers

March 25, 2019 | Inside Washington {Metro} | By: The Goodhart Group

The Top DC Area Employers

Have you ever wondered about the top DC area employers — other than the federal government, of course? Since DC is such a “company town,” people don’t always hear about the other places to work around the metropolitan area.

The federal government employs about 420,000 people in the Washington, DC area (the remaining 79 percent of its two million workers live outside the DC area). The six largest government employers (overall) are the Department of Defense (23,000 at the Pentagon alone), the United States Postal Service, the Veterans Administration, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice.

Keep in mind, these lists do not reflect Nestle’s summer 2018 arrival in Rosslyn or Amazon’s HQ2 coming to Crystal City.

Below are the 15 DC-area companies found on Fortune Magazine’s 2018 list of the 500 largest U.S. companies (in terms of revenue).

Northern Virginia

  • No. 38, Freddie Mac, $74.7 billion
  • No. 99, General Dynamics, $31 billion
  • No. 101, Capital One Financial, $30 billion
  • No 118, Northrop Grumman, $25.8 billion
  • No. 214, AES Corp, $12.9 billion
  • No. 292, Leidos Holdings, $10.2 billion
  • No. 324, Hilton Worldwide, $9.1 billion
  • No. 374, DCX Technology, $7.6 billion
  • No. 444, NVR Corp., $6.3 billion
  • No. 482, Booz Allen Hamilton, $5.8 billion

The District

  • No. 21: Fannie Mae, $112.4 billion
  • No. 162: Danaher Corp., $18.3 billion


  • No. 59, Lockheed Martin, $51 billion
  • No. 127, Marriott International, $22.9 billion
  • No. 409, Discovery Communications, $6.9 billion

In terms of the number of employees, the following companies and institutions comprise the ten largest DC-area employers (based on 2017 Washington Business Journal data).

Medstar Health
Columbia, MD
Approximately. 17,400 employees work for this healthcare provider.

Marriott International Inc.
Bethesda, MD
This international hotel chain employs approximately 16,700 employees

INOVA Health
Falls Church, VA
This healthcare system employs approximately 16,000 people.

Booz Allen Hamilton
McLean, VA
Approximately 15,200 employees work for this global technology consulting firm.

University of Maryland
College Park, MD
The state university of Maryland employs approximately 14,000 employees.

Giant Food
Landover, MD
This grocery store chain employs more than 10,000 employees.

McLean, VA
Approximately 9,500 employees work for this professional services and accounting firm.

Falls Church, VA
More than 9,000 employees work for this information technology firm.

Leidos Holdings Inc.
Reston, VA
Roughly 9,000 employees are employed by this technology and engineering firm.

Verizon Communications
Washington, DC
This communications giant employs over 8,000 people.

Other large Maryland employers in the Washington DC region are:

Joint Base Andrews
Andrews Air Force Base, MD
Over 8,000 military and civilian personnel work at this military installation.

Lockheed Martin
Bethesda, MD
11,000 employees work for this aerospace and electronics firm.

National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD
Approximately 20,000 people work at this government agency.

Northrop Grumman
Falls Church, VA
14,000 employees are employed by this global security company with multiple locations in the DC area.

Other major employers in Virginia suburbs are:

George Mason University
Fairfax, VA

Approximately. 7,000 people are employed by this Virginia state university.

McLean, VA
Approximately 4,000 employees work for this non-profit company that focuses on defense and intelligence, aviation, homeland security, and cybersecurity and more.

Falls Church, VA
3,000 employees are employed by this commercial bank.

McLean, VA
Approximately 3,000 people are employed by this technology-focused federal contractor.


Be sure to check out our post on what to expect when moving to the DC area and commuting to the District.

The Bottom Line

The DC-area employment opportunities are plentiful — and growing! From government to corporate; from non-profits to healthcare, there are a variety of places to find solid employment. If you’re considering a move to the Washington, DC area, now is a great time.

As always, let us know if we can help you or any of your friends or family who may be moving to the DC area.

Book a Buyers Appointment

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

For more local insight, be sure to sign on for our monthly blog roundup.

Newsletter Signup

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.