The highest paying banking jobs with the best lifestyle
Aside from the money, there are few things as associated with investment banking as the God-awful working hours (okay, there are a few things, but let’s keep this PG-13).
If you’ve ever wondered who in banking works the most hours, look no further. We’ve spent the last few weeks collecting, crunching, and compiling our compensation report (here’s a link to the whole thing). Nearly 3,500 industry professionals responded across various roles within financial services.
We found that, of the major divisions in an investment bank, it's the technologists who work the least, followed (somewhat down the line) by compliance and finance (accounting) professionals. It's those in M&A and capital markets (pureblood investment bankers) that work the most, followed by equity researchers.
Whilst that might not come as much of a surprise to those familiar with the industry, it’s by cross-referencing hours worked with salary (and compensation) that we get some more interesting insights.
The first is that, putting aside bonuses, investment bankers don’t necessarily out-earn their colleagues. Aside from sales and trading professional, investment banking salaries are outclassed per hour by technologists. Quants and even risk personnel aren’t too far off, either.
Before bankers chime in to talk about their huge bonuses, it’s worth noting that 2022 was a tough year for investment banking, and 2023 will be too. Bonuses aren’t going to be record breakers, so salaries will be a larger proportion of compensation.
Adjusting for bonuses, investment bankers pull ahead of technologists and quants (and way ahead of risk personnel). In total compensation terms, investment bankers earn over $100k more than their technology brethren.
It's when we look at pay per hour, though, that things get really interesting. Quants and technologists, as well as risk, compliance, finance, and operations personnel all work a lot less than people in front office roles. They can expect to work between 42.6 and 45.6 hours a week (9-to-5:30, really) whilst still earning between $130k and $180k, on average. Average pay per hour for these less taxing roles ranged between $56.3 and $77.8 – at the top range, which is more than much harder working equity researchers, who earn $76 an hour on average.
Trying to judge which investment banking job offers the best lifestyle is, of course, impossible. Some people naturally tolerate 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night (such as Macron, apparently) and love (or need) the money. If that sounds like you, go for it – investment banking or sales & trading. We have great guides on how to get into both.
However, if you don't want to work crazy hours in banking, then there are other options. Our report found that, besides investment bankers, equity researches, and sales & trading people, working hours could be much more reasonable in a bank.
Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: Zeno.Toulon@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance.
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