Finance jobs that pay $300,000 in your 30s, $400,000 in your 40s

When do you start making “big money” in finance jobs? When does your salary peak, and when should you probably think about moving on or experiencing a sharp drop in your salary? The new eFinancialCareers salary and bonus survey suggests that the answer to every question is: “Sooner than you think”.

More than 4,500 people worldwide responded to our salary and bonus survey earlier this year, and many had high incomes compared to almost any other industry. As the chart below shows, most careers in finance bring high levels of total compensation (salary plus bonus) at a young age. Earnings generally increase dramatically until the mid-forties. And then it usually falls back – although there are exceptions.

Our survey data suggests that most jobs in finance will earn you more than $200,000 by the time you turn 26. senior (and therefore older staff).

On average, our survey results suggest that if you work on the sell side (in an investment bank), you will earn over $300,000 by age 30, although the highest salary is reserved for people in front office positions. such as mergers and acquisitions, sales and trading.

The bad news is that pay in many roles peaks in the 40s and then drops dramatically. Depending on where you work, it’s all downhill from there.

The biggest drop is in the investment banking division, where pay drops from a high of $496,000 among 36-40 year olds to $200,000 among 51-55 year olds. In private equity, some over 56 seem to earn a pittance compared to their younger counterparts.

There will always be high performing artists who skew the numbers. In hedge funds, a few high earners in their late 50s drive the average up – and reflect the fact that in an industry where performance is everything, age can be irrelevant.

The best place to work if you’re in finance beyond 40 looks like the sales and trading divisions of investment banks. Even though the salary peaks here in the early 40s, the drop is much less than in other areas. – Yes however long you survive on the trading floor, you can still expect to make over $500,000 in your 50s, while the average 50-year-old in the investment banking division makes half that amount.

Photo by Matthew LeJune on Unsplash

Download our full salary and bonus survey here.

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