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Which Bankers Earn the Most Per Hour?

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Emolument.com has analysed more than 3,000 salaries from junior professionals (1-4 years experience) working in London to find who earns the most per hour. Unsurprisingly, bankers are the highest earners both in terms of annual and hourly pay. However, considering their long working hours, the gap in hourly rates between industries is not as wide as one might expect.

Bankers’ pay – Analyst compensation by job

Job Annual total compensation Hours per week Pay per hour
Trading £60,000 60 £19.2
Sales £59,000 60 £18.9
Research £57,000 60 £18.3
M&A £70,000 75 £17.9
Middle & Back office £40,000 45 £17.1
  • Fair trade : Traders, even though they earn less annually than their M&A colleagues (£60,000 versus £70,000), have the highest hourly rate of all bankers thanks to their more condensed working hours: while investment bankers often work on deals through the night, traders working hours tend to be aligned with markets.
  • For a few pennies more… Despite having the highest pay of all junior bank employees, M&A analysts come bottom of our list due to their intense schedule, earning only .80p more per hour than middle & back office professionals.
  • Are investment banks egalitarian utopias? The best paid City bankers earn only 11% more per hour than the least well paid (middle & back office).

Beyond the City – Junior professionals’ compensation by job

Job Annual total compensation Hours per week Pay per hour % of traders’ hourly rate
Insurance Underwriting £34,000 40 £16.3 85%
Strategy Consulting £42,000 50 £16.2 84%
GP £42,000 50 £16.2 84%
Architecture £30,000 40 £14.4 75%
PR £25,000 45 £10.7 56%
Recruitment Consulting £28,000 52 £10.4 54%
Chef £21,000 45 £9.0 47%
Retail Sales £18,000 40 £8.7 45%
  • Miles away: Even the lowest paying job in banking (middle & back office) beats all other non-finance jobs in both annual and hourly pay. The highest earners away from banking (strategy consultants and GPs) only earn 60% of the total annual compensation of an M&A banker (£70,000).
  • Recruitment consultants : banker’s schedule, without the paycheck. Recruiters have one of the worst deals, putting in as many hours as some banking professionals (52 hours per week), for about half the money (£10.4).
  • A discreet winner : Insurance underwriting is a low-key but winning position, coupling short working days with an above average paycheck at £16.3 per hour.

Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & COO at Emolument.com said:

‘Work-life balance has become a more prominent element of young finance professionals’ careers over the last decades partly due to lower pay prospects across the financial sector making analysts and associates feel the intense hours may not be worth the rewards. Also, the emphasis on constant learning and development, and a surge in the notion that professionals should cultivate their skills and networks beyond their own industry and existing toolkits encourages bankers to attempt to carve out time from their purely professional commitments, often with the aim to leave banking, despite its high annual and hourly wages towards a less regulated industry such as venture capital or private equity.’