People in banking work hard. However, they do so for a reason: in return for frequent 13-17 hour days, front office banking jobs still offer an opportunity to make very good money.
How good? Look at the chart below.
Using the new salary and bonus survey from London recruitment firm Dartmouth Partners, we've produced an estimation of the amounts you can expect to earn in salary plus bonus if you stick with a career in the investment banking division (IBD) of a top tier bank in the City of London- if you're lucky.
Between 23 and 28, as you go from analyst 1 to associate 2 in London, you can expect your pay to rise from £74k ($98k) to £196k ($259k). Between 28 and 30, as you go from associate 2 to vice president (VP), you can expect your pay to rise to £266k ($351k). And aged 32, as a third year vice president, you should be earning $435k in combined salary and bonus.
Naturally, it might not happen this way. These figures are for front office investment banking jobs in the investment banking divisions of major investment banks. People earning these sums will be working in M&A, equity capital markets (ECM) or debt capital markets (DCM) - you won't get anywhere near these numbers if you work in, say, risk for a European retail bank. You may not survive more than a few years - few do. And even if you do, you might be hit by the sort of financial crisis that wipes out bonuses for a year or more.
Even so, it is not inconceivable that you will end up earning as much as the chart suggests. If you work in New York, you might earn even more. Investment banking is not an easy job, but it is still very lucrative.