As you will know by now if you read this site often, people in banking work hard. However, they do so for a reason: in return for persistent 13-17 hour days, front office banking jobs still offer an opportunity to make very good money.
How good? Look at the chart below.
By aggregating the latest total compensation figures for investment banking division (IBD) jobs (ie. jobs in M&A and capital markets) from recruitment firms like Dartmouth Partners, Arkesden and Page Executive, plus new figures for director-level compensation from Financial News, we've produced an estimation of the amounts you can expect to earn in salary plus bonus if you stick with an IBD career in the City of London- if you're lucky.
Between 22 and 25, as you go from analyst 1 to associate 2, you can expect your pay to rise from £72k ($96k) to £93k ($123k). Between 25 and 30, as you go from associate 2 to vice president (VP), you can expect your pay to rise £294k. From 30 to 35, as you go from VP to director, you can expect your pay to rise to around £380k. And 35 to 40, if you make managing director (MD), your pay might rise as high as £1.1m, or more.
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 - you won't get anywhere near these numbers if you work in, say, risk. You may not survive much beyond your late 20s or early 30s and either way you probably won't get promoted to managing director. Even if you do get made managing director, there's no guarantee you'll be paid as below - the figures for MD pay (35 to 40) are based loosely on Page Executive's survey. Most MDs have up years and down years rather than experiencing a continuous increase in pay as they age.
Even so, it is not inconceivable that you will end up earning as much as the chart suggests. Goldman Sachs, for example, paid its 700 most senior bankers in the UK an average of £1m in 2016, the last year for which figures are available. At the very least, this summer's IBD interns may want to use the potential for their pay to progress exponentially as a pick-me-up when they're still working at 2am on a Tuesday in mid-July...