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What Are The Best Paying Jobs In Finance In 2024?

Each year large numbers of business school grads enter the financial sector. But what are the best paying jobs in finance? Here's a breakdown including average salaries and bonuses

By  Nick Harland

Mon Apr 29 2024

The world of work has changed a lot in recent years, but one thing has remained consistent: the top industries for business school graduates. Along with consulting and tech, a job in finance remains one of the most popular career paths for aspiring business school students in 2024.

Now, the eFinancial Careers Survey has shed some light on what different finance jobs pay. The data is sourced from a survey of 6,000 workers in the financial sector taken between February and March 2024.

Those taking part in the survey worked across the financial sector, with top banks such as Goldman Sachs, UBS, and JP Morgan—which rank among the best banks to work for—represented, alongside major financial institutions including the likes of Citadel, the world’s most successful hedge fund. 

Many of these prestigious firms hire from top MBA and specialized masters cohorts each year. So, what are the best paying jobs in finance that successful grads could land? 

Let’s take a closer look.

The Best Paying Jobs In Finance

17. Operations (Average Total Compensation: $179,710)

Average Salary: $121,014

Average Bonus (2023): $58,696

Average Bonus (2022): $50,725

Change: +15.7%

A role in operations requires both financial mastery and operational knowledge of a business. People working in this area are responsible for ensuring a business is financially streamlined, robust, and efficient. 

Although average salaries in this area are among the lowest in finance, there was a big increase in bonuses between 2022 and 2023. 

16. Compliance ($197,556)

Average Salary: $135,714

Average Bonus (2023): $61,842

Average Bonus (2022): $79,167

Change: -21.9%

Compliance officers and managers are responsible for ensuring their company is adhering to the various financial rules and regulations. 

Average bonuses fell sharply in 2023, though the total average compensation of $197,556 remains a highly competitive salary in a wider context.

READ: Is Finance A Good Career Path?

2f6fc17f992353371ff705d7c7dcb950c2c2f7fd.png ©J2R / iStock

15. Technology ($214,004)

Average Salary: $153,710

Average Bonus (2023): $60,294

Average Bonus (2022): $51,846

Change: +16.3%

As more and more investment pours into tech, finance professionals are vital not just for managing that cash flow, but also attracting new investment and ensuring tech companies become profitable. As such, bonuses for finance professionals in tech have risen sharply year-on-year.

14. Risk ($229,615)

Average Salary: $173,077

Average Bonus (2023): $56,538

Average Bonus (2022): $63,077

Change: -10.4%

It probably won’t come as a surprise to learn that this area of finance is all about assessing, managing, and minimizing risk within an organization. It’s about plotting the potential financial pitfalls that a company could face using your forecasting and data analysis skills. Bonuses fell across all roles other than director in 2023. 

13. Finance ($230,262)

Average Salary: $140,809

Average Bonus (2023): $89,453

Average Bonus (2022): $91,129

Change: -1.8%

Average salaries and bonuses for general finance roles remained static in 2023, with this remaining one of the best paying jobs in finance. 

12. Private Equity ($263,365)

Average Salary: $156,107

Average Bonus (2023): $107,258

Average Bonus (2022): $107,438

Change: -0.20%

Private equity professionals have a range of possible job functions. They could identify companies to purchase, monitor ongoing investments, manage relationships with businesses, and forecast future returns. 

Although bonuses in private equity remained static overall, only director-level bonuses saw an increase.

11. Quant ($276,062)

Average Salary: $177,985

Average Bonus (2023): $98,077

Average Bonus (2022): $87,692

Change: +11.8%

Quants (quantitative traders) use their knowledge of mathematical models and algorithms to identify trading opportunities and set up automated trades. They’re ultimately responsible for generating profits for trading firms. 

Analysts earn an average of $100,000, but at the top end the average salary for a director was $232,813.

READ: Top 25 Best Banks To Work For

3c9e8ee246133d8c3bdb7c5d0086098cf1892d19.png  ©Marcio Silva/iStock

10. Equity Capital Markets ($311,949)

Average Salary: $208,824

Average Bonus (2023): $103,125

Average Bonus (2022): $93,750

Change: +10.0%

A role in equity capital markets (ECM) remains one of the best paying jobs in finance. Broadly speaking, in this role you would help companies raise capital through channels such as share sales and public offerings. Bonuses saw a big increase overall between 2022 and 2023. 

9. Asset Management ($312,540)

Average Salary: $181,522

Average Bonus (2023): $131,019

Average Bonus (2022): $102,857

Change: +27.40%

According to survey respondents, bonuses for asset management roles increased more than any other finance job between 2022 and 2023. That’s largely because they’re so closely tied to financial success: asset managers aim to increase the value of an investment portfolio over time.

8. Debt Capital Markets ($342,453)

Average Salary: $203,774

Average Bonus (2023): $138,679

Average Bonus (2022): $120,098

Change: +15.5%

A company working in debt capital markets (DCM) helps governments and large organizations to borrow money in the form of tradeable securities. An analyst in this area would assess the credit quality and debt maturity of various companies. 

7. Equity Research ($352,083)

Average Salary: $217,647

Average Bonus (2023): $135,156

Average Bonus (2022): $112,500

Change: +20.1%

Only asset management saw a bigger rise in bonuses than equity research last year. Roles range from analysts producing client research reports, to the investment managers or VPs reading those reports.

6. Commodities sales and trading ($368,750)

Average Salary: $176,563

Average Bonus (2023): $192,188

Average Bonus (2022): $182,143

Change: +5.5%

This is one of just two roles in the ranking where bonuses outweigh salaries. Commodity traders buy and sell physical goods such as gold, oil, or coffee. Although the average salary is fairly low in this list, the bonuses make it one of the best paying finance jobs out there.

READ: 10 Best MBAs For Finance Careers In 2024



5. M&A ($378,185)

Average Salary: $206,087

Average Bonus (2023): $172,098

Average Bonus (2022): $179,587

Change: -4.2%

M&A stands for mergers and acquisitions. Professionals in this area help companies to acquire or merge with other companies. Bonuses, which are often linked to the sale price of a company, saw a slight dip between 2022 and 2023. 

4. Credit sales and training ($394,444)

Average Salary: $205,556

Average Bonus (2023): $188,889

Average Bonus (2022): $170,775

Change: +10.6%

Broadly speaking, people working within credit sales are responsible for assessing the ability of individuals and organizations to settle debts or pay at a later date. The survey indicates that bonuses increased by more than 10%.

3. Equities sales and trading ($401,399)

Average Salary: $223,109

Average Bonus (2023): $178,289

Average Bonus (2022): $180,046

Change: -1.0%

Equities sales and trading is another way of saying ‘buying and selling stocks’, or maybe just ‘playing the stock market.’ Although the average salary for an analyst is $91,071, managing directors earn almost $500,000 on average, making equities sales and trading one of the three best paying jobs in finance. 

2. Macro sales and trading ($484,518)

Average Salary: $262,500

Average Bonus (2023): $222,018

Average Bonus (2022): $233,333

Change: -4.8%

Macro traders make investments based on global trends, geopolitical events, and other macroeconomic factors. Salaries vary depending on your specific role in this area—analysts earn the least, managing directors earn the most.

1. Hedge Funds ($486,990)

Average Salary: $221,018

Average Bonus (2023): $265,972

Average Bonus (2022): $254,854

Change: +4.4%

High risk, high reward. The best paid finance job in 2024 is in hedge funds. Hedge funds invest the capital of high-worth individuals or investors, but normally in higher risk investments. Between 2022 and 2023, bonuses fell across the board apart from in analyst roles, where they increased by 30%.

What do finance jobs pay in total? 

If you're interested in finding out how you can launch a career in finance, including free advice from b-school careers experts, download our BusinessBecause Careers Guide: What's Next After Business School