Wall Street Prep

Investment Banker Salary Averages

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Note: We have updated this data for 2016. You can find that post here.

For all the talk of declining investment banking bonuses,  if you want to make well over $100k right out of college, a career as an investment banker is still your best bet. Investment banker salaries are comprised of a base salary and bonus. Below, are the most recent compensation levels by seniority up to the associate level. Analysts come straight from undergrad, while associates come from business school or promoted internally from analyst.

First Year Investment Banking Analyst (2011)

Base: $70k
Bonus: $60-$70k

Second Year Investment Banking Analyst (2011)

Base: $80k
Bonus: $75-$85k

Third Year Investment Banking Analyst (2011)

Base: $80-$90k
Bonus: $95-$105k

First Year Investment Banking Associate (2012)

Base: $110-$125k
Bonus: most in $40k-60k range*

*Associate bonuses are communicated in January (vs. July for analysts). Since 2011 was a terrible year, associates reporting lower bonuses than analysts received six months prior.

Why are bonuses variable?

The bonus component is a function of two things: individual performance and group/firm performance.  What this means is that you could be a rock star, but if your group/firm is not closing deals and bringing in revenue, your bonus component will suffer.  And, unfortunately, during times when deals are not happening, the work load doesn’t necessarily die down.  You are always pitching with the aim of closing deals even in bad markets, so in slower economic cycles when bonuses decline across the board, being an investment banker becomes less appealing given the grueling hours.

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