Friday 3 February 2017 9:29 am

Which bankers earn the most per hour? New research reveals all – and tells us what the best-paid non-City jobs are too

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It will come as no surprise that bankers are the highest earning professionals in London – but which field of banking is the most lucrative?

The highest earners are M&A analysts, with an average annual total compensation of £70,000, according to salary benchmarking site Emolument.com. 

However, while traders earn less annually than their colleagues in M&A at £60,000 a year, they 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.


Researchers, who analysed more than 3,000 salaries from junior professionals with one to four years experience, noted that the best paid City bankers earn only 11 per cent more per hour than the least well paid – those in middle & back office roles.

Analyst compensation by job

Job Annual total compensation Hours per week Pay per hour
Trading £60,000 60 £19.20
Sales £59,000 60 £18.90
Research £57,000 60 £18.30
M&A £70,000 75 £17.90
Middle & Back office £40,000 45 £17.10


Meanwhile, outside the City, the highest earners are GPs or strategy consultants, with an annual salary of £42,000. However, Emolument pointed to insurance underwriting as a "low-key but winning position, coupling short working days with an above average paycheck at £16.30 per hour".

Junior professionals' compensation by job

Job Annual total compensation Hours per week Pay per hour % of traders’ hourly rate
Insurance Underwriting £34,000 40 £16.30 85%
Strategy Consulting £42,000 50 £16.20 84%
GP £42,000 50 £16.20 84%
Architecture £30,000 40 £14.40 75%
PR £25,000 45 £10.70 56%
Recruitment Consulting £28,000 52 £10.40 54%
Chef £21,000 45 £9.00 47%
Retail Sales £18,000 40 £8.70 45%


"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," said Alice Leguay, co-founder and chief operating officer at Emolument.com

"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."

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