Average Investment Banker Salary for 2022

Written By
I. Mitic
Updated
March 15,2022

Banks make a lot of money, which explains why investment bankers are some of the highest-paid individuals in the world. The average investment banker salary is more than $150,000 per year, while CEOs in some of the bigger institutions make tens of millions of dollars.     

Location is critical when it comes to compensation rates, and almost every investment banker salary is tied to a demanding workload. Many investment bankers regularly put in 100-hour weeks and don’t go on vacation for years. This post delves deeper into how much investment bankers earn. 

Investment Banker Salary Structure

The total compensation for investment bankers consists of multiple components. These can typically be organized into the following five categories:  

  • Base salary: This is the guaranteed compensation that investment bankers receive bi-monthly or monthly from their employers. 
  • Stub bonus: Associates who get hired less than a year before bonuses are due to end up receiving stub bonuses for their first few months on the job. These are generally lower than year-one base rates – around 20% to 30% of their regular salary. 
  • Year-end bonuses: Every year, banks pay bonuses to discourage their talent and high performers from leaving. In general, banks offer cash bonuses - similar to a traditional bonus scheme in other firms. However, they may also reward bankers with deferred stock options and provisions.
  • Signing bonus: Also known as a relocation bonus, this is a golden handshake that encourages first-time analysts to join the firm (and not go somewhere else). Bonuses are lower for entry-level roles and higher for more senior roles. 
  • Benefits: These typically run alongside the base salary and don’t depend on performance. They include vacation days, health insurance, life insurance, and 401(k) insurance plans.

The Average Investment Banker Salary

The word “average” can refer to both the “mean” and the “median.” The median investment banker salary is around $150,000: half the investment bankers across the US earn more than this, and half earn less. 

Average salaries depend on the job role, with each having a range in which workers get paid. 

The table below shows the breakdown across job roles.

Position/Job Role

Age

Base Salary

Total Compensation (USD)

Time Until Promotion

Analyst

22-27

$85-$125K

$150-$200K

2-3 years

Associate

25-35

$110-130K

$180-$250K

3-4 years

Vice President (VP)

28-40

$250-$300K

$220-$400K

3-4 years

Director / Senior Vice President (SVP)

32-45

$300-$350K

$550-$700K

2-3 years

Managing Director (MD)

35-50

$400-$600K

$1,000-$3,000K+

N/A

The exact figures on investment banker compensation aren’t always easy to come by. That’s because different methods are used when collating figures. 

Investment banker salaries also vary by state. For example, investment banker salaries and bonuses are higher in Vermont than Alabama.

State

Average Salary

Hourly Rate

Alabama

$163,728

$78.72

Alaska

$164,092

$78.89

Arizona

$158,196

$76.06

Arkansas

$164,224

$78.95

California

$161,289

$77.54

Colorado

$158,751

$76.32

Connecticut

$187,955

$90.36

Delaware

$178,389

$85.76

District of Columbia

$175,227

$84.24

Florida

$158,799

$76.35

Georgia

$163,472

$78.59

Hawaii

$109,258

$52.53

Idaho

$163,032

$78.38

Illinois

$179,884

$86.48

Indiana

$175,438

$84.35

Iowa

$175,089

$84.18

Kansas

$164,932

$79.29

Kentucky

$169,818

$81.64

Louisiana

$163,247

$78.48

Maine

$194,838

$93.67

Maryland

$176,421

$84.82

Massachusetts

$191,571

$92.10

Michigan

$187,887

$90.33

Minnesota

$189,700

$91.20

Mississippi

$163,777

$78.74

Missouri

$167,360

$80.46

Montana

$167,648

$80.60

Nebraska

$168,136

$80.83

Nevada

$162,163

$77.96

New Hampshire

$193,530

$93.04

New Jersey

$183,562

$88.25

New Mexico

$159,090

$76.49

New York

$185,189

$89.03

North Carolina

$165,780

$79.70

North Dakota

$191,494

$92.06

Ohio

$179,176

$86.14

Oklahoma

$162,852

$78.29

Oregon

$168,805

$81.16

Pennsylvania

$181,530

$87.27

Rhode Island

$189,881

$91.29

South Carolina

$163,328

$78.52

South Dakota

$174,553

$83.92

Tennessee

$165,862

$79.74

Texas

$161,805

$77.79

Utah

$158,541

$76.22

Vermont

$195,538

$94.01

Virginia

$170,595

$82.02

Washington

$171,097

$82.26

West Virginia

$174,055

$83.68

Wisconsin

$187,198

$90.00

Wyoming

$160,606

$77.21

The amount that investment bankers get paid also varies by city.

State

Average Salary

Hourly Rate

Boston, MA

$197,813

$95.10

New York, NY

$189,785

$91.24

Chicago, IL

$187,901

$90.34

Harrisburg, PA

$186,787

$89.80

Cincinnati, OH

$178,446

$85.79

San Francisco, CA

$171,296

$82.35

Raleigh, NC

$169,857

$81.66

Plano, TX

$169,442

$81.46

Atlanta, GA

$168,495

$81.01

The average investment banking salary is $157,000 per year and just over $75 per hour. The lowest-paid analysts and associates in the banking industry earn roughly $102,000 yearly, while the top 10% make $244,000. 

Unsurprisingly the investment banking analyst salary in New York is pretty generous. But even though this city is the heart of the US financial system, the average paycheck is higher in Boston.

Meanwhile, investment banking analyst base salaries in London are around £50,000 to £60,000 ($67,125 - $80,550) per year, with total compensation of £80,000 to £120,000 ($107,400 - $161,000). London, therefore, pays slightly lower than the average that an analyst can expect working in New York. 

Should You Become an Investment Banker?

Investment bankers salaries are excellent, particularly when you consider bonuses. However, it comes at a cost: demanding workloads. One of the reasons investment banking salaries are so high is because banks often struggle to hold onto their talent. Most professionals can’t sustain 100-hour workweeks for more than a couple of years before burning out and moving on. 

Therefore, if you choose to get into investment banking, make sure to arm yourself with plenty of patience and get well paid for your time. If you are healthy and don’t get easily stressed, it might be a good choice for you. However, if you are struggling in any way, either emotionally or physically, it can be difficult to keep up. 

Of course, sticking around long-term has its benefits. While entry-level salaries are good, they get much better if you can rise through the ranks. An investment banking VP salary is between $200,000 and $400,000 per annum, bonuses included. 

Analyst and associate investment banker salaries are also considerably higher than those for other professions. While there are some professionals, including doctors, who earn similar sums, they require many years of training and education. For investment banking, a conventional graduate degree or MBA is sufficient to get a foot in the door. 

Even within the financial sector, investment banking stands out in terms of pay. The field generally offers better remuneration than other options, such as fintech, corporate development, or private equity. 

Of course, you can make more money in private equity than you can in investment banking. But to get to the highest pay, you often have to work on your career for decades. It’s not something you can do for a few years and then retire. You’re often in it for the long haul. 

Wrapping Up

When we started this article, we wanted to answer one question: how much do investment bankers make? But the answer isn’t exactly straightforward. The investment banker's salary depends on many different factors, including your location and job role. 

On average, you can expect to make around $150,000 per year, with around two-thirds of that coming from base pay and a third coming from bonuses. However, to get to the highest paychecks, you need to climb the corporate ladder and become a VP or managing director where annual compensation regularly tops $1 million.

FAQ

Can you become a millionaire as an investment banker?

+

Yes, you can become a millionaire as an investment banker so long as you use your surplus income to purchase investments. Those who ascend to the VP or managing director level can achieve millionaire status in just a few years.

Is investment banking a hard job?

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From an intellectual standpoint, investment banking is not a hard job once you’ve built your strategies and models. However, it requires plenty of dedication. Many employees wilt under stress and dislike it because it damages their work-life balance.

What age do investment bankers retire?

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Because of the high pay, investment bankers are often able to retire earlier than other workers. Many bankers have the financial security to call it quits by the age of 40. However, many choose to continue, either as investment bankers or in different fields.

About author

For years, the clients I worked for were banks. That gave me an insider’s view of how banks and other institutions create financial products and services. Then I entered the world of journalism. Fortunly is the result of our fantastic team’s hard work. I use the knowledge I acquired as a bank copywriter to create valuable content that will help you make the best possible financial decisions.

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