Quantitative Finance Salaries - How much Money do Quants Make?
Revealing compensation numbers for quant traders, developers, and researchers.
It’s no surprise that high salaries are one of the significant factors that motivate individuals to pursue a career in finance. With the average investment portfolio manager making a salary of over $114,000 and professionals in investment banking and accounting pulling in similar figures, it’s safe to say that the economic prospects of a career in this field tend to be quite compelling.
However, there exists one subset of finance that tends to get often overlooked - quantitative finance. Unlike its sibling disciplines, quantitative finance tends to be highly technical, usually involving the application of software programs and mathematical models to capitalize on advantageous opportunities in the trading markets. Sound interesting to you? Well, prepare to be amazed as we uncover how much money these secretive folks on Wall Street are being paid. In this article, we'll break down salaries for quantitative traders, quantitative researchers, and quantitative developers.
Before we get into the article, make sure to check out and contribute to our salary table on OpenQuant. We've collected a bunch of salary/compensation information for quants that you can access.
Quant Intern Salaries
Before we take a look at salary information for full-time quants, let’s begin by understanding how much you can start making as an intern. Quant firms are always looking for the brightest talent and make many strides to recruit students from the top schools. As a quant intern, you can find a position as a trader, developer, or researcher. Compensation for these internship positions is often significantly higher than those for software engineer/data science internship roles. For example, incoming interns at Jane Street for summer 2023 are making nearly twice as much as software engineer interns at Google!
Below, we have summarized data that was collected from Levels.fyi regarding compensation for quantitative finance interns. We’ve included the top 10 paying firms, but if you’re interested in learning more check out the previous link.
|Radix Trading||$150||$25,000 sign-on bonus|
|Arrowstreet Capital||$144||$10,000 sign-on bonus|
|Optiver||$138||$10,000 sign-on bonus|
|Hudson River Trading||$128||$10,000 sign-on bonus|
|IMC Trading||$124||$20,000 sign-on bonus|
|Jane Street||$120||$10,000 sign-on bonus|
|Citadel||$120||$10,000 sign-on bonus|
|Five Rings||$120||$15,000 sign-on bonus|
|D.E Shaw||$110||$20,000 sign-on bonus|
|Jump Trading||$100||$20,000 sign-on bonus|
As you can see above, the salaries for quant interns can be quite exorbitant. For example, Radix Trading’s compensation package equates to a $312,000 full-time salary (not including the sign-on bonus). Whether it be for covering your college tuition, paying for living expenses, or having a path to secure a full-time offer, landing one of these internships could be extremely valuable during your time in college. If you’re interested in landing an internship in quant finance, check out our job board.
Salaries for Quantitative Traders, Researchers, and Developers
After seeing how well quant interns are compensated, you may now be pondering over how much full-time quants should expect to make. While the answer will be variable depending on the firm you work at, you can expect an average annual compensation of $173,000. However, working at the top quants firms can give you significantly higher outcomes, especially considering that these firms tend to give extensive bonuses. Here are three case studies on New York firms that are paying well above the aforementioned figure.
|Quantitative Researcher||$250,000 - $300,000||Job Post|
|Quantitative Trader||$250,000 - $300,000||Job Post|
|Quantitative Developer||$200,000 - $300,000||Job Post|
Tower Research Capital
|Quantitative Researcher||$120,000 - $200,000||Job Post|
|Quantitative Trader||$120,000 - $200,000||Job Post|
|Quantitative Developer||$120,000 - $200,000||Job Post|
Hudson River Trading
|Quantitative Researcher||$175,000 - $300,000||Job Post|
|Quantitative Developer||$175,000 - $250,000||Job Post|
One commonality that you may observe amongst these firms is that Quantitative Researchers and Traders tend to have very similar salaries. However, developers sometimes tend to receive slightly lower compensation than the other two roles. This often is a result of the fact that the number of proficient developers often outnumbers the number of quantitative researchers and traders on the job market.
If you’re looking for a high-paying, intellectually stimulating, and technically involved role in the financial sector, look no further than quantitative finance. With three core pathways in research, trading, or development you can pursue whichever path matches your interests. If you’re looking to land a job in quantitative finance, check out our job board for the latest positions at the best companies.