What You Really Want to Know: Salaries for Financial Analysts

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Salaries and bonuses: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for financial analysts is about $75,000 a year.

But that’s a median, and many big and prestigious financial firms start their analysts near or at $100,000 a year. Sometimes bonuses can double the total compensation for a first-year analyst, though bonuses can range far and wide, depending on the type of type of firm and even its location.

At larger firms, the income of senior analysts with two to three years of experience under their belts can start at around $120,000, not including bonuses.

The financial service industry’s really big bucks — measured in the hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars — don’t start until employees move up the ladder into associate, vice president, senior management and partner positions.

Can I negotiate? There’s not a lot of wiggle room for negotiating higher entry-level and senior analyst salaries at larger firms, primarily because employers hold most of the cards. If an analyst candidate doesn’t like the offered pay, firms can always draw upon the deep applicant pool to find other candidates.

Still, recruiters and industry officials say it’s important for candidates not to get lowballed on offers. Those seeking jobs should research compensation, right down to the salaries at specific firms where candidates are interviewing.

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