quantitative finance
July 1, 2007 3:35 PM   Subscribe

How much money do C++ financial engineers/quantitative analysts make a year?

What would the first year salary be after graduating from a one year financial engineering graduate program be?
posted by amsterdam63 to Work & Money (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Huge variability. Do you mean a back end job doing programming or a front end job?

For PhD quants, first year out who are programmers, they can expect to make upwards of $170,000 for their base salaries at top firms (Renaissance, SAC, etc.) ... obviously depending on the quality of the program they came from and the quality of the program.

For front end traders who are prop traders or other quantish positions (I have heard the position I am applying in as financial engineering, yet I am trading and modeling building, not just constructing programs) earn a lot less as an associate out of undergrad. I think the median salary plus bonus for a bulge bracket firm is somewhere around $150,000 depending, plus or minus $10,000 depending on the firm and how it did that year. London front end quants, for whatever reason, I have heard earn a lot more than their NYC counterparts for their first year out of undergrad.

If you are outside of NYC/LDN expect to earn less as the cost of living and snobbery favors those cities. It all really depends on your program.

I received very good advice to avoid firm snobbery. You are in high finance, you'll be making more than your peers -- so don't worry about pay. Approach it like you're in a draft and try to decide which team you want to be apart of. Does that make sense?

If you have specific questions, e-mail me. I just spent the last 6 months trying to decide what I wanted to do in finance and what firm I wanted to be with.

NB, I don't know what "financial engineering graduate program" is. By PhD quants, I found most were applied mathematics, physics or some other hard science related field. A select few were finance/econ doctorates. Firms are very, very snobby about where these guys went to school. I got the feeling that front end traders got more leeway as more people in the hiring process understood what they did and could evaluate their performance. Your experience may differ.
posted by geoff. at 3:59 PM on July 1, 2007

Oh, the Wilmott forums are a good indicator of what you should get. Keep in mind that traders always come first a firm, even if you are making more than you'd make going to a tech company with similar experience.

There's a book out called "Dynamic Hedging" put out by I believe, Wiley Finance. It may behoove of you to pick it up and go through some of the anecdotes. It is geared toward trying to explain to traders what the backend does, but it should give you a good idea of what they care about and what to expect. Plus if you can have even a rudimentary grasp of some advanced financial functions you'll really put yourselves ahead of some other guys.
posted by geoff. at 4:05 PM on July 1, 2007

Do you have a masters? Or just 8 months of programing and math courses.

I think geoff. is about right, perhaps a little (~$15k) on the high side if you have no real world experience either programing or supporting traders. I didnt know LDN programmers were more expensive - must be scarcer.
posted by shothotbot at 4:53 PM on July 1, 2007

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