July 25, 2024

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How Many Hours Do Investment Bankers, Traders & Analysts Work

5 min read

What are a typical banker’s hours? How many hours do asset managers work? From investment bankers to traders, find out what to expect from a career in finance

Alongside tech and consulting, finance continues to be a top contender when it comes to careers for business school graduates in 2024. Working in the financial sector offers the chance to work with other high-flying, intelligent people and learn as you undertake demanding work. 

Hard work often leads to substantial reward when it comes to the salaries in finance that are available to business school grads. Students can find opportunities in ‘buy side’ roles with hedge funds, private equity firms, and asset managers, or on the ‘sell side’ where there are many opportunities with investment banks. 

But how long do finance professionals work, exactly? And how much do they make? 

The eFinancialCareers 2024 financial services salary and bonus report provides valuable insights into the realities of working in finance.  

Conducted between February and March 2024, this survey reveals data on working hours, financial compensation, and pay satisfaction sourced from 6,000 finance professionals across continents and various roles. 

So, let’s dig into the detail: 


Breakdown: Traders, Analysts & Bankers’ Hours


1. Commodities sales and trading: 41.7 hours

Compensation per hour: $170.00

Average Hours (2022):  41.5 hours 

Change: +0.6% 

Commodity traders invest in physical substances such as gold, oil, and coffee. Despite working the fewest hours per week among all the finance professionals in this list—just over 41 hours—this job ranks among the top three highest-paid per hour on the list. 


2. Operations: 43.8 hours

Compensation per hour: $78.88

Average Hours (2022):  44.6 hours 

Change:  -1.8% 

Operations professionals are responsible for managing finances and resources within an organization. Although they have the lowest salary on this list, the role is less demanding than other financial services positions and has seen a decrease of almost an hour per week since last year. 


3. Finance: 43.9 hours

Average Hours (2022):  44.9 hours 

Compensation per hour: $100.76 

Change: -2.2% 

Core finance roles include the likes of audit and accounting, both of which work closely together. Accounting involves evaluating a company’s financial health and performance, while audit professionals verify the accuracy of the financial data provided by accounting. 


4. Compliance: 44.1 hours

Compensation per hour: $86.22

Average Hours (2022): 38.9 hours 

Change: +13.2% 

Compliance officers and managers ensure their company follows all applicable financial rules and regulations. Working hours increased sharply in 2023, up by over five hours per week. Compensation for compliance is the lowest on the list, though their working hours remain among the shortest. 


5. Technology: 44.7 hours

Compensation per hour: $94.14

Average Hours (2022):  44.3 hours 

Change: +0.8% 

Following widespread layoffs and an oversupply of talent in the technology sector, the industry saw a marginal increase in hours worked and ranks among the bottom five in terms of compensation per hour. 


6. Private Equity: 47.2 hours

Compensation per hour: $107.30

Average Hours (2022): 48 hours 

Change: -1.7% 

Private equity professionals take on a range of possible functions. They identify companies to acquire, monitor ongoing investments, manage relationships with businesses, and forecast future returns. 


7. Hedge funds: 47.3 hours

Compensation per hour: $198.00

Average Hours (2022): 45.7 hours 

Change: +3.5% 

Hedge fund professionals manage investment strategies, conduct market analysis, and execute trades for high net-worth individuals or investors. In 2023, they received the highest compensation per hour, earning almost twice as much per hour as private equity professionals.  


8. Quant: 47.5 hours

Compensation per hour: $111.80

Average Hours (2022): 47.3 hours  

Change: +0.4% 

Quantitative traders use mathematical and statistical models to identify and capitalize on trading opportunities. Average working hours saw a marginal increase between 2022 and 2023, but have remained fairly static. 


9. Risk: 48.3 hours 

Compensation per hour: $91.41

Average Hours (2022): 48 hours 

Change: +0.6% 

Risk management professionals assess and mitigate financial risks to minimize their impact on an organization’s earnings. They use data analysis to forecast potential financial pitfalls and address market, credit, liquidity, and organizational risks. 


10. Equities sales and trading: 50.3 hours 

Compensation per hour: $119.35

Average Hours (2022): 50.6 hours 

Change:  -0.7% 

Equities sales and trading is an area within investment banking that involves buying and selling stocks, often referred to as ‘playing the stock market.’ Professionals in this area earn some of the highest salaries in finance, with an overall average compensation of $401k. Investment bankers’ hours exceed 50 per week. 


11. Credit sales and trading: 51.6 hours 

Compensation per hour: $147.13

Average Hours (2022): 51.7 hours 

Change: -0.3% 

Credit sales and trading professionals help buy and sell debt securities by evaluating whether individuals and organizations can repay their debts. They ensure clients can meet their financial obligations before completing transactions. 


12. Macro sales and trading: 51.9 hours 

Compensation per hour: $179.52

Average Hours (2022): 52.8 hours 

Change: -1.6% 

Macro traders invest based on economic and political views of different countries, geopolitical events and other macroeconomic factors. In 2023, most sales and trading professionals earned significantly more per hour when compared with bankers’ hours. 


13. Debt Capital Markets: 58 hours 

Compensation per hour: $113.63

Average Hours (2022): 58.1 hours 

Change: -0.2% 

Debt Capital Markets (DCM) is a specialized area within investment banking. DCM analysts determine the best strategies for governments and corporations to borrow money by issuing tradeable securities. The average bankers’ hours for DCM professionals have remained fairly static compared to 2022. 


14. Equity Research: 61.3 hours

Compensation per hour: $110.62

Average Hours (2022): 61.9 hours 

Change: -0.9% 

Equity research professionals use data analysis to make reports and recommendations on investment opportunities for investment banks, institutions, and high net-worth clients. They are the first among this list to see average hours exceed 60 hours per week. 


15. Equity Capital Markets: 64.3 hours 

Compensation per hour: $119.99

Average Hours (2022): 68.3 hours 

Change: -5.9% 

Equity capital markets (ECM) professionals help companies raise investment by issuing stocks. ECM jobs are demanding and involve some of the longest working hours in finance. Despite the demanding schedule, the best-paid investment bankers in 2023 were in Equity Capital Markets. This group of investment bankers’ hours, which exceed 64 per week, equate to a total compensation (salary plus bonus) of around $120 per hour.


16. M&A: 67.1 hours 

Compensation per hour: $108.46

Average Hours (2022): 69.3 hours 

Change: -3.2% 

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) analysts help companies acquire or merge with other companies. In 2023, the average workweek for M&A analysts was around 67 hours—significantly less than the 100-hour weeks experienced during the pandemic—but still higher than many other areas in banking.  



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