The banks that pay the most for the least amount of time spent working

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Despite recent work-life mandates, junior bankers still put in marathon weeks, averaging north of 80 hours at some investment banks. Most are paid handsomely as well, at least compared to what other people their age are taking home. Of course, not every bank pays the same or works their junior staff at the same level. So which of the top banks offer the sweet spot: strong compensation and doable hours?

To find out, we dug through the numbers from the recent investment banking report from Wall Street Oasis. In the chart below, you’ll see the average take-home compensation (base salary plus bonus) for first-year analysts at most every major bank as well as a handful of thriving boutiques. We then cross-referenced the pay data with the average work hours at each firm to find out what one can expect to earn for every minute spent in the office.

The main takeaway is that, for the most part, the grass isn’t much greener on the other side of the fence. Generally speaking, junior bankers who work the greatest number of hours are better compensated on an hourly basis than those who don’t put in as much face time. The average work week is over 80 hours at Perella Weinberg, the firm with the highest hourly rate. Evercore, which also has long working hours, also pays a high hourly rate.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan analysts work some of the fewest hours – around 72, on average – but receive lower hourly pay. If you want to work for a major bank and to receive high pay on an hourly basis, Wall Street Oasis' figures suggest you need to try Bank of America.

Because junior bankers work such long hours, their hourly pay figures aren't nearly as impressive as you might expect. Perella Weinberg analysts make just less than $40 for every hour they work. At Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, analysts earn just more than $32 per hour. Deutsche Bank analysts take home around $28.50 for every hour they put in – worst among the banks with enough data points to be statistically significant.

The question is whether an additional $8 to $12 per hour is worth the extra eight to 10 hours spent in the office every week. Some may argue no and would prefer to be with one of the firms further down the list.

How much do you earn per hour at an investment bank?

***Note: The research includes self-reported data over a rolling three-year period to accumulate enough statistically significant data points. Average wage per hour worked assumes 52-week year.

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