Discover your dream Career
For Recruiters

The 20-year-old finance interns earning $20k a month are quants and engineers

If you're applying for an internship in finance, your end-goal will be a high-paying full time job. But you don't necessarily have to wait until you graduate to start earning big money. For quants and engineers especially, banks, hedge funds and trading firms are willing to pay top dollar to bring you in... but who pays the most?

Click here to sign up to our technology newsletter 🔧

Using salary data from Levels.fyi, we've ranked the top paying internships across those three sectors of finance. We're examining only the highest paid internship of each company; you can expect a lot of variation by specific job title and location within each firm.

It's worth noting that these figures aren't reflective of the entire intern environments, and you won't be guaranteed these figures should you get a job at any of these firms. This is merely a snapshot of what you can earn.

How much do interns earn in investment banking?

Somewhat expectedly, the best paid interns in banking are Goldman Sachs may be the quants. Levels.fyi indicates that an undergraduate quant intern at Goldman can earn a monthly salary of $13.4k with additional housing and transportation benefits to boot. Quant internships tend to pay more than engineering ones (a trend that carries over to the other sectors) but there are a few interesting internships that stand out.

Surprisingly, the highest paid engineering interns are at Capital One and Wells Fargo, at least in terms of salary. Hourly wages for engineering interns at JPMorgan are a bit behind, but the bank also appears to offer a healthy sign-on bonus that brings your expected pay much closer to the top. 

Generally, banks offer a stipend for housing, and many provide extra money for transportation.  These benefits aren't always useful (for example, if your banking MD father is footing the bill for your rent), but are worth considering.

Each of these internships are also available relatively early into your studies. Only Nomura seems to expect its software engineers to be studying for a masters degree; the rest can all be obtained at undergraduate level.

How much do interns earn in hedge funds?

If you thought the pay for tech and quant interns in banking was impressive, you ain't seen nothing yet. Hedge funds and trading firms can pay significantly more. Focusing first on the major multistrategy hedge funds, where internships are more abundant, the crown goes to Ken Griffin's hedge fund, Citadel. Although D.E. Shaw provides a better monthly pay of $22k compared to $21.6k, Citadel appears to offer a staggering $20k sign-on bonus. 

Generally, at the big hedge funds, earning over $10k per month as an intern is the norm. Sign-on bonuses are also much more common, but they vary in size and rarely come close to Citadel's $20k lump sum. Rather than providing a payment for housing, hedge funds are more inclined to provide corporate housing instead. Expected level of study also varies significantly, and for many of the highest paying internships, you'll need to be studying for a PhD.

Also of note is Qube Research & Technologies. The quant hedge fund has been a fast rising star in 2024, relentlessly hiring senior staff, and it looks to be paying its interns well too. It's offering the best pay for hedge fund interns outside of the US; London based software engineers earn almost $12k (£9.4k)

How much do interns earn in electronic trading?

Jane Street has a reputation for being the niche firm paying interns crazy prices, but there's always a niche-er fish. The highest paid interns in financial services (and the world, according to Levels) are at Radix Trading. The Chicago based firm pays its PhD interns $27.7k per month alongside a $25k sign-on bonus.

High-frequency-trading firm Susquehanna pays pretty similarly to Radix. Its interns earn slightly less per month, but get $2.5k extra up front. For undergraduates, the quant internship of your dreams appears to be at Arrowstreet Capital; the Boston based quant fund offers bachelors students $25k per month in addition to a $10k signing bonus. Jane Street's quant trading interns earn $21.7k per month in addition to a $10k signing bonus and $3k in housing payments. The true benefits may come there if you can translate the experience into a full-time offer; Levels.fyi says Jane Street's entry-level engineers are the highest paid in the world.

The highest paid interns outside the US appear to be at Quadrature Capital, an automated trading firm based in London. There, software engineers earn over $20k (£15.7k) per month, and are provided with corporate housing. 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: +44 7537 182250 (SMS, Whatsapp or voicemail). Telegram: @SarahButcher. Click here to fill in our anonymous form, or email editortips@efinancialcareers.com. Signal also available.

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

author-card-avatar
AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Recommended Articles
Recommended Jobs

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.