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AI jobs in financial services: $350k for junior hires

A recent (and somewhat misrepresented) job listing for an AI product manager at Netflix went viral for having a total compensation package of up to $900k, showing just how much top AI talent is capable of earning these days. As demand for AI talent in finance grows, can it compete? Based on how much junior hires are paid, yes they can... if you find the right jobs.

Hedge Funds pay the most

AI has the potential to become an important part of the quantitative trading process at hedge funds and this shows in their recruitment. It also shows in their pay.

Junta Nakai, the former Goldman Sachs salesman turned global head of financial services at tech infrastructure firm, Databricks says he's seen hedge funds paying "top AI talent $320-$430k out of college." AI guys are catching up with investment professionals in terms of pay, says Nakai.  Tech has moved "from a cost center to THE source of competitive advantage" he adds. 

Most big hedge funds are hiring in AI. Citadel, for example, is looking for experience in any one of "machine learning, time-series analysis, pattern recognition or NLP."

Steve Cohen's hedge fund, Point72, has AI quant roles plus multiple roles dedicated to enhancing research in the field, such as intern and graduate machine learning researchers. It's also hiring for an associate of its private equity division to specialize in 'deep tech.'

Banking

Banks, having more employees than hedge funds, should have a lot more AI roles on offer, right? Not necessarily. It depends how you measure it, but some banks are barely hiring AI professionals. The graph below shows how many job listings banks have that specify a number of AI related terms in the name of the role. 

JPMorgan has made its dedication to AI clear, and has the most jobs (although it's not yet hiring for its investment advice chatbot IndexGPT). Goldman's pursuit of NLP staff is also noticeable in its current job ads.  Citi's numbers are somewhat underwhelming given its plans to hire tech staff in the thousands this year, however the jobs it has are interesting - including an engineering and a research lead for a generative AI project in London.

Banks have more AI jobs on offer when they're categorised as jobs with an AI tag. JPMorgan has 132 jobs with this tag, while Goldman have 23 and Morgan Stanley have 10. However, many of the listings put AI experience down as a 'nice-to-have' rather than a necessity.

AI jobs in banks pay less than AI jobs in hedge funds. A senior associate graduate hire in AI research at JPMorgan with a master's or a PhD can earn $195k, but the lower end of the salary range is just $133k. There are still high earning opportunities out there however; Goldman has advertised for a NLP engineering VP for a "new, scalable and resilient Generative AI platform" capable of earning up to $250k

AI jobs in Fintech

Fintech is another area where machine learning is appreciated, and it's no surprise that payments giant Stripe is one of the top companies hiring. It currently has 9 unique machine learning engineer listings and its highest paying, a staff engineer/technical leader, can earn a staggering $484.6k... as base pay.

It's not just Stripe though, on eFinancialCareers there are 65 jobs for machine learning in fintech, with companies like Monzo, Plaid and Ramp all hiring. Don't expect them all to pay as much as Stripe, however.

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Reporter

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