Earning your degree in quantitative analysis will offer you the mathematical and statistical tools and knowledge to study, measure and evaluate a variety of financial instruments, financial markets and how market participants behave. With a quantitative analysis degree, you will be qualified to work in a variety of lucrative positions at commercial banks, investment banks, wealth management funds, insurance companies and more.
To understand if this career path is for you, it is common to want to know what your salary potential can be with a quantitative analysts degree. This article describes how the following factors can influence your salary in this financial field:
- Whether you earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in quantitative analysis
- The type of business or financial career you select
- Years of experience in the field
- Geographic location
Once you have this important information, you can get a stronger idea of the possible salary you may have with a quantitative analysis degree.
Level of Quantitative Analyst Degree
There has been ample research conducted over the years that shows a master’s degree can earn you more money over time. Generally, a quantitative analysis master’s degree holder earns an average salary of $68,000 and one with a bachelor’s degree earns $58,000. This is a difference of $12,000, and for some professions, the premium can be higher.
For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the following wages for business related professionals with a bachelors and masters degree:
- Securities, commodities and financial service sales agents: $90,000/$170,000
- Financial managers: $78,000/$110,000
- Market research analysts and marketing specialists: $65,000/$90,000
- Marketing and sales managers: $80,000/$110,000
- Mathematicians and statisticians: $60,000/$80,000
Earning a master’s degree in quantitative analysis or a related field will likely result in a higher salary over a bachelor’s degree over time.
Type of Quantitative Analysis Career
The career path you choose in business, finance and quantitative analysis will affect your salary. Below are some of the possible career paths you may consider with this degree:
Securities, Commodities and Financial Services Sales Agent
This financial professional is responsible for connecting buyers and sellers in financial markets. They are responsible for selling securities to individuals and provide advice to companies that want investors, and perform trades.
These financial services agents spend much of their time interacting with potential investors, whether they are selling stock to an individual or talking about the status of a merger with a large organization.
One of the most common types of workers in this field is brokers, who sell securities and commodities to individuals. The other is an investment banker, who connects businesses that are in need of capital to investors that want to provide the funding.
The median salary for these finance professionals is $63,700, with the top 10% earning more than $208,000 per year. Salaries also vary widely by industry:
- Securities, commodity contracts and other financial investments: $96,500
- Management of companies and enterprises: $77,800
- Credit intermediation: $47,200
One of the most common positions you can obtain with a quantitative analysts degree is that of financial analyst. Financial analysts provide investment and financial guidance to businesses and individuals who need to make investment decisions. Financial analysts with a quantitative background are primarily responsible for assessing the performance of stocks, bonds and related investments.
Financial analysts may work on the buy side with organizations that have a lot of capital to invest. Many buy side analysts with a quantitative background work on Wall Street and help hedge funds, insurance companies and independent money managers to invest properly. Others may work on the sell side and provide financial advice to financial services sales agents who market stocks and bonds.
Financial analysts earn a median salary of $84,300, according to BLS. Those who are in the top 10% with the most experience and education make more than $165,000 per year. Salaries for financial analysts can vary widely by industry:
- Securities, commodity contracts and other financial investments: $100,100
- Professional, scientific and technical services: $83,900
- Management of companies and enterprises: $82,500
- Credit intermediation and related activities: $80,800
- Insurance carriers and related activities: $76,800
A financial manager is charged with the overall financial health of an organization. They are responsible for producing regular financial reports, directing activities for investing, and developing plans and strategies for ensuring the long term financial goals of the company or organization.
Financial managers focus frequently on different tasks based upon the industry or company. For instance, government financial managers need to be experts on budgeting processes and government appropriations, while healthcare financial managers need to be very up to date on topics about healthcare finance.
The median salary for financial managers in 2017 was $125,000, according to BLS, with the top 10% earning more than $208,000 per year. Salaries in various fields were as follows:
- Professional, scientific and technical services: $147,000
- Management of companies and enterprises: $141,800
- Manufacturing: $124,000
- Finance and insurance: $123,000
- Government: $110,000
Quantitative Analyst Work Experience
As with so many fields, the number of years of work experience greatly affect your salary. This is a relatively new job title, so more salary information can be found by looking at the salaries of financial analysts and their level of experience:
- Financial analysts with less than five years of experience earn a salary of $57,000 on average.
- Financial analysts with five to 10 years of experience earn an average salary of $67,000.
- Financial analysts with 10 to 20 years of experience earn an average salary of $70,000.
- Financial analysts with more than 20 years of experience earn total compensation of $73,000.
Quantitative Analyst Industry
The salary level for quantitative analysts and related professionals are also affected by industry. Below are some of the typical salaries for financial analysts by company in very different industries:
- JP Morgan Chase: $56,000 to $79,000
- Lockheed Martin Corp: $55,000 to $67,000
- Boeing Company: $59,000 to $78,000
- IBM: $44,000 to $65,000
- Goldman Sachs: $61,000 to $87,000
- Apple Inc.: $84,000 to $102,000
For quantitative analysts specifically, Payscale.com reports the following salaries by company:
- Bank of America: $125,000
- Google: $110,000
- PNC Financial Services Group: $104,000
- Goldman Sachs: $88,900
Where you live in the United States also will have an effect on your salary in this financial field. For quantitative analyst, the national average according to Payscale.com is $89,100. But the following cities have a higher salary for the same position:
- San Francisco: +39%
- New York City: +19%
- Boston: +12%
- Chicago: +1%
For financial analyst, the national median salary is $59,700, but in these cities, the salary can be higher or lower:
- San Francisco: +20%
- New York City: +14%
- Washington DC: +11%
- Seattle: +10%
- Houston: +8%
- Boston: +5%
- Dallas: -1%
- Atlanta: -1%
- San Diego: -2%
Now that you have more information about the factors that can influence your salary with a quantitative analyst degree, hopefully you will be able to make a well informed decision about your future.
- Quantitative Analyst. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/articles/professionals/120215/quantitative-analyst-career-path-qualifications.asp
- Should I Get a Master’s Degree? (2015). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm