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Wall Street Firms Experience Speed Bump in Internship Salaries

by Riley Cook

Wall Street's prestigious firms are gearing up for the recruitment of summer 2024 interns, and though it's only August, the process is already in full swing. However, the surprising news is that the compensation being offered for these internships remains relatively unchanged from this year's rates.


Top financial giants like JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Barclays, and Morgan Stanley are offering intern salaries in the range of $100,000 to $110,000. Interestingly, this falls within the average hourly rate of $52-$54 that most interns made this year, as per data from levels.fyi.

Image Credit: Spencer Platt / Staff / Getty Images


This stands in stark contrast to previous years, where pay for internships saw dramatic spikes. In the transition from 2022 to 2023, salaries at top firms experienced an almost 20% year-over-year increase, while major hedge funds witnessed a staggering 30% year-over-year surge in pay, according to levels.fyi data.


The significant rise in remuneration attracted an overwhelming number of applicants, with prestigious firms receiving tens of thousands of applications. For instance, Citadel, known for paying interns $5,000 per week, received over 69,000 applications during the previous hiring cycle.



Now, however, the financial landscape appears to be shifting. A notable anonymous founder of financial account Litquidity commented on the changing tide, explaining that in the past, everyone was enamored with tech startups' sky-high valuations and equity grants that could multiply an employee's options. However, the current state of venture capital sees the tables turned, prompting a preference for a career in finance during these uncertain times.


Despite the current stagnation in salary growth for summer internships, top Wall Street firms are actively scouting for talent. Applications for JPMorgan's 2024 Corporate and Investment Bank Markets Summer Analyst Program have already gone live on LinkedIn. Likewise, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Barclays, and Morgan Stanley have opened their applications for summer 2024 internships.


The context of this seemingly unchanged intern salary structure is worth noting. Wall Street has experienced a challenging year, facing a dearth of deal-making, leading to staff reductions across various banks and financial institutions. Given the circumstances, potential interns should be grateful for the opportunity to receive compensation, especially when many industries are struggling with layoffs.


As the finance industry navigates through this dynamic period, prospective interns must consider various factors while making their choices. Stability, professional growth, and the potential for future career development are all essential aspects that aspiring interns may weigh in their decisions.


While the thrill of skyrocketing salaries may not be evident in the current internship landscape, the finance industry's resilience and adaptability make it an attractive option for aspiring professionals. Ultimately, each individual must weigh their options and make choices that align with their career aspirations and values.


As Wall Street firms continue their search for the best talent, the 2024 internship cycle offers a unique opportunity for young professionals to join a dynamic and ever-evolving industry, one that shapes global economies and markets. The journey into finance is not without its challenges, but for those who are willing to take on the mantle, it presents a gateway to a world of possibilities and success.

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