A Job in This High-Flying Industry Can Truly Make You Rich -- Quick

Even entry-level employees make a bundle in this occupational corner of the financial world

Apr 12, 2014 at 2:21PM

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Source: Flickr / Nathan Siemers.

Would you like to work in a business where starting salaries are as high as $353,000? Silly question, of course – but it's no joke. In the financial world, hedge funds still shine, and employees are generously rewarded when these investment heavies have a stellar year. And, it seems, they usually do: even in the throes of the Great Recession, hedge funds still put in a surprisingly decent performance.

There is a plethora of different skill sets involved in the hedge fund sector, from the legal arena to accounting, trading to fundraising. Best of all, there are lots of jobs available: a recent check turned out over 700 positions listed on efinancialcareers.com, out of a total of 8350 finance-related jobs. Job aggregator indeed.com showed over 4,000 jobs under the same heading, with nearly 2,000 in New York alone.

Here are a few samples of the varied types of jobs offered in this occupational sector, along with their compensation levels – which, as you will see, are usually very generous.

Quantitative Analysts: $80,000 to $220,000
It's not surprising that analysts abound at hedge funds, and the position of Quantitative Analyst is one that involves thorough understanding of mathematics. Front office Quants, as they are called, often work alongside traders, helping them implement complex financial product pricing models. Back office Quants are responsible more for researching and developing these models.

Pay is usually commensurate with experience. Those with less than 3 years' experience may begin at the lower end of the pay spectrum, for example, while a Senior Analyst may be offered $220,000 to start.

Software Developer: $250,000
Hedge funds always need software developers and engineers, employees that work tirelessly to create new and useful applications for financial products and trading activities. Often, these workers deal with issues related to risk and pricing models, as well.

These jobs may require some experience, but pay very well, particularly in New York City – where two recent advertisements were offering in the neighborhood of $250,000 to start.

Assistant Controller: $90,000 to $165,000
Tending to a hedge fund's books is lucrative work, with current, available positions offering upwards of $90,000 – plus bonuses. This position usually reports to a senior Controller, and often requires several years' experience, in addition to a Certified Public Accountant designation.

Compliance Counsel : $300,000
Financial entities are in constant need of good lawyers, whose role is to advise the firm of the ever-changing financial regulatory environment. These individuals interact directly with regulators, as well as traders and portfolio managers. Several years' experience is needed, but a recent job ad offered a permanent, full-time job with a pay rate of $300,000 annually.

Floater: $75,000
This one's my favorite, not only because it is entry level and pays so well, but because it promises such a great variety of job duties. The floater essentially moves from one department to another, performing the jobs of those that are out for one reason or another. Basically, it is a series of temp positions, made permanent – plus great pay, overtime, and bonuses. For someone with two years' financial experience and a "flexible attitude", this one sounds like a winner.

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