This report analyses the basic salaries (not including bonus) across software engineering, infrastructure and dev ops for the quant trading industry in 2020 and 2021 from a universe of 90 quant hedge funds and proprietary trading firms.
This analysis has been compiled using salary data captured from H1B visa filings. We believe H1B salaries do not deviate significantly from the local rate and therefore are a good reference point. Also, following the Jan 2020 introduction of Labor Law Section 194 in New York, and similar rules in other states, it became illegal to ask for current or historical salary data so H1b filings provide the only factual indicator.
Again, we would like to stress this report should only be used to compare basic salaries as data on bonuses, sign-on etc is not available. We also need to caveat we were unable to break the data down by level or experience which does skew the figures.
We crudely broke down the sample universe into Software Engineering, Dev Ops and Infrastructure. We have included a breakdown of the job titles at the bottom of the report. For a more detailed analysis by job title, company or location please click here.
The number of data points for each functional area was as follows:
There was a significant increase in H1B applications for both software engineers and dev ops in 2021. Although Covid would have impacted the numbers for 2020, nearly 70% of H1B applicants are in H120 and would have been in process before the pandemic really kicked off. So, pure demand for software engineers and dev ops is behind the increase as demonstrated by the increase in average salaries.
The overall salary range within software engineering was quite wide starting at a minimum $70,000 up to a maximum $275,000. The proportion of data points sat within the second and third quartile remained fairly similar year on year however there was big increase in upper quartile data points in the $200,000 – 270,000 range. Although we were unable to determine level of seniority, location was a factor in determining salary quartile. For a more detailed analysis by job title, company or location please click here.
The dataset was fairly limited for Infrastructure which does skew the results slightly. The distribution was broad which reflects the different roles, levels of seniority and locations included. There were a few outlier salaries in the $250-269,000 range but the bulk of the data points sit within a tight range.
2021 saw a big increase in demand for Dev Ops which was reflected in the average salary jumping from $124,987 to $138,286 – an increase of 10%. There was a 14% increase in hiring in the $140-169,999 range with an equally significant drop in the lower quartile $50-119,999 range.
Although there has been a shift in attitude to remote working, the major hubs still dominate H1B applications. This suggests employers are less willing to sponsor a remote worker which makes sense if the employee is a fresh grad or has relocated to the US. The number of US States, that employees were based, increased from 11 to 17 in 2021. The two big hubs New York and Illinois swallowing most of the talent with a massive 56% and 25% share respectively.
Top Hiring Firms
The biggest sponsor for two years in a row was Two Sigma, sponsoring an impressive 104 people across tech with the majority in software engineering. The usual suspects fill the top 5 slots with the only interesting variance at Susquehanna. They sponsor a higher proportion of dev ops and infrastructure professionals than their peers which might reflect the labour market in their Philadelphia Headquarters.
Who pays the most?
Rather than use an average which was skewed by a lack of data points for some firms we decided to look at pure numbers. We have compiled the top 4 based on the highest salary included in an application (as mentioned before this does not include bonuses or sign on payments).
If you are a corporate entity and would like access to an online dashboard with the ability to drill down into the complete data set (firm, location and/or job title) please click here.
If you are a technology professional and would like to confidentially benchmark your salary or discuss the report with one of our consultants please click here.
Breakdown of Job Titles
Sample Universe List