The banking industry is notorious for paying outsize bonuses to high-level workers. Many folks continue to believe that bankers receive starting salaries of $100,000 or more and earn tremendous perks in exchange for handling relatively modest workloads. While it's unclear that this was ever the case in the banking industry at large, it's most certainly not the case in this unstable economic environment. The banks and financial institutions that employ talented financial analysts subject these workers to lots of pressure and may have little tolerance for poor performance or breaches of protocol.
It's important to note that the financial industry is quite fragmented. High-class wealth-management institutions like Vanguard and Franklin Templeton hold their employees to different standards relative to major financial conglomerates like JP Morgan or TD Bank. Since JP Morgan and TD Bank deal with retail and business bankers in addition to long-term investors, they must employ many different types of workers who operate within a complex web of pay grades and seniority levels. Most of the activities in which large banks engage occur on a massive scale. For instance, JP Morgan has a benefits-management department that employs hundreds of employees and manages an in-house budget valued at many millions of dollars.
If you're interested in working for a major bank as a financial analyst, you'll probably be able to get a job after earning a two-year or four-year degree from an accredited institution. This degree should be in a finance-related field like accounting, business or financial analysis. Once you're hired, you should expect to make between $45,000 and $50,000 per year.
Depending upon the policies of the department in which you work, you may be eligible for a relatively small year-end bonus as well. The value of this bonus is likely to be about $5,000 to start and may rise with each successive year. After five to seven years of steady employment, you may be eligible for a bonus of up to $25,000. However, the exact amount that you earn may depend upon your personal performance as well as the overall financial performance of your division. Also, you won't be able to "keep" your bonus eligibility after switching employers.
If you wish to increase your earning power as a financial analyst, you may need to obtain a graduate-level degree in the field. Alternatively, you'll need to work hard enough to differentiate yourself from your colleagues. This will probably require you to work for 60 to 80 hours per week on a consistent basis.