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Engineering salaries: Fintechs vs Banks in NYC

On November 1st, New York City's pay transparency laws came into effect. This means that for all jobs within the city, employers must release a minimum and maximum possible wage, be it annually or hourly.

In the world of finance, this has highlighted just how big a difference in pay the same role can have. Not only that, it lets prospective employees know which companies are willing to shill out big money to attract them.

For engineers, there are interesting revelations regarding the differences between salaries at banks and salaries at fintech firms. 

Software engineer salaries for banks in New York


Pay in banks varies wildly by person. Banks' salary disclosures reveal that for many roles, the lower pay limit is well under half the range of the upper limits. Top engineering talent in banks can command bumper salaries; average engineers cannot.

Ironically, one of the roles asking for the highest amount of experience is paying the least: the frontend full stack engineer at JPMorgan Chase. 

Goldman Sach tops both the lower and upper limits for software developer salaries. However, junior development roles appear less common at Goldman than elsewhere. 

Software engineer salaries for fintechs in New York


One glance at the table above will tell you that the wage situation at fintech firms is a lot more complicated. However, with so many small firms vying for the top talent its interesting to observe the common trend among them.

One such trend is that managerial roles appear a lot more common amongst the many fintechs. Though senior development roles are easy to come by in banks, managerial roles are less so, whereas fintechs provide a mouth-watering upper pay limit in the likes of firms like Gemini, the crypto exchange firm founded by the Winklevoss twins.

Another interesting note is that when fintechs ask for experience, they demand a lot more than traditional finance. This is of course influenced by the greater number of managerial roles but senior roles in fintech typically require eight or even 10 years' minimum experience, while banks are more likely to be flexible. 

However, the biggest difference between banks and fintechs is that the salary ranges are a lot more varied. 

Some fintechs follow the lead of banks by offering very wide salary ranges, particularly for managerial positions. Others however, have much more circumscribed ranges combined with lower salary limits that are far higher than those in the banks.

The implication is that fintechs are luring engineers with the promise of high minimum compensation at a time when the sector is on an uncertain footing.

It's also worth noting that salaries are not the whole story. Bonuses play a significant role in pay and tend to be much higher in banks, whereas fintech compensation often includes stock options which are less valuable in a period where company valuations are dropping drastically. This makes those high fintech salaries all the more  necessary. 

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Photo credit: eFinancialCareers/Dall-e

AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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