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Principal engineers come close to earning $1m

The highest paying technology jobs: at a fintech, not a hedge fund

The consensus among finance technologists is that, if you want incredible salaries, hedge funds are the best destination. By-and-large this is true, but one fintech in particular is providing a compensation package that cannot be ignored, and it only gets better the more senior you become.

That fintech is payments provider Stripe. The California based decacorn very nearly became a centacorn in 2021 with a value of $95bn but has since reportedly dropped its internal valuation since then. That doesn’t mean its staff are suffering, quite far from it in fact according to Levels.fyi’s end of year pay report for 2022.

At entry level, one hedge fund reigned supreme over all companies in the levels FYI report: quant hedge fund Two Sigma. There, engineers earned an average total compensation (TC) of $274k compared to second place Stripe’s $266k.

At more senior levels, however, Stripe pays more. 

Engineers at Stripe with 5+ years of experience are ranked 4th across all industries for TC, earning $488k whereas no hedge funds even make the rankings for experienced staff. Five years into a tech career, Levels fyi says the highest payers are Databricks, Cruise and Netflix

When job titles rather than experience are taken into consideration, though, Stripe's engineers are some of the best paid of the lot. Stripe’s staff engineers earn the most out of staff engineers at all companies reported, earning $688k while its principal engineers come second place to Facebook with a staggering $900k TC package.

Another fintech that pays well at senior level is Coinbase. The crypto titan comes second behind Stripe for Staff engineer pay and is one place behind when it comes to paying software engineering managers. Coinbase is the highest paying finance company for product designers, where you can earn $330k in TC.

Earning the most money isn’t just about where you are, it’s also what you do. Levels.fyi co-founder Zuhayeer Musa says that “Hedge funds and high frequency trading firms are absolutely the highest paying companies, especially for quantitative developer roles.”

Stripe and Two Sigma’s explicit levelling structure allowed the site to publish their data more reliably, but Musa insists that at other hedge funds, “New grads can clear $400k USD in total compensation with their bonuses.”

Firms mentioned by Musa are Jane Street, Hudson River Trading, PDT Partners and IMC Trading. At Hudson River for example, a recent graduate in October reported a TC of $500k on Levels for a machine learning and artificial intelligence developer position.

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Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: alex.mcmurray@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. 

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Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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