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New York ranks as the trading capital of the world

DailyFX has analysed the finance and trading skills index, showing which skills can increase your salary, where in the world has the highest number of jobs and what salaries you can expect in the finance and trading sector. 

  • London and New York lead the way with the most vacancies per trading role
  • Having the skill of UCITS can increase your salary by more than $26,000
  • San Francisco leads the way in locations for earning the most in finance

DailyFX has undertaken research on the top 20 cities in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), to produce a report consisting of data on finance and graduate vacancies per location, individual roles with the most availability and the most financially lucrative cities for each of these roles. As well as focusing on the wider financial industry there are also specific reports for Trading.

The research and data used in this study were taken and analysed in January 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted global financial markets. This study can be used as a reference and comparison to pre-pandemic areas, such as the health of the financial job market.

Finance specific analysis

Opportunity for a career

Leading the opportunity index is London, with New York joining it at the top of our findings. Both cities provide significantly more opportunities for current professionals than their nearest rivals and graduates with 5.54% and 4.54% of all vacancies at graduate level.  While other locations performed well, in the majority of cases the percentage of vacancies aimed at graduates was well below 1%. Our results show that the worst location for graduates to look for a new role is Dubai with only 0.01% of all roles destined for graduates.

RankLocationTotal No. of finance Vacancies Total No. of finance graduate vacancies   % of graduate positions
1stLondon32,2747,4995.79%
2ndNew York17,6885,8814.54%
3rdChicago8,8491,5031.16%
4thHong Kong8,8011,4321.11%
5thSingapore8,5849710.75%

Finance roles – how much do they pay?

Actuaries continue to earn good equivalent salaries at all three of the comparison levels shown. Budget Analysts have the highest minimum salary of $53,501 while Investor Relations can achieve the highest maximum salary at $86,587.

One of the roles with a wide range in potential salary is Accountant. The research found that this role, which was most in demand according to vacancy data, has the lowest minimum salary of all roles analysed at $39,942. Its maximum offered salary peaks at $78,523 but the overall average of $59,763 places it as the third lowest earning average salary.

While much of this data can be used as a guideline, many of the skills underpinning these industry roles are what many vacancies will be looking for. DailyFX undertook further research using the 20 most commonly appearing skills & experience criteria to understand how each particular skill and experience is valued in the industry. This was then used to reveal how the inclusion of each impacts the potential salary offered.

Trading Specific Analysis

Opportunity for a career

New York provides the most opportunities for those in trading roles. Combined with London they make up 42% of all trading roles available at the time of research. The US provides the bulk of the locations, 59% of the 24,174 trading roles, with only Zurich and Frankfurt providing Europe’s next best locations.

Finance roles – who provides opportunities?

When it comes to trading London is no longer the only non-US location, as Sydney provides plenty of job opportunities for traders, especially Derivatives and FX Traders. London appears to provide the majority of roles for traders with New York and Chicago making up the rest of the top three.  The most opportunities for individual roles are within Investment Analysts, FX Traders and Brokers.

Trading roles – how much do they pay?

The locations providing the top salaries are the top US Cities with San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York dominating the top locations and London only appearing for Commodities Trader & Equity Broker.

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.