The only winners on Wall Street seem to be the interns — with some earning nearly $20,000 a month

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  • Intern pay on Wall Street is on the rise.
  • This comes despite financial firms dealing with layoffs amid an M&A drought and stalled IPO market.
  • The median wage for interns at Citadel and Citadel Securities is reportedly $120 an hour. 

There’s lots to be concerned about working on Wall Street these days.

Stubbornly high interest rates and an all-but-dead market for initial public offerings and dealmaking have made the post-pandemic boom times seem like a distant memory.

Unlike years past, bankers contemplating their year-end bonuses are more worried about how low they will fall versus how high they can rise. 

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, return-to-office mandates mean these financiers can’t even enjoy their beach homes for an extended weekend!

But even as some of the most-senior people on the Street worry about their future, one group seems to be doing just fine: interns. 

Median intern pay has risen by 19% among some of the top finance firms, according to a Bloomberg report citing data from Things are going particularly well for those on the buy side, as intern pay at hedge funds and prop shops increased by 29% compared to last year, per Bloomberg.

Take Citadel and Citadel Securities, the massive hedge fund and trading firm founded by billionaire investor Ken Griffin. The median hourly pay for interns at the firms is $120, about a 25% bump, per Bloomberg.

Based on a 40-hour work week during the firms’ 11-week program, that amounts to $52,800 before taxes, which is likely more than any college student will make this summer lifeguarding. 

Of course, these jobs aren’t exactly easy to get. As Insider’s Paige Hagy has previously reported, Citadel received over 69,000 applications for its internship program, which represented a 65% increase from last year. Meanwhile, roughly 300 students, which amounted to less than 1%, ended up making the cut. 

(Insider’s Emmalyse Brownstein has you covered on all things Wall Street internships, from how to nab a return offer to what to wear to the office.)

And while these salaries might seem staggering for people who still go to a pediatrician, it represents a fraction of what senior employees might expect to make. 

That’s not to say all interns are completely rolling in it. At Bank of America, the median hourly rate is $41, or $46 in New York City, per Bloomberg. To be sure, that’s still nearly $20,000 for the typical 10-week program most banks run. 

The discrepancy in intern pay between banks and hedge funds is perhaps representative of a larger trend: The growing evolution and maturation of the world’s biggest hedge funds.

Many of these funds, as Insider’s Alex Morrell has previously reported, have already pulled executives from the prestigious investment banks to help them manage their vast operations. 

Now, it seems, they are pilfering younger talent as well. 

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