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An anatomy of a Citadel (High Frequency Trading) job offer

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Today I’m going to share with you the breakdown of a recent Citadel job offer. In case you are not familiar with Citadel, it is one of the top high frequency trading firms. 

(Disclaimer: I have changed the data slightly to protect confidentiality but both the numbers and structure of the compensation reflect the current reality of Citadel offers.)  

  • Job title: Quantitative Developer
  • Year of experience: 3-5 years
  • Base salary: $200,000
  • Annual bonus: $150,000
  • Sign-on bonus: $100,000
  • Location: Chicago 
  • Total compensation:
  • Year 1: $450,000
  • Year 2: $350,000
  • Year 3: $350,000
  • Year 4: $350,000


  • This is an excellent offer for someone who is only a few years out of Computer Science Master program. The first year total compensation is $450K. 
  • However, High Frequency firm is not an easy environment. It is high pressure and you will have no place to hide. Your performance is measured by how much money you can make for the company. When the pay is so high, the stake and expectation are also very high.
  • High Frequency Trading is not for everyone. It requires a unique blend of skill set, temperament, and inclination. If you are highly technical, enjoy solving really hard problems, not afraid of extreme pressure, and thrive in extreme meritocracy and have the burning desire to make a lot of money,  then you should explore HFT jobs. Here are a few other HFT firms you might want to look into: Virtu Financial, Two Sigma, Jump Trading, Tower Research Capital, DRW, Optiver, etc. Reply this email if you need interview coaching and/or career coaching.

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