.... dont forget that IBers also recieve 80-120% of thier salary in an additional bonus every year... ( as far as top botiques, and bulge brackets go)
I think Tonys estimates are slightly askewed. At 31 in IB, one would be VP / Director level.
At this level, salaries are ( including bonus) between the 350k to 700k mark.
Take the analyst positions for example
An A1 analyst at Accenture will start on 28,500 plus 6 sign on.
His counterpart at a 'tier 2 IB' - CSFB, ABN, DB - will start on 6k sign on, 35k basic PLUS 30-35k end of year bonus.
The salaries are VERY different. I am a consultant at a big 4, and am on 47k with 3 years experience. My friend, at the red umbrella, graduated same year as I did, is on 55k plus 60. Thats almost 3 times.
A consideration that has to be made is LIFE work balance. IBers tend to work every day from 930 to 11pm at the earliest, often doing 100+ hours a week - with very littlevacation.
This argument could go on for hours. The money in IB is brilliant - personally I believe the mental stimuli in consulting to be far greater, but this again depends on the firm and type of consulting pursued.