Alternative jobs for traders (and their pay)

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Last week we looked at possible alternative careers for investment bankers who want to get out of financial services. This week, we're providing a similar service for traders.

Former traders' alternative career options are a lot more disparate than those for investment bankers, but they include -

1.) Recruitment

This may not be feasible in the current climate, but in better times ex-traders have reinvented themselves as financial services recruiters/headhunters. Examples include: Shaun Springer, chief executive of Napier Scott, or Adrian Ezra, founder and CEO of Execuzen.

James Campion, a former trader turned recruiter at Michael Page, says trading and recruitment have things in common: "Being able to think on your feet [as a recruiter] is a huge plus. You're often instructed on a temp or interim post and have to turn it around very quickly. It requires a similar pace of thinking."

Simon Hughes, a recruiter of recruiters at Highview Search and Selection, says the recruitment industry could benefit from an injection of ex-traders: "One of the criticisms you see leveled at recruiters is a lack of technical knowledge." However, Hughes says traders will be fortunate to get a job in recruitment unless hiring picks up again.

Pay: Most former traders will need to go into recruiting/headhunting at associate level. This means a base salary of 40-50k, plus a negligible bonus.

2). Customer services in IT companies

IT companies offering trading systems used by banks can accommodate ex-traders as customer services professionals.

Simon Masters, head of recruitment for electronic trading vendor Trayport, confirms that this is so. However, he says junior traders are most likely to make the move because senior traders balk at the disparity in earnings.

Pay: Masters says customer services professionals in IT vendor companies can expect around 45k, although this is always dependent upon 'what you can bring to the table."

3). Professional poker

Traders have always an innate fondness for poker, and now that poker has moved online, it's become more accessible. relates how one Wall Street banker turned to poker after losing his job, and then carried on playing poker once he'd found another one.

Pay: Steve Weinstein, a former Wall Street trader is said to have made $827k out of poker. He is the exception rather than the rule.

4). Other

Former traders have also been known to become tour guides (pay 25 a tour), owners of shops selling comics and best selling authors. We also suspect several are cab drivers.

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