I made the switch from engineering to finance. Here are some thoughts:
Loves engineers, but likely a lower pay ceiling than IB/A&D/S&T due to the fact that it is a cost center now with no direct profit generation at the big banks (ER used to get a cut of IB and S&T profits, but they are starting to silo ER in its own division). Most people in the industry don't take research reports that seriously, except from a handful of analysts who have great track records. Hours are manageable outside of reporting season, and you build a very good skill set and meet a lot of senior management at the companies you cover. CFA would be necessary to make the switch. Excellent exit opportunities. CFA > MBA.
Acquisitions & Divestitures
Probably the most natural path for engineers. Should be able to start as an associate if you have experience that matches up. Always answering to IB's needs, and can be treated like second class citizens if the people in IB are dicks. Called upon for reserves modelling, asset valuation, etc. Very good exit opportunities to go back to E&Ps with, either in business development or internal A&D. Pay is likely better than ER, but short of IB. Hours aren't as bad as IB. CFA > MBA, but neither are critical.
Not a huge need for an engineering background. Not very common path from engineering w/o an MBA. As has been covered by others in above posts, a lot of the work at the analyst/associate roles is excel/powerpoint grunt work to pitch decks and updating comps so that ideas can be pitched to potential clients. Infamous for the number of hours, but stress comes from sheer volume of work, tight deadlines, attention to detail, etc. and not from costly decisions that lose money (at least at the more junior levels). Perhaps the most broad exit opportunities. Anecdotally, a lot of the people in IB see it more as a stepping stone vs being a career banker, and it's the easiest to burn out from. MBA > CFA.
Sales & Trading
Engineers have an easier route to trading than sales. Potentially the best hours wise, and much more of a meritocracy than investment banking, which is very hierarchical. So in that sense, very easy to climb the ranks quickly if you can prove yourself. In Calgary, it's all commodities trading (oil, nat gas, power) and little to no equities trading, which takes place in TO or NY.
Sales: establish relationships/onboard corporate clients, then pitch trading/hedge ideas to them. Bring in trading business and tack on a sales commission onto the trade, which can vary depending on the size of the trade and the sophistication of your client. Trading commission can range from $100 on a small trade to $1MM+ on a big trade. MBA > CFA.
Trading: Make markets for the sales guys to show their clients, and then inventory and manage the resulting risk from those trades. There isn't as big a focus on proprietary trading (speculative trading) these days with all the new banking regulations in the US, but being outside the US, there is still risk taking going on depending on which shop you're at. CFA > MBA.
Rough payscale below. Base salaries should be pretty close, and the bonus range are for normal years, but of course if the stars align the bonus numbers can overshoot by a large margin, or they can be 0 on a bad year.
Analyst: 70-100k base, 20-50k bonus
Associate: 80-110k base, 25-150k bonus
VP: 110-160k base, 50-250k bonus
Director: 120-200k base, 75-350k bonus with significant upside outliers
MD: 150-300k base, 100-500k bonus with significant upside outliers
Analyst -> Associate: 2-4 yrs
Associate -> VP: 2-4 yrs
VP -> Director: 3-8yrs (some people max out at VP and never move up)
Director -> MD: 3-???yrs (some people max out at Director and never move up)
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