Venture Capital Salary Guide (2024)

Society advances through innovation. However, “new venture” is spelled as costs-and-a-bucketload-of-risk, which results in external financing being the most convenient solution, primarily to spread the risk of failure.

In return for shouldering part of the risk burden, investors investing in such companies receive equity at supposedly discounted valuations. This marriage of convenience gives startups access to funds, allows them to reduce risk, and generates attractive returns for investors.

Venture Capital Salary Guide (1)

Venture capital (VC) is a subset of private equity. By definition, it refers to the financing startups and small businesses with exceptional growth potential receive in exchange for, usually, an equity stake.

However, the transaction may not always be monetary as some VCs offer technical know-how or managerial expertise instead of briefcases full of cash.

VC investors, called venture capitalists, often include VC firms, high-net-worth individuals (angel investors), and other financial institutions. They may also include Crossover VCs – a term given to VC arms of PE firms and Hedge Funds. Moreover, VC employees may also sometimes be called venture capitalists.

Venture Capital Salary Guide (2)

VCs looking to hire generally want those with not only technical knowledge but also a passion for startups and the ability to understand the market.

That said, late-stage and growth equity firms care more for technical skills and deal experience, such as those gained in IB and PE, while early-stage firms look at a candidate’s ability as a business development professional who can network and find diamonds among rocks.

We see some of you shaking your heads, saying, “Bro. Bro. I just wanna know how much $$$ I can make.” We hear you; you can stop now. Here’s a summary of what people in VC make at various levels.

Venture Capital Salary Guide
RoleCompensation Excluding CarryShare In Carry
Analyst$60-000 - $210,000Unlikely
Associate$70,000 - $350,000Unlikely
Senior Associate$150,000 - $480,000Small
Principal or Vice President (VP)$140,000 - $340,000Increasing
Junior Partner / Partner$400,000 - $600,000Large
General Partner / Managing Director$500,000 - $2,000,000Significant

VC comp by Role

One thing to keep in mind is that the firm hierarchy in the VC industry is not standardized… like, at all.

Some firms keep the flattest structure ever with only Partners and Admin staff, while others follow a very hierarchical structure. Some firms combine the Principal and the VP roles, and some may separate Analysts from Associates. Further, some firms have a single level for all Partners, whereas others have two or even three levels for Partners.

For the sake of simplicity (and to make writing this article possible), here’s a generic structure we will follow.

  • Analyst
  • Associate (Pre-MBA)
  • Senior Associate (Post-MBA)
  • Principal or VP
  • Partner / Junior Partner
  • Senior Partner / General Partner

Venture Capital Salary Guide (3)


This role involves number-crunching, market research, support work, and helping with internal processes. Analysts also help Associates with due diligence.

They can expect to gain knowledge of finance and market analysis. But in the VC context, their role in the deal process is limited. As a result, the role is seen as a training phase.

Most Analysts leave after a couple of years for an MBA, to move to another firm as a pre or post-MBA Associate, or even to join a portfolio company (portco). While internal promotions aren’t unheard of, they are just not as common or systematic as in investment banking.

They can expect to earn a base comp between $60,000 and $130,000 and to bag abonusbetween $15,000 and $90,000 depending on geography and the firm type.

What was that? Did you ask, “And there’s carry too, right?” That’s funny. But we’ll quote an oracle here – “No.”


A pre-MBA Associate role is earned after working in IB, consulting, sales, or business development, or gaining other relevant experience. It’s a broad range, but you get the idea.

Later-stage VC firms are closely related to PE in the sense that Partners, Principals, and VPs source deals. (Also, both care a lot about stable cash flows.) On the contrary, Associates at early-stage firms do most of the deal sourcing and, in addition, weed out poor investments to find startups worth investing in and present them to Principals or Partners.

Like Analysts, they too usually leave for an MBA or to join another company in another industry after a few years.

Even though workweeks are seemingly far shorter than in IB at about 50-60 hours, the role requires a lot of out-of-office work, thus making it anything but a 9 to 5. But it’s nothing like the cube environment in IB; we’ll give it that.

The base comp offered to pre-MBA Associates is typically between $70,000 and $200,000. The bonus can fall between $30,000 and $150,000 to form a total comp ranging between $100,000 and $200,000.

What’s that again? Carry? Well, yeah… Maybe. Established firms are much less likely to offer carry than a new shop where you may be offered carry but will also take home lesser in base-and-bonus.

Venture Capital Salary Guide (4)

Senior Associate

Someone who has made Senior Associate is probably aiming for Partner, or at least is on track to Partner. They are to Partners and Principals what Analysts are to them, acting as their apprentices and support.

While the role can be earned through direct promotion, it’s rare for it to be that way. Most Senior Associates get to where they are after completing an MBA. In VC firms specializing in niche spaces, they may hold Ph.D. but may not have business or finance expertise.

Those who aren’t promoted further are pretty much at a dead-end in the industry. They then lateral to other industries or take up a finance role at a portco.

Total comp figures range from $100,000 to $300,000 and the bonus from $50,000 to $180,000. The share in carry can go up to 2%, which may not get the total comp to 7 figures but may close to double it.

Principal / VP

A.k.a. Partners-in-training, Principals or VPs are usually the senior-most members on the investment team who are directly engaged in negotiations and deal execution. They are expected to have knowledge of the technical aspects as well as the business case of a potential investee.

Although they play a major role in deal execution, they don’t have the final say in investment decisions. But unlike Associates who are merely Board observers, VPs sit on Boards and work with portfolio companies.

Direct promotions are more prevalent at this level than lower in the hierarchy. It is also uncommon to see people lateraling into this role and above from other industries.

To earn a considerable chunk of carry, they must satisfy Partners and prove they can add enough value to the firm, which may include bringing home unique deals or saving troubled portfolio companies.

Total comp is likely to fall between $140,000 and $340,000, most of it coming from a base comp ranging from $140,000 to $250,000. Although far tinier than a Partner’s share, carry of up to 4% may be offered to VPs.

Venture Capital Salary Guide (5)

Partner / Junior Partner

Some VC firms include this role in the corporate structure, while others skip it. More often than not, Junior Partners are promoted internally, although subject matter experts and entrepreneurs with a great track record may join VCs at this level too.

Like GPs, they are engaged with portfolio companies and their Boards and LPs. At the same time, they are engaged in deal execution like Principals. It’s quite evident how the role fits between Principals and GPs. As a result, their wages fall between what those in the two adjacent positions earn.

Their total cash comp is likely to be in the range of $400,000 to $600,000. They are next in line after GPs in the carry distribution waterfall. Their share in carry may go up to 8%.

General Partner / Managing Director

We bet $100 that some of you apes jumped straight to this part. Well, read on then.

GPs are usually successful entrepreneurs or executives with fabulous records. Alternatively, they may have been internally promoted to that level.

Although finding the next Tesla, Amazon, or Google would be a golden ticket to the GP seat, Junior Partners don’t need to find pink diamonds to get there. A track record of finding regular diamonds does the job.

They mostly spend their hours on fundraising, public relations, final investment decisions, serving on portfolio companies’ Boards, and human resources.

GPs may earn a total cash comp between $500,000 to $2,000,000. Their carry, however, can multiply the total cash comp number into a much bigger number. Although GPs’ share in carry may normally range between 4% and 20%, there are outlier cases where they may earn less than 4% or, in rare cases, as high as 30%.

Here’s a summary table presenting how much people in VC take home each year.

Venture Capital Salary Guide
RoleCompensation Excluding CarryShare In Carry
Analyst$60-000 - $210,000Unlikely
Associate$70,000 - $350,000Unlikely
Senior Associate$150,000 - $480,000Small
Principal or Vice President (VP)$140,000 - $340,000Increasing
Junior Partner / Partner$400,000 - $600,000Large
General Partner / Managing Director$500,000 - $2,000,000Significant

VC compensation by region

New York, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and Boston are among the few places in the US that are considered hotspots for venture capitalists.

While the Valley pays VC Analysts the highest base comp of $96,000, New York competes by offering the highest bonus at $28,000, which helps it pay its employees the highest median cash comp as well ($123,000).

Although the Valley generously pays the highest median base of about $136,000, LA takes the W in Associates’ eyes where their kind earns the highest median cash comp of $185,000.

VC Senior Associates must be willing to flock to the Valley as it pays them the highest median base comp as well as the highest median bonus of $165,000 and $45,000, respectively, bringing their total cash comp to $210,000.

Once again, the Valley attracts the most people at the Principal level by offering them a median total cash comp of $256,000 which comprises a base comp of $200,000 and a $56,000 bonus.

VC comp by firm type

Crossover VCs aside, comp in VC doesn’t drastically vary depending on the firm type (Corporate and Institutional). Crossover VCs offer significantly higher comp as they are probably accustomed to paying employees more in their PE and Hedge Fund businesses.

Venture Capital Salary Guide (6)

Corporate VCs are often formed as independent divisions of companies or as designated teams off their company’s balance sheet. They have pretty much the same goal as Institutional VCs, which is investing in high-growth companies that generate value for them as shareholders.

Tech and healthcare giants (like Google Ventures, Dell Ventures, Cisco Investments, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, and Intel Capital) already had a significant presence in the VC industry. But now, a recent influx of new entrants into the space is evident from new corporate VCs ranging all the way from convenient stores (7-Eleven) to automakers (GM investing in Lyft).

Institutional VCs, firms traditionally referred to as VCs, manage funds of millions (and oftentimes, billions) of dollars in assets under management (AUM). The enormous sums of capital come from limited partners (LPs), the fund’s investors, and are managed by general partners (GPs), the fund’s partners. GPs are responsible for running the fund and making investment decisions.

Some of the notable Institutional VCs are Tiger Global Management, New Enterprise Associates, Sequoia Capital, and DST Global.

“Yeah, just tell me how much they pay already.” Alright, alright. We were just getting there.

Analysts can expect to earn a base comp between $60,000 and $95,000 working at a Corporate VC and up to $130,000 working at an Institutional VC. Institutional VCs pay Analysts more in base comp as well as bonus.

The numbers are more competitive at the Associate level. Where Corporate VCs offer $90,000 to $180,000 in base comp, Institutional VCs offer $80,000 to $200,000, and both offer a bonus of about $100,000.

While Corporate VCs pay Senior Associates $171,000 in median total cash comp, Institutional VCs pay a little more at $185,000, with the difference primarily coming from the bonus component.

Principals earn a similar median comp at both Corporate and Institutional VCs in base comp as well as bonus. However, the pay range at Institutional VCs is much broader. While Corporate VCs pay a base comp between $160,000 and $234,000, they pay between $100,000 and $350,000.

Venture Capital Salary by Firm Type
RolesCorporate VCsInstitutional VCs
Analyst$60,000 - $95,000$60,000 - $130,000
Associate$90,000 - $180,000$80,000 - $200,000
Senior Associate~$171,000~$185,000
VP / Principal$160,000 - $235,000$160,000 - $235,000

VC comp by firm stage

While there’s no universal model, most firms follow a similar set of steps in VC financing ranging from the pre-seed stage to the late stage.

The differences in compensation mainly arise from the fact that firms investing in pre-seed stage firms have a smaller AssetsUnder Management (AUM) base, so they tend to pay lower salaries. On the contrary, growth- and late-stage firms can have billions under management and can afford to hand out bigger paychecks.

Venture Capital Salary Guide (7)

Pre-seed / seed stage VCs

The stage in which entrepreneurs build their product or service prototype to evaluate the feasibility of an idea is known as the pre-seed stage. It precedes the other stages and is followed by the seed stage, where the company has some experience and can demonstrate its growth potential. VCs that invest in initial stages companies are likely to pay their employees much lower than other VCs.

Analysts at a pre-seed and seed-stage VC earn a base comp between $60,000 and $120,000 and a bonus ranging from a daily cup of coffee to $15,000. Associates, once again, are not promised a bonus but may earn double the bonus Analysts do. The upper ceiling in their base comp is lifted to $135,000.

A Senior Associate at these firms may earn a base comp between $70,000 and $175,000 and a bonus of anything between two cups of coffee every day and $55,000. VPs celebrate the new base comp floor of $130,000 and the new bonus ceiling of $85,000.

Early-stage VCs

Next comes the early-stage VC firms who invest in companies a plan that will generate long-term profits. The funding mainly supports manufacturing, sales, and marketing. They want to see stellar performance metrics evidencing a commercially viable product or service that merits future fundraising.

Analysts may as well work at pre-seed VCs if their base comp was the only number in question, but the bonus ceiling at these firms is more than double compared to those firms. Positions starting at the Associate level see a significant boost in income. Associates earn a median total comp of $155,000, comprising of a $130,000 base comp and a $25,000 bonus. Their base comp ceiling rises to $200,000.

Venture Capital Salary Guide (8)

Growth and Late stage

These VC firms invest in companies on the growth path which have achieved success (somewhat). The additional funding helps the companies build new products, reach new markets, and sometimes, even acquire other companies.

Potential portfolio companies must show a stable revenue stream coming from a strong customer base. So given the higher level of safety from their portfolio companies, these VCs do not tend to rely on cutting corners to generate more profits. As a result, their employees’ bank accounts see bigger numbers.

Analysts earn a base comp of $80,000 to $105,000 and $20,000 to $90,000 in bonus. Associates earn a base comp of $100,000 to $180,000. While Associates see their bonus ceiling jump to $150,000, Senior Analysts see a significant jump in their base comp ceiling at $300,000.

Senior Associates can take home a whopping $300,000 in base comp and up to $180,000 in bonus after a good year. VPs at these VC firms showed the highest median cash comp of about $341,000 among all.

Stage Agnostic

While it is true that some firms can be stage-agnostic, there may not be many of them. They tend to pay somewhere between what early-stage and late-stage firms do. Associates can expect to earn a base comp between $100,000 and $140,000 and a bonus of up to $90,000.

Senior Associates flaunt a bigger paycheck comprising of a base comp that falls between $95,000 and $250,000 and a bonus that goes up to $175,000. Earning slightly than their peers at growth and late-stage VCs, VPs at stage agnostic firms take home a median cash comp of $336,000 formed by a median base comp of $252,000 and a big fat bonus of $83,000.

Venture Capital Salary Guide (9)

Carry in VC

Here’s the rules. (Well, not really. There’s no industry standard.)

  • Smaller firm: More carry, less cash comp (base and bonus)
  • Larger firm: Less carry, more cash comp
  • Emerging firms: More carry, less cash comp
  • Established firms: Less carry, more cash comp

If joining a smaller emerging firm, one would reasonably assume that you believe the firm can generate enough returns to make your share of carry amount to something.

Another rule. (This is an important one. Probably the only thing showing a hint of standardization in the industry.)

Vesting. Carry is typically unlocked after a few years. The vesting period may be as low as 2 years, but that’s rare, however. The median vesting period is 4 years. Nonetheless, many firms set the vesting period at the 8-year mark as well.

Additional Resources

Thanks for reading our salary guide! Please check out the following additional resources to help you advance your career:

  • Investment Banker Salary
  • Hedge Fund Salary Guide
  • Accounting Salary Guide
  • Financial Modeling Salary Guide
  • Private Equity Salary Guide
Venture Capital Salary Guide (2024)


Venture Capital Salary Guide? ›

Venture Capital Principal Salary, Bonus, and Carried Interest Levels. Base salaries and year-end bonuses depend heavily on the firm's size and age, but the total compensation range at the “average” VC firm is $250K – $400K USD.

How much do you make in venture capital? ›

Venture Capital Salary in California
Annual SalaryHourly Wage
Top Earners$162,062$78
75th Percentile$117,017$56
25th Percentile$70,014$34

How much do VC principals make? ›

Venture Capital Principal Salary, Bonus, and Carried Interest Levels. Base salaries and year-end bonuses depend heavily on the firm's size and age, but the total compensation range at the “average” VC firm is $250K – $400K USD.

What is the hierarchy of a VC firm? ›

What Are the Prominent Roles in a VC Firm? Each VC fund is different, but their roles can be divided into roughly three positions: associate, principal, and partner. As the most junior role, associates are usually involved in analytical work, but they may also help introduce new prospects to the firm.

How much do VC associates make in NYC? ›

What is the total pay trajectory for Associate?
Job TitleSalary
Associate$149,399 /yr
Senior Associate$209,433 /yr
Lead Associate$87,680 /yr

How much do VP in venture capital make? ›


Is VC a good career? ›

It is a challenging career path, but it can also be one of the most rewarding, both financially and intellectually. So, if you are passionate about entrepreneurship, innovation, and investing, a career in venture capital might be just the right fit for you.

Is working in VC lucrative? ›

If you provide help to your portfolio companies (not all VCs actually do), your impact can feel very tangible! It's also true that the career path can be financially very rewarding. VC firms earn management fees (e.g. 2%) on their funds raised and carry (e.g. 20%) on the profits they deliver their limited partners.

Is venture capital lucrative? ›

For many, a venture capital role is one of the most lucrative and exciting out there. Your job is to find startup companies with high growth potential, invest in them, and help them succeed. In return, you get an equity stake in the company and might get enormously wealthy ?.

How much do VC analysts make in NYC? ›

$67,236 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $114,246 is the 75th percentile.

What is the most successful VC firm? ›

Following is a list of the top 15 venture capital firms in 2023.
  • Sequoia Capital. AUM: $28B. Location: Menlo Park, CA. ...
  • Andreessen Horowitz. AUM: $35B. ...
  • Kleiner Perkins. AUM: $6.8B. ...
  • Khosla Ventures. AUM: $15B. ...
  • New Enterprise Associates (NEA) AUM: $20B. ...
  • Founders Fund. AUM: $11B. ...
  • First Round Capital. AUM: $3B. ...
  • Accel. AUM: $50B+
Jan 1, 2024

Is it hard to get a job at a VC firm? ›

Still, working in VC remains the dream for some. Many try, and many fail. It can take over a year to find a VC job, even if you have good banking experience, says the ex-Goldman associate.

How many hours do you work in venture capital? ›

You might only be in the office for 50-60 hours per week, but you still do a lot of work outside the office, so venture capital is far from a 9-5 job.

How much does a VC analyst earn in Miami? ›

Venture Capital Salary in Miami, FL. $66,610 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $111,327 is the 75th percentile.

Do VC associates get commission? ›

When VCs raise funds, they are paid in two ways. First, they get a commission on gains they produce for the fund, which is usually 20 percent and is called “carried interest.” Second, VCs receive a set fee, to run the business, while they and their investors await a future good payday from investment gains.

What does it take to work at a VC firm? ›

To secure a job at a venture capital (VC) firm: Educational Background: Obtain a degree in finance, business, or a related field. An MBA can enhance your credentials. Relevant Experience: Gain experience in areas like investment banking, consulting, or startup environments to build financial and analytical skills.

Do venture capital jobs pay well? ›

Venture Capital Associate Salary and Bonus Levels

At the large VC firms, Pre-MBA Associates earn $150K to $200K USD in base salary + bonus, while Post-MBA Senior Associates might earn closer to $200K to $250K. If you're at a smaller/newer firm or outside major financial centers, expect lower compensation.

What pays more private equity or venture capital? ›

For example, in the U.S., first-year Associates in private equity might earn between $200K and $300K total. But VC firms might pay 30-50% less at that level (based on various compensation surveys).


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