Private Equity associates typically expect to get paid better than they did in their previous investment banking / consulting analyst roles. As an associate at a large buyout fund and many mid-tier PE funds, you can expect to have a base salary usually ranging between $80,000 and $120,000, with a bonus of 1-2x base salary.
In total, you can expect to make approximately $200,000 in your first year as a pre-MBA associate. A few of the large firms may also guarantee a minimum bonus amount and private equity associates may have more room for negotiation then they did coming out of an undergraduate school program. Salary only increases from this level and usually includes carried interest going forward, which is a percentage of profit that you are eligible to receive out of the PE firm’s performance fee (25% of associate positions in the US can expect to receive a small amount of carried interest: ~0.3%).
A Senior Associate can typically expect to bring home more than $300,000 at reputable PE firms with a successful track record. Senior members of the investment team would expect to receive over $1 million in total compensation at firms with successful track records.