How to Begin a Professional Career as a Stock Broker

Stock Brokers: A Quick Look
Median Salary$71,720 per annum
Entry-level educationBachelor’s Degree
On-the-job trainingSome
Primary employersBrokerage Firm
Number of positions (U.S.)354,600
Job Growth (2012-2022)11% (On par with the national average)
New positions (2010-2020)+39,700

stockbrokerWhat Does A Stock Broker Do?

A stock broker is a financial advisor who assists clients in buying and selling securities and commodities. A stock broker is able to accurately analyze trends in the marketplace and make good predictions about changes in the market. Read more.

Salary

The median salary for a stock broker is $71,720 per year. Read more.

Becoming A Stock Broker

There are 2 different routes to become a stock broker. Most stock brokers obtain a bachelor’s degree in a business field and intern for a brokerage firm. After receiving the appropriate amount of on-the-job training, they may become licensed. After 4 years they may choose to pursue their certification as a CFA. Other stock brokers who show a great deal of talent and the ability to accurately predict changes in the market based upon research and analysis may enter the field straight out of high school, without seeking a bachelor’s degree, if a brokerage firm is willing to hire them.In both cases, stock brokers must be licensed, which involves successfully passing the General Securities Registered Representative Examination.Read more.

Job Outlook

The outlook for stock brokers is good; it is anticipated that there will be a 11% increase in hiring between 2012 and 2022. With the increased number of clients handling their own securities purchases through online services, the eventual demand for stock brokers is expected to decline. Read more.

Stock Broker Salary

The median annual salary of stock brokers is $71,720. Median wage is defined as the wage at which half the stock brokers earned less than this amount and half earned more than this amount. Most stock brokers spend extra hours at work in order to remain competitive and informed of the trends in the market place. The stock broker salary is more than the hourly wage paid to the broker. Some stock brokers earn commissions and bonuses based upon the securities they sell, in addition to the wages they are paid.

How To Become A Stock Broker

Stock brokers typically enter the market after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, accounting or economics. It is advisable to obtain an internship with a stock brokerage firm in order to obtain training in the field before graduating; this is also an excellent way to network with other brokers and obtain valuable connections and experience. It is not required that a prospective stock broker holds an undergraduate degree: In rare circumstances, an individual may be able to obtain employment at a brokerage firm and receive sufficient on-the-job training to be offered a position as a stock broker. Stock brokers may decide to pursue a Master of Business Administration, although it is not a requirement of the job. Stock brokers with a Masters degree may find it to be a valuable asset, as it may help them obtain a higher-level job. A stock broker usually holds an undergraduate degree in a financial or business field that typically takes 4 years to obtain. In order to be licensed as a stock broker the individual must have on-the-job training for 4 to 6 months prior to taking the General Securities Registered Representative Examination; this training can be done while attending undergraduate school.

Educational Requirements

In some circumstances a stock broker will not have to have a bachelor’s degree, although the majority of stock brokers have attended a college or university for 4 years in order to obtain their bachelor’s degree. Typically this degree is in accounting, finance, marketing or economics.

Certification

Certification is not required in order to be a stock broker. There is an opportunity for stock brokers to be certified as a Chartered Financial Analyst, referred to as CFA certification. To pursue this certification, which enhances one’s professional standing, the stock broker generally must hold a bachelor’s degree and have 4 years of experience working in the field. They must pass 3 rigorous exams.

Licensing

Brokers must be licensed by passing the General Securities Registered Representative Examination. This exam is administered by the National Association of Securities Dealers. In order to take this exam, the individual must have received 4 to 6 months of training on the job working for a brokerage firm. In some states, brokers must also pass the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination and the Uniform Advisor Law Examination.

Stockbroker Job Description

What is a stockbroker? Stock brokers are intimately involved in high finance. Selling securities and commodities directly to buyers, they must be prepared to advise their clients on an appropriate investment strategy. Their advice will depend upon factors such as the client’s financial situation, investment preferences, factors affecting the stock market at the time and trends they expect the market to take in the future. Stock brokers work at a brokerage firm. The occupation is stressful and generally involves a great deal of competition between stock brokers in order to obtain clients. A typical stock broker is aggressive in terms of finding the best investments for their clients. They are able to work under high-pressure situations and deadlines.

Duties

  • Find clients in order to offer services.
  • Contact clients to buy and sell stocks and bonds.
  • Advise clients on an investment plan.
  • Remain current on trends in the marketplace by monitoring available financial information.
  • Be prepared to contact clients on a moment’s notice if there is a sudden need to buy or sell securities based upon something occurring in the marketplace.

Alternative Job Titles

Stock brokers may simply be called brokers.

Job Outlook

The expected growth in employment in the area of stock brokers and similar agents is 11% between 2012 and 2022; although employment growth for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents as a whole is expected to be strong, the use of online stock trading sites will restrict growth for stock brokers. As clients themselves conduct transactions online, the need for stock brokers will diminish, although there will always be clients who only conduct business after receiving advice from a stock broker.

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