Stock brokers give advice, manage investments, and purchase securities to best meet the financial needs of their clients. They must hold a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions and a master's degree for more advanced positions. Additionally they'll need on-the-job training as well as state licensure.
Stock brokers are licensed professionals who advise clients and manage client investments. They perform such tasks as purchasing and selling stocks, bonds and other securities. A bachelor's degree in business administration is the minimum education requirement, although some top positions may demand a master's degree. Stock brokers typically receive some on-the-job training too. To become licensed, brokers need to pass a series of exams, and continuing education is often needed to maintain licensure.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree related to business administration for entry-level positions; master's degree preferred for top positions; additional on-the-job training|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||10% for all securities, commodities and financial services sales agents|
|Average Salary (2015)*||$102,860 annually for all securities, commodities and financial services sales agents|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Students interested in becoming stock brokers typically pursue undergraduate degrees in business administration, with an emphasis in economics, finance or accounting. While it may be possible to find an entry-level stock broker position with a bachelor's degree, top positions usually go to candidates holding an MBA or other master's degree in a related financial field.
Many brokerage firms provide new stock brokers with additional job training which includes detailed information on the firm's products and services, securities analysis, communication skills and effective selling. New employees may work as trainees or interns for up to six months as they finesse their skills and build a client base.
To attain licensing, stock brokers must first pass the National Association of Securities Dealers' General Securities Registered Representative (Series 7) exam. Most states also require that candidates also successfully complete the Uniform Securities Agents State Law (Series 63) Examination or the Uniform Investment Advisor Law (Series 65) Exam.
Licensed brokers working for financial firms are required to register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority after a having worked for a period of four months. To maintain this license, brokers may be required to complete a certain number of continuing education classes each year in regulatory issues, new securities products and client services. Brokers may also obtain additional licenses which enable them to sell varied investment products and financial services.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for securities, commodities and financial services sales agents was projected to rise at a rate of 10% from 2014-2024, which is above average compared to other job sectors. The number of candidates for stock broker positions is expected to exceed the jobs available, resulting in sharp competition.
The BLS also reported that securities, commodities and financial services sales agents earned an average of $102,860 as of 2015. Those who worked for Securities and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and Brokerages earned the highest wages, with average salaries of $139,360 as of 2015.
Becoming a stock broker can lead to a financially and personally satisfying career. These professionals require a degree and licensure, but can look forward to solid job growth and salaries pushing upwards of $100,000 per year.