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Foreign Exchange Consultant: Job Description and Requirements

Sep 12, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a foreign exchange consultant. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

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In addition to a bachelor's degree in a field such as business or finance, foreign exchange consultants often require licensure through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, where the Series 7 is one of the more common licenses offered. For entry-level work in a related position, job candidates typically do not require licensure.

Essential Information

Foreign exchange consultants lend their expertise about overseas financial markets to businesses and individuals seeking to invest globally. Consultants make forecasts, provide in-depth analysis of markets and make trade recommendations based on their findings.

Foreign exchange consultants are a type of financial analyst; according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), financial analyst employers typically prefer candidates who hold a bachelor's degree in such fields as finance, accounting, mathematics or economics. There are many licensing requirements for financial analysts and related workers; these licenses are regulated and administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Licenses in accordance with FINRA guidelines and statutes
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) Financial analyst: 6%*
Average Salary (2018) Financial analyst: $100,990*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Description

The foreign exchange markets allow businesses and individuals to convert one currency into another and set currency exchange rates. It's the largest market in the world with more than $4 trillion in trading volume in 2010. Foreign exchange consultants assist clients in understanding and capitalizing on foreign currency markets by giving their clients information on exchange rates and insights into global markets.

Most foreign exchange consultants work for large firms that specialize in foreign markets. Job opportunities for foreign exchange consultants also exist outside the United States, where knowledge and experience in U.S. markets is valuable. Demand for experts in this field has grown in recent years owing to investors seeking information and analysis of foreign markets in the wake of American markets falling and growth of oversea markets.

Job Requirements

As with most jobs in the investment industry, the path to becoming a foreign exchange consultant can vary. Many positions require at least a bachelor's degree in business, finance or a related field, and previous experience in financial markets can prove valuable to job seekers. Excellent written and oral communications skills are highly valued in this field, and the ability to recruit and maintain clients is key. Knowledge of foreign accounting practices and foreign economies is essential to the job.

Some jobs require employees to be licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The type of license needed depends on what type of work a consultant performs. FINRA offers licensing to brokers and assistants who pass a rigorous exam. One of the most common licenses offered by FINRA is the Series 7, which allows the license holder to act as a registered representative of a firm. Entry-level jobs typically do not have such stringent requirements, but seek workers who are highly motivated and able to work in high-pressure environments.

Career and Salary Information

While the BLS doesn't provide specific information for foreign exchange consultants, financial analysts are projected to see a 6% increase in employment opportunities from 2018-2028, which is as fast as the national average. As of May 2018, the average annual salary received by financial analysts was $85,660 per the BLS.

It is essential for foreign exchange consultants to have a solid skill set in terms of communication, as well as a strong knowledge of current accounting and economic practices in foreign markets. After earning a bachelor's degree, many foreign exchange consultants first gain work experience in the field of finance prior to seeking employment in this specialized position.

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