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What Is a Broker Assistant?
Brokers serve as intermediaries between two parties in financial transactions involving securities such as stocks and bonds, commodities (goods), real estate, insurance and other investments. Broker assistants provide support to brokers; their duties vary depending on the type of employer. For example, those who work for a brokerage house might handle stock purchase and trade orders, maintain and update hedge fund records, manage office supplies and petty cash, and communicate with customers about their transactions. Meanwhile, those who assist insurance brokers might prepare and manage documentation related to new accounts, draw up quotes and binders, and contact customers about policy renewals. Insurance broker assistants also might handle invoicing and any issues related to payments, including initiating cancellation of policies when payments aren't made. They might analyze existing policies as well, to make certain the policies are accurate and legally compliant and that they have the proper dates and signatures needed to be valid.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree in business, economics, finance or a related field|
|Job Skills||Communication skills, customer service skills, collaboration skills, initiative, proficiency with computers, data analysis, problem-solving skills, organizational skills|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$42,501|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||5% (for brokerage clerks)|
Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
While some broker assistants are able to begin work with an associate's degree or simply coursework in relevant topics, it is common for employers to prefer a bachelor's in business, economics, finance or a related field. Students in business administration programs generally take courses in business law and ethics, corporate communications, financial and managerial accounting, marketing principles, and operations management. Economics majors will learn about micro- and macroeconomic analysis, statistics and econometrics. Finance majors will study micro- and macroeconomics, investing, financial statements, marketing and business ethics.
Because they frequently interact with customers, both in person and in writing, broker assistants need strong customer service skills, along with excellent written and verbal communication skills. They must be able to initiate and complete projects on their own, as well as able to work with brokers and other assistants. Broker assistants should also be able to analyze documents and data, looking for and correcting errors and discrepancies, as well as independently solve problems on the fly. Employers of broker assistants also tend to look for candidates who have strong organizational skills, are proficient with computers and office software, especially Microsoft Office, and are willing to learn more about their particular industry.
Additionally, broker assistants may need to be licensed to sell insurance or other investments. For example, those who work for insurance agencies might need to hold insurance licensure specific to their state and the category of insurance they work with. Requirements vary by state, but typically include taking one or more classes, meeting experience requirements, passing a background check and earning a minimum score on an insurance exam.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists broker assistants under the category of financial clerks, which includes a wide variety of positions and is projected to see 9% growth between 2016 and 2026. The sub-category of 'brokerage clerks' is expected to see 5% growth during that same decade. This slower rate is due to technological advances that increase productivity, which in turn slow demand for brokerage clerks.
As of April 2018, broker assistants made a median annual salary of $42,501, according to PayScale.com.
If you're interested in working as a broker assistant, you also might want to learn more about the following careers: