What is a Securities Sales Agent?
Securities sales agents work for investment and trading firms, buying and selling securities on behalf of clients. These financial professionals meet with clients - which can include individuals, businesses and organizations - to gain insight into their financial objectives as well as assess their financial status. They then use this knowledge to develop a financial plan specific to the client's wants and needs.
Other important aspects of a securities sales agent's work include identifying potential investments and analyzing market conditions to ensure they're conducting transactions at the most opportune times. They also perform some clerical duties, like preparing plan implementation documents, filling out tickets for sale orders and recording financial transactions.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree in business administration or a related field|
|Job Skills||Sales and marketing skills, written and oral communication and customer service skills, analysis abilities, knowledge of financial markets|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$63,780 (for securities, commodities and financial services sales agents)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||6% (for securities, commodities and financial services sales agents)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
For entry-level positions, securities sales agents generally need a bachelor's degree in business administration or a related field, like finance or sales and marketing, along with at least two years' sales experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that a Master of Business Administration (MBA) might prove beneficial for those seeking to advance in the field.
Securities sales agents also typically must be licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to sell products and services. Licensure is attained by passing several exams and must be maintained by completing continuing education classes. Securities sales agents usually need both a general securities registered representative license (Series 7) and a Series 63 licensure; the latter allows the securities sales agent to work in a specific state. Some jobs require various other series of licensure tests as well.
Securities sales agents need excellent sales and marketing skills to attract and maintain clientele. Additionally, they must have effective written and oral communication skills, along with strong customer service skills, to relay financial information to clients in terms that they'll understand. Securities sales agents also should be analytical and knowledgeable about financial markets so they can make the most informed financial decisions on behalf of their clients.
Career Outlook and Salary
The BLS projected that securities, commodities and financial services sales agents would see job growth of 6% between 2016 and 2026. This was about the average for all jobs in the United States.
As of May 2017, securities, commodities and financial services sales agents earned a median annual salary of $63,780, according to the BLS. However, the bureau also noted that most agents earn sales commission, in addition to their salary, so there's potential to earn much more than the median.
There are several careers similar to a securities sales agent that you might want to learn more about. Here are a few: