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Earn Your Series 6: Requirements and Career Information

The Series 6 is generally a multiple-choice test authorizing individuals to conduct transactions related to financial securities, such as mutual funds, variable annuities and unit investment trusts. Learn the qualifications and requirements necessary for testing, as well as job growth and salary info for a few career options for professionals who pass the test.

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Financial Services is simultaneously a fast-growing and competitive job market. In order to find employment as brokers or investment bankers, candidates must pass the Series 6 exam.

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Essential Information

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Series 6 exam is designed to verify that variable contracts product representatives and investment workers have a thorough understanding of the industry and are competent in their duties. More commonly known as the Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative Qualifications Exam, the Series 6 is a 100-question exam, and individuals must pass with a 70% score or higher. To take the exam, all test candidates must be sponsored by a self-regulatory organization, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission or a company with membership in FINRA.

There are no formal education requirements for taking the Series 6 exam, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reports that most entry-level employees in the securities, commodities and investment industries hold bachelor's degrees. Applicants hoping to earn a Series 6 license have to pay a registration fee in order to take the test. A background check for criminal records is also necessary to obtain Series 6 licensure.

Required Education No requirements*
Required Experience No requirements*
Required Skills Knowledgeable about treasury bonds, exchange traded funds and corporate securities*
Exam Requirements Must pass a 100-question exam with a 70% or higher; to take the exam, applicant must be sponsored by a FINRA-member company or self-regulatory organization*
Other Requirements Pay registration fee and submit to background checks*

Source: *FINRA

Career Information

Those with Series 6 licenses have a variety of career opportunities in finance, insurance and industry regulation. The Series 6 license often leads to a career as a stockbroker or trader, but individuals can also pursue careers in money management and financial planning. They may also sell life insurance and financial products related to retirement. The Series 6 license only qualifies financial professionals to sell a limited selection of financial products, such as mutual funds and specific annuities.

According to the BLS, the securities, commodities and investment industries were expected to increase 10% from 2014-2024. The growth in demand for qualified professionals knowledgeable about investments and securities was expected to be driven by globalization. As of May 2015, the annual average salary of employees in this industry was $71,550, per the BLS. Popular occupations in this industry include floor brokers, investment bankers, financial services sales agents and brokers.

Several careers in the Financial Services field require licensure or certification. For investment bankers and brokers, licensure is offered through FINRA. FINRA requires all interested parties to be sponsored by a FINRA member firm and to pass the Series 6 exam.

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