Forex Careers for Financial Professionals

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Contributor, Benzinga
Updated: August 24, 2022

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Many people have made personal fortunes in the foreign exchange or forex business, and not all of them have done so by trading currencies for their own accounts. Jobs forex traders qualify for comprise only a fraction of the interesting fx careers available to those seeking employment in the massive global currency market. 

As a monetary incentive to get involved in the lucrative forex business, the base compensation for forex sales and trading jobs averages around $80,000 per year in the United States. Depending on the financial institution involved, that base amount is generally augmented substantially, sometimes by 200 percent or more, by performance-related bonuses, profit-sharing plans and commissions.

Read on to find out more about the various forex-related careers that financial professionals can aim for when considering employment in the forex exchange market.

Forex Careers Exist Outside of Being a Trader

Since the forex market trades around the clock from Sunday afternoon to 5 p.m. New York time, however, forex-related careers can involve long and rather unusual hours. Forex dealers and risk managers are often woken up in the middle of the night when an order is filled and/or the market reaches their call level. 


Forex dealing jobs can also be fast-paced and stressful at times, but if you’re not into having a high-pressure job, then several interesting financial careers exist in foreign exchange departments outside of being a professional forex trader or market-maker. 


Most major commercial banks and some financial institutions have forex dealing operations that require people to operate in a range of different support roles, in addition to those employed on the dealing desks in the most high-profile forex sales and trading positions.

Some of these might require extensive knowledge of compliance requirements, market analysis and risk management methods, which could require you to obtain a certain educational background in advance if you want to be considered seriously for those positions.

Fortunately, since the wholesale forex market remains generally unregulated worldwide, you probably do not have to pass standardized exams to qualify for a particular forex career, like the Series 3 and Series 7 tests that commodity futures and stock market professionals might have to take, for example.

5 Opportunities for FX Careers

Benzinga explains some of the top forex careers that suitably qualified financial professionals can apply to in the sections below. 

Forex Trader or Market-Maker

A forex market maker generally quotes exchange rates in their particular assigned currency pair to a financial institution's customers and to other professional traders, while a strategic forex trader will trade a variety of currency pairs for the financial institution’s proprietary account. While no particular educational background will prepare you for this particular job, market makers should ideally be quick thinkers and decision-makers who are good at doing mental arithmetic and dealing with stress. In contrast, proprietary forex traders tend to be good at forecasting market movements and taking strategic risks based on their forecasts. 

Forex Sales or Account Manager

A forex salesperson or account manager deals directly with the customers of the financial institution who ask for quotations in a currency pair. Forex salespeople typically need to be diplomatic and friendly individuals who know about all the forex-related products of their firm. They should also have the sales skills needed to close a deal effectively and advantageously for their company. This is generally a lower-stress role than trading or market-making since salespeople typically take no actual market risk. 

Forex Software Developer

A forex software developer creates customized computer software for forex professionals to fill a particular need. For example, forex traders, market makers and salespeople at a financial institution might need access to specific, proprietary software to do their job better, so the firm might hire an in-house software developer to create such programs to give it an edge. Other forex software developers might work for themselves writing algorithmic trading software for clients, or they might be employed by a financial software company that services financial institutions that operate actively in the forex market. This sort of position seems especially suitable for logically minded people who love technology and have an aptitude and interest in applying it to solving problems in the financial sector. 

Forex Market Analyst 

A forex analyst, sometimes called a currency researcher or market strategist, is knowledgeable about one or more market analysis methods and how to apply them to forecasting currency pairs. They might work for a major financial institution or for a market analysis company that produces a forex newsletter, for example. This sort of position is not especially high stress, but it does generally require an analytical personality and a strong background in fundamental and/or technical analysis methods. 

Forex Industry Regulator

Since the wholesale forex market remains largely unregulated, most forex regulator jobs within the industry itself would be at firms that cater to retail forex traders who some countries have protected with formal regulation. Other forex regulators might work for major regulatory agencies like the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The most common goal of forex industry regulators is to prevent fraud, and this position might suit someone with detective skills who likes to protect unsuspecting people from being unfairly taken advantage of. 

Forex Exchange Operations Manager

A forex operations manager typically works for a major financial institution to manage the daily functions of the firm’s forex trading department by overseeing services provided to its clients and dealing with complaints. They also support new products, develop infrastructure and align sales needs with operational goals. They typically also oversee the budgeting process, file regulatory documents and perform and prepare financial reports, plans and audits for upper management. A forex manager should be a leader with strong management and communication skills who knows the forex sales and trading business inside out. 

Best Brokers for Forex Trading Professionals 

Forex trading professionals who want to trade currencies online will typically want to open an account with a highly sophisticated broker that offers the best trading tools, tight dealing spreads and lightning-fast executions. Benzinga has compiled a list of the top online brokers for financial professionals working in the forex industry.

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  • Forex.com
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    CedarFX is not regulated by any major financial agency. The brokerage is owned by Cedar LLC and based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

  • AvaTrade
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    100 EURO
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  • Pepperstone
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    AUD$200 or equivalent
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  • SimpleFX Forex
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Can you have a career in forex?

A

Yes. Many financial institutions will train their own forex professionals, so you do not even need a particular educational background in many cases.

Q

Can you be a professional forex trader?

A

Perhaps. Being a professional forex trader will definitely not suit everyone since you need to be able to think strategically, react quickly and cope with an unusually high level of stress to trade currencies well.

Q

Do banks hire forex traders?

A

Yes. If you are already a professional forex trader with decent qualifications who has worked at major financial institutions, then a bank that has an active forex department may consider hiring you if it has an opening on their currency dealing desk.

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