Obsessed with the stock market? Becoming a stockbroker takes a lot of skill, training
Armed with the right information, you can find a job that fits your talents. We’ve gathered some information on what’s required to become a stockbroker, what they do on a daily basis, where to find a job and what salary you can expect.
Main Takeaways: Getting a Stockbroker Job
- Decide which type of stockbroker you want to be. There are many different positions and functions within this field. Do your research and decide which role you could see yourself in.
- Obtain the necessary education. Depending on which role you want to pursue, you’ll have to get the supplementary education. We break down where you can get this education below.
- There are specific skills that allow you to succeed as a stockbroker. These include being detail-oriented, competitive, analytical and more.
- What is a Stockbroker?
- What Does a Stockbroker Do?
- Types of Stockbroker Jobs and Titles
- How to Become a Stockbroker
- Salary Ranges and Expectations for Stockbroker Jobs
- Projected Growth Rate of the Stockbroker Field
- How to Get a Stockbroker Job
- Top Skills to Be a Successful Stockbroker
- Finding the Right Stock Broker Job for You
What is a Stockbroker?
A stockbroker is known by many names, including trading representative and financial advisor. In general, a stockbroker is a wealth manager. He or she provides financial advice and investment management services to individuals or organizations who want to invest and grow their assets.
A stockbroker’s primary function is to purchase or sell stocks on behalf of clients for a flat rate or commission. Stockbrokers can work for themselves as independent entities or work for brokerage firms such as Charles Schwab, E*TRADE or Fidelity Investments.
What Does a Stockbroker Do?
From gathering clients to building portfolios, there are many different tasks that a stockbroker might accomplish.
Individual stockbrokers are self-business owners who spend a lot of time promoting their services and acquiring wealthy clients who want to invest. They are totally independent and work on their own schedule. A typical day is anything but typical, but might involve:
- Researching trades and financial news before the stock market opens.
- Buying and selling stocks for clients.
- Meeting with clients to discuss potential and current investments, provide financial advice and report on current assets under management.
- Finding new clients by networking with other brokers, attending industry events and cold calling.
Company stockbrokers work for, represent brokerage firms and are employees versus individual business owners. A typical day for brokerage stockbrokers might include:
- Collaborating with colleagues on strategies to acquire new clients and retain current clients. These clients are organizations (companies) rather than individual brokers.
- Researching trades and financial news before the stock market opens.
- Buying and selling stocks for the company’s clients.
- Meeting with clients (designated company representatives) to discuss potential and current investments, provide financial advice and report on current assets under management.
- Providing reports to their brokerage house on the progress of their current portfolio.
- Attending industry events as a representative of the brokerage firm for networking and promotional purposes.
Both individual and brokerage firm stockbrokers need to keep current with industry news and laws pertaining to securities and commodities. Buying and selling stocks, bonds and mutual funds is complex and laws can change quickly.
Types of Stockbroker Jobs and Titles
There are several different types of stockbrokers. Let’s look at sample stockbroker fields and titles.
An entry-level stockbroker is someone who has just graduated from college and has little to no training. Brand-new stockbrokers often work long hours to learn the business, and if they want to work at a brokerage firm, they’ll likely have to apply for an internship.
A full-service stockbroker is licensed, certified and experienced and works for a large, reputable brokerage firm. They provide customized financial advice and wealth management services to large clients.
A bank broker is a stockbroker who works for a banking institution. In this role, a bank broker represents the bank and provides financial advice and investment services to clients who want to invest in the stock market. Bank brokers promote the bank’s financial services and products while investing clients’ assets.
A discount broker is an individual stockbroker or firm who trades, buys and sells stocks for clients but provides no financial advice. Their commissions or fees are traditionally lower than full-service brokers or firms.
An online broker is an individual or brokerage firm that conducts stock trades and transactions over the internet for a fee or commission. People who prefer online stockbrokers enjoy the ability to do business 24/7 from anywhere.
If you’re not familiar with online brokers, check out our online stockbrokers for beginners guide. Stockbrokers, high-end brokers, insurance brokers, real estate brokers and discount brokers can also be called online brokers if they conduct their business online.
How to Become a Stockbroker
Here’s a breakdown on the kind of education and training you’ll need to become a stockbroker.
Working as an individual broker
- You’ll need a bachelor’s degree with a major in finance, accounting, economics or business.
- You must pass the General Securities Representative Examination (also known as Series 7 Exam). This multiple-choice exam has 125 questions and you must score 72% or higher to pass. Once you pass the Series 7, you’ll be licensed to work in any state.
- Many states require brokers to pass the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination, or Series 63 exam, a test on state securities.
Working at a brokerage house
- You’ll need a bachelor’s degree with a major in finance, accounting, economics or business (some firms require a Master of Business Administration or MBA).
- You’ll need on-the-job training at a brokerage firm for at least 4 months so you can become a registered representative of your employer with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
- You must pass the Series 7 Exam and the Series 63 (check with your state to see if it’s required).
Depending on the products and services you sell, you may also be required to obtain specific licenses and certifications. Finally, it’s important that all stockbrokers keep abreast of industry trends through continuing education and seminars.
Salary Ranges and Expectations for Stockbroker Jobs
Stockbrokers with the right training and knowledge can earn more than $64,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That number can go up significantly depending on your level of experience, education, area of expertise and commission percentage or fee, especially if you’re trading for high-net-worth clients.
Projected Growth Rate of the Stockbroker Field
The job market for stockbrokers is projected to grow 7% by the year 2026. A strong economy goes hand-in-hand with the growth of any jobs related to investments, stocks and bonds.
The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 3.1% in the first quarter of 2019, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
How to Get a Stockbroker Job
If Wall Street is calling your name, how do you get a stockbroker job? Here’s a to-do list to help jump start your job search:
- Obtain a bachelor’s degree and any other certifications or licenses.
- Decide if you want to work independently or for a brokerage house.
- Apply for an internship at a brokerage firm. Hands-on experience is often the best way to determine whether you enjoy the field.
- Attend networking events, follow financial news and join professional organizations such as the National Association of Stockbrokers.
- Have your resume evaluated by a certified professional resume writer to tailor it to a specific job or jobs you’re targeting.
- Apply on online job boards and company career websites. Reach out to colleagues and friends in the business for referrals and job tips.
- Once you’ve landed the job, print some business cards and start acquiring clients.
Top Skills to Be a Successful Stockbroker
What kind of qualities do you need to make it as a successful stockbroker? Here are 4 must-have skills.
Stockbrokers deal with millions of dollars of clients’ net worth. Clients trust you to handle large and potentially risky transactions on their behalf, so you need to check and double-check every last detail.
Stock market trading is a highly competitive industry. You’ve got to be willing to work long hours and handle stressful situations in a fast-paced environment.
3. Good communication skills
Whether you’re meeting with clients for the first time or reporting on the progress of your latest big deal to your boss at the brokerage firm, you need to be articulate and calm under pressure. Communicating a transaction incorrectly could mean a financial loss and damage to your reputation.
A good stockbroker must effectively and quickly digest, predict and analyze financial trends and patterns and trade accordingly. Good analytical skills are necessary to turn those trends into profits.
Finding the Right Stock Broker Job for You
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to pursue this career, consider the pros and cons of the work.
There is unlimited earning potential as a stock broker You can often set your own commissions and fees and your income depends on how many clients you have, so the sky’s the limit. Also, you have a set amount of job security and the ability to be your own boss.
As for cons, stockbrokers deal with long hours and usually work within a small office space. Additionally, your livelihood depends on the current state of the stock market which can be a risky business depending on how the economy is doing.
Ultimately, there’s an art to being a good stockbroker. Part of being a good stockbroker involves getting the right education and training, but for the most part, the main commodity you’re selling is yourself and your skills. People are investing in you and your knowledge of the stock market and they need to be able to trust your judgment and grow their money.