Would you like to work full-time as a stock broker? The job is interesting, pays well, and can open the doors to many other careers in the finance field after you get good at it. The main question people have about the job is what the basic requirements are. Additionally, it’s wise to know exactly what brokers do every day, how they find clients, and where they’re employed. Here’s a short summary of the core facts about becoming a stock broker.
The job’s educational and testing requirements are substantial. In fact, they have changed over the past decade and continue to change every so often. Today’s practitioners look to have a bachelor’s degree in either business, economics, or finance from an accredited college or university. Some even rely on psychology classes to gain further knowledge when it comes to working with clients.
The prospective brokerage professional may have to pass written examinations depending on licensing requirements where you live, and in addition, the firm you end up working for. There are online resources available to help you prepare. Many will study for at least a month, for a few hours per day, before taking and passing an exam. If you have sponsorship from a prospective employer, like a bank or brokerage firm, they could help cover the upfront costs.
Assuming you pass all the required exams, have a college degree, and are ready to work, the next step is finding an employer. Even if you have a small amount of experience using share trading platforms from home, be sure to include on your CV that you at least know something about buying and selling shares in the real world. Firms often hire trainees, who spend up to one year working alongside a more experienced broker to learn the day-to-day aspects of the job. After that, you’ll likely be on your own to find clients, sell your services, and bring business to the firm. A large part of the brokerage business involves sales.
If you work for a firm, they’ll help you find customers. It’s to their advantage to do this because the company you work for will get part of the commission you earn. However, once you feel as if you can market yourself, it’s possible to go into business as a solo practitioner. You will need to obtain a state-sanctioned license to do so, but many employees open their own offices after a few years of working for a larger company and learning the ropes.
Getting Your Foot in the Door
Before gaining your certification, it’s a good idea to start shopping around for prospective employers. Some firms will take you in on a conditional basis, sponsor your test fee, and pay you to train while you learn. You’ll usually be part of a team of financial professionals, so it’s a great way to learn about the job and gain experience at the same time. With commitment, dedication, and patience, it is possible to rise through the ranks of the brokerage field.