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How to Become a Stock Broker in 2021

October 4, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Stock Broker 

A stockbroker’s lifestyle seems attractive and chaotic at the same time. Various firms trading within the wall street stock market can attest to that. However, that’s not real-life for most stockbrokers, though it can be a fulfilling career option if you’re interested in the world of finance. The stock trading field could be suitable if you’re an ambitious and hardworking person. Before entering the field, it is vital to understand every aspect of a stockbroker’s job. 

Essentially, a stockbroker acts as a middleman in the stock exchange market. A broker helps a stock trader to either buy or sell stocks in the exchange market. Mostly, they work for brokerage firms offering financial services. A broker is always in touch with a trader providing constant updates on the performance of their stocks, including fluctuations in the exchange market. Brokers advise a trader on the types of stocks to buy or sell and at what rates. Concurrently, they ensure the brokerage firms make a profit. 

The stepping stone to becoming a stockbroker is earning a bachelor’s degree, which will unlock several entry-level positions in financial services, commodities, and securities. You can either opt to obtain a degree in finance, economics, business, or accounting. A stockbroker’s profession is quite competitive. Therefore, you need to pursue a graduate degree in any business-related field to remain competitive in the job market. Firms are always on the lookout for highly experienced brokers to help them in stock trading activities. 

If you are considering becoming a broker, this is the right place for you. This article explores everything you need to know about becoming a stockbroker, including: 

  1. Steps to becoming a stockbroker 
  2. Stockbroker career skills 
  3. Stockbroker degrees and schools 
  4. Stockbroker careers

Steps to Becoming a Stock Broker

Daily, stock trading occurs in stock exchange markets like wall street nearly every minute. a trader needs the expertise of stockbrokers in financial services to buy and sell stocks through the stock markets. The increased trading of stocks has led to high demand for stockbrokers, leading to an influx of brokers in the financial market. Brokerage firms are in the race to employ highly experienced and skilled stockbrokers to ensure the firms’ profitability. 

Today, all trading operations are computerized, requiring stockbrokers to watch on the performance of a trader’s stocks, manage brokerage accounts, and provide advice on effective investment strategy. Becoming a stockbroker is quite easy since there are no specific requirements to becoming a broker. Are you a hardworking and ambitious individual who enjoys sales and is interested in the world of finance but don’t know where to start from? You need not stress out. This article explores the steps to becoming a stockbroker. All you need is to keep reading. 

What Courses You Need to Do to Become a Stock Broker? 

Although there is no major educational requirement needed to become a stockbroker, various degree programs could unlock several careers in the security trading market. You might consider pursuing either a degree in business, economics, accounting, or finance. However, a degree in finance is highly preferred as it provides more concentrated coursework. 

In addition, finance degrees typically cover areas related to stock trading, which provide an aspiring broker with comprehensive knowledge on stock analysis and valuation. At the same time, prospective stockbrokers can learn banking and financial accounting, enabling them to provide specialized services to a wall street trader and full-service firm. Here are some of the degrees and likely coursework that stockbrokers undertake: 

  • Finance 

Most advisors recommend aspiring stockbrokers to choose a degree in finance. Several learning institutions across the country offer finance degrees. Trading requires stockbrokers to conduct financial analyses to determine the performing and underperforming stocks in the exchange market. The trading process requires brokers to have vast financial planning knowledge to help traders create effective financial strategies. A finance degree provides students with comprehensive knowledge on various financial aspects and trading. The likely coursework in a finance degree program include: 

  • Financial analysis 
  • Statistics 
  • Business strategy 
  • Managerial accounting 
  • Business law 
  • Accounting 

An accounting degree program is also a suitable degree for aspiring stock brokers. The accounting degree provides prospective stock brokers with foundational knowledge on business operations, tax principles, and accounting principles. Trading involves analyzing trends to make predictions on the performance of stocks. Additionally, aspiring stockbrokers can gain in-depth knowledge on taxes. Some of the courses undertaken by stockbrokers pursuing an accounting degree include:

  • Financial accounting 
  • Managerial accounting 
  • Auditing 
  • Accounting software and information systems 
  • Economics 

The performance of stocks during trading is affected by various economic factors. This makes an economics degree an important degree option for aspiring stockbrokers. A broker might need the knowledge and skills learned in an economics class to conduct research and advise traders on the likely factors that might affect the performance of their stocks. This degree is quite important to stockbrokers seeking a career change to other careers such as financial analyst, banker, real estate agents, and economists. The coursework for the economics program covers: 

  • Econometrics 
  • Information systems 
  • Business communications
  • Microeconomics and macroeconomics 
  • Environmental studies 

What Degrees and Certifications Should You Have to Be a Stock Broker?

Aspiring stockbrokers need to fulfill certain educational requirements before beginning their practice as brokers. Typically, you need a high school diploma with a high GPA to gain admission into an institution of higher learning. Before entering the stockbroking profession, it is vital to understand the degree and certifications needed to become a stockbroker. We will explore the types of degrees and certifications to help understand further what it entails to become a stockbroker.

  • Bachelor’s Degree 

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree from an accredited learning institution is a significant step to becoming a trading specialist. Usually, a student needs to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program in any business-related degree. However, the number of years might vary considerably based on the credit requirements of each degree. Normally, the bachelor’s degree programs that might lead you into the world of stockbroking are finance, economics, accounting, and business degrees. However, finance degrees are always highly recommended since they provide a well-rounded education on finance and stock trading. Those seeking to advance their knowledge and careers might opt to pursue master’s degree programs. 

  • Certifications 

Before obtaining their practicing license, stockbrokers must acquire various credentials, especially those offered by the FINRA. Here are some of the certifications that you need to pass to become a licensed stockbroker: 

  • SEI certification 
  • Series 7 certification 
  • Series 63 certification 

What Are the Traditional Steps to Becoming a Stock Broker?

Get a Bachelor’s Degree: The stepping stone to a career in stockbroking is earning a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business. The degree prepares aspiring stockbrokers in various aspects, including tax, securities, and financial services. 

Complete a Supervised Internship: Students must complete their internship program from a stock exchange market. The internship program enables students to get hands-on experience in trading. 

Take Licensing Exams: To gain practicing licensure, stockbrokers must pass the FINRA examinations, including Series 7 and 63.

Stock Broker Career Skills

A stockbroker works with an array of clients, including traders and brokerage firms. They act as sales agents for clients who buy and sell various securities in the financial market. Stock trading is quite a sophisticated financial service that requires highly trained and experienced individuals to market and manage socks for stock traders in the stock market. They manage the trader’s portfolios, offering advice on when to buy or sell their financial securities. They need to use their experience and stock market knowledge to maximize returns for their clients. To this effect, stockbrokers must possess specific skill sets to ensure success in their trading activities. On this page, we explore in detail the necessary skills for stockbrokers and how to acquire them. 

What Are Necessary Skills for Stock Brokers?

Traders and brokerage firms are always on the lookout for highly skilled brokers who can maximize their returns in the long run. Therefore, when developing your stock broker resume, you must indicate both the soft and hard skills. Your resume’s soft and hard skills demonstrate to potential clients some of your capabilities and how they make you suitable for the stockbroking job. If you are looking forward to building your stock broker resume, here are some of the skills that must also appear on the resume: 

  • Numerical Skills: Stockbrokers mainly deal with stocks. The securities are always measured and valued in terms of number. Brokers must understand what the numbers stand to help calculate and project the performance of the stocks. They should have a strong foundational knowledge of financial formulas. 
  • Communications Skills: Financial services sales agents must have strong verbal and nonverbal communication skills. A strong communication skill will help the broker develop trust and build relationships with the traders. Additionally, interpersonal skills enable the stockbroker and financial analysts to understand the financial needs of the trader. 
  • Attention to Detail: Brokers must know their clients well and have a clear understanding of the happenings of the stock market. They should be able to note any slight deviation and advise the traders appropriately. 
  • Analytical Thinking: Stock trading requires thorough analyses of the securities. Analyzing the performance of the stocks will help the broker identify useful information that might help yield returns for the investors. 
  • High Ambition: Stockbroking requires hardworking and ambitious individuals willing to burn the midnight oil to yield returns for their clients. Also, being ambitious helps stockbrokers grow their client base to remain competitive in the market. Their ambition will also enable them to work closely with a multidisciplinary team such as investment bankers. 
  • Negotiation Skills: Stockbrokers should have high negotiation skills to negotiate for portfolios, trade costs, and commissions. 

Why Should Stock Brokers Know These Skills? 

Understanding your skills as a stockbroker is crucial as it helps you develop your career objectives. The more stockbrokers know and use their skills, the stronger they become. As a broker, knowing your skills will help you land your dream job. You will be able to identify various job opportunities that align with your skills set and abilities, making it easier to land the job. Additionally, knowing your skills will enable you to identify the stronger skills and the ones that you need to improve on to become successful in your career. 

How Can You Acquire Skills to Be a Stock Broker?

Acquiring the skills needed to become a stockbroker is often easy. An individual doesn’t have to strain over it. The simplest way of learning and acquiring trading skills is meeting the education requirements needed to become a stockbroker. Bachelor’s degree programs, especially business finance degree, help aspiring brokers develop strong analytical and numerical skills to practice successfully in the stock market. You will be able to gain expertise in financial services. On-the-job training, particularly during your internship program, will help develop the skills and hands-on experience needed to become a stockbroker. Attending courses and workshops related to stock trading also helps stockbrokers acquire skills needed for their profession. 

Stock Broker Degrees and Schools

The increased demand for stock trading services by traders and brokerage firms has led to increased demand for stockbrokers. The demand for financial services by various organizations has also escalated the demand for stockbrokers. With this, high school graduates are thronging colleges and universities to pursue various degree programs that lead to a career in the stock market. Are you interested in making money as a stockbroker but don’t know where to start? Well, you are in the right place as this article explores the educational requirements for becoming a broker, including the best schools for stockbrokers. 

What Are the Education Requirements for Becoming a Stock Broker?

Aspiring stockbrokers must fulfill certain education requirements before beginning their practice. The education requirements are essential. They provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to practice in the trading field effectively. Traders highly seek well-educated and trained individuals to help them buy and sell stocks in the stock exchange market. Moreover, the stockbrokers must acquire the skills needed to monitor the stocks’ performance and advise them on their appropriate strategies to ensure returns. Here are some of the education requirements that stockbrokers must fulfill: 

  • Obtain High School Diploma

The basic requirement for becoming a stockbroker is earning a bachelor’s degree to gain practicing licensure. However, an aspiring broker or sales agent must be a high school graduate to gain admission into a bachelor’s program. This makes a high school diploma an important prerequisite for stockbrokers. Students with college preparatory courses such as advanced math courses have a higher advantage. 

  • Bachelor’s Degree 

Although a high school diploma prepares you for college courses, the basic requirement to become a stockbroker in the stock market, such as wall street, is earning a bachelor’s degree. Several degree options could usher you into the stock trading world. They include finance, business, economics, and accounting. These courses typically take four years to complete and require students to complete certain credits before graduating. The courses prepare aspiring stockbrokers for FINRA examinations. 

In most cases, FINRA exams require degrees with specialization relating to stockbroking, making a finance degree to be the most preferred program. Finance students are taught daily business operations, enabling them to understand the business dynamics, including ethical issues and business laws. After completing the bachelor’s programs, students must complete an internship program from a stock market to gain hands-on experience in trading. If you are aspiring to advance your career, you might opt to pursue a master’s degree by using your degree to transfer credits. However, a master’s degree is always optional and is suitable for stockbrokers who seek career flexibility. 

What Are the Best Schools for Stock Brokers?

Learning to become a stockbroker requires high-quality education. Finding the right school and program that aligns with your career goals and objectives is quite challenging. But with this piece of information, you will likely find the best schools that suit you. Here is a detailed analysis of some of the best schools for stockbrokers: 

  • Alaska Pacific University: If you are looking for a high-quality degree program for stockbrokers, then consider enrolling in Alaska Pacific University’s investments and security program. The program is offered both online and on-campus basis. The program is quite affordable. 
  • Golden Gate University-San Francisco: The school offers finance degree programs that allow students to specialize in investments and securities. The program is relatively cheap hence suitable for most students. 
  • Marymount Manhattan College: The school offers a bachelor’s with a major in investment and security. The program helps prepare students for trading roles in the stock exchange market, making them efficient stock traders. 

Other best colleges include: 

  • Northern Arizona University 
  • La Salle University 
  • Oakton Community College 
  • Pace University-New York 
  • University of Connecticut 
  • University of San Francisco 

What Makes These Schools Good for Someone Who Wants to Be a Broker?

Not all courses for stockbrokers are the same. As an aspiring, you need to research before choosing a school to pursue your bachelor’s or master’s degree. The best schools have various factors in common. Always look out for the following aspects:

  • Accreditation: Various organizations always accredit the best schools. The accreditations indicate that the school’s programs have met the quality standards set by the education boards. 
  • Support after Graduation: The best schools always offer support to their graduate students to enable them to land jobs after graduation. They organize career fairs to help graduate students meet with successful personalities in the trading profession. 

Stock Broker Careers 

If you are passionate about stock trading and understand how stock markets work, then a career in securities broking might be the perfect career option for you. A stockbroker helps stock traders buy and sell their stocks in the stock exchange market. They perform several other responsibilities, including offering financial services to brokerage firms and other clients. The education requirements needed to become a stockbroker unlock several career opportunities for aspiring brokers. 

Apart from acting as sales agents for stock traders, they might opt to become financial advisors to firms and individuals. Most of the careers associated with stockbrokers attract higher remuneration and have promised a career outlook. But what are the possible careers available to a stockbroker? This article seeks to inform you on the various stockbroker careers, including where they work and their salaries. 

  • Where Do Stock Brokers Work? 

A stockbroker job might land in various work settings, with the most common stock brokerage firm setting. Stockbrokers might also land jobs in various other financial entities that provide financial services to clients, including financial advisory. They monitor, calculate, and make projections on the likely returns of a particular investment and determine its viability. Stockbrokers also offer business management services to various institutions. Are you a fresh graduate with a stockbroker practicing licensure and don’t know where to find a job? Well, this article is for you. It explores some of the work settings that you’re likely to find in a broker. They include: 

  • Brokerage Firms: These are financial institutions that help traders buy and sell stocks by acting as sales agents or go-betweens. Licensed brokers are normally found in brokerage firms offering trading services to clients on behalf of the firms. Brokerage firms pay stockbrokers relatively higher amounts of salary. Hence, those seeking to make a killing from the stockbroking profession should consider working for brokerage firms. 
  • Investment Bank: Investment banks are popularly known for the role they play for corporations in financial markets. A broker might land a job in an investment bank either as an investment banking sales agent or an investment banker. Their main role is to help firms IPO shares or acquire additional stocks. They also negotiate for corporate bonds on behalf of corporations. 
  • Consultancy Firms: Brokers might also practice privately and offer stockbroking services to clients directly. This is always a viable option, especially for those who have several years of hands-on experience in stock trading. Besides advising clients on which stocks to buy or sell, brokers might advise on investment strategies and financial planning. 
  • Financial Institutions: Most financial institutions are directly involved in stock exchange processes. To effectively manage their stocks, these financial institutions need the expertise and experience of brokers in the trading profession. Landing jobs in most of these institutions is always a task. Aspiring stockbrokers should, therefore, be at their very best to land jobs in the firms. Some of the most common financial institutions are the money markets and capital markets

What Is the Typical Salary of a Stock Broker?

The stockbroking career has relatively higher earning potential compared to other related career options. In the United States, the average salary for a stockbroker is $65,66, according to recent statistics conducted in April 2021. Based on the report, the salary range is between $60,716 and $73,698. This indicates that entry-level stockbrokers are likely to earn lower packages than already established brokers with several years of booking experience. Please note that the salary range varies depending on various factors, including the work setting, years of experience, level of education, and job location. 

What Is the Job Outlook for A Stock Broker?

Employment of financial service and securities sales is likely to grow by 4% within the next ten years. The services offered by brokers, such as buying and selling of stocks, will continue to be in demand for the next several years. With this, the demand for stockbrokers is likely to escalate. The rapid economic growth of the United States will also contribute to the growth of the stock trading industry, as individuals and corporations will continue purchasing stocks and bonds to finance their investments. Individuals seeking to enter the broking field should not worry about the future of the industry. Instead, they should brace themselves for career advancements in the coming years. 

Conclusion 

Stockbrokers are actively involved in buying and selling stocks on behalf of their clients. They provide useful information on the performance of the stocks and advise clients on when to buy or sell stocks. Even though a typical day for a stockbroker might seem to be stressful, it is quite a rewarding endeavor. While some brokers work primarily in the office settings, others work in client’s offices, with brokers with vast experience traveling from one country to another to offer financial services. 

Becoming a stockbroker is quite easy. All you need is to fulfill certain education requirements, with the first step being obtaining a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business, or economics. These business-related courses provide aspiring stock brokers with the foundational knowledge needed to obtain stockbroker practicing licensure. The finance degree is the highly recommended degree option for stockbrokers since it covers various areas related to stock trading. Upon completion of the undergraduate program, aspiring stockbrokers must complete a one-year internship program. 

Stockbrokers must possess various skills, both soft skills and hard skills. Some soft skills, such as strong communication skills, are important as they enable brokers to communicate with their clients effectively. Other skills needed to become a stockbroker include numerical skills, attention to detail, negotiation skills, analytical thinking, and high ambition. Stockbrokers work in a variety of settings, including brokerage firms, investment banks, and consultancy firms. The stockbroking profession is expected to grow by at least 4% in the coming years.

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