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How Much Do Stockbrokers Make?

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Helping the Bulls and the Bears

Keeping on top of the stock market requires a cool head and a mind for details, something you, as a working mom, are likely to have developed. It's a roller-coaster ride that challenges some people and causes others to run screaming from the room. If you love the rough-and-tumble world of investments, you might enjoy a stockbroker career, buying and selling securities for clients. It could work well for a working mother, since much of the research work can be done via computer. The commission-based salary allows you to earn according to your sales. The median salary for a stockbroker is around $67,310 per year.

Job Description

A stockbroker buys and sells stocks and other securities for her clients, but it's far more than just a sales job. Clients, whether individuals or institutions, expect a stockbroker to act on their behalf and to their benefit, which means that these licensed agents must be knowledgeable about the market, be good with numbers and pay attention to details. Stockbrokers must fully understand a client’s investment goals and risk tolerance. Generally, stockbrokers earn commissions for completing transactions for clients. But she must recommend investments based on the client's needs, rather than on those that earn her the highest commission.

Education Requirements

The stock and bond market is heavily regulated, but, somewhat ironically, there are no requirements that a stockbroker earn a college degree, let alone an advanced degree, to work in this position. Stockbrokers only have to pass an exam to get a license to buy and sell securities for others. As long as you pass the exam and obtain the correct licenses, a high school diploma is all you need. However, many stockbrokers do attend college and earn a degree so as to prepare themselves for this highly competitive environment. Some companies only hire stockbrokers with a bachelor's degree, and other firms even may require a master's or other advanced degree.

Stockbrokers who simply connect buyers and sellers in financial markets earn a median salary of $67,310 per year. If you provide recommendations to businesses and individuals making investment decisions after assessing the performance of stocks and bonds, you will earn more. This position is termed "financial analyst," and it means a median annual income of $81,760 per year.

About the Industry

Stock brokers work in the investment segment of the economy, assisting individuals, companies or other entities to decide where to invest their money.

Years of Experience

Stockbrokers earn income through sales commissions, not unlike real estate agents. According to PayScale, the average income for a stockbroker in this country is $59,000. Entry-level stockbrokers can expect to earn 13 percent less. After a few years of experience, the salary may be 30 percent higher than average, and after significant experience, a stockbroker can earn a salary that exceeds the average by 68 percent.

Job Outlook

Jobs for stockbrokers are projected to increase by 6 percent over the next decade. This is about as fast as average for all occupations.