Many stockbrokers start their careers as unpaid interns, or work only on commission while they go through training and pass licensing exams. In these positions, starting salaries may be nothing or only a few thousand dollars a year. However, stockbrokers salaries increase significantly with experience, and entry-level workers with a business degree may have higher starting salaries than others.
Salaries for Wall Street stockbrokers generally start at about $40,000 per year, but may be considerably lower for those in internship or training jobs. In contrast, stockbrokers who have worked in the field for at least 10 years have a median salary of about $120,000 per year. While stockbrokers' salaries may climb slowly at first, with those who have 5 to 10 years of experience making about $58,000 per year, there are strong opportunities for advancement for those who remain in the field.
Stockbrokers on Wall Street in New York have considerably higher salaries than those working in other parts of the United States. According to Payscale.com, the median salary for stockbrokers in New York City is about $88,000 per year. In contrast, California based stockbrokers make about $67,500 per year in Los Angeles, or $54,750 per year in San Francisco. Stockbrokers in Chicago make a median salary of $45,000 per year, and those in much of the rest of the country earn about $40,000 per year.
The type of education that entry-level stockbrokers have can also affect their starting salaries. Stockbrokers with a Bachelor’s degree in finance or economics earned median salaries of about $35,000 to $37,000 per year. Those with a bachelor's of Business Administration earned about $65,000 per year, and those with a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance eared about $67,000. Graduating from a well-known university can also impact on the starting salaries of stockbrokers. According to Payscale.com, stockbrokers who graduated from St. John's University in New York reported median salaries of $195,000 per year, while those from Harvard reported making $240,000 per year.
Although age is not as important to starting salaries as experience, it does have an impact on stockbroker salaries. According to Payscale.com, stockbrokers between the ages of 18 and 25 made a median salary of $40,000 per year, compared to $48,000 per year for those ages 25 to 44 and $57,000 per year for those ages 44 to 65. While male stockbrokers report a median salary of about $47,000 per year, female stockbrokers earn about $42,000 per year (see Resources below).
The type of companies that stockbrokers work for can also influence their starting salaries. Stockbrokers who worked for private practices earned a median salary of about $58,000 per year, compared to a median salary of $100,000 per year for self-employed stockbrokers. However, few stockbrokers start out by working in their own businesses, but rather gain experience by working in established firms first.