The employment base of stockbrokers is industries specializing in securities, commodity contracts and other financial investments. Estimates from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that as of 2012 there were 178,410 sales agents of securities, commodities and other financial services. The path to a successful certified broker requires adequate experience in the financial market; this grooms you to predict changes in the stock exchange trade and identify profitable financial investments. Certification is a key move in this career.
Enroll for a degree program in a university or college. Select a course in the field of finance, accounting, marketing and business management to acquire knowledge on fundamental principles in the business industry. Conduct extensive research on the driving forces in the economy, especially those that have an impact on prices of securities, to supplement your classroom knowledge. Academic qualifications in business courses give you an added advantage in the competitive employment market.
Ask your school’s guidance counselor or professor for any references for a job, internship or training program for brokers in a brokerage firm, bank or financial service firm, and send an application letter. Acquire in-depth work experience on how to identify profitable investments; give financial advice to clients and network for clients. Prepare a personal schedule to assist you in accommodating the work schedule and demands of a stockbroker career. Stockbrokers usually work in stressful environments, sometimes clocking more than 40 hours in a week. Ask your employee for a sponsorship that enables you to sit for certification exams.
Prepare for the Series 7 exam for the post of a general securities registered representative; it is a six-hour exam administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority covering individual and package securities. You need to score at least 70 percent on the test. Sit for the Series 63 exam, also known as Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination, which permits you to transact business; it covers the blue-sky laws of states. Other important exams include Series 3, 66 and 31.
Join a professional organization or association in the securities industry such as the National Association of Stock Brokers; this is a vital networking tool to strengthen your resume, and get job contacts or mentors. Contact your schoolmates who already work as brokers and inquire for any job opportunities. Select brokerage firms from your contacts that handle the type of securities you are permitted by your license to transact. Contact these firms and inquire about a job opening. You can also drop your resume at the brokerage firm’s office and speak to the sales manager.
Take a background check that involves an evaluation of your criminal background and credit; a history of bankruptcy, tax evasion or criminal activities can prevent you from securing a job. Conduct mock interviews with your friends, family or mentor to prepare for screening tests and interviews.