Whether they're trading U.S. dollars for euros, pounds or Japanese yens, currency traders, also known as foreign exchange traders, are hired to earn profits for corporate and individual investors when those currencies increase in value against U.S. dollars. Currency traders sell their services to clients, research economic variables that affect various currencies and place trades on the foreign exchange market. Salaries are typically contingent on the trader's experience and geographic location.
Foreign exchange traders in the United States earned average salaries of $102,000 as of 2014, according to the Indeed job site. Although not always required, many traders have bachelor's degrees in mathematics, statistics, economics, business or accounting. Employers also prefer hiring those with three or more years of experience trading stocks, commodities or foreign currencies. Some states also require licensing and certification.
Pay Varies By Location
Average salaries for foreign exchange traders vary significantly by location. For example, Indeed reports that in the West, traders in Hawaii averaged $63,000 a year as of 2014, while those in California averaged $110,000. In the Midwest, average yearly salaries ranged from $75,000 in Nebraska to $116,000 in Illinois. Among the highest paid traders were those in Washington, D.C., and New York, where salaries averaged $129,000 and $124,000, respectively.