Summary Report for:
41-3031.01 - Sales Agents, Securities and Commodities
Buy and sell securities in investment and trading firms and develop and implement financial plans for individuals, businesses, and organizations.
Sample of reported job titles: Account Executive, Financial Consultant, Financial Representative, Investment Advisor, Investment Consultant, Investment Executive, Investment Representative, Investment Specialist, Registered Representative, Stock Broker
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Keep accurate records of transactions.
- Complete sales order tickets and submit for processing of client-requested transactions.
- Interview clients to determine clients' assets, liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, tax status, or financial objectives.
- Discuss financial options with clients and keep them informed about transactions.
- Develop financial plans, based on analysis of clients' financial status.
- Review all securities transactions to ensure accuracy of information and conformance to governing agency regulations.
- Inform and advise concerned parties regarding fluctuations or securities transactions affecting plans or accounts.
- Review financial periodicals, stock and bond reports, business publications, or other material to identify potential investments for clients or to keep abreast of trends affecting market conditions.
- Offer advice on the purchase or sale of particular securities.
- Contact prospective customers to determine customer needs, present information, or explain available services.
- Analyze market conditions to determine optimum times to execute securities transactions.
- Explain stock market terms or trading practices to clients.
- Prepare documents needed to implement plans selected by clients.
- Calculate costs for billings or commissions.
- Prepare financial reports to monitor client or corporate finances.
- Supply the latest price quotes on any security, as well as information on the activities or financial positions of the corporations issuing these securities.
- Identify potential clients, using advertising campaigns, mailing lists, or personal contacts.
- Relay buy or sell orders to securities exchanges or to firm trading departments.
- Read corporate reports and calculate ratios to determine best prospects for profit on stock purchases.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Desktop computers
- Notebook computers
- Personal computers
- Tablet computers
- Wearable computing devices — Mobile computing devices
Technology used in this occupation:
- Compliance software — Regulatory agency compliance software
- Customer relationship management CRM software — CSI Complex Systems ClientTrade
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software ; FundCount Web
- Desktop communications software — ADP/Vantra VOLTS; Imagine Software Imagine Trading System
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Financial analysis software — AnalyzerXL software; Bloomberg Professional; Thomson Reuters Tradeweb; Trading Blox software (see all 12 examples)
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Graphics software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Detailed Work Activities
- Gather customer or product information to determine customer needs.
- Process sales or other transactions.
- Identify potential customers.
- Monitor market conditions or trends.
- Maintain records of sales or other business transactions.
- Prepare sales or other contracts.
- Calculate costs of goods or services.
- Explain technical product or service information to customers.
- Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.
- Contact current or potential customers to promote products or services.
- Review accuracy of sales or other transactions.
- Estimate costs or terms of sales.
- Analyze market conditions or trends.
- Explain financial information to customers.
- Customize financial products or services to meet customer needs.
- Identify investment opportunities or strategies.
- Electronic Mail — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 73% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 53% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 57% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 52% responded “Important results.”
- Deal With External Customers — 70% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 44% responded “More than half the time.”
- Level of Competition — 46% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Time Pressure — 31% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 35% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 40% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Letters and Memos — 55% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 33% responded “Very serious.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|12||High school diploma or equivalent|
Interest code: EC
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents.
Employment data collected from Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents.
Industry data collected from Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents.
|Median wages (2015)||$34.40 hourly, $71,550 annual|
|Employment (2014)||342,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Faster than average (9% to 13%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||91,400|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.