Summary Report for:
41-3031.03 - Securities and Commodities Traders
Buy and sell securities and commodities to transfer debt, capital, or risk. Establish and negotiate unit prices and terms of sale.
Sample of reported job titles: Broker, Corporate Bond Trader, Equity Trader, Fixed Income Director, Fixed Income Trading Vice President, Investment Trader, Option Trader, Options Trader, Securities Lending Trader, Trader
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Make bids or offers to buy or sell securities.
- Monitor markets or positions.
- Agree on buying or selling prices at optimal levels for clients.
- Buy or sell stocks, bonds, commodity futures, foreign currencies, or other securities on behalf of investment dealers.
- Report all positions or trading results.
- Identify opportunities or develop channels for purchase or sale of securities or commodities.
- Devise trading, option, or hedge strategies.
- Track and analyze factors that affect price movement, such as trade policies, weather conditions, political developments, or supply and demand changes.
- Inform other traders, managers, or customers of market conditions, including volume, price, competition, or dynamics.
- Receive sales order tickets and inspect forms to determine accuracy of information.
- Review securities transactions to ensure conformance to regulations.
- Supervise support staff and ensure proper execution of contracts.
- Develop or maintain supplier or customer relationships.
- Analyze target companies or investment opportunities to inform investment decisions.
- Prepare financial reports, such as reviews of portfolio positions.
- Process paperwork for special orders, including margin or option purchases.
- Report deficiencies in account payments, securities deliveries, or documentation requirements to avoid rule violations.
- Reconcile account-related statements, such as quarterly or annual statements or confirmations.
- Write or sign sales order confirmation forms to record or approve security transactions.
- Identify or pursue investment strategies related to the green economy, including green hedge funds, renewable energy markets, or clean technology investment opportunities.
- Buy, sell, or trade carbon emissions permits.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Desktop computers
- Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
- Scanners — Computer data input scanners
- Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — The MathWorks MATLAB
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access
- Development environment software — Microsoft Visual Basic
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Financial analysis software — Bloomberg Professional; BondDesk Group Trader WorkStation; Triple Point Commodity XL; Web-based trading systems (see all 11 examples)
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Object or component oriented development software — C++ ; Oracle Java ; R
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Operating system software — Linux ; UNIX
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- 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.
- 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.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- 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.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- 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.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- 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.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- 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 Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- 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.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- 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.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Detailed Work Activities
- Negotiate prices or other sales terms.
- Develop professional relationships or networks.
- Monitor market conditions or trends.
- Maintain records of sales or other business transactions.
- Prepare sales or other contracts.
- Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.
- Review accuracy of sales or other transactions.
- Sell products or services.
- Reconcile records of sales or other financial transactions.
- Arrange delivery of goods or services.
- Analyze market conditions or trends.
- Supervise sales or support personnel.
- Identify investment opportunities or strategies.
- Share sales-related or market information with colleagues.
- Monitor sales activities.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 99% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 94% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 86% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 89% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 81% responded “Very important results.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 76% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 81% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 64% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Time Pressure — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 84% responded “Every day.”
- Level of Competition — 52% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Consequence of Error — 64% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Physical Proximity — 24% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 33% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Deal With External Customers — 31% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 51% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 30% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 32% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 44% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Letters and Memos — 31% responded “Never.”
|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, teachers, 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.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- 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.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- 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.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- 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.
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.