Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents
41-3031.00

Buy and sell securities or commodities in investment and trading firms, or provide financial services to businesses and individuals. May advise customers about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, commodities, and market conditions.

Sample of reported job titles: Broker, Corporate Bond Trader, Financial Consultant, Financial Services Representative, Investment Advisor, Investment Representative, Investment Specialist, Investment Trader, Personal Banker, Stock Broker

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Make bids or offers to buy or sell securities.
  • Monitor markets or positions.
  • Agree on buying or selling prices at optimal levels for clients.
  • Keep accurate records of transactions.
  • Buy or sell stocks, bonds, commodity futures, foreign currencies, or other securities on behalf of investment dealers.
  • Complete sales order tickets and submit for processing of client-requested transactions.
  • Report all positions or trading results.
  • 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.
  • Determine customers' financial services needs and prepare proposals to sell services that address these needs.
  • Sell services or equipment, such as trusts, investments, or check processing services.
  • Identify opportunities or develop channels for purchase or sale of securities or commodities.
  • 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.
  • Contact prospective customers to present information and explain available services.
  • 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.
  • Offer advice on the purchase or sale of particular securities.
  • Evaluate costs and revenue of agreements to determine continued profitability.
  • Explain stock market terms or trading practices to 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.
  • Supervise support staff and ensure proper execution of contracts.
  • Relay buy or sell orders to securities exchanges or to firm trading departments.
  • Negotiate prices or contracts for securities or commodities sales or purchases.
  • Prepare and send requests for price quotations to all companies in a particular market.
  • Price securities or commodities based on market conditions.
  • Purchase or sell financial derivatives for customers.

back to top

Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

back to top

Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Working 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.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Communicating with People Outside the 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.
  • 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.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • 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.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
  • Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
  • Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
  • Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
  • Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer?
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
  • Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
  • Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
  • Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
  • Level of Competition — To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?
  • Consequence of Error — How serious would the result usually be if the worker made a mistake that was not readily correctable?
  • Letters and Memos — How often does the job require written letters and memos?
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?
  • Physical Proximity — To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?

back to top

Experience Requirements

Job Zone

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 real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range
2-4 years of preparation (7.0 to < 8.0)

back to top

Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

back to top

Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • 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.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

back to top

Knowledge

  • Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • 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.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

back to top

Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • 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 that there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • 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).
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • 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).

back to top

Interests

Interest code: ECS
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • 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.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

back to top

Work Values

  • 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.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • 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.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

back to top

Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$30.25 hourly, $62,910 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
466,300 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Slower than average (1% to 5%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
42,500
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

back to top

More Information

Related Occupations

back to top

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.

back to top