Securities Sales Person Career Advancement and Certification

finance3Advancement and certification

Certification is not always required, but in enhances a professional standing, boost employment chances and is usually recommended by employers. The Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional body that can offer certification. Applicants for this certification must possess a bachelor’s degree and 4 years work experience. They must also take 3 exams, which requires hundreds of hours of self study. Applicants can sit for the exam while acquiring the required working experienced.

Investment brokers and advisors can advance as they get more experience, certification and accumulate more accounts. They can advance to become portfolio managers, supervisors, branch office managers and other management positions.

Most Common Securities Certifications

Series 87
Series 7
Series 66
Series 65
Series 63
Series 6

See also – What are Securities Exams

Employment Opportunities

As of 2008, there were 317,200 security agent jobs. 49% of that figure was employed in the security and commodity market related with financial investments. 15% worked as self employed workers. Most of the main investment banks and security sales firms are located around the New York metropolitan area. Relatively smaller investment firms can be seen in other cities, but the concentration remains in New York because of the proximity with the stock exchange and banking operations.

Job prospects for security sales agents

By 2018, available jobs in this industry are expected to have increased by about 9%. The growth rate is just about the same as the average growth rate expected in other industries. However, competition is also expected to be keen as there would always be more applicants seeking jobs than the number of available jobs. Recent global recession and consolidation of the financial industry is expected to inhibit growth rate. Industry consolidation is also expected to duplicate tasks among workers and lead to increased cases of layoffs.

The recent economic problems and the volatile state of the commodity and stock market has resulted in several job loses and cut backs. New entry level agents with some experience may find it easier to gain employment in smaller firms as against large firms. A good degree from a renowned university or college would boost one’s chances of employment. A master’s degree of CFA certification would also be an advantage.


As of May 2008, the median wage and salary for financial services and securities sales agents were $68,680 annually. The average 50% of those employed earned between $40,480 and $122,270.

Median wage range for financial services and securities sales agents based on industries (2008)

Non-depository credit intermediation

Activities related to credit intermediation

Management of companies and enterprises

Security and commodity intermediation and brokerage

Other financial investment activities

Many workers within these industries are paid commissions based on the volume of financial products that they sell. Some firms offer a flat base wage supplemented by commissions. New entrant trainees are usually based on wages that is gradually decreased and substituted with commissions as the broker gets more clients. Many firms also use a bonus system to motivate and reward hard work and excellence.  Sales agents also enjoy further benefits in the industry including retirement benefits, health care, and discounts on the security products they sell, plus paid dinners, travel expenses and lunches with clients.

Other occupations related to security sales person

  • Loan officers
  • Insurance sales agents
  • Financial analysts
  • Personal finance advisors
  • Real estate brokers


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