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What Is Covered in a Stock Broker Certification Program?

Certification programs dedicated to stock broker training prepare you for the Series 7 exam, which is the principal licensing examination in the field. Continue reading to learn what's covered in these programs and what you'll need for professional licensing.

Overview for Becoming a Stock Broker

Although you aren't technically required to have a degree, a postsecondary educational background in finance, business management and economics can serve you well in this competitive industry. The path toward becoming a registered stock broker begins with working for a brokerage firm. After four months of job training, you're prepared for the Series 7 exam.

Important Facts About Stock Brokers

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Work Environment Metropolitan brokerage firm, office, or call center
Median Salary (2019) $54,112*
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)6%** (for all securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents)

Sources: *Payscale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Series 7 Exam

You must pass the Series 7 examination in order to become a stock broker. The exam is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FIRNA), which consists of 250 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately six hours to complete. Once you pass the exam, you can then sell, purchase or solicit options, municipal securities, corporate securities and similar products.

Stock Broker Certification Preparation Programs

Although most Series 7 test preparation is executed through on-the-job training, you may find stock broker preparation programs through certain schools and private financial training organizations. Such courses, offered on-site or online, study the duties and functions of stock brokers. In preparation for the Series 7 exam, you'll need to thoroughly understand the stock market and study numerous investment products, including mutual funds, bonds and stock options. Other areas of test preparation may include:

  • Securities industry and law
  • Trading
  • Investment companies
  • Securities regulation
  • Investment banking
  • Economics
  • Public communication
  • Stock market structure

Additional Certifications

After passing the examination, you can work as a stock broker and build your client base. Additional certifications, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential, can lead to career advancement.