Stock Broker Degree & Education Requirements
While a stock broker degree is not specifically required, stock broker classes taken during a 4-year degree can prove beneficial to the career. Other stock broker requirements may include work experience, licensure, and particular skill sets.
What Degree Do You Need to Be a Stock Broker?
Although the education requirements for being a stock broker may not formally require a postsecondary degree, most stock brokers need at least a bachelor's degree to obtain the necessary analytical skills for the job. A stock broker degree is typically offered as a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). A stock broker major generally needs to be in an area of business, such as finance or financial services.
It is important while earning their bachelor's degree that students take a number of stock broker classes. These courses that will help them prepare to be a stock broker may cover topics in:
- Portfolio Management
Stock broker education does not typically require a master's degree, but professionals may choose to earn an advanced degree, typically a Master of Business Administration (MBA), for advancement opportunities. Earning an MBA might also lead to a higher salary.
How to Become a Stock Broker
Stock broker requirements generally consist of postsecondary education, experience, and professional licensure. Other stock broker qualifications may include math and analytical skills, decision-making skills, and interpersonal skills to work with customers. Here we take a closer look at some of these additional requirements.
|Degree Required||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Finance, business|
|Other Requirements||Training, licenses|
|Annual Mean Salary (2018)*||$55,076 (for stock brokers)|
|Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)**||6% (for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents)|
Sources: *Payscale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Depending on the position and employer, some firms that hire stock brokers may prefer or require brokers to have professional business experience. This experience may come from working or interning in financial organizations or other businesses.
Some positions may also require some on-the-job training to understand the different services and products available. This training could be ongoing in the form of seminars or conferences to stay updated on current options.
Brokerage firms require stock brokers to obtain government-required licenses that are overseen by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Usually to earn these required licenses, stock brokers must pass the Series 7 -- General Securities Representative Exam. Stock brokers may also pursue a number of other professional licenses or certifications, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification, for additional career opportunities.
Besides the analytical and math skills that are typically acquired during formal education, stock brokers need to learn how to work well with customers. Providing quality customer service is likely important to brokerage firms and can help secure additional clients. It may also prove beneficial for stock brokers to be detail-oriented to notice small changes in the market, and they must be skilled in decision-making to decide what financial action to take.
How to Become a Stock Broker Without a Degree
While stock brokers usually need to obtain a bachelor's degree to have the necessary finance and business knowledge/skills, it is possible to become a stock broker without a degree. Most stock broker positions only require that applicants have the necessary licenses to buy and sell stocks. However, some positions may require prior work experience, so those without a degree may need to begin their careers as stock broker trainees or interns.