How to Become a Stock Broker in 4 Simple Steps

What is a Stock Broker?

Stock brokers are trained, licensed professionals who buy and sell orders for stocks and securities. They do some work over the counter but most transactions are done through the stock market.

Although stock brokers may be referred to as investment advisors, Forbes states that advisors advise while brokers are the ones buying and selling. Continue reading and learn how to become a stock broker.

Broker dealers are also called Registered Representatives. Some of their duties include the following.

• Researching and monitoring the financial markets
• Consulting investment analysts
• Analyzing company’s financial holdings and make recommendations on potential buys or sells
• Monitoring clients’ investments and reporting back to them
• Buying and selling commodities and securities

Stock brokers do not deal with just buying and selling securities like stocks and bonds but also deal with the sale and purchase of commodities like gold, oil or corn. Stock brokers, who are listed under the category of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents, are expected to see a job growth of 10 percent from 2014-2024 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If you’re interested in learning how to become a stock broker, this article answers every question you may have.

Work Environment

Working for fees, commission or both, stockbrokers may work for a brokerage company or may work independently and for specific clients. While the broker may make deals over the phone, most do their business on computers because the trades can take place much faster. Therefore, most stock brokers can wheel and deal from behind a desk and seldom have to work on the actual exchange floor.

Working as a stock broker can be very stressful because you’re working for others and trying to either make them money or not lose their money. The work is very fast-paced and often requires sticking with it until the transaction is complete. Therefore, stock brokers seldom work just 40 hours per week. In fact, many have to work almost round the clock evenings and weekends.

Top Skills Required of Stock Brokers

Stock brokers may be working to earn a salary but are basically working for others and must be diligent in and knowledgeable in how the stock market works. Whether they’re working independently or as part of a brokerage firm, they must possess the following qualities.

• Must be a positive thinker – We all know you win some and you lose some. Stock brokers have to think positive and not allow themselves to become depressed if they lose a sale or lose money for a client.
• Ability to make a game plan and stick with it – Most stock brokers have a certain “game plan” they use when buying and selling stocks and bonds. They must be willing to stick with their plan and not get scared at the first sign of a change in the stock market. However, they must also be able to adjust accordingly if necessary.
• Must have confidence – A successful stock broker must have confidence in his or her ability to make the right decision and must not second guess themselves.
• Must have knowledge of the stock market – One cannot become a successful stock broker overnight. They must study and watch the stock market and become familiar with its trends. While somethings cannot be predicted, other things can be predicted.
• Must be flexible – Whether working for a company or on their own, stock brokers deal with all kinds of clients and must be flexible in their thinking and how they do business.

what is a stock broker

Becoming a Stock Broker

Step 1: High School Requirements

High School Courses for Stock Brokers

Becoming a stock broker involves education, training and obtaining licensure. Individuals who know they want to become stock brokers at a young age can begin their education as early as high school. High school students should take classes in finance and accounting to help them learn about working with money.

Many may also want to take speech or a class that gives them experience speaking with others because a stock broker spends a lot of his or her day talking with clients. Microsoft Excel is typically used when working with money and figures so students may want to become proficient in Excel. Knowledge of networking can also be beneficial to stock brokers because so much of broking is done on computers and over the Internet.

Formal Education Requirements

Most entry-level jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree in finance or a similar field. Earning a bachelor’s degree also ensures that you have the basic training needed to become a successful stock broker. Even though you may have a bachelor’s degree, you many still receive a lot of on-the-job training because most firms want their stock brokers to work as a team and all be on the same page so to speak.

Some employers may require a master’s degree in business with concentrations in finance, accounting, economics or related fields. Large firms often require their brokers have master degrees. Having a master’s degree also improves your changes for advancements and wage increases. reports that stock brokers earned a median salary of $60,542 as of February 2017. Master degree holders can typically earn higher wages. Earning a master degree in business (MBA) often requires students to participate in internships, which gives them experience working in large finance and in high-stress situations – the type that would be found in a real-world environment.

Step 2: Get an Undergraduate Degree

Bachelor of Science in Finance 4 years


General Education Requirements (45 Credits)

  • English Composition I
  • English Composition II
  • Quantitative Reasoning & Problem Solving
  • Applied Finite Mathematics
  • The Heart of Mathematics
  • Precalculus
  • Applied Calculus I
  • Applied Calculus II
  • Mathematical Proof and Problem Solving
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Applied Statistics

Core Courses (62 Credits)

  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making
  • Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy
  • Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy
  • Corporation Finance
  • Effective Writing: Business Writing
  • Intermediate Financial Management
  • Investment and Portfolio Analysis
  • Basic Management Concepts
  • International Finance
  • Introduction to Business Information Systems
  • Strategic Management and Business Policy
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Principles of Marketing
  • Social, Legal, and Ethical Environment of Business
  • Financial Statements and Management Decisions
  • Money and Banking
  • Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis
  • Business Forecasting Techniques
  • Managerial Economics
  • Techniques of Calculus I
  • Econometric Techniques
  • Elementary Statistics

Electives (9 Credit hours)

  • International Finance
  • Private Wealth Management
  • Mortgage Finance
  • Derivative Securities
  • Corporate Valuation and Financial Strategy
  • Real Estate Management and Development
  • Level 1 Intense Review
  • Quantitative Methods in Finance
  • Student Managed Investment Fund

The cost of a bachelor degree in finance program is $34,080- $75,240.

Most bachelor degree programs take four years to complete and require a minimum of 120 semester credit hours. Depending on the school, some programs may require up to 180 credit hours. Admission requirements may vary by school, but most require that students meet the high school course requirements. Additionally, they must meet the score requirements for both the high school GPA and the ACT score.

Step 3: Get a Graduate Degree (Optional)

Master’s Degree in Finance program 1-2 years

Finance master degree programs generally take one to two years to complete provided you already have a bachelor’s degree and requires completion of approximately 33 semester credit hours. Finance or business master degree programs are very competitive so applicants must meet specific admission requirements. A GMAT may be required depending on the school.

You’ll have to show proof you’ve completed a bachelor degree program and have a cumulative GPA of about 2.750 on a 4.000 scale. You may also be required to submit a portfolio showing entrance exam scores, work experience and prior academic performance as well as letters of recommendation. Again, this may vary by school.


  • Quantitative Methods in Finance
  • Analysis of Financial Markets
  • Financial Accounting Theory and Reporting Problems
  • Current Issues in Corporate Finance
  • On-campus residency
  • Multinational Managerial Finance
  • Speculative Markets
  • Financial Decision Processes
  • Portfolio Theory and Policy
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Research in Security Valuation

The cost of a master’s degree in finance program is $36,900 – $66,500.

Step 4: Get Licensed

Before you can work as a stock broker, you must become licensed, and this can be accomplished by passing the General Securities Registered Representative (Series 7) exam through the Financial Industry Regulatory Advisory. This 250-question test costs $305 and must be completed in 4 hours.

Series 63 and Series 65 exams may also be required depending on the state in which you reside. Series 63 is a 60-question exam that must be completed in 75 minutes, and Series 65 is a 130-question exam that must be completed in 3 hours. Continuing education must be completed to maintain licensure.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Stock Broker and How Much Does it Cost?

Option 1 : Bachelor’s Degree

Degree Time Cost
Bachelor’s 4 years$34,080- $75,240
Total 4 years$34,385- $75,545

Option 2 : Master’s Degree

DegreeTime Cost
Bachelor’s 4 years $34,080- $75,240
Master’s2 years to 3 years$36,900- $66,500.
Total6 years to 7 years$71,285- $142,045

Stock Broker Training Video

Noel Griffith, Ph.D.
Noel Griffith is a Doctor of Philosophy with a strong interest in educational research. He has been an editor-in-chief of since 2014. Noel is an avid reader (non-fiction), enjoys good food, live theatre, and helping others make wiser career decisions.

One Response

  1. If you have an undergraduate college degree and you are an old man who wants to get a stock broker license in new York city what’s the quick and easy way of getting it done? Thanks Abe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Find a School Near You
Try our FREE award-winning tool to find the best schools in your area.


Try Our Free Tool

Find Schools Near You