Is becoming a stock trader right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

Overview
What do stock traders do?
Career Satisfaction
Are stock traders happy with their careers?
Personality
What are stock traders like?

Still unsure if becoming a stock trader is the right career path? to find out if this career is in your top matches. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a stock trader or another similar career!

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How to become a Stock Trader

To become a stock trader, there are no strict requirements, however a Bachelor's Degree in Finance or Accounting is helpful. College students thinking about becoming a trader can get internships at brokerage firms to learn more about the ins and outs of the job.

Most companies that hire stock traders put their employees through an extensive training program. Some traders get their start by helping other traders on a trading floor, and by initiating trading accounts.

Traders will need to take exams and complete certain license requirements. The licensing requirements are enforced by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Different licenses are required depending on job specifics:

  • A Series 7 General Security Sales License to sell most types of securities
  • A Series 3 exam enables traders to deal in commodities futures contracts
  • A Series 63 License is needed for state laws for securities sales
  • A Series 8 license is for traders who supervise sales and manage branch activities

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's (FINRA) website has more information on licensing.