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Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents

Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents

Overview
Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Experience

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

Education

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Job Training

Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Examples

Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.

Buy and sell securities or commodities in investment and trading firms, or provide financial services to businesses and individuals. May advise customers about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, commodities, and market conditions.

Salary Salary

Salary at 10th Percentile: $36K
Salary at 25th Percentile: $45K
Median Salary: $64K
Salary at 75th Percentile: $116K
Salary at 90th Percentile: $208K

Demand
Career Demand by State Career Demand by State Legend
Core Tasks

Make bids or offers to buy or sell securities.

Monitor markets or positions.

Agree on buying or selling prices at optimal levels for clients.

Keep accurate records of transactions.

Buy or sell stocks, bonds, commodity futures, foreign currencies, or other securities on behalf of investment dealers.

Complete sales order tickets and submit for processing of client-requested transactions.

Report all positions or trading results.

Discuss financial options with clients and keep them informed about transactions.

Interview clients to determine clients' assets, liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, tax status, or financial objectives.

Determine customers' financial services needs and prepare proposals to sell services that address these needs.

Sell services or equipment, such as trusts, investments, or check processing services.

Develop financial plans, based on analysis of clients' financial status.

Identify opportunities or develop channels for purchase or sale of securities or commodities.

Review all securities transactions to ensure accuracy of information and conformance to governing agency regulations.

Contact prospective customers to present information and explain available services.

Devise trading, option, or hedge strategies.

Supervise support staff and ensure proper execution of contracts.

Track and analyze factors that affect price movement, such as trade policies, weather conditions, political developments, or supply and demand changes.

Inform other traders, managers, or customers of market conditions, including volume, price, competition, or dynamics.

Offer advice on the purchase or sale of particular securities.

Relay buy or sell orders to securities exchanges or to firm trading departments.

Evaluate costs and revenue of agreements to determine continued profitability.

Explain stock market terms or trading practices to clients.

Calculate costs for billings or commissions.

Prepare financial reports to monitor client or corporate finances.

Supply the latest price quotes on any security, as well as information on the activities or financial positions of the corporations issuing these securities.

Technology Skills
Technology
Example
Hot Technology
Accounting software
Sage 50 Accounting
Analytical or scientific software
The MathWorks MATLAB
Business intelligence and data analysis software
IBM Cognos Impromptu
Calendar and scheduling software
Scheduling software
Compliance software
Regulatory agency compliance software
Customer relationship management CRM software
Salesforce software
Data base user interface and query software
Microsoft Access
Desktop communications software
Imagine Software Imagine Trading System
Development environment software
Microsoft Visual Basic
Electronic mail software
IBM Notes
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
Oracle PeopleSoft Financials
Financial analysis software
Sales analysis software
Graphics or photo imaging software
Graphics software
Internet browser software
Web browser software
Object or component oriented development software
R
Office suite software
Microsoft Office
Operating system software
UNIX
Presentation software
Microsoft PowerPoint
Project management software
Microsoft SharePoint
Spreadsheet software
Microsoft Excel
Transaction server software
Customer information control system CICS
Web page creation and editing software
LinkedIn
Word processing software
Microsoft Word
Tools Used
Tool
Example
Communications Devices and Accessories
Multi-line telephone systems
Computer Equipment and Accessories
Laptop computers
Office machines and their supplies and accessories
10-key calculators
Top 10 Knowledge Required
Economics and Accounting
81%
Importance

Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

Customer and Personal Service
80%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

English Language
78%
Importance

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Mathematics
76%
Importance

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Sales and Marketing
75%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

Computers and Electronics
65%
Importance

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Administration and Management
61%
Importance

Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Clerical
61%
Importance

Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Law and Government
57%
Importance

Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Education and Training
50%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Top 10 Skills
Active Listening
79%
Importance

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking
79%
Importance

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension
78%
Importance

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking
78%
Importance

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Persuasion
74%
Importance

Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Judgment and Decision Making
72%
Importance

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Social Perceptiveness
68%
Importance

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Mathematics
67%
Importance

Using mathematics to solve problems.

Writing
67%
Importance

Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Active Learning
65%
Importance

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Top 10 Abilities
Oral Comprehension
80%
Importance

The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Deductive Reasoning
79%
Importance

The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Oral Expression
79%
Importance

The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Written Comprehension
78%
Importance

The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Inductive Reasoning
75%
Importance

The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Speech Recognition
75%
Importance

The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Problem Sensitivity
74%
Importance

The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Speech Clarity
74%
Importance

The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Written Expression
72%
Importance

The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Information Ordering
69%
Importance

The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Top 10 Work Activities
Interacting With Computers
88%
Importance

Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Getting Information
87%
Importance

Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
84%
Importance

Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Analyzing Data or Information
82%
Importance

Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems
82%
Importance

Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Processing Information
82%
Importance

Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
81%
Importance

Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
80%
Importance

Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
79%
Importance

Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
79%
Importance

Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Detailed Work Activities

Negotiate prices or other sales terms.

Monitor market conditions or trends.

Maintain records of sales or other business transactions.

Sell products or services.

Prepare sales or other contracts.

Process sales or other transactions.

Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.

Gather customer or product information to determine customer needs.

Explain financial information to customers.

Develop proposals for current or prospective customers.

Identify investment opportunities or strategies.

Develop professional relationships or networks.

Customize financial products or services to meet customer needs.

Review accuracy of sales or other transactions.

Explain technical product or service information to customers.

Contact current or potential customers to promote products or services.

Analyze market conditions or trends.

Share sales-related or market information with colleagues.

Analyze business or financial data.

Calculate costs of goods or services.

Estimate costs or terms of sales.

Monitor sales activities.

Supervise sales or support personnel.

Coordinate activities with suppliers, contractors, clients, or other departments.

Negotiate purchases or contracts.

Gather information in order to provide services to clients.

Purchase products or services.

Majors
Major
Financial Planning and Services
Investments and Securities
Business and Personal/Financial Services Marketing Operations
Interests
Enterprising
99%
Importance

Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Conventional
71%
Importance

Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Social
43%
Importance

Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Investigative
27%
Importance

Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Artistic
22%
Importance

Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Realistic
21%
Importance

Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Top 10 Work Styles
Integrity
92%
Importance

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Dependability
91%
Importance

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail
90%
Importance

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Stress Tolerance
89%
Importance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

Initiative
87%
Importance

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Persistence
85%
Importance

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Achievement/Effort
84%
Importance

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Analytical Thinking
84%
Importance

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Independence
82%
Importance

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Adaptability/Flexibility
81%
Importance

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Work Values
Achievement
74%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions
74%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Independence
73%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Relationships
68%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Recognition
64%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Support
64%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.