Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents
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Overview
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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.
Titles for this career often contain these words
TraderSalesBrokerRepresentativeFinancialInvestmentSpecialistBankerAccountManagerAgentServicesSecuritiesBondSpeculatorStockExecutiveBusinessRelationshipConsultantAdvisorAssociateMarketLeaderBranchServiceCommoditiesCommodityFixedIncomeTradingFloorGrainOperatorFundOfficerMutualOilPersonalBankSavingsBlockCharteredAnalystCFAClientCorporateCottonCustomerDayDealerEnergyEquitiesEquityFieldMarketingFinanceReportFiscalDirectorVicePresidentFlowForeignExchangeForexFuturesHedgeHybridDerivativesInsideInvestmentsLoanMakerMinePromoterMiningMoneyMunicipalFundsLeaseOnlineOptionOptionsOutsideProgrammaticProprietaryQuantitativeRegisteredRetailProfessionalAdviserLendingSelectStockbrokerTrustWholesale
Education
About 72% of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents have bachelor's degrees than 80% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents, with 442,400 workers, form a larger workforce than 90% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents are expected to grow by 4%, and should have about 44,600 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents are less likely to be automated than 86% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents earn.
$62K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250K
Gender
Women account for 30% of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents -- that's a smaller percentage than 57% of other jobs.
Gender of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents, the median men's salary was 34% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 16% of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents are minority, and 13% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (13%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (73%)
  • Consequence of Error (61%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (33%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (31%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries. This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents (BLS Salary Data)
$62K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$62K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents (ACS Salary Data)
$65K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$65K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250K
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $72KAll jobs' median $45K$68K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents.
Employers of Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents (ACS)
Private for-profit (87.9%)
Private not-for-profit (1.7%)
Local government (0.1%)
State government (0.2%)
Federal government (0.3%)
Self-employed incorporated (4.0%)
Self-employed not incorporated (5.6%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$65K$68K$43K$64K$61K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000$200,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$62K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000$200,000$250,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$75K$68K$69K$76K$37K$68K$75K$53K$67K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
010K20K30K40K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents and gender

With 30% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 57% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
30%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents
Men (70%)
Women (30%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

The median (middle) salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%, and the difference for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents tops that, with the median salary for men 34% higher than the median salary for women.

$55K$74K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men. Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents have one of the more significant inequity issues, with the increase in men's median salary over women's median salary even higher than that for 86% of other jobs.

34%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a smaller percentage of minority securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents than for 70% of other careers. The percentage of foreign-born workers in this career is near the middle of all careers.

Race/origin of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents
White (83% )
Asian (7% )
Black (6% )
Multiracial (2% )
Other (1% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
16%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
13%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$47K$48K$57K$65K$68K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KOtherBlackMultiracialAsianWhite
Distribution: Salaries for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents by nativity
$62K$66K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 6% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 71% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
6%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents is shown following.

$21K$65K$0$50K$100K$150KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents typically hold a bachelor's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents

Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents generally must have a bachelor’s degree to get an entry-level job. Courses in business, finance, accounting, or economics are important, especially for larger firms. Many firms hire summer interns before their last year of college, and those who are most successful are offered full-time jobs after they graduate.

Numerous agents eventually get a master’s degree in business administration (MBA), which is often a requirement for high-level positions in the securities industry. Because the MBA exposes students to real-world business practices, it can be a major asset for jobseekers. Employers often reward MBA holders with higher level positions, better compensation, and large signing bonuses.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents

Brokers and investment bankers must register as representatives of their firm with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). To obtain the license, potential agents must pass a series of exams.

Many other licenses are available, each of which gives the holder the right to sell different investment products and services. Traders and some other sales representatives also need licenses, although these vary by firm and specialization. Financial services sales agents may need to be licensed, especially if they sell securities or insurance. Most firms offer training to help their employees pass the licensing exams.

Agents who are registered with FINRA must attend continuing education classes to keep their licenses. Courses consist of computer-based training on legal requirements or new financial products or services.

Although not always required, certification enhances professional standing and is recommended by employers. Brokers, investment bankers, and financial services sales agents can earn the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification, sponsored by the CFA Institute. To qualify for this certification, applicants need a bachelor’s degree or 4 years of related work experience and must pass three exams, which require several hundred hours of independent study. Applicants also must have an international passport. Exams cover subjects in accounting, economics, securities analysis, financial markets and instruments, corporate finance, asset valuation, and portfolio management. Applicants can take the exams while they are getting the required work experience.

Education attained by securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents? Below we see the distribution of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents salaries based on the education attained.

$34K$45K$50K$52K$75K$87K$106K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KNone (1%)High School (7%)Some College (15%)Associate's/Cert. (5%)Bachelor's Degree (52%)Master's Degree (17%)Professional Degree (2%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

College majors held by securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents

This table shows the college majors held by people working as securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Percentage of Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers

With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.

Financial ManagersAccountants and AuditorsSpecialized ManagersPersonal Financial Adviso...Financial and Investment ...Chief executives and legi...Securities, Commodities, ...Lawyers, and judges, magi...Loan OfficersFirst-Line Supervisors of...Management AnalystsPostsecondary TeachersFirst-Line Supervisors of...Wholesale and Manufacturi...Retail SalespersonsElementary and Middle Sch...Customer Service Represen...Labor Relations Specialis...Marketing ManagersSales ManagersMarket Research Analysts ...Sales Representatives of ...Education and childcare a...Paralegals and Legal Assi...First-Line Supervisors of...Bookkeeping, Accounting, ...Secondary School TeachersSecretaries and Administr...Specialized Social Worker...Educational, Guidance, an...Specialized PsychologistsRegistered NursesFinanceEconomicsGeneral BusinessBusiness Management andAdministrationMarketingPolitical Science andGovernmentAccountingHistoryCommunicationsPsychologyAll other degreesThis jobTop 10 majorsEach major's top ten jobs
What college major is your best entry?

About 72% of people working as securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents have at least a bachelor's degree. Each dot represents a college major leading to these jobs, with the dots to the right representing the majors sending the most of their grads into this career. The dots at the top are the majors who earn the most working in this career.

Darker colors have a larger percentage with graduate degreesOverall median salary0.0%2.0%4.0%6.0%8.0%10.0%12.0%14.0%16.0%18.0%Percentage with this major$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000$140,000$160,000$180,000Median salary with this major
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents

What jobs will most securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales AgentsPersonal Financial AdvisorsFinancial ManagersChief executives and legislatorsLoan OfficersFinancial and Investment Analysts and SpecialistsCustomer Service RepresentativesMarketing and sales managersReal estate brokers and sales agentsSales Representatives of ServicesFirst-Line Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales WorkersRetail SalespersonsWholesale and Manufacturing Sales RepresentativesManagement AnalystsInsurance Sales Agents
Lateral job transitions for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 12 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents as well as 1% of respondents after working as securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Prior and next careers for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.02.04.06.08.0
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?