Brokerage Clerks

Do you like watching money grow through stocks and other investments? Would you like to help other people earn money through wise investing? Do you have an aptitude for math and stock trends? If so, you may want to look into becoming a brokerage clerk.

What is the job description?

Brokerage clerks handle the administrative and clerical duties behind typical investment transactions, such as bonds, commodities, stocks, securities, and others. They do the legwork behind the scenes to make sure the right transactions occur at the best time, in the most efficient manner possible.

During a typical day as a brokerage clerk, you will likely verify stock transactions, distribute dividends, keep records of daily transactions/holdings, write stock purchase and sale orders, compute transfer taxes, and accept/deliver securities. Because investment markets change rapidly throughout the day, brokerage clerks often have a fast-paced job and need to be able to think quickly and stay on their toes.

Many large employers split their brokerage clerks into different categories based on the specific functions they perform, such as purchase-and-sale clerks, dividend clerks, transfer clerks, receive-and-deliver clerks, and margin clerks. These brokerage clerks focus their time on one specific task and often need to communicate effectively with the other clerks. The investment industry is very much a team-oriented environment and good communication skills are important.

What about education and training?

To qualify for a brokerage clerk job, you need to have at least a high school diploma, and many employers also prefer that you have completed a two- or four-year college degree program. In addition to this basic education, most employers expect to provide on-the-job training until you feel capable of handling the job on your own.

Brokerage clerks often use the most current computer software available. You should be able to use a computer and have the ability to easily learn new programs and systems. Because every firm has different software and its own way of doing things, it’s essential that you become fully versed in your employer’s preferences. You should also have fairly good communication skills.

How much can I expect to earn?

Brokerage clerks make about $38,000 a year on average. If you have little experience and a high school diploma, you will likely not earn as much as someone who has more experience and a college degree. Different companies also vary widely in their pay rates—large, well-known financial companies may pay their clerks more than a smaller company. For maximum job success, you may also want to consider brokerage licensure or certification, which will increase your earning potential dramatically.

What about job outlook?

Unfortunately, electronic streamlining has resulted in a rough market for brokerage clerks. Many of the tasks that used to be done by clerks are now automated and completed by computer. Because many companies are turning to automated and electronic networks, employment of brokerage clerks has experienced a slight decline in growth, which is expected to continue throughout the next decade. This has resulted in a lot of competition for the brokerage clerk jobs that remain, and to be a contender you will need to keep up with the changing industry through education. You may also want to network with your supervisors and coworkers, so that you will be aware when other types of investment job opportunities arise.

What can I do to boost my resume?

The key to a hot brokerage resume is to stay professionally relevant in the rapidly changing brokerage industry, so that employers can see from your resume that you are committed to being up to date. There are two ways to stay relevant: education and skills. If you only have a high school diploma, you may want to consider enrolling in a financial or business degree program at your community college. You may also want to pursue brokerage licensure. In addition to educational goals, you may also want to acquire some new technical skills, like becoming familiar with the latest stock brokerage computer software.