How to Become a Floor Broker

The stock exchange is a very complex entity and a variety of highly skilled and trained professionals are required for its effective and efficient function. Floor brokers are exchange professionals that carry out orders for their firms and clients of the trading floor of the securities exchange.

What does a floor broker do?

Floor brokers (also called pit brokers) receive purchase and sell orders typically via a Teletype machine from the trading department of their firm. They negotiate prices with other floor brokers, complete the sale, and present the purchase price to sales agents. Their main goal is to get the best deal for the firm’s clients. They often assess the volatility and conditions of the market to make sure clients are receiving the best possible rate by determining the best time to execute transactions. Floor brokers must keep detailed records of all deals to present to the firm and its clients. Many floor brokers specialize in a specific type of securities.

What kind of training does a floor broker need?

Floor brokers must have at least a bachelor degree in finance, business, accounting, or other related field. Many employers prefer candidates that have sufficient work experience. Many floor brokers have a Master of Business Administration degree. Many aspiring floor brokers complete internships while pursuing their education to gain practical experience in the field. Most employers provide intensive on the job training to enable new floor brokers to learn the policies, procedures, and products and services offered by their firm. Floor brokers must also register as firm representatives with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Registration requirements include minimum experience and passing an examination. Floor brokers must stay current with new products and services and often complete continuing education and attend seminars and conferences on a regular basis.

What are the prospects for a career as a floor broker?

Employment of floor brokers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 9% from 2008 to 2018 (1).

Job prospects are expected to be good with strong competition. Floor brokers with advanced education, professional certification, and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.

How much do floor brokers make?

As of December 2009, the middle 50% of floor brokers earn annual salaries between $99,912 and $149,282. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $164,601 (2).

A career as a floor broker is a great choice for people with a strong interest in executing orders for clients of the trading floor of the stock exchange. Floor brokers must have a solid understanding of the practices, concepts, and procedures of the stock exchange and the ability to make effective decisions under stress and pressure. Patience, determination, assertiveness, critical thinking, self-confidence, and good negotiation skills are essential characteristics. Floor brokers must be able to deal with a wide variety of personality and work effectively in a fast paced environment.

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