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Occupation Information

Sales Agents, Securities and Commodities
SOC Code: 41-3031.01

Buy and sell securities in investment and trading firms and develop and implement financial plans for individuals, businesses, and organizations.

Sample of reported job titles: Account Executive, Financial Consultant, Financial Representative, Investment Advisor, Investment Consultant, Investment Executive, Investment Representative, Investment Specialist, Registered Representative, Stock Broker

Tasks

  • Keep accurate records of transactions.
  • Complete sales order tickets and submit for processing of client-requested transactions.
  • Interview clients to determine clients' assets, liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, tax status, or financial objectives.
  • Discuss financial options with clients and keep them informed about transactions.
  • Develop financial plans, based on analysis of clients' financial status.
  • Review all securities transactions to ensure accuracy of information and conformance to governing agency regulations.
  • Inform and advise concerned parties regarding fluctuations or securities transactions affecting plans or accounts.
  • Review financial periodicals, stock and bond reports, business publications, or other material to identify potential investments for clients or to keep abreast of trends affecting market conditions.
  • Offer advice on the purchase or sale of particular securities.
  • Contact prospective customers to determine customer needs, present information, or explain available services.
  • Analyze market conditions to determine optimum times to execute securities transactions.
  • Explain stock market terms or trading practices to clients.
  • Prepare documents needed to implement plans selected by 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.
  • Identify potential clients, using advertising campaigns, mailing lists, or personal contacts.
  • Relay buy or sell orders to securities exchanges or to firm trading departments.
  • Read corporate reports and calculate ratios to determine best prospects for profit on stock purchases.

Technology Skills

  • Compliance software - Regulatory agency compliance software
  • Customer relationship management CRM software - CSI Complex Systems ClientTrade
  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software ; FundCount Web
  • Desktop communications software - ADP/Vantra VOLTS; Imagine Software Imagine Trading System
  • Electronic mail software - Email software
  • Financial analysis software - AnalyzerXL; Bloomberg Professional; Thomson Reuters Tradeweb; Trading Blox (see all 12 examples)
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Graphics software
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Object or component oriented development software - C++ ; Oracle Java ; Python
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Desktop computers
  • Notebook computers
  • Personal computers
  • Tablet computers
  • Wearable computing devices - Mobile computing devices

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service - 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.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Sales and Marketing - 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management - 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.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Skills

  • Active Listening - 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 - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Problem Sensitivity - 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 Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Information Ordering - 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).
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Interests

  • Interest code: EC
    • Enterprising - 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 - 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.

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail - 91% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 91% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 73% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 85% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 53% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 57% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 52% responded “Important results.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 70% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 50% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 44% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Level of Competition - 46% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Time Pressure - 31% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 35% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 40% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Letters and Memos - 55% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Consequence of Error - 33% responded “Very serious.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
67%Bachelor's degree
13%Post-baccalaureate certificate
12%High school diploma or equivalent

Work Styles

  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Independence - 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 - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

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

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $30.66 hourly, $63,780 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 376,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 38,000

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