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Securities and Commodities Traders
SOC Code: 41-3031.03

Buy and sell securities and commodities to transfer debt, capital, or risk. Establish and negotiate unit prices and terms of sale.

Sample of reported job titles: Broker, Corporate Bond Trader, Equity Trader, Fixed Income Director, Fixed Income Trading Vice President, Investment Trader, Option Trader, Options Trader, Securities Lending Trader, Trader

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.
  • Buy or sell stocks, bonds, commodity futures, foreign currencies, or other securities on behalf of investment dealers.
  • Report all positions or trading results.
  • Identify opportunities or develop channels for purchase or sale of securities or commodities.
  • Devise trading, option, or hedge strategies.
  • 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.
  • Receive sales order tickets and inspect forms to determine accuracy of information.
  • Review securities transactions to ensure conformance to regulations.
  • Supervise support staff and ensure proper execution of contracts.
  • Develop or maintain supplier or customer relationships.
  • Analyze target companies or investment opportunities to inform investment decisions.
  • Prepare financial reports, such as reviews of portfolio positions.
  • Process paperwork for special orders, including margin or option purchases.
  • Report deficiencies in account payments, securities deliveries, or documentation requirements to avoid rule violations.
  • Reconcile account-related statements, such as quarterly or annual statements or confirmations.
  • Write or sign sales order confirmation forms to record or approve security transactions.
  • Identify or pursue investment strategies related to the green economy, including green hedge funds, renewable energy markets, or clean technology investment opportunities.
  • Buy, sell, or trade carbon emissions permits.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Data base user interface and query software - Microsoft Access
  • Development environment software - Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Financial analysis software - Bloomberg Professional; BondDesk Group Trader WorkStation; Triple Point Commodity XL; Web-based trading systems (see all 11 examples)
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Object or component oriented development software - C++ ; Oracle Java ; R
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software - Linux ; UNIX
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Transaction server software - Customer information control system CICS

Tools Used

  • Desktop computers
  • Laser fax machine - Laser facsimile machines
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Photocopiers - Photocopying equipment
  • Scanners - Computer data input scanners
  • Special purpose telephones - Multi-line telephone systems

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • 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.
  • Clerical - 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • 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.

Abilities

  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • 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.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • 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 Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

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 - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 99% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Telephone - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 98% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 94% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 86% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 89% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 81% responded “Very important results.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 76% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 81% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 64% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Time Pressure - 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Level of Competition - 52% responded “Extremely competitive.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 57% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Consequence of Error - 64% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Physical Proximity - 24% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 33% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 31% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 51% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 38% responded “Very important.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 32% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 44% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Letters and Memos - 31% responded “Never.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
55%Bachelor's degree
12%High school diploma or equivalent
12%Post-secondary certificate

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • 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.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

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

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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