Brokerage clerks work for firms that buy and sell securities; they are responsible for writing orders, verifying transactions and keeping records of activities involving stocks, bonds, and other types of investments. If you’re interested in breaking into the securities field, becoming a brokerage clerk can be a good first step – starting with enrolling in a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting degree program.
According to national data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2011, employment for brokerage clerks is projected to remain steady through 2018, however a growing job rate may not guarantee employment in the industry. Prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research regarding actual job growth rates, which vary according to location, education and experience.
Brokerage clerks support the work of stock and securities brokers in investment and finance firms. One of the main job duties performed by brokerage clerks is preparing orders of stock purchases or sales. They may also interact with clients to answer inquiries, resolve account problems and discuss market conditions.
Using their financial and accounting skills, brokerage clerks track stock prices, compute equity transfer taxes, and distribute dividends. They also record and document purchases, sales, conversions, redemptions and other security transitions, and coordinate the transfer and delivery of stock certificates to clients.
Brokerage clerks are often required to monitor daily stock prices in order to compute the need for additional collateral to secure loans. These finance professionals will typically track and prepare the many forms required of securities firms, such as transmittal forms, sales receipts, withdrawal orders and transfer confirmations, based on requests from clients and stockholders.
To contribute to the firm’s efficient operation, brokerage clerks will also prepare daily and weekly reports summarizing transactions and earnings for client accounts. They may verify ownership and transaction information, along with dividend distribution instructions, and maintain compliance with government regulations. Computing total holdings, dividends and interest, taxes, fees and commissions are additional common activities for brokerage clerks.
Brokerage clerks usually work in office settings. A 40-hour week is typical, but depending on the employer, overtime may be required.
According to a 2010 national survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, the average annual salary for brokerage clerk was $42,640, while the middle 50% earned between $32,540 and $50,140. The lowest 10% earned approximately $26,640, while those in the highest 10% bracket brought in around $61,340 per year. Because salary potential may vary depending on location, education and experience, prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research to determine actual earning potential.
Entry-level brokerage clerk positions may not require a degree; however, since breaking into the financial field can be challenging, advanced education and knowledge could be a competitive advantage. Some employers show preference to candidates who have earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting, or who have brokerage experience, which can be obtained through summer employment or internships while pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
After four months of employment with a registered firm, a brokerage clerk may sit for the Series 7 brokerage license exam from the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). Upon earning this license, brokerage clerks may take on additional responsibilities, such as passing on advice or recommendations from brokers to clients. Earning the Series 7 license may also position a brokerage clerk for additional finance career possibilities.
Laying the groundwork for a brokerage clerk career may begin with earning a BA in Accounting. Coursework typically includes principles of accounting, auditing, strategic management and applied decision methods for business.
Employers can be confident that individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting are able to:
Some employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It may be possible to gain an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree and use a tuition assistance program to earn an MBA in Accounting and Finance, which can further advance your career possibilities.
Achieving success as a brokerage clerk in the high stakes world of finance takes drive and determination, along with a solid base of business and financial knowledge. Additional skills required in this field include excellent verbal and written communication, critical thinking, and mathematical aptitude. By earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting, you can gain the critical knowledge and skills required to establish a career as a brokerage clerk in the exciting world of finance.