More than 9 out of 10 worked for securities and commodities,
banks, and other finance industries.
Brokerage clerks be may high school or college graduates,
but positions dealing with the public, such as brokerís or sales
assistant and those dealing with more complicated financial
records are increasingly being held by college graduates.
Although a growing economy will result in more financial transactions
that require these workers, the continuing spread of office
automation and the emergence of online trading will result in
slower-than-average growth in employment.
Nature of the Work
Brokerage clerks handle much of the day-to-day operations
of brokerages, performing a number of different jobs with
a wide range of responsibilities; all involve computing and
recording data pertaining to securities transactions. Brokerage
clerks also may contact customers, take orders, and inform
clients of changes to their accounts. Some of these jobs are
more clerical and require only a high school diploma, while
others are considered entry-level positions for which a bachelorís
degree is needed. Brokerage clerks, who work in the operations
departments of securities firms, on trading floors, and in
branch offices, also are called margin clerks, dividend clerks,
transfer clerks, and brokerís assistants.
The brokerís assistant, also called sales assistant, is the
most common type of brokerage clerk. These workers typically
assist two brokers, for whom they take calls from clients,
write up order tickets, process the paperwork for opening
and closing accounts, record a clientís purchases and sales,
and inform clients of changes to their accounts. All brokerís
assistants must be knowledgeable about investment products
so that they can communicate clearly with clients. Those with
a ďSeries 7Ē license can make recommendations to clients at
the instruction of the broker. This license, issued to securities
and commodities sales representatives by the National Association
of Securities Dealers (NASD), allows them to provide advice
on securities to the public.
Brokerage clerks in the operations areas of securities firms
perform many duties to facilitate the sale and purchase of
stocks, bonds, commodities, and other kinds of investments.
These clerks produce the necessary records of all transactions
that occur in their area of the business. Job titles for many
of them depend upon the type of work that they perform. Purchase-and-sale
clerks, for example, match orders to buy with orders to sell.
They balance and verify trades of stock by comparing the records
of the selling firm with those of the buying firm. Dividend
clerks ensure timely payments of stock or cash dividends to
clients of a particular brokerage firm. Transfer clerks execute
customer requests for changes to security registration and
examine stock certificates to make sure that they adhere to
banking regulations. Receive-and-deliver clerks facilitate
the receipt and delivery of securities among firms and institutions.
Margin clerks record and monitor activity in customersí accounts
to ensure that clients make payments and stay within legal
boundaries concerning their purchases of stock.
Technology is changing the nature of many of these jobs.
A significant and growing number of brokerage clerks use custom-designed
software programs to process transactions more quickly. Only
a few customized accounts are still handled manually. Furthermore,
the rapid expansion of online trading reduces the amount of
paperwork because brokerage clerks are able to make trades
Brokerage clerks work in offices. Usually the work flow is
fairly regular; however, when sales activity increases, the
pace can become hectic.
Brokerage clerks generally work a standard 40-hour week,
but, they may work overtime during particularly busy periods.
Most brokerage clerks work in areas that are clean and well
lit, but may be noisy at times.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement
Depending on the job description, brokerage clerks can be
high school or college graduates. Positions dealing with the
public, such as brokerís or sales assistant, and those dealing
with more complicated financial records are increasingly being
held by college graduates.
Brokerage clerk jobs require good organizational and communication
skills, as well as attention to detail. Computer skills also
are important in order to enter and retrieve data quickly.
A Series 7 brokerage license can make a clerk more valuable
to the broker because it gives the assistant the ability to
answer more of a clientís questions and to pass along securities
recommendations from the broker. Before clerks can obtain
a license, however, they must pass the General Securities
Registered Representative Examination (Series 7 exam), administered
by the NASD, and be an employee of a registered firm for at
least 4 months.
Most new employees are trained on the job, working under
the close supervision of more experienced employees. Some
firms offer formal training that may include courses in telephone
etiquette, computer use, and customer service skills.
Clerks may be promoted to sales representative positions
or other professional positions within the securities industry.
Some of the larger firms have training programs, especially
for their college graduates, that provide clerks with the
skills they need for advancement.
Brokerage clerks held about 75,000 jobs in 2004. More than
9 out of 10 worked for securities and commodities, banks,
and other finance industries.
Employment of brokerage clerks is expected to grow more slowly
than average for all occupations through the year 2014. Although
a growing economy will result in more financial transactions
and other activities that require these workers, the continuing
spread of office automation will lift worker productivity
and restrict job growth.
With people increasingly investing in securities, brokerage
clerks will be required to process larger volumes of transactions.
Moreover, some brokerage clerks will still be needed to update
records, enter changes into customersí accounts, and verify
transfers of securities. However, the emergence of online
trading and widespread automation in the securities and commodities
industry will limit demand for brokerage clerks in the coming
decade. Some job openings will stem from the need to replace
clerks who transfer to other occupations or stop working;
Median hourly earnings of brokerage clerks were $16.94 in
May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $13.52 and
$21.60. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $11.22 and
the highest 10 percent earned more than $27.11.
Brokerage clerks compute and record data. Other workers who
perform calculations and record data include bill and account
collectors; billing and posting clerks and machine operators;
bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks; order clerks;
Sources of Additional Information
State employment service offices and agencies can provide
information about job openings for brokerage clerks.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07