A person looking to become a broker trainee will need to have great interpersonal skills and a strong work ethic. Getting accepted into a broker trainee program is extremely competitive and anyone looking to become a broker trainee should have a bachelor's degree, preferably in business, finance, economics or accounting. For a person who is still pursuing an undergraduate degree, the most efficient way to become a broker trainee is to acquire an internship with a financial firm that has a broker trainee program. Upon successfully completing the internship, aspiring candidates will have an advantage over other candidates as brokerage firms want to hire individuals who already have an understanding of the securities industry and documented experience.
In the event that an aspiring candidate has already graduated from college, the next best course of action may be to apply to brokerage firms that offer on-the-job training. These firms will often sponsor new employees for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority® (FINRA) Series 7 examination. This examination allows an individual to become a General Securities Registered Representative, which is the basic license one needs to become a stock broker. Without this license it will be impossible to become a broker trainee, and any admission into a training program will be short lived if the Series 7 examination is not passed within a reasonable amount of time. Many firms allow candidates looking to become a broker trainee four to six months to complete the exam.
As the competition for brokerage jobs is high, it is often a good idea to pass a variety of securities examinations that do not require sponsorship from a brokerage firm. For example, individuals can take the Series 63 Uniform Securities State Law Examination and the Series 65 Uniform Investment Advisor Law Examination, both administered by the North American Securities Administrators Association® (NASAA®), without being sponsored by a brokerage firm. Successfully passing these two exams will position anyone looking to become a broker trainee in a positive light as it shows potential employers that the candidate is committed to the securities industry and took the initiative to take the exams independently.
Upon becoming a broker trainee, individuals can expect a competitive work environment with strenuous schedule requirements. Those who are successful in their quest to become a broker trainee will be subjected to 12 hour workdays and a barrage of financial information. In addition to a stressful workload, a broker trainee will also be responsible for fulfilling the needs of experienced senior stockbrokers.