An Overview of Current Stock Broker Education Requirements

Stock broker education requirements will give you the necessary training to succeeding and becoming very profitable in this profession.

Stock broker education requirements consists of a bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions at brokerage firms to start out.

Then prospects must pass the Series 7 and Series 63 licensing exams both administered by FINRA to become a Registered Representative (i.e. stockbroker).

They can take these exams while interning/training at a firm.

With further licensing and training, they can also provide advice to investors and manage portfolios as a financial advisor who earn a higher income.

 Stock Broker Education Requirements

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate of securities, commodities, and financial services is expected to rise by 10% during the period 2014-2024.

There are areas in the nation where stockbrokers earn a considerable amount more than the national average. These areas are mainly in major financial districts and on the east coast like New York.

Stock Broker Education Requirements

Although a specific degree path is not required, it’s recommended you pursue an undergraduate degree in either economics, finance, accounting or business. Also, receiving a Masters of Business Administration will give you a better chance at attaining promoted positions at a firm.

Once you’ve obtained a degree, seeking internships (preferably paid) at various brokerage firms will give you hands-on experience as you’ll be trained by an experienced professional.


In order to become a licensed stockbroker in the United States, you’ll need to pass licensing exams. This will test your knowledge and determine whether or not you meet stock broker education requirements.

The complex nature of markets make it important for stockbrokers to pass certain examinations in order to equip them with relevant knowledge. Here’s a comprehensive list of exams that prospects will need to pass to become stockbrokers.

List of Licensing Exams:

  • Series 7: This is the toughest exam amongst other available securities test (view Series 7 Exam Pass Rate). It covers each and every type of individual and packaged securities. Work ethics and securities regulations are also covered. If you clear this test you’ll become a General Securities Registered Representative.
  • Series 63: This is a comparatively easier test than the series 7 exam. It covers blue-sky laws and is necessary to be passed if you want to transact business in future. Here you’ll find the Series 63 Pass Rate.
  • Series 65: By clearing this exam you become a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). This exam is necessary to being a financial advisor which typically increases pay. Becoming an RIA will allow you to earn fees on Assets Under Management (AUM).
  • Series 66: This exam can be considered to be a combination of both Series 63 and Series 65 examination.
  • Series 3: If you are willing to sell commodities futures contracts, then passing the Series 3 examination is mandatory for you.
  • Series 31: You will need to pass this test before selling managed future funds. It’s generally obtained in lieu of the Series 3 certification.

Passing all these tests is not very difficult if you study hard. Their aim is to check the knowledge quotient of each aspirant in terms of the relevant field. It’s believed that if you pass these tests, you’re knowledgeable enough to start away with your work and transact business.

On-The-Job Training

A training program is provided by firms where you get a detailed idea of the available financial products and other relevant information. This training period can extend up to six months, which is enough to make you aware about the working techniques and grow your practical knowledge as a professional.

Continuing Education Requirements

Finally, once you’re a fully-fledged stockbroker, FINRA requires all registered representatives to take Continuing Education (CE) courses called the Regulatory Element.

Specifically for Series 7 License holders the S101: General Program for Series 7 Registered Persons is required. You must take this computer-based training course within 120 days of your second anniversary of registration. After which, it must be taken every three years.

Receiving all the necessary stock broker education requirements is not easy in the United States, and it takes quite a bit of commitment. However, acquiring the relevant degrees along with passing the securities examinations could mean a very profitable career down the road.

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