The path to become a commission broker requires successfully passing a series of licensing exams to demonstrate knowledge of the rules and regulations surrounding the securities industry. Many nations have regulatory authorities that design and administer these examinations, and the specific requirements to become a commission broker can vary between countries. In addition, some brokers seek a college education, although this is not required. Having a degree, however, might open up more job opportunities in the securities industry.
High school students who have an interest in securities might want to take more math and economics classes and could consider going to college for a degree in this field. Many educational institutions offer finance degrees. While in college, a student who plans to become a commission broker can seek out internships and jobs in the financial industry. Firms often offer summer positions, and it might be possible to get part-time work during the school year.
Internships can offer some advantages to a student who wants to become a commissions broker. Among them are experience in the industry and the chance to see whether securities trading is really the career that the student wants. Another is a chance to build professional connections. Some firms might offer full-time employment to former interns after they graduate or could provide references that might be useful on job applications. Interns also can build personal relationships with people in the securities industry, and these could be valuable in the future.
Study guides are available for the broker examination, and it is possible to take short courses to go over the material. College graduates who have internship histories might be hired on a provisional basis by employers who could fund their studies while they prepare for the broker exam. Other firms might hire people directly out of high school and mentor them while they get ready to take the test to become a commission broker.
Test-takers generally pass if they answer at least 70 percent of the questions correctly. After passing the examination to become a commission broker, it is possible to start working for a firm, accepting commissions for securities deals. With more experience, a broker can begin to build a client base and might be able to renegotiate commissions percentages, benefits and other terms of employment. An established broker who has a loyal customer following has more leverage in these negotiations, because a firm might be eager to keep the broker's customers on its books.