Occupation Profile for Brokerage Clerks

Perform clerical duties involving the purchase or sale of securities. Duties include writing orders for stock purchases and sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, tracking stock price fluctuations, computing equity, distributing dividends, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.


Significant Points

  • More than 9 out of 10 brokerage clerks worked for securities and commodities firms, banks, and other establishments in the financial services industry.
  • High school graduates qualify for many of these positions, but many workers now hold associate or bachelor’s degrees.
  • Good prospects are expected for qualified jobseekers as employment grows and as existing brokerage clerks advance to other occupations.


$36,390.00 Median Annual Wage 4,000 Average Job Openings Per Year
4.0 Average Unemployment Percentage 24.4 Percentage That Completed High School
73,000 Employment Numbers in 2006 44.6 Percentage That Had Some College
88,000 Employment Numbers in 2016 (est.) 31.0 Percentage That Went Beyond College Degree

Sample Job Titles
Account Administrator
Assistant, Broker
Assistant, Portfolio
Client Administrator
Client Service Associate
Coupon Clerk
Dividend Clerk
Information Clerk Brokerage
Margin Analyst
Margin Clerk
Operations Clerk
OTC Clerk (Over the Counter Clerk)
Quotation Checker
Quotation Clerk
Registered Account Administrator
Registered Sales Assistant
Sales Assistant
Securities Clerk
Stock Clerk
Telephone Quotation Clerk
Transfer Clerk

  • These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include funeral directors, electricians, forest and conservation technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree. Some may require a bachelor's degree.
  • Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers.

Most brokerage clerks learn their jobs through a few months of on-the-job training and experience. Once they have worked in the firm for a few years, many clerks advance to sales representative or broker positions.

Education and training. Some brokerage clerk positions require only a high school diploma, but graduates from 2- and 4-year college degree programs are increasingly preferred. Positions dealing with the public, such as broker’s or sales assistant, and those dealing with more complicated financial records are especially likely to require a college degree.

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. They may also offer training programs to help clerks study for the broker licensing exams.

Licensure. Licenses are not strictly required for most brokerage clerk positions, but a Series 7 brokerage license can make a clerk more valuable to the broker. This license gives the holder the ability to act as a registered representative of the firm. A registered representative has the right to answer more of a client’s questions and to pass along securities recommendations from the broker. In order to receive this license, a clerk must pass the General Securities Registered Representative Examination (Series 7 exam), administered by FINRA, and be an employee of a registered firm for at least 4 months.

Other qualifications. Brokerage clerk jobs require good organizational and communication skills, as well as attention to detail. Computer skills are extremely important, as most of the work is done by computer. An aptitude for working with numbers is also very helpful, as is a basic knowledge of accounting.

Advancement. Clerks may be promoted to sales representative positions or other professional positions within the securities industry. Employment as a brokerage clerk may also be a stepping-stone into a position as a broker.

Nature of Work

For a typical investor, buying and selling stock is a simple process. Often, it is as easy as calling a broker on the phone or entering the trade into a computer. Behind the scenes, however, buying and selling stock is more complicated, involving trade execution and a fair amount of paperwork. While brokers do some of this work themselves, much of it is delegated to brokerage clerks.

Brokerage clerks perform a number of different tasks with a wide range of responsibilities. Most involve computing and recording data pertaining to securities transactions. Brokerage clerks may also contact customers, take orders, and inform clients of changes to their accounts. Brokerage clerks work in the operations departments of securities firms, on trading floors, and in branch offices. Technology has had a major impact on these positions over the last several years. 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.

A broker’s assistant, also called a sales assistant, is the most common type of brokerage clerk. These clerks typically assist a small number of brokers, for whom they take client calls, write up order tickets, process the paperwork for opening and closing accounts, record a client’s purchases and sales, and inform clients of changes to their accounts. All broker’s assistants must be knowledgeable about investment products so that they can communicate clearly with clients. Those who are licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) can make recommendations to clients at the instruction of the broker. (Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents are discussed elsewhere in the Handbook. )

Brokerage clerks in the operations areas of securities firms perform many duties to help the sale and purchase of stocks, bonds, commodities, and other kinds of investments. They also produce the necessary records of all transactions that occur in their area of the business. Purchase-and-sale clerks 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 handle the receipt and delivery of securities among firms and institutions. Margin clerks record and monitor activity in customers’ accounts to ensure that clients make payments and stay within legal boundaries concerning their purchases of stock.

Work environment. Brokerage clerks work in offices and on trading floors, areas that are clean and well lit but which may be noisy at times. The workload is generally manageable but can become very heavy when the market fluctuates rapidly. Brokerage clerks generally work a standard 40-hour week, but they may work overtime during particularly busy periods.

Related Occupations

Sources: Career Guide to Industries (CGI), Occupational Information Network (O*Net), Occupation Outlook Handbook (OOH)

Median annual earnings of brokerage clerks were $36,390 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $29,480 and $46,030. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,590 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $57,600.

For the latest wage information:

The above wage data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey program, unless otherwise noted. For the latest National, State, and local earnings data, visit the following pages:

  • Brokerage clerks
  • Job Outlook

    The job outlook for prospective brokerage clerks is good. As the securities industry grows, the number of clerks will increase. Opportunities will be abundant relative to other securities industry occupations, due to advancement of other clerks and job growth.

    Employment change. Employment of brokerage clerks is expected to grow by 20 percent during the 2006-16 decade, which is faster than the average for all occupations. With more people investing in securities, brokerage clerks will be required to process larger volumes of transactions. Moreover, regulatory changes have resulted in more legal documentation and recordkeeping requirements. Demand will be tempered, however, by continually improving technologies that allow increased automation of many tasks. Further, clerks are often seen as reducing profits, since they do not bring in customers, making them particularly prone to layoffs. Because of intense competition, especially among discount brokerages, companies must continually focus on cutting costs, meaning that many responsibilities formerly handled by clerks are now handled by the brokers themselves.

    Job prospects. Because brokerage clerks are often entry-level workers, many opportunities will result from the advancement of other clerks. Prospects will be good for qualified workers. New entrants who have strong sales skills and an aptitude for understanding numbers will have the best opportunities. While not required, a 4-year degree can also be very helpful.


    Brokerage clerks held about 73,000 jobs in 2006. More than 9 out of 10 worked for securities and commodities, banking, and other financial industries.

    • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
    • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
    • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
    • Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
    • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
    • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
    • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
    • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
    • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
    • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
    • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
    • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
    • Explosive Strength — The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
    • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
    • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
    • Supplemental — Prepare reports summarizing daily transactions and earnings for individual customer accounts.
    • Supplemental — Verify ownership and transaction information and dividend distribution instructions to ensure conformance with governmental regulations, using stock records and reports.
    • Core — Correspond with customers and confer with coworkers to answer inquiries, discuss market fluctuations, and resolve account problems.
    • Core — Record and document security transactions, such as purchases, sales, conversions, redemptions, and payments, using computers, accounting ledgers, or certificate records.
    • Core — Schedule and coordinate transfer and delivery of security certificates between companies, departments, and customers.
    • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
    • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
    • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
    • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
    • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
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