How to Become a Trader

Become a Trader

In our review of different careers, we take a look at how to become a trader.  We also examine what a trader does and what skills and attributes you need to become a successful trader.

What Does a Trader Do?

A trader buys and sells shares in the stock market on behalf of their investors.  Working as a trader is somewhat similar to working as a stockbroker, however, while a stockbroker might work with individuals and numerous small clients, a trader will usually only work for large investment firms and will invest based on the advice of portfolio managers.

As a trader,  your day to day activities might include executing trades and making investments, liaising with clients to discuss their various options, analysing the current market and providing clients with advice, issuing quotes to clients based on the current market prices, providing reports.

Your job as a trader will usually be working long hours, usually between 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.  Your working hours might vary if you work with other markets (such as Asia) due to international time differences.

Is Becoming a Trader Right For Me?

To become a trader you will need the following skills and attributes:

  • The ability to remain calm under pressure
  • A confident manner
  • The ability to make decisions under pressure and be accountable for those decisions
  • Good maths and IT skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong drive and determination

How Much Can a Trader Earn?

The starting salary for a trader is likely to be around £24,000 a year.  With experience you could earn anywhere between £45,000  and £80,000 a year and you may well also receive bonuses that would bring your salary in excess of £100,000 a year.  This is an industry where your pay relates directly to your skills.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Become a Trader?

To become a trader you will usually be required to have a degree in some relevant subject such as finance, maths or business.  It is possible to work your way up to becoming a trader if you can show evidence of relevant experience within the financial sector.