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Job Photographs

  • A man is sitting at a desk, using a computer and speaking on the phone.

    Commodity brokers buy and sell contracts for their customers, usually using a computer system. Brokers need to have number skills, computer skills and good communication skills.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, looking at two computer screens and speaking on the phone.  He is pointing to something on one of the screens.

    Contacting a colleague by phone, to ask them to trade on the floor of the London Metal Exchange.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, typing on a computer keyboard.  There are two computer screens in front of him.  Mounted high up on the office wall is a large TV screen, showing the news.

    Writing a market report for the sugar market. Brokers need to keep up to date with all the financial and industrial news relevant to their sector.

  • Tall office blocks and a view of the building known as The Gherkin in London.

    Commodity brokers work in the City of London financial district.

  • People are standing and sitting around a large circle of red seats.  Some are talking and some have their arms raised.  Some are talking on mobile phones.  There is a large logo on the floor in the centre of the circle.

    Some brokers still trade face to face on the floor of the London Metal Exchange.

  • Commodity Broker

Commodity Broker

Introduction

Commodity brokers buy and sell contracts for commodities on behalf of their clients. They try to negotiate a transaction that will give their client the most favourable terms available. Commodities include financial products as well as basic goods such as oil and gas, metals or wheat.

Also known as

  • Broker, Commodity
  • Commodity Trader

Work Activities

As a Commodity Broker, you will buy and sell contracts for your clients. You will need negotiation skills as you will need to find the best possible price for your client!

The term 'commodities' is used to describe things like metals, petroleum and financial products. Some examples of these are:

  • precious metals - gold, silver and platinum
  • base metals - copper, zinc, tin and lead
  • energy - crude oil and natural gas
  • financial products - gilts, bonds and interest rate contracts
  • foods - cocoa, coffee, sugar and wheat
  • plastics

Firstly, you will talk to your client and see which commodity they would like to buy. You will then communicate with other Commodity Brokers or the public and try and get the most profitable deal. The seller may be international or in the UK.

You will usually specialise in one or two commodities and have lots of knowledge about them. This career involves carrying out lots of research into these commodities from online or press articles so you have the best knowledge for your client.

In some cases, Commodity Brokers might visit the country from which the commodity originates in order to carry out quality checks.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Commodity Broker, you'll need to be:

  • able to cope with pressure, long hours and a hectic working environment
  • confident, decisive and energetic
  • able to retain the confidence of your clients
  • intuitive, quick-witted and alert

Languages can be an advantage. English is the global language of the major exchanges, but communicating with clients in their own language can be a significant advantage in gaining new business.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate:

  • Starting: £40,000 - £50,500
  • With experience: £58,000

Salaries are generally increased by performance-related pay and bonuses.

Hours of work

Typically, a Commodity Broker’s working week is 37.5 hours, Monday to Friday, but many work longer hours and at weekends.

Hours of work also depends on the type of commodity you will specialise in. This is because Foreign Exchange for the commodities are different.

Where could I work?

The work of Commodity Brokers is centred on the international exchanges in the City of London, which act as market-places for worldwide commodity dealings. Banks or securities houses also employ Brokers. Other employers are large manufacturers with their own Broking departments.

Opportunities for Commodity Brokers occur with employers located in London, as the major financial centre of the UK.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in national newspapers, on financial job boards and on employers' websites. Applicants can also write speculatively to Broking firms.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

To become a Commodity Broker, you will need a degree in a related subject. This includes a degree in economics or foreign languages, which could be useful for this career.

Other relevant subjects you could consider include science, engineering or agriculture. Some entrants might have a postgraduate qualification.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Training

Training is traditionally carried out on-the-job. New recruits sometimes begin work in a support role. They usually spend time moving around various departments.

New entrants must pass an exam that is recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority, to become a registered Commodity Broker. For example, the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) offers the certificate in commodity derivatives.

An approved higher (level 4) qualification is required for Commodity Brokers giving investment advice to clients.

Examples include the CISI investment advice diploma and the investment management certificate, plus the first level of the chartered financial analyst qualification, from the CFA Society of the UK.

Further study could lead to a qualification such as the CISI masters in wealth management.

Work Experience

Previous experience within a financial environment will be really useful for this career.

Progression

Commodity Brokers can progress by handling larger accounts and by moving to larger organisations. Promotion to Senior Manager and Director posts is possible.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

Working as a Commodity Broker in securities is an exception to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that you must supply information to an employer about any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, if they ask you to.

This is different from other careers, where you only have to reveal information on unspent convictions if you are asked to.

Qualifications

For entry to a degree course, the usual requirement is:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects

You are likely to need English and maths at GCSE grade C/4 or above.

Alternatives to A levels include:

  • BTEC level 3 qualifications
  • the International Baccalaureate Diploma

However, course requirements vary, so please check college/university websites very carefully

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Further Information

Professional institutesProfessional institutes have the following roles:

  • To support their members.
  • To protect the public by keeping standards high in their professions.

For more information on the institute(s) relevant to this career, check out the contacts below.

Recruit.co.uk

Publisher: Financial Skills Partnership (FSP)

Address: 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ

Tel: 0845 2573772

Email: directions@financialskillspartnership.org.uk

Website: www.directions.org.uk/careers

Financial Skills Partnership (FSP)

Skills for the financial, finance and accountancy sectors

Address: 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ

Tel: 0845 2573772

Email: info@financialskillspartnership.org.uk

Website: www.financialskillspartnership.org.uk

Inside Careers

Specialists in graduate careers

Address: Unit 6, The Quad, 49 Atalanta Street, Fulham, London SW6 6TU

Tel: 020 7565 7900

Website: www.insidecareers.co.uk

Getting into Business & Economics Courses

Author: Carly Roberts Publisher: Trotman

Website: www.prospectseducationresources.co.uk/products/9781911067382.html

London Institute of Banking and Finance

Address: 8th Floor, Peninsular House, 36 Monument Street, London EC3R 8LJ

Tel: 020 7444 7111

Email: customerservices@ifslearning.ac.uk

Website: www.ifslearning.ac.uk

CFA Society of the UK

Tel: 020 7648 6200

Email: info@cfauk.org

Website: www.cfauk.org

Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI)

Address: 8 Eastcheap, London EC3M 1AE

Tel: 020 7645 0600

Email: clientservices@cisi.org

Website: www.cisi.org

Career Guide 2011

Publisher: CFA Society of the UK

Website: viewer.zmags.com/publication/c9b3ceea#/c9b3ceea/1

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

Croeso i Gyrfa Cymru

Dewiswch iaith

Cymraeg

Welcome to Careers Wales

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