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Job Photographs

  • A man is sitting at a desk in an office.  He is speaking on a telephone.

    Many negotiations are conducted over the phone.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, reading the 'Financial Times' newspaper.  There is a computer on the desk.

    It is important to keep up to date with market trends.

  • Two men and a woman are sitting in an office, talking.

    Meeting other dealers.

  • A man is standing at a desk in an office.  He is looking at a large computer screen.

    Market makers use computer systems to keep track of the latest prices.

  • Scott is a Trader (Dealer). Check out our videos to hear more about his story

  • Trader



Traders buy and sell stocks and shares (securities) on the Stock Exchange on a day-to-day basis. They create a marketplace for the buying and selling of shares and try to make a profit by selling above the price at which they were bought.

Also known as

  • Trader - Financial Markets
  • Stocks and Shares Dealer
  • Market Maker
  • Dealer
  • Financial Trader
  • Flow Trader
  • Sales Trader

Video: - Scott: Trader

Work Activities

As a Trader, you will specialise in buying and selling stocks and shares, or 'securities' as they are known. You'll try to make a profit by selling securities above the price at which they were bought, or buying at a lower level than they sold.

You will decide prices by studying the supply of, and demand for, securities. Then you will try to predict how the markets will move, and then buy and sell accordingly.

Bad news about the fortunes of a company is likely to reduce demand for its shares, and you could be forced to lower the price. A shortage of a particular security means that you could raise the price to attract sellers.

Prices are based on demand and supply of a security plus other factors such as your own view as a Trader, after doing research.

Dealers who wish to trade contact Traders to start negotiations. Although most of these negotiations are conducted over the telephone, meeting other Dealers is also very important as it is essential to keep well informed.

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 Trader, you'll need to be able to:

  • make quick, accurate judgements
  • analyse large amounts of information
  • work to deadlines
  • work unsupervised

Personality, relevant work experience and a flair for the job are just as important as qualifications.

Pay and Opportunities


The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £26,500 - £29,000
  • With experience: £32,000 - £38,500
  • Senior Traders earn £44,500 - £50,000

Salaries are generally increased by performance-related pay and bonuses. Other benefits could include private health care, gym membership, medical insurance, and life and pension cover.

Hours of work

Typically, Traders work from 7 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, in an extremely pressured environment.

Where could I work?

Employers are market-making firms. These are often part of larger financial organisations made up of banks, stockbrokers and investment advisers.

Opportunities for Traders occur in London, the major financial centre in the UK.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (

Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.

Take a look at our General Information Article 'Finding Work Online'.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

Larger companies that are members of the London Stock Exchange usually prefer graduates. Your degree subject is not always important, although a degree in a business- or economics-related subject might give you an advantage. Many employers ask for at least a 2:1 degree. Some people enter with a postgraduate qualification.

Personal qualities are equally as important as academic qualifications for market making.

Some entrants have worked as Investment Analysts or Stockbrokers.

A good place to start is studying for an Institute of Financial Services (IFS) level 3 diploma in financial studies. You will need to find a college that offers this subject.


Entrants receive on-the-job training and, if they give investment advice to retail clients, must pass an exam that is recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

If you would like some training, you could study for the investment management certificate from the CFA Society of the UK. This has two units, which are the investment environment and investment practice. Each unit has different aspects you will need to complete - take a look at the website for more details.

You could also study for the investment advice diploma from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI). A list of exams is published on the FCA website (in the Appropriate Qualification tables in the FCA Handbook).

Further study for relevant professional exams and postgraduate qualifications, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA UK) or the CISI masters in wealth management, is possible.


Traders can progress to senior and management posts, and by moving to larger organisations.

Work Experience

Knowledge of the securities industry is important. Some applicants have developed relevant skills by working in accountancy, economics, banking or insurance.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

Working as a Dealer 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.


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

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

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.


Knowledge of the securities industry is important. Some applicants have developed relevant skills by working in accountancy, economics, banking or insurance.

Access courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree course, a college or university Access course (for example, Access to Business) could be the way in. No qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Distance learning

Relevant professional qualifications are available by distance learning from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) and the CFA Society of the UK.

Further Information

Publisher: Financial Skills Partnership (FSP)

Address: 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ

Tel: 0845 2573772



Financial Skills Partnership (FSP)

Skills for the financial, finance and accountancy sectors

Address: 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ

Tel: 0845 2573772



Inside Careers

Specialists in graduate careers

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

Tel: 020 7565 7900


Getting into Business & Economics Courses

Author: Carly Roberts Publisher: Trotman


London Institute of Banking and Finance

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

Tel: 020 7444 7111



CFA Society of the UK

Tel: 020 7648 6200



Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI)

Address: 8 Eastcheap, London EC3M 1AE

Tel: 020 7645 0600



Career Guide 2011

Publisher: CFA Society of the UK


People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales



Croeso i Gyrfa Cymru

Dewiswch iaith


Welcome to Careers Wales

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