Stockbrokers buy and sell company shares and other tradeable financial instruments. Employment is with financial institutions such as banks, or specialist brokers who represent private clients.
A stockbroker must register with the Financial Services Authority, and is regulated by them.
This is a highly competitive industry full of very driven employees. Working hours are very long, but pay is extremely good.
Brokers can be found nationwide, but there is naturally a concentration in and around the City of London, arguably the busiest financial market in the world. Leeds is the UK's second biggest financial centre and there is a concentration of posts here too.
Entry into the profession is usually as a graduate trainee with a good degree, and progression comes with experience and specialism. When recruiting employers usually go through agencies. They are looking for a quick mind, excellent numeracy and an ability to analyse and interpret complex documents and reports.
A graduate starting salary is likely to be in the region of £25,000 to £35,000. An more experienced stockbroker can easily earn £45,000 to £55,000, but the real reward for performance and experience comes in the form of an annual bonus. For experienced stockbrokers doing a high number of big deals that bonus can be in six figures.