Everything you need to know about being a trader: job, study, salary

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What is the job of a trader?

The job of a trader consists of dealing with financial risks, especially buying and selling stocks, bonds or currencies. Particularly intense and effervescent, the trader’s activity requires a constant reactivity in order not to miss anything of the market fluctuations. Placing themselves at the heart of international trade, the trader anticipates risks and masters all the components of the economy, notably through advanced notions of mathematics, statistics and computer science.

At the heart of the intensity of the trading rooms, the trader works on behalf of a bank or a company wishing to generate profit, depending on the evolution of the international markets. Thus, it gauges, fixes and negotiates transactions, often in a very limited time frame. Each of its actions is validated by security gateways: the middle office and the back office. Most often located in major cities (where stock exchanges are located), traders can also work on their own as day traders (selling and buying shares in one day).

What are the studies to become a trader?

The trader’s job has a high level of responsibility and requires a significant amount of study in order to be effective in his duties. In order to acquire the necessary skills for the position, the trader must complete a minimum of 5 years of study after the baccalaureate, in addition to other training, in particular a cycle in financial risk management. There is no single path to success. Several examples can be cited to illustrate the type of training required:

  • Engineering degree with additional training in finance
  • Specialized and professional Master of Science in fields such as management, finance, mathematics, banking, law and statistics
  • Diploma from the Grande Ecole program
  • Master MBFA – Money, banking, finance, insurance
  • IEP diploma in finance
  • MS expert in banking and financial engineering

In short, the job requires a solid theoretical background as well as significant experience in the banking or stock market field. Finally, an adapted professional training is essential to validate one’s knowledge and to be able to finally start working in a front office.

What training should I do at INSEEC to become a trader?

In order to meet the growing demand for experts in the field of trading and asset management, INSEEC has created the Master of Science in Financial Markets and Trading. The program is designed for students with 3, 4 or 5 years of higher education, and prepares them to master multiple and complementary disciplines, such as

  • Market Finance
  • Financial analysis
  • VBA and statistical tools
  • Portfolio management of financial assets
  • Mandatory contracts
  • Financial engineering and venture capital

In order to enrich its traditional base, the school offers new disciplines deeply rooted in modern finance. Thus, at the heart of the training, you will find innovative elements:

  • Big data
  • Fintech
  • Smart contracts
  • Stochastic simulations
  • Behavioural Finance

Students practice new methodologies and are regularly put into practice in an authentic trading room within the school. The student is thus placed at the heart of concrete cases, in order to prepare him/herself as well as possible for the reality of the market. With 15 years of experience and evolution, the program is a reference in the field and has a network of more than 500 alumni who have proven themselves in the industry. With certification from the Financial Markets Authority during the program, this is the most comprehensive training for a successful trading education.

What does a trader earn?

A trader’s salary is highly variable and depends on several factors. In particular its level of seniority, its establishment of activity, its location…
His remuneration consists of a fixed base to which are added bonuses related to the profits obtained. These can be as much as 8 times the initial salary.

In concrete terms, a junior trader starts at a salary of between 4000 and 6000 net per month. The average annual net salary for the profession is around 70,000 euros, excluding bonuses which can amount to tens of thousands of euros.

What are the career paths for a trader?

Particularly intense and stressful, the trader’s activity can evolve over the course of his career. On average, a trader’s position is held for 15 years before migrating to another activity, often consulting. This is a fact to be taken into account and to be considered as soon as you take up your position.

In concrete terms, in view of his or her experience, all the professions in finance and the stock market are open to him or her. His sharp knowledge of the market allows him to apply for any type of position related to this sector. If, of course, he doesn’t want to change his path completely.

Two types of orientation are available to him:

  • Specialize in asset management
    • raw materials
    • currency
    • Treasury bills
    • energies
    • actions
  • Go for jobs related to finance or the stock market
    • financial analyst
    • fund manager
    • market maker
    • portfolio manager
    • corporate treasurer
    • order execution controller

Other courses are also available in finance at INSEEC.

Feel free to consult the other questions asked about Finance

Updated 2 August 2023