Securities License

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If you are looking to break into the securities industry or work for a broker-dealer, there are certain securities licenses that you should keep in mind.

People who are currently outside the business or graduating from college are well served in this job market to get some license training and completion.


The NASD is the National Association of Securities Dealers. Broker Dealers who are members of the NASD must have their employees licensed based on the job functions of those employees. The NASD is the regulatory authority of the broker dealer industry. There are several licenses that the NASD recognizes to work in the securities industry. Some can be obtained before you enter the business. Other licenses need to be “sponsored” by your employing firm. That means, while you can begin studying for sponsored exams, you can not sit for the actual exams until you are hired. All of the NASD exams (once you are registered)can be taken any day of the week (Mon-Fri) at hundreds of testing centers throughout the country.

Licenses to consider that do not require sponsorship

  • Series 65 – The Series 65 licenses you as a Registered Investment Advisor. This is an excellent designation to get before you enter the job market. The license itself is for financial advising. Giving investment advice on assets you are overseeing for a fee. It looks very strong on a resume and it is only a 130 question multiple choice exam. Even if you are unsure of the area of finance to work in, this license is a plus. Employers will consider any licensing a bonus over other candidates who have not obtained this certification. As I said, it does NOT require company sponsorship. Get this first.
  • Series 63 – The Series 63 covers the Uniform State Law content of the business. The exam is a short test of state laws, registration procedures and terminology. The license is for registered brokers and advisors. Most states require the 63, before representatives can call out of state investors. This license can be obtained on your own and does not require company sponsorship. Brokerage firms will look for this on your resume.
  • Series 3 – The Series 3 exam is specific to the futures and commodities market. It is administered through the NASD testing network, but it is a NFA (National Futures Association) license. Most firms that do not work in this market will not consider this license very important or needed, but if you ever land with a futures firm, you will need it. As with any license, it doesn’t hurt to get it at all.

There are a few other futures tests (Series 30 and 31), but neither needs to be taken unless you are looking to work specifically with futures – commodity related securities.

Securities license designations such as the Series 7 and Series 6 require company sponsorship before sitting for these exams. Get the licenses you can get on your own. Once you are hired, your company will sponsor you for other exams, if required by your company.

Get the edge in your finance career and begin some securities license training. Do what you can to get your resume placed on top of the pile! More on All Broker Licensing Courses

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