An investment broker may be referred to by a number of titles including stock broker, securities sales agent, registered representative or the old-fashioned customer's man or woman. The primary function of these financial professionals is facilitating the purchase or sale of securities such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and limited partnerships for their clients. Investment brokers typically work in a high-stress environment and are well compensated for their services, according the the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The median income for all investment brokers as of May 2009 was $91,390, according to the BLS. Many investment brokers are paid on a commission basis, and their income reflects the amount and type of transactions they complete. This can result in a wide income range, from less than $30,000 to more than $118,000 per year.
Investment brokers may work in a number of different types of occupational fields, which can significantly affect their income. Investment brokers working in the metals and minerals industry earned an annual mean income of $176,730, while those involved in farm products earned $112,470 as of May 2009.
New York state employs the most investment brokers per capita in the United States, but those working in Connecticut earn the highest mean wage in the country at more than $161,000. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut metropolitan area has the highest concentration of investment brokers in the country with more than one percent of the workforce employed in the investments brokerage industry. Brokers in that metropolitan area also enjoy the highest mean annual income at $171,740.
Wages account for less than 70 percent of an investment broker's total compensation, according to Salary.com. Paid time off accounts for an additional 8.8 percent, and employer contributions to private and government retirement and pension plans add another 12 percent. The remainder of compensation comes from employer contributions to health and disability insurance and cash bonuses.
The growth in job opportunities for investment brokers is expected to expand at about the same rate as the economy as a whole between 2008 and 2018, according to the BLS. Competition for those jobs is expected to be intense. The BLS expects the best prospects for employment to be with smaller, regional firms. Candidates with advanced degrees in finance, or industry credentials, should have an advantage when competing for these positions.