Tens of millions of Americans hold investments in the stock market, but only a tiny fraction of these people are allowed to directly buy and sell stocks on an exchange. These people are known as stock brokers. To become a stock broker, a person must pass an exam, known as the Series 7 exam, and receive a license. A stock broker can work part time, but the vast majority of stock brokers are full-time employees.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most stock brokers are employed full-time by brokerages or other financial services companies. Because stock brokers execute trades on behalf of clients, they must be available whenever the stock exchange is open.
Some brokers are paid a flat salary, but many are paid commission. The more trades a broker executes, the more the trader will be paid. A broker who works part time would be unable to earn the kind of commissions made by full-time brokers.
There are two main types of brokers: full service and no frills. A full-service broker executes trades and offers financial advice. A no-frills broker executes trades. It would be far easier to be a part-time no-frills broker, as these brokers are relatively interchangeable. One broker could fill a client's order for half of the day and another for the second half, with no appreciable decline in service.
Traders vs. Brokers
The term "stock broker" and "stock trader" are often used interchangeably. However, these positions are different. A stock broker executes trades exactly as a client instructs him to. While a broker may offer financial advice, it is the client who decides which stocks to buy and sell. A trader, whether trading for himself or another party, has far greater discretion in how to invest the money; traders choose the stocks. Brokers are required to have licenses. A trader can only place an order through a broker. It is easier for a trader, particularly a self-employed one, to work part time.