A job working with Wall Street has long been popular in the United States, a country known for its wealth through financial investment. Commodities brokers are investment professionals who focus on commodities such as wheat, livestock, gold, oil or other natural resources. They find clients and advise them on when to buy and sell these investments based on prices and the flow of the market. There is a very large range in average salaries for commodities brokers due to many influences on wages.
General Salary Information
The most recent report by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2009, the national average salary of commodities brokers was $91,390 a year. The bottom 10th percentile of wages were reported as being below $29,980. The middle 50 percent of earners made between $39,310 and $188,640 a year. The reason for these huge discrepancies in wages is likely due to the fact that most investment brokers are paid based on commission and are of course affected by the patterns of the stock market. The report does not specify what the top earners in the profession make in wages, but it is common for commodities brokers to make exponentially more money than the national average.
Location of the Firm
As with most jobs, a commodities broker may garner very different salaries depending on the location of the job. As expected, the largest number and concentration of commodities brokers worked in New York in 2009 and earned an average annual wage of $125,500. However, in Utah, the average salary was only $77,240. Kansas, Washington, D.C., and Maine all reported higher-than-average wages ranging from $99,000 to $110,000 a year. However, according to the bureau report, the highest-paying state in the country for commodities brokers was Connecticut, boasting a statewide average salary of $161,110 a year.
Type of Investment Firm
As of 2009, there were over 127,000 brokers working for securities and commodity brokerage firms, earning an average annual salary of $107,400. The second-most-common type of employers are depository credit and intermediation firms, but they only paid $60,240 a year on average. Office administrative services, wholesale electronic markets brokerage firms and farm product raw material wholesalers all paid well above the national average, ranging from $112,000 to $113,420 a year. According to the 2009 Bureau report, the highest-paying industry was metal and mineral wholesalers. They offered a limited number of positions but paid an average of $176,730 a year on average.
While some people may be able to find work as a commodities broker with only a bachelor's degree, most clients as well as hiring firms are more confident in brokers who possess a master's degree, most commonly in business administration (MBA). All brokers will study business, finance, marketing, logistics, statistics, economics and accounting. Once a position is obtained, most brokers must go through a large amount of on-the-job training to learn the specific policies and practices of the organization. Brokers must also be an employee of a registered brokerage firm for at least four months and pass the General Securities Registered Representative Exam before they can work as a registered broker.