what is a broker?

A broker facilitates transactions between buyers and vendors or sells assets on behalf of a client. If someone wants to sell a property, they go to a broker to help them find a buyer. As a broker, you earn commissions from the sale, and you need exceptional selling skills to increase the profits.

As a broker, you can work in any industry. For instance, in real estate, you advertise properties, determine their market value and organise showings to potential buyers. You also advise the seller on the ideal selling time and offers worth considering. If you work in finance, you trade bonds or financial products on behalf of your clients.

what does a broker do?

To be a successful broker, you need expertise and knowledge of the markets and industry. It is essential to build relationships with various businesses and know who to contact for information. You also need a large buyer base to help you identify the best buyers for assets. 

Brokers analyse the market daily to identify new opportunities for their clients. You also need marketing tools and expertise in screening potential buyers and ensuring secure transactions. You can work for an institution or brokerage firm and manage investment accounts for various clients or groups. Some brokers work for one investor to provide personalised advice and manage assets.

Would working as a broker suit your sales and negotiation skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a broker role.

broker jobs

average salary of a broker

According to ONS, the average salary of a broker in the UK is £41,759 per year. Junior brokers with minimal experience earn as low as £38,117 annually, while experienced brokers take home over £47,291 per year. Senior brokers receive better compensation packages and extra benefits. Aside from the base salary, brokers often receive commissions from successful sales and purchases. Some companies also offer bonuses annually, paid vacations, medical insurance and pension schemes for brokers.

how can you increase your salary as a broker

A broker's earnings vary significantly depending on their experience and expertise. That is why senior brokers often earn more commissions compared to junior brokers. If you want to increase your wages, you should improve your skills and experience level. The types and roles of brokers also affect the compensation package. For instance, real estate and finance brokers earn different salaries due to the diverse nature of the functions. Finance brokers' earnings depend on the financial products, while property brokers' salaries often rely on commissions after successful sales.

The location also influences your salary as a broker. If you work in a large city, your base salary is high, and you receive better commissions and bonuses. Small towns often have a low cost of living and fewer clients, which affects the earnings and commissions.

Male and female talking at a table
Male and female talking at a table

types of brokers

Common types of brokers include:

  • stockbroker: a stockbroker is responsible for managing investments for their clients. Your primary role is to buy or sell securities, stocks, shares or financial products on behalf of an investor. You complete the transactions through the stock exchange, and investors pay commissions and a fee. As a stockbroker, you also advise clients on the best investment opportunities.
  • forex broker: as a forex broker, you assist clients in buying and selling currencies from a trading platform. You also monitor the currency changes globally and speculate on currency pairs.
  • commercial broker: as a commercial broker, you negotiate transactions between buyers and sellers. Your job is to identify potential buyers, the best market price and facilitate a sale for a commission.
  • estate brokers: as an estate broker, you find buyers or lease a property on behalf of the owner. You market the property and identify potential buyers.

working as a broker

Becoming a broker is an excellent career with diverse roles and exciting job prospects. Let's explore some of the duties and work routines of brokers.


education and skills

While becoming a broker doesn't need formal education, academic qualifications can improve your job prospects and boost your career advancement. Some of the routes for becoming a broker include:

  • university course: you need an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject like management, economics, finance and business. You should consider a course with a job placement year in financial institutions to gain hands-on experience. A postgraduate course in finance or investment isn't compulsory, but it gives you additional skills.
  • apprenticeship: you can become a broker through a higher apprenticeship qualification in investment specialist or a professional degree apprenticeship in financial services. The courses allow you to train on the job and complete coursework. After the apprenticeship, you can do professional exams for membership to a professional body.
  • certifications: professional qualifications like Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment boost your employment prospects. You can also complete Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certifications to increase your skills.

skills and competencies

The following soft skills assist you in your role as a broker:

  • maths skills: as a broker, you need to compute profits and dividends promptly for every investment option. Mathematics skills also come in handy when analysing markets and predicting their volatility.
  • communication and interpersonal skills: it is crucial to build trust and develop a relationship with your clients. Communication and social skills help you strike conversations and understand clients' financial needs.
  • negotiation skills: sometimes, you have to negotiate the price of an asset or commission rates. Negotiation skills help you identify the best times to persuade or compromise.
  • decision-making skills: as a broker, you need exceptional decision-making skills to help your clients with investments. Besides, fast decisions help you act quickly based on market data due to market fluctuations.
Two males and a female standing up while having a conversation
Two males and a female standing up while having a conversation


FAQs about working as a broker

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