The median annual wage of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents was $70,190 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $31,330, and the top 10 percent earned more than $166,400.
Many securities and commodities brokers earn a commission based on the monetary value of the products they sell. Most firms pay brokers a minimum salary in addition to commissions.
Trainee brokers usually earn a salary until they develop a client base. The salary gradually decreases in favor of commissions as the broker gains clients.
Investment bankers in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions generally earn a base salary with the opportunity to earn a substantial bonus. At higher levels, bonuses far exceed base salary.
Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents usually work full time and many work more than 40 hours per week. In addition, they may work evenings and weekends because many of their clients work during the day. Call centers often operate 24 hours a day, requiring agents to work in shifts.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition