One option is to take the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam which will be available in 2018. The Essentials exam would be a pre-requisite for the Series 7 exam and would require no sponsorship or employment by a FINRA member firm. Upon successful completion of the Essentials exam, you will have more of an edge in securing employment with a member firm as employers will be more likely to hire you and sponsor your Series 7 exam.

Another option is to get hired by an insurance company first. It is much harder to recruit insurance sales reps, and these companies are often more than willing to sponsor you for your Series 6, which is what you need to sell such mainstays as mutual funds and variable annuities. Of course, there is a lot of overlap between the Series 6 and 7 exams and, once you have taken the Series 6 and sold your share of retirement vehicles, it might be a simple matter to sidle into a job that requires you to take the Series 7.

Don't Give Up Even if you cannot find a firm to sponsor you now, things will probably change if you keep checking back. Ultimately, finding sponsorship will depend on two main factors: your persistence and the job market. A supervisor who tells you, "Sorry, but we don't hire anyone who doesn't already have a Series 7," could be speaking at a lecture hall at the nearby community college six months later, begging people to take a job from him. You may just need to wait out the market. Rest assured; whatever hassles you run into at this stage of the game should ultimately be worth it. According to Registered Rep magazine, you should expect to be in the business for five years before you make a six-digit income. Presumably, that is because your first job as a Series 7 registered representative will probably not be as a sales representative, but as a sales assistant - a job that typically pays around $40,000 per year.

Getting Your Foot In The Door

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