Career Choices
If you want to supervise other futures traders, you would need to pass the Series 30 Branch Manager Examination. This allows you to work with and move up in the world of commodity pool operators, commodity trading advisors, introducing brokers and futures commission merchants. This is a much shorter exam – 50 questions over one hour – confined to supervisory topics. You'd think that passing the Series 3 is a prerequisite for taking the Series 30, but that is not the case. The qualifications for taking orders on futures accounts are in fact more stringent than the qualifications for those bossing around the order takers.

SEE: The Series 3 Exam: Creating A Career With Commodities

Still, a Series 3 can put you in a position where you could be realistically considered for a more senior-level job.

You could also parlay a Series 3 license into a broader financial services career. If you were to take a job as a futures trader for a bank or brokerage, you would then be with a firm that could sponsor you for a Series 7.

Finally, an interest in risk management could lead you to become a CFA charterholder, Financial Risk Manager (FRM) or Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA). Given the breakdown in controls in the last four years, financial risk management has reemerged as a discipline of critical importance in financial institutions.

Building Blocks

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