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Financial Trader

Traders are responsible for making prices and executing trades in equities (investments), bonds, commodities (assets) and foreign exchange, dealing on behalf of or for the benefit of investment banks.

There are three types of trader: Flow traders who buy and sell securities and other assets for clients such as futures (contract obligating buyer to purchase an asset) and commodities. Proprietary traders trade on behalf of the bank itself. Sales traders take instructions directly from clients, placing orders and advising them on market developments and new financial ventures. They are the negotiator between the client and the market maker. Traders may specialise in a particular product, such as shares, fixed-interest bonds or foreign exchange markets.

If you are interested in a career as a trader, visit Qualifax ( to search for relevant courses at all levels and entry points.

Some alternative job titles for this role

  • Equities Trader
  • Futures Trader
  • Derivatives Trader
  • Securities Trader
  • Forex Trader
  • Flow Traders
  • Proprietary Trader
  • Sales Trader

What the job involves

  • Collect relevant information and data
  • Liaise closely with sales staff and inter-dealer brokers
  • Determine the status of the current market via research and data analysis
  • Monitor Irish, UK and international market performance
  • Make prices in specific products
  • Provide key parties with daily trading information
  • Interpret financial/market reports
  • Inform sales staff about market movements/prices
  • Execute trades
  • Gain information from sales staff about client issues

How your career can develop

Trading offers high levels of responsibility, good promotional opportunities and impressive financial rewards including generous salaries and large bonuses.

Why it matters?

Financial traders are trusted with great responsibility, which can be disastrous if it’s abused. In 1995, rogue financial trader Nick Leeson brought about the collapse of one of the world’s oldest banks, Baring’s, through corrupt financial trading. 


  • Confidence
  • Good decision making skills
  • Numerical skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • IT skills
  • Communication skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Team working skills

Typical employers

  • Financial houses
  • Investment banks
  • Exchanges such as the Irish Stock Exchange
  • Treasury departments of major companies
  • Hedge funds

Typical Salary

Graduate/Starting      €30,000
Senior/Potential        €100,000 dependant on bonuses earned

Typical qualifications

A good degree (2.1) in any subject is required for entry into the profession. Qualifications in economics, politics, business, financial or numerate subjects can be useful.

Alternative routes to a bachelor’s degree in this area may apply to students that have a PLC qualification in a related course. For further details on eligibility requirements for third level entry following a PLC qualification, students should visit the CAO course search at

Further information