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Working as an Options Trader

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an options trader. For example, did you know that they make an average of $54.26 an hour? That's $112,853 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 18,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Options Trader Do

There are certain skills that many options traders have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, customer-service skills and detail oriented.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an options trader, we found that a lot of resumes listed 26.1% of options traders included income, while 21.4% of resumes included fx, and 18.7% of resumes included market conditions. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

How To Become an Options Trader

If you're interested in becoming an options trader, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 59.9% of options traders have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 29.6% of options traders have master's degrees. Even though most options traders have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an options trader. When we researched the most common majors for an options trader, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on options trader resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an options trader. In fact, many options trader jobs require experience in a role such as trader. Meanwhile, many options traders also have previous career experience in roles such as clerk or market maker.

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Average Salary$112,853
Job Growth Rate4%

Options Trader Career Paths

Top Careers Before Options Trader

Trader
13.8 %
Clerk
12.6 %

Top Careers After Options Trader

Trader
15.2 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for an Options Trader

Options Traders in America make an average salary of $112,853 per year or $54 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $199,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $63,000 per year.
Average Salary
$112,853

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
New York, NY
Salary Range98k - 211k$144k$144,273
Stamford, CT
Salary Range81k - 178k$121k$120,690
Greenwich, CT
Salary Range81k - 177k$121k$120,561
Chicago, IL
Salary Range59k - 133k$89k$89,393
Stone Mountain, GA
Salary Range50k - 120k$78k$77,756
$50k
$211k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Options Trader
Options Trader
Maverick Trading
Maverick Trading
11/30/2019
11/30/2019
$100,00011/30/2019
$100,000
Options Trader
Options Trader
Maverick Trading
Maverick Trading
10/31/2019
10/31/2019
$100,00010/31/2019
$100,000
Options Trader
Options Trader
Maverick Trading
Maverick Trading
10/31/2019
10/31/2019
$100,00010/31/2019
$100,000
Options Trader
Options Trader
Maverick Trading
Maverick Trading
10/31/2019
10/31/2019
$100,00010/31/2019
$100,000
Options Trader
Options Trader
Maverick Trading
Maverick Trading
10/31/2019
10/31/2019
$100,00010/31/2019
$100,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Options Trader Demographics

Gender

male

84.0 %

female

11.0 %

unknown

4.9 %

Ethnicity

White

69.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.4 %

Asian

11.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

24.5 %

Chinese

15.1 %

French

9.4 %
See More Demographics

Options Trader Education

Majors

Finance
38.4 %
Business
17.6 %
Economics
11.9 %

Degrees

Bachelors

59.9 %

Masters

29.6 %

Associate

3.1 %

Top Colleges for Options Traders

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

5. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

7. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

9. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407

10. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an Options Trader

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 26.1% of options traders listed income on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and customer-service skills are important as well.

Best States For an Options Trader

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an options trader. The best states for people in this position are New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Delaware. Options traders make the most in New York with an average salary of $131,342. Whereas in Rhode Island and New Hampshire, they would average $122,645 and $119,809, respectively. While options traders would only make an average of $116,607 in Delaware, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New York

Total Options Trader Jobs:
37
Highest 10% Earn:
$226,000
Location Quotient:
5.86
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Nevada

Total Options Trader Jobs:
1
Highest 10% Earn:
$203,000
Location Quotient:
1.17
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Connecticut

Total Options Trader Jobs:
2
Highest 10% Earn:
$207,000
Location Quotient:
1.31
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Options Trader Employers

1. Maverick Transportation
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$134,582
Options Traders Hired: 
52+
2. Equity AG Financial
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$132,355
Options Traders Hired: 
11+
3. UBS
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$111,705
Options Traders Hired: 
10+
4. DRW
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$119,614
Options Traders Hired: 
8+
5. Group One
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$130,086
Options Traders Hired: 
8+
6. Fidelity Investments
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$116,403
Options Traders Hired: 
8+

Options Trader Videos

Updated October 2, 2020