An options trader is a financial professional who works with the stock market. They work with clients and help them to invest in different stock options, which are contracts that give an owner of the stock the right to buy or sell the stock at a fixed price for a certain period of time. Options traders may work exclusively for themselves or a company.

Options traders must be extremely knowledgeable and skillful when it comes to the options market. Trading in options is often a lot riskier than trading in stocks, as options have a greater potential for large losses than traditional stocks do. This means an options trader must be savvy on the options market and be able to perform market forecasting that can help limit a client's risks and maximize their profits.

Options traders come in four different categories. Retail investors are options traders who buy and sell options with their own money for profit. Industrial traders are options traders who perform the job for large financial entities like mutual funds and hedge funds.

Broker-dealers facilitate option trades on behalf of a company and its client base. Market makers are required to make bids and offers on the options traded on specific securities; therefore, market makers provide liquidity in the options marketplace.

Though it is possible to be a self-taught options trader, many who work for large financial firms possess either a bachelor's degree or master's degree in finance, economics, business, or another related field. Many also have to pass complex financial exams to gain certifications in the field. Examples of these exams include the Securities Industries Essential exam, and the Series 6 and Series 7 exams.

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.

Learn more about what an Options Trader does

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 82.3% of options traders have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 11.9% 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.

Options Trader Career Paths

Average Salary for an Options Trader

Options Traders in America make an average salary of $110,139 per year or $53 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $185,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $65,000 per year.
Average Options Trader Salary
$110,139 Yearly
$52.95 hourly
$65,000
10 %
$110,000
Median
$185,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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How To Become an Options Trader
How To Become an Options Trader Career Overview

States With The Most Options Trader Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active options trader jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where options traders earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Options Trader Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1New York56$145,716
2Illinois46$97,810
3California41$94,560
4Texas21$107,458
5Florida19$88,288
6Georgia12$101,465
7Massachusetts12$98,728
8Pennsylvania12$91,724
9Ohio10$106,981
10Connecticut9$124,312
11Virginia8$89,420
12Indiana8$76,456
13Tennessee7$83,874
14Michigan6$110,495
15Iowa6$88,145
16North Carolina6$91,901
17Colorado6$74,449
18Nevada5$127,710
19Missouri5$98,175
20Maryland5$97,602
21Nebraska5$79,814
22Wisconsin5$78,510
23Utah4$97,274
24South Carolina4$95,750
25Minnesota3$97,564
26New Jersey3$99,312
27Oregon3$89,653
28Arizona3$88,653
29Washington3$85,823
30Rhode Island2$131,014
31New Hampshire2$130,995
32Louisiana2$106,466
33Oklahoma2$104,931
34Kentucky2$96,237
35Idaho2$82,845
36Alabama2$71,791
37Vermont1$96,693
38Kansas1$86,399
39Delaware0$126,904
40West Virginia0$107,283
41New Mexico0$111,189
42Maine0$96,974
43Wyoming0$94,758
44Montana0$96,197
45Arkansas0$92,343
46South Dakota0$89,284
47Hawaii0$98,372
48Mississippi0$89,587
49Alaska0$89,298
50North Dakota0$83,239

Options Trader Education

Options Trader Majors

30.5 %
21.0 %
15.8 %

Options Trader Degrees

Bachelors

82.3 %

Masters

11.9 %

Associate

3.4 %

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 • Private

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 • Private

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 • Private

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

10. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

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, 32.2% of options traders listed fx on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and customer-service skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Options Trader Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Options Trader templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Options Trader resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Options Trader Resume
Options Trader Resume
Options Trader Resume
Options Trader Resume
Options Trader Resume
Options Trader Resume
Options Trader Resume
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Options Trader Resume
Options Trader Resume
Options Trader Resume
Options Trader Resume
Options Trader Resume
Options Trader Resume
Options Trader Resume
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Options Trader Demographics

Options Trader Gender Distribution

Male
Male
91%
Female
Female
9%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among options traders, 9.2% of them are women, while 90.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among options traders is White, which makes up 72.0% of all options traders.

  • The most common foreign language among options traders is Spanish at 24.5%.

Work Experience Programs For Options Traders

Virtual work experience programs replicate work at top companies and help you gain the skills to be successful when applying and working there. In only a few hours, learn the relevant tools necessary to complete a typical work day at that company. Virtual work experience programs are 100% free, open-access, and self-paced. No experience or application is required!

Introduction to Accenture Program

Company: Accenture UK

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Capital Markets & Corporate Law Program

Company: MinterEllison

Cost: Free

Duration: 3-4 hours

Markets - Sales & Trading Program

Company: Citi APAC

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Patent Law Program

Company: Kilpatrick Townsend

Cost: Free

Duration: 7-8 hours

Branding & Design Program

Company: Sydney Romantics

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Markets (Sales & Trading) Program

Company: JPMorgan Chase

Cost: Free

Duration: 4-5 hours

Asset Management Program

Company: JPMorgan Chase

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6.5 hours

Introduction to Technology Program

Company: KPMG in the UK

Cost: Free

Duration: 4-6 hours

Global Banking & Markets Program

Company: HSBC

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Commercial Banking Innovation Development Program Program

Company: JPMorgan Chase

Cost: Free

Duration: 8-12 hours

Online Courses For Options Trader That You May Like

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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 Nevada. Options traders make the most in New York with an average salary of $145,716. Whereas in Rhode Island and New Hampshire, they would average $131,014 and $130,995, respectively. While options traders would only make an average of $127,710 in Nevada, 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:
56
Highest 10% Earn:
$226,000
Location Quotient:
3.55

2. Rhode Island

Total Options Trader Jobs:
2
Highest 10% Earn:
$207,000
Location Quotient:
1.34

3. Nevada

Total Options Trader Jobs:
5
Highest 10% Earn:
$203,000
Location Quotient:
1.95
Full List Of Best States For Options Traders

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Top Options Trader Employers

Most Common Employers For Options Trader

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1The Citadel$166,452$80.0310
2Merrill Lynch$143,629$69.054
3TD Securities$124,946$60.074
4Royal Bank of Canada$119,683$57.544
5Standard Chartered$119,665$57.534
6DRW$119,603$57.508
7Lehman's$117,775$56.624
8PEAK6$117,085$56.2911
9Charles Schwab$116,924$56.215
10Ronin$115,527$55.5413

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