How To Obtain a Securities License

Securities Industry Essentials Is Your First Step

Securities licenses are needed by anyone who wants to market and sell investments. The specific type of license depends on what type of investments the person wants to sell, how they expect to get paid, and what level of service they want to be able to provide to their customers.

The first step in obtaining a securities license, you will first need to take a Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) study course and then pass the Exam through FINRA. FINRA requires that you pass the SIE exam before you can move forward taking any of the series of securities licenses, such as the Series 6, Series 7, etc. 


After passing the exam, you’ll need to be sponsored by a company that is a member of FINRA. Some companies will pay for your next study courses and the fees for taking the exam. Then, you must register for, study, and pass a FINRA license exam (ex; Series 6, Series 7, Series 63, etc.).


You can enroll in the Securities Industry Essentials prep course here: New Leaf Exams SIE Course 


  • The SIE course and exam do not require a FINRA Member firm or Broker-Dealer to sponsor you. In fact, completing the SIE course and then passing the exam before you search for a firm to work with makes you more marketable because you’ve already completed the important first step in the licensing process and it shows initiative.


  • Taking, completing, and passing the course and exam does not permit you a securities license, however FINRA requires that you pass the exam before you can move forward taking any of the series of securities licenses.



How Do I Schedule My SIE Exam?


You’ll need to create a FINRA account and then schedule your exam at FINRA’s website.



Securities Industry Essentials Exam Information


Minimum Age:  18 years

Number of Questions:  75

Format:  Multiple Choice

Duration:  1 hour and 45 minutes

Passing Score:  70%

Cost:  $80



What Does It Cost to Get a Securities License?


The cost of the SIE exam is $80. In order to obtain any securities license, a person must first pass the SIE. The Series 6 exam costs $40; the Series 7 costs $245; the Series 63 costs $135; the Series 65 costs $175; and the Series 66 costs $165. There are also other fees associated with getting a license, such as the cost of a study course to prepare for the exam.



What Job Can You Get With a Securities License?


A securities license allows you to market and sell investments. Depending on the license you hold, you might have an opportunity as a registered representative or an investment advisor.

  • The average registered representative salary is $60,522 per year
  • The average investment advisor salary is $82,300 per year


What if I Fail the Exam?


The waiting period for the SIE is the same as that for FINRA’s other exams. After the first and second failed attempts, there is a 30-day waiting period. After the third failed attempt, there is a 180-day waiting period. For any attempts after the third attempt, there is also a 180-day waiting period between each exam attempt.



How Long Will My SIE Results be Valid?


Your Securities Industry Essentials exam results will be valid for 4 years from the date that you pass the exam. This means that if you become employed by a broker-dealer during the four-year period and need to become registered as a general securities representative, you will not need to take the exam again.

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