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What You Need to Know about the SIE License and Your Career

February 28, 2024

The Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam covers fundamental concepts in areas such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds and is a critical first step for those looking to embark on a career in the securities industry. Holding an SIE license opens doors to various career opportunities in finance, including roles in brokerage firms, investment advising, and securities trading. 


SIE Overview Blog

What Is SIE License? 

The Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) license is a co-requisite, entry-level certification administered by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). Passing the SIE demonstrates a basic understanding of the fundamentals of the securities industry.  


Obtaining this license is beneficial as it is a foundational step for anyone aspiring to pursue various careers in securities, including becoming a broker-dealer representative, and it showcases a commitment to industry standards and regulatory knowledge. 

What Can You Do with an SIE License? 

The SIE is open to anyone aged 18 or older, including students and prospective candidates interested in demonstrating basic industry knowledge to prospective employers. Association with a firm is not required to take the SIE.  


Passing the SIE alone does not qualify you for registration with a FINRA member firm or to engage in securities business.  


To become registered to engage in securities business, you must pass the Essentials exam and a qualification exam appropriate for the type of business you'll engage in. You must be associated with a member firm to take a qualification exam. 

Jobs that Require a SIE License 

FINRA’s licensing requirements are mandatory for most professional positions in the financial services industry. Some of these jobs and careers include: 

  • Registered Representative or Broker-Dealer Agent 
  • Financial Advisor 
  • Investment Banker 
  • Securities Trader 
  • Equity Research Analyst

The SIE Exam 

The Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam is a comprehensive test that covers fundamental concepts in the securities industry, including types of products and their risks, the structure of the securities markets, regulatory agencies and their functions, and prohibited practices. It serves as a critical steppingstone for aspiring professionals in the financial sector. 


For a more detailed breakdown of the SIE Exam and its components, visit our in-depth guide here 

SIE Exam Prep 

Preparation can greatly enhance your chances of success. To effectively study for the SIE Exam, it's essential to utilize comprehensive study materials, which cover all exam topics in depth.  


The exam fee is $80 and is due when you enroll with FINRA. The passing score for the exam is 70%, and with the right preparation, candidates can align themselves with the favorable pass rates. The data from FINRA states that 74% of SIE exam test takers pass on their first attempt.  


For more insights and effective study strategies for the SIE Exam, as well as information on ExamFX's preparation materials, visit our detailed guides: