Skip to content

How to become a Day Trader

Day Trader

Career progression and salary expectations for a Day Trader


Day Trader

| Up to £26,000

The role of a Day Trader

Fan of playing FTSE? It’s time to trade up…

Day Traders buy and sell stocks, shares, futures, and other financial assets. They are usually self-employed, and work with their own money, rather than that of a client. Their role also differs from that of a regular Trader when it comes to timescales, with Day Traders completing all of their deals before the market closes - in a single trading day.

Well, at least the name makes perfect sense.

Typical duties for a Day Trader include:

  • Observing and analysing markets
  • Formulating trading strategies (both short-term and long-term)
  • Liaising with brokers to complete trades and transactions
  • Selling assets before the end of the trading day, to bring investments back as cash
  • Cutting losses if an investment is failing
  • Recording all transactions and completing tax returns
You’ll need an excellent work ethic, not to mention natural financial acumen, in order to become a Day Trader.

Even though it’s a highly competitive industry, if you’re successful, you could be working on hundreds of orders every single day. And don’t expect the typical 9-to-5. Despite what the name would suggest, you’ll often be working long into the night to keep up with all the individual markets.

If you’re not a fan of long hours and can’t work to tight deadlines, this may not be the career for you.

Other key skills include:

  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Self-discipline
  • Decisiveness
  • Good instincts
  • The ability to forecast, and see the bigger picture
  • An in-depth knowledge of complex financial software
"I used to work as a Stock Broker, and once I built up a decent amount of money and experience, I decided to give day trading a go. It can be pretty stressful, but I love the rush that comes with it, and every day brings something completely different. It’s all about setting realistic goals, and knowing when to walk away. Even if you take a loss, if you’ve set a reasonable loss threshold, you’ll ensure you leave before losing too much – and free up capital for other assets. And make loads of practice runs before you start spending your own money. There are tons of online tools to help you build trail portfolios, and they’ll help you get to know how the markets work."

Get qualified as a Day Trader

All Day Trader jobs
Need Advice? Ask our virtual career advisor