Chartered Market Technician Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

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Learn about a chartered market technician's job description, salary information and education requirements. Get straight talk about the pros and cons of a chartered market technician career.
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Pros and Cons of a Chartered Market Technician Career

A chartered market technician is a financial analyst who specializes in the application of technical analysis. Check out the pros and cons of being a chartered market technician to see it it's the right fit for you.

Pros of Being a Chartered Market Technician
Good pay (median salary of $78,620 in May 2014)*
Faster-than-average job growth (16% expected growth from 2012-2022)*
Work in many work settings (banks, government, investment firms, etc.)*
Work with a team and/or independently*

Cons of Being a Chartered Market Technician
Some employers may require master's degrees*
Certification requires at least three years of work experience**
Extensive financial knowledge required (three certification exams)**
Many technicians work over 40 hours per week in high-pressure environments*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Market Technicians Association

Essential Career Information

Job Description and Duties

The Market Technicians Association (MTA) awards the Chartered Market Technician certification to financial analysts who have extensive knowledge of technical analysis. Chartered market technicians are responsible for studying market data in order to make predictions on future pricing trends. Since the prices of investments such as stocks and commodities vary due to supply and demand, technicians use pricing data to examine past and present pricing trends and advise investors on what prices are likely to be in the future. Chartered market technicians interpret market data using mathematical and analytical skills as well as sophisticated computer software. Chartered market technicians typically work over 40 hours a week in brokerage firms, banks, government agencies, insurance companies and other financial institutions.

Salary Info and Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), financial analysts, including those who evaluate markets, earned a media annual salary of about $78,620 as of May 2014. Analysts working for securities and commodities investment companies and brokerage firms usually receive the highest salaries. The BLS predicted that financial analyst jobs will increase 16% from 2012-2022. Although the expected job growth is faster than average, competition for these jobs will be high. Candidates with master's degrees and professional certifications will increase their chances of employment.

What Are the Requirements?

Education and Skills

Since a chartered market technician is a type of financial analyst, you'll likely need a bachelor's degree to work in the field. However, advanced financial analyst positions may require master's degrees. The BLS stated that most analysts complete degrees in fields such as economics, finance, accounting, statistics and business administration. In addition to a college degree, most employers require chartered market technicians to have the following skills:

  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft and Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing (SAP) software
  • Ability to communicate technical data effectively
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to pay close attention to detail
  • Mathematical and analytical skills

Certification

Only members of the MTA are eligible for the Chartered Market Technician certification. To become a member, you must have at least three years of work experience using technical analysis. You must also submit a letter of recommendation from three sponsors who are current MTA members. After receiving your membership, you are required to pass three examinations before being awarded with the Chartered Market Technician designation. The first exam tests candidates on the basics of technical analysis, while the second exam focuses on more advanced theories, concepts and tools concerning technical analysis. The last exam is a series of essays that require candidates to use technical data and charts to develop ethical trading decisions and research opinions.

What Employers Look for

Most employers do not advertise for chartered market technicians, instead advertising for financial analysts capable of implementing technical analysis. These positions often require years of experience, bachelor's degrees and a range of skills. Although not all the following job postings open during September 2012 require the Chartered Market Technician certification, they can give you an idea of other qualifications employers look for.

  • A company in Philadelphia, PA, seeks a financial analyst capable of using technical analysis to predict the company's future performance. Applicants must have bachelor's degrees in finance or accounting and at least five years of work experience. The employer prefers that applicants have master's degrees in business administration. Other qualifications include experience using SAP and Microsoft software, the ability to work in a team, strong communication skills and the ability to work under pressure.
  • A San Francisco, CA, business wants candidates who have over five years of experience implementing technical analysis, performing economic studies and developing financial concepts. Ideal candidates will have presentation skills, expert knowledge of Microsoft Excel and the ability to multi-task.
  • A Virginia company is looking for a financial analyst to perform complex technical analysis. The analyst will also help the company make financial decisions by making sales, pricing and cost models. A bachelor's degree and at least three years of accounting and financial experience are required. However, the Master of Business Administration or the Certified Public Accountant certification is preferred.
  • A North Carolina employer is advertising for candidates with four-year degrees in finance and two years of work experience. Duties listed in the posting include monitoring cost trends, recommending improvements and analyzing contracts. Although they are not required, candidates with professional certifications and experience using Enterprise Resource Planning systems will have better chances of employment.

How to Beat the Competition

In addition to the MTA, other organizations offer certifications that allow financial analysts to demonstrate their knowledge of technical analysis. The CFA Institute offers the Chartered Financial Analyst certification to analysts who meet all requirements. These requirements are similar to the MTA's requirements and include passing three exams and having a bachelor's degree or four years of work experience. The three exams cover a variety of topics, including technical analysis, ethics, economics, investment types, derivatives and corporate finance.

Financial Analysts who join the International Federation of Technical Analysts (IFTA) can receive the Certified Financial Technician (CFTe) or the Master of Financial Technical Analysis (MFTA) certification. Analysts who have the chartered market technician credential only need to pass one exam to receive the CFTe. Chartered market technicians with the CFTe and three years of work experience can receive the MFTA.

Other Careers to Consider

Accounting Clerk

If a career as a chartered market technician doesn't sound like the right choice for you, there are other careers that require similar skills, but may have lower degree requirements or higher salaries. You can become an accounting clerk with only a high school diploma and basic computer and math skills. Accounting clerks learn the trade through on-the-job training that usually lasts about six months. As an accounting clerk, you can work in various industries, including retail, finance and healthcare. You'll be responsible for maintaining financial records by inputting data into bookkeeping software and checking the accuracy of reports. According to the BLS, accounting clerks earned a median annual salary of around $35,000 in 2011 and have an expected job growth of 14% from 2010-2020.

Budget Analyst

Like chartered market technicians, budget analysts usually need bachelor's degrees in fields such as finance, accounting and business. Newly hired budget analysts have minimal responsibilities, but as they develop their skills through experience and additional schooling, they have the opportunity to advance their careers and gain more responsibilities. Most budget analysts work for federal, state and local government agencies where they offer advice concerning budgeting and spending. As a budget analyst, you'll need excellent writing, math and communication skills and the ability to meet strict deadlines. The median annual salary for budget analysts was slightly lower than that for chartered market technicians, at approximately $69,000 in 2011. Job growth for budget analysts was also expected to increase less than chartered market technicians, at a rate of 10% from 2010-2020.

Economist

Economists study the economy in order to help organizations or individuals produce and distribute their goods effectively and efficiently. Economists often specialize in areas such as finance, health, education and the environment. They have similar duties as chartered market technicians, including analyzing economic problems and offering solutions, examining market trends and collecting data. To become an economist, you'll likely need a master's degree or Ph.D. in economics. However, some positions with government agencies only require bachelor's degrees. Although economists have a much lower expected job growth than charted market technicians (set at 6% from 2010-2020) they earn higher median annual salaries of about $91,000, as of 2011 per BLS reports.

Popular Schools

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Featured Schools

Georgetown University

  • Master of Science in Finance

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American InterContinental University

  • Master of Business Admin: Finance
  • Bachelor of Business Administration - Finance
  • Associate of Arts in Business Administration

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Colorado State University Global

  • Master of Finance
  • BS - Accounting
  • Graduate Specialization - Accounting

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The University of Scranton

  • Master of Science in Finance
  • MBA - Accounting
  • Master of Accountancy

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Northcentral University

  • PhD in Business Admin - Financial Management
  • Doctor of Business Admin - Financial Management
  • MBA - Financial Management
  • Master of Business Admin - General Business

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Seton Hall University

  • Master of Business Administration - Finance
  • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
  • Master of Science Professional Accounting

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Saint John's University

  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business
  • Master of Business Administration: Taxation

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Utica College

  • MBA - Finance and Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation
  • Financial Crimes Investigator Certificate

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