Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Course


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How to Complete Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Course

As of October 1, 2018, any new person entering the financial services industry that wishes to become securities licensed, must first earn the SIE (Securities Industry Essentials) license. The SIE license ensures that individuals new to the industry have gained basic concepts such as the products offered, overview of the securities markets, prohibited practices and regulatory agencies.

The four key components to the exam are:

  1. Knowledge of capital markets
  2. Understanding products and their risks
  3. Understanding trading, customer accounts, and prohibited activities
  4. Overview of the regulatory framework

This exam is meant to be a test you on the basic, fundamental rules and regulations of the industry so be sure to spend time on them because you will see them many times again in future exams. Since the securities industry has put a lot of emphasis on regulation and customer care, make sure to spend most of your time on the third and fourth components listed above. When taking these types of exams, be sure to always reference the examiner’s ( website for important updates that make have taken place.

Who is the SIE license for?

The only requirement is that individuals must be 18 years of age to sit for the SIE exam. This license is for prospective candidates who wish to join the securities industry. The SIE license is now required to pursue other FINRA licenses, so taking this basic exam would give the person a leg up on the competition of their peers looking to be hired.

By having the SIE license on our resume, you can jumpstart your career and designate yourself over your peers as having the fundamental knowledge needed to enter the securities industry. This license is also a great tool for individuals who work in the industry but do not have a role that requires other licenses. An example of this may be a clerical worker. Again, having the industry basics allows you to separate yourself and provides you with a jumpstart to developing your skills no matter what role you have within the industry.

Steps to Obtain a SIE License

  • Enroll for the SIE Exam

Individuals can register and enroll for the SIE examination through FINRA’s website (

  • Pay the Fee

The SIE exam cost $60 which will also have to be paid again for additional tries.

  • Study for the Exam

The SIE exam is a basic exam however study time will depend on how much experience and education the person has acquired. It is recommended that you reference FINRA’s website for the exam overview and information. Since this exam is still new, updates and amendments should be expected. It is also recommended you pursue a study prep website for education and practice problems.

This type of course can be found on the website under Financial Securities Courses. Plan on taking practice exams before the real thing. It is recommended to take at least two but possibly more if your practice scores are not above the passing rate or it takes you longer than the required time restraint.

  • Pass the Exam

The exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions and must be completed in 1 hour and 45 minutes. An individual must get at least a 70%, to pass the SIE examination.

  • Credits for SIE

If a person already holds a FINRA license, they will receive credit for the SIE license. Also, individuals who were terminated but reregistered within four years of their termination date are deemed to have received credit for the SIE license.

Exam Details

The FINRA® Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam is a new FINRA exam for prospective securities industry professionals. This introductory-level exam assesses a candidate’s knowledge of basic securities industry information including concepts fundamental to working in the industry, such as types of products and their risks; the structure of the securities industry markets, regulatory agencies and their functions; and prohibited practices.

  • The Essentials exam is open to anyone aged 18 or older, including students and prospective candidates interested in demonstrating basic industry knowledge to potential employers.
  • Association with a firm is not required, and individuals are permitted to take the exam before or after associating with a firm.
  • Essentials exam results are valid for four years.

Prerequisites: None

Exam Format: 75 multiple-choice questions

Exam Duration: 1 hours, 45 minutes

After You Pass the SIE

Passing the SIE alone does not qualify an individual for registration with a FINRA member firm or to engage in securities business. In order to become registered to engage in securities business, an individual must pass the Essentials exam and a qualification exam appropriate for the type of business the individual will engage in. The individual must be associated with a member firm to take a qualification exam.

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