Thinking about a career in commodity trading? While it’s a great career path for people with a wide range of backgrounds, not everyone understands the intricacies of this unique sales job. In today’s blog, the experts at AIFP answer your questions about commodity trading, including what a commodity trader does and how to become a commodity trader.
At the most basic level, a commodity trader is a sales professional who buys and sells commodities. While there are different types of commodities to trade (including everything from lumber and metals to oil and sugar), commodities markets typically deal in agricultural products or other raw materials used in the early stages of the production chain.
Commodity traders buy and sell commodities on the stock exchange. That said, different types of commodity traders have different goals. Some work for trading firms and operate on major exchanges, some work for large commodity producers with the goal of selling off their product, and some exclusively play the market, attempting to make money off market changes without having a specific need for the actual commodity in question.
At AIFP, our commodity traders work to secure a supply of raw materials like lumber and steel for our commercial customers. In addition to closely watching market trends and reacting to market events, our traders leverage their relationships with mills and other suppliers to get the best product at the best price. While sales play a key role in the position, commodity traders must also have a firm understanding of the market and be able to make accurate predictions about the market’s future in order to be successful.
It depends on what type of commodity trader you are and where you work. According to Glassdoor, commodity traders tend to make between 51k and 150k, per year. That said, commodity trading usually involves at least some level of commission, which means your take-home earnings will likely be dependent on your performance that year.
At AIFP, once you graduate from our paid trader training program, you begin to be paid using a commission-only pay structure. While this means your pay is entirely dependent on your performance in a given year, it also means that you have more direct control over your income and unlimited earning potential!
One of the best ways to start commodity trading is by joining a trading firm like AIFP. While people from many different backgrounds can be successful in the field, commodity trading is a specialized skill, so it makes sense to choose a company that prioritizes training and mentorship. At AIFP, for example, we’ve created a one-of-a-kind paid trader training program that gives our rookie traders the tools, experience, and support they need to succeed.
Looking for a lucrative career at one of the best places to work in Portland, Oregon? Apply today to become a commodity trader at AIFP! In the meantime, check out our blog, where we cover everything from what it’s like to work at AIFP to job search tips for recent grads.
Up for the challenge? We'll give you the tools to excel. AIFP is continually growing. We recruit new traders year-round.
There is no substitute for hard work. If you really want to make and run a business here, you have all the tools available to you here.Billy Culver Trader, European Products Department Head
I really enjoy the freedom to create your own customer base and build a business trading the products you want to trade. While being the hardest thing I have ever done, being a trader has also been the most rewarding!Alex Schilling Trader