Whether you are trading for yourself or working for a trading shop and using some of the firm’s money, day traders typically do not get paid a regular salary or wage. Instead, their income is derived from their net profits. These profits include what’s left over after trading fees and commissions, the cost of trading software or connections to exchanges, and any “seat fee” paid to a trading firm.
Because a day trader can have dry spells or experience volatility in their earnings, many trading firms offer traders a “draw” in lieu of a salary. This is often a modest amount of money, meant to cover everyday living expenses, that is drawn monthly. Then, any excess earnings are paid out in the form of bonuses. This also means that if you don’t make enough trading profits to cover your draw, you may end up owing the company money.
When all is said and done, Glassdoor reports that the average day trader income is around $74,000 per year in 2021—although there is a great degree of variance from this average, with some day traders making six figures and others losing money.