Financial Advisor Salary Guide – [Average Salary 2019]

Financial Planner Salary

$91,220 mean annual wage for financial planners. (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Financial Planner Salary [Average]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a $91,220 mean annual wage for financial planners.

Financial Planner Salary [Range]

  • The lowest ten percent of earners made $32,660 annually, on average.
  • The middle 50 percent had an average annual wage of $64,750
  • Highest ten percent earned an average of more than $166,400 annually.

Financial Planner Salary Video


Financial Planner Job Description

Financial planners, also called personal financial advisors, assess the financial needs of clients and provide assistance with investments, insurance, and tax laws.

Financial Planners must have knowledge of securities, pension plans, real estate, insurance, and investment and taxation strategies.

Before you enter this highly competitive and lucrative career field, be sure you understand what a financial advisor does.

Here’s a sample job description:

A financial advisor advises clients on financial planning using his or her knowledge of tax and investments strategies, insurance, real estate, securities, and pension plans.

To do this the financial advisor assesses the client’s assets, liabilities, tax status, cash flow, insurance coverage, financial obligations, and investment objectives.

Typical tasks include building and maintaining a client base, interviewing clients, monitoring market trends, researching investment opportunities, explaining and interpreting financial information for clients, and recommending investment strategies.

If these sound like tasks you would enjoy doing, and if you have a combination of strong analytical and interpersonal skills, this could be the right profession for you

Common Financial Planner Duties

  • They help clients work toward both short and long-term financial goals like education,
  • Preparing for retirement
  • Establishing a steady flow of investment income.
  • Some also sell insurance
  • Provide tax advice

The Top paying industry for Financial Planner

The industry engaged in financial investment activities employed the most financial planners.

  • Accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll and tax preparation
  • Commodities and securities contracts brokerage and intermediaries
  • Real estate lessors
  • Management, technical, and scientific consulting services industries were also high payers.

Other industries with high levels of employment for these individuals were commodity and securities contracts brokerage and intermediation, insurance agencies and brokerages, nondepository credit intermediaries, and organizations engaged in the management of companies and enterprises.


Financial Planner Job Outlook

Between the years 2008 and 2018, much faster than average employment growth is expected for financial planners.

While the employment change should be 30%, the field will be characterized by keen competition, especially for those new to this career.

As of 2018, the states with the highest employment level within the financial planning occupation were:

  • New York,
  • California,
  • Texas,
  • Florida,
  • Illinois

Financial Planner Education & Training

Most Employers do not usually require that financial planners have a degree in a specific field but areas like finance, economics, accounting, mathematics, law, or business are most compatible.

In a recent survey conducted by the career site O*Net:

  • 16% of respondents reported having a high school diploma or equivalent
  • 18% had an associate’s degree.
  • 45% had a bachelor’s degree

Many financial planners go on to earn a master’s degree in business administration or finance or obtain a professional designation.

Some colleges and universities have begun offering financial planning educational programs. Investment, tax, risk management, and estate planning courses prove beneficial in this career.

Financial Planner Certifications

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards issues the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) credential.

To obtain this certification, an individual must complete educational requirements that include a bachelor’s degree, have at least three years of related work experience, pass an examination, and promise adherence to a code of ethics.

Certifications like this are not always required but are often recommended by employers.

Financial planners who directly purchase bonds, stocks, or insurance or provide investment advice must be licensed based upon the areas in which they deal. The North American Securities Administrator Association provides information regarding state licensing and other requirements for registered investment advisors. The firms that manage client investments must be registered with either a state regulator or the Securities and Exchange Commission, depending on their size.

Industries with the Highest Wages for Financial Planner

Whatever industry they work in, financial advisors make decisions on their own, using their creative abilities, autonomy, and sense of responsibility. Financial advising is a results-oriented profession, producing a sense of accomplishment and achievement. The profession offers advancement opportunities and leadership possibilities. Above all, a career in financial planning requires rigorous honesty and ethical conduct. Attention to detail is also essential for financial advisors.

You will have strong competition for financial advising jobs in the top paying industries. A bachelor’s degree in accounting, business administration/management, economics, finance, statistics, or mathematics is a good start. An internship with a financial advising office will help you apply your education to real-world situations.  How about becoming your own first client? Do the research and decide where to invest your money. You don’t have to actually purchase the investment products, just track them and see how good your choices were. It’s a great way to learn and prepare yourself to advise other people on decisions that can have tremendous impact on the quality of their lives in the short term and well into the future.

Industries with the Highest Employment Levels for Financial Planner

Top Financial Planner Industries
  1. Personal financial advisors who work in real estate rental and leasing (“lessors of real estate”) have the top salaries.With a mean annual wage of $150,000, personal financial advisors in this industry earn nearly 50% more than those in the second highest industry.
  2. financial investments ($102,270)
  3. Real estate offices ($102,920)
  4. Securities brokerages ($100,200)

US Cities with the Highest Wages for Financial Planner

Bear in mind, however, that we don’t know how many personal financial advisors work in the Cheyenne area. It’s possible that it is only a handful, and they were all well paid. If that’s the case, Cheyenne is probably not the best location for starting your career as a financial advisor because there aren’t many jobs. We do know that the New York metropolitan area had over 20,000 jobs for personal financial advisors in 2017.

As you decide on your career path, it is important to consider where you can practice your profession and live the lifestyle you want. As a personal financial advisor you will find more opportunities in urban areas. However, if you have your heart set on being a financial advisor and you long to live a country life, don’t be discouraged. People who live in the country need financial advice. You won’t find as many job openings in the country as in the city, but after all, you just need one. Or you can set yourself up in a business of your own once you get some experience.


US Cities with the Highest Employment Levels for Financial Planner

US Cities with Highest Employment for Financial Planner
  1. Of the five top paying metropolitan areas for personal financial advisors, San Francisco has the highest employment level for that occupation ($139,300)
  2. The New York area is a close second at $139,300
  3. The Bridgeport area has a mean annual wage of $122,690
  4. Boca Raton, Florida ($69,880)
  5. Tallahassee, Florida ($40,260)

Financial advisors assess the needs of people and organizations and help them manage their money. Some specialize in investment, real estate, or estate planning, but most advise on a range of finance issues. As a financial advisor you may be licensed to buy and sell stocks, bonds, annuities, insurance products, and other financial products directly for your clients. To succeed as a financial analyst you need strong math, analytical, and interpersonal skills. You must also have excellent communication skills in order to understand your clients’ needs and desires and make them feel confident in your ability to manage their money well. In other words, you have to sell yourself before you can sell your products and services.

While employers do not require a degree in financial advising, they do prefer candidates who have taken college courses in business, math, law, finance, accounting, and economics. A bachelor’s degree in a related field is a must to get hired as a financial advisor. It goes without saying that you need a mastery of computers and spreadsheet software to quality for even an entry-level position in financial advising.

US States with the Highest Wages for Financial Planner

If you pursue a career as a personal financial advisor you will find yourself in one of the fastest growing occupations in the country.

US States/Cities with Highest Wages for Financial Planner
  1. If you want to reach even higher, consider working in New York State because, at $134,390, the mean annual wage for personal financial advisors is the highest of all the states.
  2. Massachusetts is second at $119,220,
  3. Followed by Connecticut at $113,220,
  4. Alabama at $105,460
  5. Colorado at $104,360.

The figures noted above do not include the earnings of the nearly 30 percent of personal financial advisors who are self-employed. The majority of self-employed personal financial advisors operate small investment and financial advisory businesses.

Whether they are self-employed or work for a company, financial advisors may receive compensation or commissions based on the products they sell, or they may receive fee-only compensation.  Fee-only compensation means that the advisor has no financial stake in the products or actions he or she recommends.

While job growth will be excellent in the next decade, competition will be fierce for well-paid jobs with advancement potential.  A college degree, certification, and sales experience will make you more attractive to employers. Issued by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation requires three years of relevant experience, a bachelor’s degree, and a passing grade on a comprehensive test. To pass the exam an individual needs a working knowledge of investment and estate planning, insurance and risk management, employee benefits, taxation, the financial planning process, and debt management.


US States with the Highest Employment Levels for Financial Planner

If you are trying to decide where to apply for jobs in financial advising, you need to consider two figures: wages and employment levels.

  1. New York State, for example, has the highest concentration of personal financial advisors of all the states and pays the highest mean annual wage ($134,390). Now, that’s a good place to work in your profession!
  2. Massachusetts also has great opportunities for personal financial advisors. It has the fifth highest concentration of workers in this field and pays the second highest mean annual wage ($119,220).
  3. Connecticut ranks third in both concentration of personal financial advisors and their wages ($112,220).
  4. Delaware (with a mean annual wage of $86,290) is not one of the five top paying states, it does have a high concentration of financial advisors, making it a good place to start your career.
  5. Florida doesn’t have a top wage ($66,140), but it does have a high concentration of personal financial advisors.

You can see from these figures that wages don’t tell the whole story. You need to look at the number of jobs in your field when you consider your employment and location options. In time you may be able to branch out on your own and work anywhere, but before you get to that point in your career you will need to gain experience by working with and around other financial planners.


Financial Planner Related Occupations

  1. Actuary
    Actuaries assess the risk of an event like property loss, disability, or death occurring and help create individual and business insurance policies that minimize the cost of such risk.
  2. Financial Analyst
    Financial analysts provide individuals and businesses with guidance regarding investment decisions by assessing commodity, stock, bond, and other investment performance. Financial information is analyzed and communicated by accountants to keep firms, clients, and governments running smoothly.
  3. Accountant
    positions require expertise in investments or finance.
  4. Insurance sales agent and real estate sales agent
    Involve the sale of financial products. Insurance sales agents sell one or multiple types of insurance like long-term care, disability, health, life, and property and casualty. Real estate sales agents help individuals and companies purchase and sell real estate.

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