How Do I Become a Certified Financial Planner?

Individuals must follow a specific procedure to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards establishes and updates these requirements. This organization also approves the academic programs a prospective CFP must complete. Read on to find out about the CFP Board's requirements for certification. Schools offering Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

CFP Certification

A prospective certified financial planner must pass the CFP Board's comprehensive computer-based certification exam. The candidate chooses a day to take the exam during one of three five-day testing windows offered per year. The test consists of two three-hour sessions with a 40 minute break in between. It covers material taught in the CFP Board curriculum. The board maintains a list of independent providers who offer review courses. Eligibility for the certification exam includes requirements for education, experience, and a background check.

Important Facts about Becoming a Certified Financial Planner

Possible Careers Financial consultant, financial advisor
Work Environment Office setting, full time and often self employed; travel is sometimes necessary
Job Outlook (2014-2024)30% growth (personal financial advisors)
Median Salary (2014) $81,060 (personal financial advisors)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Certified Financial Planning Board

Education

All certified financial planner (CFP) candidates must hold a bachelor's degree or higher, in any field. They must also complete a CFP Board course of study, which must be the equivalent of at least 18 semester hours. The programs are offered at many colleges and universities in the country. The curriculum covers financial planning principles, employee benefits and insurance, investment, tax, retirement, estate planning, interpersonal communication, and fiduciary responsibility.

Experience

The CFP Board requires candidates to have three years of full-time experience or two years of apprenticeship experience in the field prior to certification. Experience must be in the areas of employee benefits, insurance, investments, taxes, retirement planning, or estate planning. The CFP Board defines experience as:

  • Providing part or all of a personal financial plan to a client
  • Supporting or supervising other financial planners who provide part or all of a personal financial plan to a client
  • Teaching the process of personal financial planning to others

Background Check

All CFP candidates are subject to a background check and are required to reveal any relevant prior or current litigation and any disciplinary action taken against the candidate by an employer in the field. Prospective certified financial planners must also pass or adhere to the CFP Board's established standards and codes of ethics.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
      • Master of Science in Accounting
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Georgetown University

    Georgetown University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Georgetown University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • The University of Scranton

    The University of Scranton responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The University of Scranton:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »