Online Certificates in Financial Planning

Online certificate programs in financial planning prepare students for the exam to become Certified Financial Planners (CFPs). Learn about the courses in an online certificate program, as well as certification requirements and career information. Schools offering Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Does the Online Financial Planning Certificate Program Work?

The online certificate program in financial planning typically consists of six courses that ready you for CFP certification. The program will show you how to help clients prepare their taxes, manage their finances, secure their investments and navigate through different insurance policies. Students who do not have college experience usually can enroll in the certificate program, but most programs attract experienced professionals who already hold their bachelor's degrees.

Classes for the online certificate program in financial planning can be taken asynchronously with the assignments and recorded lectures available online. Technical requirements for the online program usually include sound cards and a headset. The online financial planning certificate program typically takes 9-12 months to finish, but some programs offer accelerated options that you can complete in four months.

Technical RequirementsComputer wtith Internet access, sound cards, headset
Common Courses Insurance preparation, planning for retirement, risk management, employee benefits, statistics
Certification RequirementsBachelor's degree, three years of professional experience, passing scores on the CFP Certification Examination, agreement to follow the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, relevant financial planning coursework
Average Salary (2014) $108,090 for personal financial advisors*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Classes Will I Take?

Online financial planning classes prepare you to assist a variety of people with their finances. You will learn a number of planning methods to help clients financially prepare for any stage of their life, including college, retirement or the start of a family. Math, statistics, accounting and business are all important components of the coursework. Common financial planning classes include the following topics:

  • Financial planning introduction
  • Insurance preparation
  • Planning for retirement
  • Estate finances
  • Risk management
  • Taxes
  • Employee benefits
  • Statistics

How Do I Receive CFP Certification?

To obtain your Certified Financial Planner certification, you will want to apply with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. To be eligible, you must earn your bachelor's degree in any subject, gain at least three years of professional experience, pass the CFP Certification Examination and agree to follow the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. You must also complete relevant financial planning coursework, which an accredited online certificate program in financial planning can help you to fulfill.

What Can I Do With the Certificate?

The online financial planning certificate program prepares you to earn your CFP certification and pursue a career in financial planning as a personal financial advisor. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that personal financial advisor positions were expected to grow 30% from 2014-2024, which was much faster than the average growth rate for other job sectors ( The BLS reported that personal financial advisors earned an average yearly wage of $108,090 in May 2014.

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:

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