What Is the Average Salary of a Certified Financial Planner?

Certified financial planners have a good head for numbers and help others make money. Keep reading to learn about a career as a certified financial planner and how much you could expect to earn. Schools offering Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

A certified financial planner (CFP) is a financial planner who has earned certification. As a CFP, it is your job to help individuals and companies develop financial strategies. To be eligible for certification, you must hold a bachelor's degree and have three years of finance experience. Advancement opportunities within the field include entering a management position and starting your own company.

Important Facts About Certified Financial Planners

On-the-Job Training Long-term (for personal financial advisors)
Key Skills Strong mathematical background, social nuance, strong spoken communication, salesmanship, analytical ability
Work Environment Office setting; may require evening/weekend meetings and travel to work with or build clientele
Professional Certification Exam issued by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards; continuing education required to maintain CFP credential
Similar Occupations Financial analyst, financial services sales agent, budget analyst, financial manager, insurance sales agent

Salary Overview

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) did not have specific salary information available for CFPs. Personal financial advisors, a career that many CFPs hold, had a mean hourly wage of $58.54 and a mean annual wage of $121,770 in May 2018 (www.bls.gov). PayScale.com noted that 10th-90th percentile range of CFP salaries was $45,000-$118,000 as of May 2019. The median salary for these professionals was $66,305.

Salary by Industry

According to PayScale.com, CFPs working in the financial services industry made a median of $68,416 in June 2019. Those working in investment services made a median salary of $69,002, while those working in wealth management made $70,478. Those working in banking made $78,286, and those working in financial planning made $61,708.

Salary by Employer Type

June 2019 figures from PayScale.com showed that CFPs working for popular companies made between $52,000 and $81,000. Professionals working for Fidelity Investments made $81,000 on average, while those working for Waddell & Reed Financial made $66,000.

Salary by Experience

CFPs with 0-5 years of experience made $37,000-$73,000 in June 2019, according to PayScale.com. Salaries were $49,000-$110,000 with 5-10 years of experience and $50,000-$156,000 with 10-20 years of experience. With more than 20 years of experience, CFPs made $55,000-$192,000.

Salary by Location

As of May 2018, the BLS reported that the states with the highest average pay for personal financial advisors included New York ($164,260), the District of Columbia ($158,460), Wyoming ($135,340), Maine ($135,170) and North Carolina ($134,860). Lower average wages were found in locations that included Oklahoma, South Dakota, Montana, Kentucky, Utah and Alaska.

Job Outlook

The BLS reported that personal financial advisors were expected to see a 15% growth in employment from 2016-2026. This is much faster than the average for all occupations in all industries. The expected growth for this field can be contributed to an expected retirement of those in the baby boomer generation. Advisors with certification are expected to enjoy the best job prospects in this occupation.

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