What Is the Average Salary of a Financial Advisor?

Read on to learn more about the financial advisor career and the factors that affect salaries. Get information about the job duties of financial advisors, and check the employment outlook for the coming years. Schools offering Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

As a financial advisor, you'll work in a firm or for a business. You'll work to establish a client base. When meeting with clients, you'll assist them with insurance, taxes and investments. Financial advisement is broken up into long- and short-term plans. You'll determine the needs of your clients, then work to meet those demands. You'll try to generate smart investment decisions for your clients' portfolios or figure out retirement plans for them.

Important Facts About Financial Advisors

Required Education Bachelor's degree is standard
Professional Certification Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification
Key Skills Analytical ability, interpersonal, basic arithmetic, salesmanship, excellent oration
Similar Occupations Budget analysts, financial analysts, financial managers, insurance sales agents, insurance underwriters, securities, commodities, and financial service sales agents

Salary Overview

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median income for personal financial advisors was $81,060 in May 2014 (www.bls.gov). Those in the top-paid ten percent earned $187,199 or more a year, and those in the bottom-paid ten percent earned $35,500 or less per year.

Salary by Industry

According to the BLS, the top-paying industries for this career in May 2014 included financial investment activities; securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage; securities and commodity exchanges; agencies, brokerages, and other insurance related activities; and other investment pools and funds. The highest-paying industry, financial investment activities, had an annual mean income of $119,320 for this vocation, and this industry also had the highest employment level.

Mean wages for other industries with high employment levels included $119,180 for securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage and $82,660 for depository credit intermediation.

Salary by Location

You'd find that the top-paying state for financial advisors was New York, according to May 2014 BLS data. Those employed in this state earned a yearly mean income of $136,000. Other high-paying states included Connecticut ($134,570), Massachusetts ($132,500), Maine ($126,200) and the Kansas ($122,750). States with the lowest pay had mean earnings of $42,740-$82,400, and these included South Dakota, Iowa, Arizona, South Dakota, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

Salary by Experience

Salary data from PayScale.com in September 2015 showed that financial advisor earnings increased with experience. For example, entry-level professionals with zero to five years of experience made $30,195-$88,719. The salary ranges increased to $41,910-$159,960 for those with 5-10 years of experience, $48,801-$310,159 for those with 10-20 years of experience. Those possessing experience of 20 years or more made $57,493-$437,109.

Job Outlook

The BLS projected a 30% growth in employment of personal financial advisors from 2014-2024. This is much faster than the average growth for all U.S. jobs. The job growth is a result of a growing number of workers retiring and needing financial advisement. Despite all this growth, you're most likely to face keen competition, because the earnings for this career are attractive to many applicants.

If you're looking for a state with a high concentration of workers for financial advisors, then you'll want to look toward New York, California, Texas, Florida and New Illinois. If you want to get into an industry with high levels of employment for this occupation, then you'll want to work in financial investment activities, securities brokerage, depository credit intermediation, nondepository credit intermediation and company management.

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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