Personal financial planners and advisors help their clients prepare for the future. Through a combination of careful planning, strategic investments, and timely advice, financial planners develop plans for each client’s needs and goals. This growing field already includes more than 270,000 professionals working across the finance industry. Individuals combine their financial analysis skills with interpersonal communication abilities and sales knowledge to grow their business.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 40,400 financial planners to enter the workforce from 2018 through 2028, representing a 7% occupation increase. According to PayScale, the average financial planner earns $62,556 annually. This guide shows how earnings and job growth vary depending on your education level, geographic location, and industry.
HOW MUCH DO FINANCIAL PLANNERS MAKE?
A PayScale survey found the average financial planner’s salary to be $62,700, though the BLS reports a median salary of $88,890. Income varies depending on your education and experience. Moreover, some industries pay more than others, and the cost of living differs between cities, affecting salary ranges.
Individuals typically see their salary grow throughout their career. As you gain work experience in your field, you also build your knowledge and skills. Employers offer higher salaries to attract individuals who understand their job’s day-to-day demands and who demonstrate an ability to perform those job functions. Some professional certifications also require three to four years of work experience. These voluntary credentials may increase salary potential.
Salary by Degree
A career in financial planning may begin with a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance, or a related field. A master’s degree with a focus on financial analysis can enhance a resume, especially in a competitive job market. Some companies may also require a graduate degree for promotions or leadership positions.
Median Salary: $73,000
Median Salary: $101,000
As financial planners gain work experience, build their portfolios, and prove their financial planning abilities, they may seek career advancement opportunities. Prospective certified financial planners must first pass a test, document their work experience, and agree to follow a strict code of ethics. Financial advisors serve similar roles as financial planners, but they work with institutions and organizations instead of individuals.
|POTENTIAL NEXT STEP||SALARY|
|Certified Financial Planner||$66,568|
|Financial Planning and Analysis Manager||$99,416|
What Are the Top States for Financial Planner Pay?
New York, the home of Wall Street, ranks first among the top states for financial planners in terms of salary. It also employs the most financial planners, with 26,710 people working across the state. When selecting a state to live in, consider job opportunities, cost of living, and annual median wages.
- NEW YORKAnnual Median Wage: $164,260
- DISTRICT OF COLUMBIAAnnual Median Wage: $158,460
- WYOMINGAnnual Median Wage: $135,340
- MAINEAnnual Median Wage: $135,170
- NORTH CAROLINAAnnual Median Wage: $134,860
The real estate industry offers the highest salary for financial planners, but with limited employment opportunities. The BLS reports only 550 financial planners working in this industry, earning an annual median wage of $161,860. The securities industry follows real estate in pay. It also employs the most financial planners, with 144,130 working in the field and earning an annual median salary of $129,950.
|INDUSTRY||ANNUAL MEDIAN WAGE|
|Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities||$129,950|
|Other Investment Pools and Funds||$128,580|
|Grantmaking and Giving Services||$123,140|
|Management of Companies and Enterprises||$117,210|
ARE FINANCIAL PLANNERS IN DEMAND?
Historical Career Growth
Financial planners and personal financial advisors need about 25,500 new workers each year to fill annual job openings. As the baby boomer generation nears retirement, companies should hire new financial planners to replace retiring workers and meet client demands for more financial planning services. New York, Los Angeles, and Boston represent the top cities for employment of financial advisors.
Employment of Financial Planners
- New York: 27,570
- Los Angeles: 10,520
- Boston: 8,740
Future Career Growth
Overall, the BLS anticipates a 15% employment growth for financial planners and personal financial advisors from 2018 through 2028. This growth exceeds that projected for all financial specialists (10%). Securities and financial service sales agents expect only a 6% growth in employment during that time. Financial managers perform similar services, but they work with companies and organizations to ensure long-term financial stability. This career anticipates a 19% employment growth.
Similar Career Job Growth
- Financial Analysts: 11% growth
- Securities and Financial Service Sales Agents: 6% growth
- Financial Managers: 19% growth
Top States for Job Growth
Colorado leads the nation in employment growth for financial planners, boasting a 35.8% projected increase from 2016 through 2026. The state anticipates 630 annual openings in the profession. Other states with slower growth also offer substantial employment opportunities. California, with a projected 10.9% growth, anticipates 2,920 yearly openings. Florida, with a 24.7% anticipated growth, expects to fill 1,610 annual job openings.
35.8% Change from 2016-2026
31.8% Change from 2016-2026
29.4% Change from 2016-2026
26.7% Change from 2016-2026
25.8% Change from 2016-2026
HOW DO FINANCIAL PLANNERS COMPARE TO OTHER ACCOUNTING CAREERS?
The financial services industry offers a variety of career opportunities with overall job growth of 10% projected from 2018 through 2028. The BLS reports the total median salary for financial occupations at $68,350. Financial analysis serves as a foundation for many of these positions. Financial planners can use their expertise in this area to move into new professions as well, such as budget analysts, financial analysts, financial examiners, management analysts, and market research analysts.
Most of these jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance, or a related subject.
|JOB TITLE||PROJECTED GROWTH (2018-2028)||MEDIAN SALARY|
|Personal Financial Advisors||15%||$88,890|
|Market Research Analysts||23%||$63,120|
TAKE THE FIRST STEP IN YOUR CAREER TODAY
LEARN MORE ABOUT FINANCIAL PLANNER SALARIES AND JOB GROWTH
- U.S. Bureau of Labor and StatisticsThis bureau within the U.S. Department of Labor tracks employment data, such as unemployment and labor force participation. It also collects salary information for thousands of professions and uses its data to project job growth in various industries.
- PayScale.comPayScale uses crowd-sourced data regarding salary, job descriptions, and career pathways. It offers detailed salary reports based on location and experience level. The site reports more than 150,000 new surveys added each month. While PayScale makes much of its data publicly available, business subscriptions offer additional salary information related to market pay ranges.
- Center on Education and the WorkforceGeorgetown University hosts the nonprofit research institute within its school of public policy. The center evaluates how education impacts career qualifications and workforce demand. It offers data analysis in the areas of job projections, the economic value of education and certifications, and other benefits of higher education.
- O*Net OnlineDeveloped by the U.S. Department of Labor, this resource collects information related to job tasks, skills, and qualifications. Detailed reports include various job titles used in the profession, specific technology skills commonly included in job descriptions, and wage and employment trends.
- Projections CentralThe Projections Managing Partnership provides state-level data on industry and occupational growth. It offers both short-term and long-term projections, which states and individuals can use to select appropriate training programs or choose a career path. The partnership works closely with the U.S. Department of Labor’s employment and training administration and the BLS.
Accredited Online College Programs
Kick off your finance career with one of these affordable online accounting degrees. Compare the top programs, crunch the numbers, and get the best value.
A master's in accounting opens the door to in-demand, lucrative careers. Explore our list of the best master's in accounting online programs for 2021.
Bachelor's degrees in accounting can build strong careers. Become an accountant through an accredited, affordable program that leads to CPA certification.
Search top-tier programs curated by your interests.
Let us know what type of degree you're looking into, and we'll find a list of the best programs to get you there.