Financial planners are professionals who specialize in planning major aspects of personal finance, including cash flow, retirement, college, investment, risk management and insurance. The process is intensive and must be custom made to a client’s living and work situation. For this reason, financial planning pays well.
The Expected Salary for Financial Planners
The salary for this career field is anywhere from $84,000 to upwards of $200,000, which is impressive even when compared to other CPAs and accountants. The majority of workers make approximately $80,000 and only 5 percent make $200,000 or more. As a whole, job growth is at a steady 25 percent and rising, until the end of the decade.
Salary will be affected by factors such as location, job title, position and the applicant’s area of expertise. For example, chief executives who start as financial planners can make well over $200,000, while financial advisors can make $122,000, in many cases. The median wage was $64,000. Even the lowest earners pocketed $32,000.
Other factors to consider are finding employment at a firm versus self-employment. Firms tend to pay more in bonuses, but you don’t have as much capacity to earn, since you work for a salary and don’t name your own terms. Self-employed planners charge a percentage of the assets they handle and the money earned, though some will work for an hourly fee.
Industries to target include financial investment, credit intermediation, securities and commodities and insurance carriers. Prepare to spend 40-50 hours a week working in the office, though attending conferences or special classes is not an uncommon request from firms. About a quarter of the financial planning population works 50 hours or more every week.
How to Put Yourself Ahead of the Competition
Though the career is growing, and has promise thanks to the retiring baby boomer age group, this doesn’t mean competition has lessened. This is a high-paying career field and so it attracts the most ambitious and skilled of financial planners.
While there is no formal rule suggesting an MBA or master’s degree (this is a course that rewards education, but also real world experience), it is safe to assume that more education gives you the advantage over similarly experienced applicants. Working on your skill sets, as well as cultivating your people skills, is a smart move, considering that your clients will count on you, to guide them in multiple disciplines of finance.
The Importance of a Strong Education
If you are interested in this promising career path, then it’s time to boost your education by taking a relevant course. For example, finance, accounting, and other economic courses will go well on a resume. Work experience is also a prerequisite, so start working while you’re still in school. The University of Maryland at College Park has courses that can be of assistance, though any reputable and accredited school is a wise career choice.
Don’t wait until the perfect opportunity comes around—make the opportunity happen. You can start learning the business now, gain some work experience, and press on to a personally and professionally rewarding career.