Financial planners are the ones in charge of helping clients manage their finances and, in an age of recession, you would think it would be a booming career field. Well, it is! However, it’s not exactly an all-embracing career choice.
The market is still ultra-competitive given the number of applicants and the limited number of jobs available. Market-wise the industry is growing, and that is partly because the economy and indeed, the very population of the working U.S. citizen, is changing.
Market Evaluation and Growth
Actually, financial advising jobs are growing at a faster rate than most other occupations and will continue to do so at least until the year 2020. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career is growing at a rate of 32 percent, which means over 66,000 jobs will be added. There are already over 200,000 jobs currently taken.
What is to account for this growth? Of course, recession is part of it and no one wants to be without professional help in an age of debt, market meltdown and bankruptcy. Add to that the fact that the baby boomer generation is retiring, and the natural distrust many people in business have for dubious financial experts.
This means that now is the best time to prove that you are a trained, trustworthy and experienced financial guru.
When income is involved, the highest paid workers in the profession earn over $180,000, while the lowest earners make $32,000, which is still a nice income. The most successful workers usually came from metropolitan areas, including New York City and even Bridgeport Fayetteville.
The Qualities That Matter
One of the most important issues, is trust. You must not only come from an educational background (usually a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree) but also have work experience and a history of satisfied clients. After that, there is still room for improvement, namely in certification, and becoming a member of the Financial Planning Association. State licensure is also a prerequisite.
The way it stands now, financial advisers can find work independently or by working for a single company. Statistically speaking, only one in four workers of the field are working on their own, indicating the best future may well be with one company with continuing needs in financial planning.
Employers will require that you have exceptional financial skills, but also conversational skills, since you will have to talk to the client and influence them to make financially sound decisions about life and death matters. It is, after all, a client-focused business. Listening and responding to specifics are important, so employers will never discount customer service skills.
Priorities should be becoming a certified financial planner, (not a CPA) and gaining some valuable work experience, even if it is just temporary or an entry level job. These are your years of learning.
Another aspect that might help is that of specializing in niches or demographics. For instance, there is a growing need for financial planners that work with mostly same sex couples, as well as newlyweds, or the disabled. The market is open, as long as you have the drive to succeed—no, to excel and make a successful career for yourself.