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Certified Financial Planner (CFP) salary

Author: Christopher Jackson

Individuals with the Certified Financial Planner designation enjoy an above-average salary range as well as promising current and future job availability. The salary range for a certified financial planner should be viewed in a broad context including experience, length of time in the field and geographic location. As with many professions, the average income varies. This overview article offers examples of the current national average salary for a certified financial planner, as well as regional averages.

To put the salary data into context, it's helpful to explore the minimum credentials for this profession. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is achieved through education, work experience, and examination. This designation is governed by the CFP board. A minimum of a bachelor's degree, specialized financial planning coursework and three years of experience are prerequisites to become a CFP (for other requirements and test dates, click here). After the minimum criteria is met the CFP candidate must take an examination. The CFP Certificate Examination measures the applicant's proficiency in financial planning scenarios and professional ethics (to find a CFP-approved educational program, click here). (For more, see: The Best Schools for Financial Planning.)

The salary range for this profession varies. As with most occupations, the salary will be higher in larger cities with higher costs of living. According to Indeed.com, a comprehensive job posting service, as of Feb. 3, 2015, the average CFP salary in the United States is $102,000. (For more, see: What's the average salary of a financial advisor?)

The current average CFP salary varies by state*. The following is a cross section of the average annual salary per state:

State

Average Salary

Massachusetts

$123,000

Illinois

$116,000

California

$110,000

Mississippi

$107,000

Washington

$106,000

Missouri

$101,000

Texas

$99,000

Ohio

$98,000

Indiana

$98,000

Florida

$95,000

Louisiana

$92,000

Wisconsin

$91,000

Minnesota

$90,000

Arizona

$84,000

Nevada

$78,000

*Data was d from recent job postings on Indeed.com as of February 2015.

As the data indicates, the CFP salary data is higher or lower, depending upon the geographic location of the job. The average salary diverges $45,000 from an average low of $78,000 per year in Nevada to an average annual high of $123,000 in Massachusetts. (For related reading, see: Want to Be a Financial Planner? Click Here.)

The national salaries of CFPs are also impacted by level of experience. According to Payscale.com, a crowd d/big data salary information provider, an entry level CFP with up to five years of experience averages approximately $60,000 per year. At the other end of the spectrum, the late career certified financial planner with more than 20 years of experience garners an average income of $140,000. (The sample size of this data set is in the 200-300 range for each cohort group). (For related reading, see: Financial Planning: It's About More than Money.)

The CFP is one of the fastest-growing and highly compensated fields. CFP jobs are projected to grow at 32.1% annually during the next 10 years. Additionally, this job reports high levels of personal satisfaction, moderate stress and an above average benefit to society. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that during the 2012 to 2022 time period the field expects to add 60,300 new workers.

The Bottom Line

When combining above average salaries with high levels of job satisfaction and growing job availability, the certified financial planner is a stand out career path for the financially minded individual. The CFP.net website provides in depth coverage of the certified financial planner designation and instructions regarding entry into the profession. (For related reading, see: An Introduction to Financial Planning Organizations.)

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