Financial Advisor Salary

By Henry Steele - January 8, 2018
Reading Time: 11 minutes
Reading Time: 11 minutes

The following article discusses the career path of Financial Advisor. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Financial Advisors.

Job Duties

Financial advisors usually work for private financial institutions, including mutual fund companies, banks, and insurance companies. Often, they work with individual clients to ensure their financial needs are properly understood and to help them meet their goals. They help make investments such as bonds, stocks, real estate, and the money market, ensure taxes are paid properly, and help to make insurance decisions.

See also Best Finance Careers for the Future

Financial advisors are planners. They understand long and short term goals, including such things as a child’s potential educational expenses, but also retirements. Based on that, they make recommendations based on what a client’s personal goals are.

Other job duties of a financial advisor are:

  • To speak to individuals in order to gain information about their goals and capabilities
  • To maintain existing clients and attract new clientele
  • To advertise financial products and plans that ensure their financial goals are being met

Where We Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 271,900 personal financial advisors in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:

  • Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities: 51%
  • Self-employed workers: 24%
  • Credit intermediation and related activities: 13%
  • Insurance carriers and related activities: 5%
  • Management of companies and enterprises: 3%

How to Become

It is usually recommended to have a bachelor’s degree in finance, business, accounting, or a related field. Often, work experience is also required. In some cases, applicants must pass Series 6 and Series 7 depending on their role. They also have to gain an understanding of all relevant local, state, and federal laws and keep up to date with those.

See also Masters in Accounting vs Finance Salary

Education Requirements

Typically, a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for a personal financial advisor although a Finance MBA or Master’s degree will have you earning more. The major is of lesser importance, although most do prefer law, mathematics, business, accounting, economics, or finance. They should also complete courses in risk management, estate planning, taxes, and investments. It is becoming increasingly common for colleges to offer financial planning courses.

Once on the job, these professionals also complete further training. They start by being supervised by senior advisors. Slowly but surely, they will work their way up to more senior positions, taking on more complex cases.

See also What Else Can I Do with a MBA in Finance?

If a financial advisor wants to sell or buy bonds, stocks, or insurance policies, or if they want to provide more specific investment advice, they have to be licensed to do so, with each product requiring its own license. They may also have to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or with their state regulators. Most certifications and licenses are available through the North American Securities Administrators Association.

The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification is a particularly popular certification. However, someone must have been employed in the field for at least three years before they can become certified. It also requires an examination and a commitment to adhere to a code of ethics. Those who also complete a master’s degree, and particularly the master’s in business administration (MBA) have the greatest chance of career advancement.

Traits & Qualities

The most effective financial advisors have the following traits to some degree or other:

  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Great mathematical skills
  • Excellent sales skills
  • Strong communication skills, and particularly speaking skills

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Financial Advisor was $64,188. This number is estimated from over 1,427,324 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $33.43 and monthly of $5,349.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$165,000

Salary Distribution

Salary by State

The following section lists Financial Advisor salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Alaska had the largest quoted salary of $108,800 while Mississippi had the smallest quoted salary of $25,656.

AlaskaIowaMissouriOklahoma
AlabamaIdahoMississippiOregon
ArkansasIllinoisMontanaPennsylvania
ArizonaIndianaNorth CarolinaSouth Carolina
CaliforniaKansasNorth DakotaSouth Dakota
ColoradoKentuckyNebraskaTennessee
ConnecticutLouisianaNew HampshireTexas
DCMassachusettsNew JerseyUtah
DelawareMarylandNew MexicoVirginia
FloridaMaineNevadaWashington
GeorgiaMichiganNew YorkWisconsin
HawaiiMinnesotaOhio
Alaska$108,800Rank: 1st
The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Regional RIA Firm.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$25,000

$252,000

Salary Distribution
Alabama$61,061Rank: 28th
The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Relevante Inc, Network. Montgomery, New York Life, and Morgan Stanley.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$15,000

$137,000

Salary Distribution
Arkansas$76,370Rank: 7th
The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Accounting Career Network, RIA Growth, BancSearch, and Edward Jones.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$188,000

Salary Distribution
Arizona$57,064Rank: 39th
The average salary ranks 39th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Transamerica s, Futurity First Insurance Group, Inc., T&T Capital Management, and Willis Consulting.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$147,000

Salary Distribution
California$67,683Rank: 15th
The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Mercer Advisors, Transamerica, UBS, and JPMorgan Chase.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$167,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$61,055Rank: 29th
The average salary ranks 29th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Relevante Inc, CyberCoders, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, and Edward Jones.

  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$165,000

Salary Distribution
Connecticut$82,353Rank: 4th
The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Bohan & Bradstreet, Inc., Courtney Raymond Consultants, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$15,000

$204,000

Salary Distribution
DC$86,475Rank: 2nd
The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Access Staffing LLC, Courtney Raymond Consultants, ProEnlist, and Symicor Group.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$22,000

$191,000

Salary Distribution
Delaware$61,481Rank: 27th
The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Courtney Raymond Consultants.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$18,000

$130,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$68,352Rank: 14th
The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Wells Fargo Advisors, Camarda Wealth Advisory Group, Cube Management, and Equis Financial.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$179,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$44,585Rank: 46th
The average salary ranks 46th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Relevante Inc., Mutual of Omaha, and Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$123,000

Salary Distribution
Hawaii$60,579Rank: 32nd
The average salary ranks 32nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like American Income Life, Staffing Solutions of Hawaii, Northwestern Mutual, and Access Staffing LLC.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$15,000

$136,000

Salary Distribution
Iowa$85,234Rank: 3rd
The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RIA Growth, Palmer Group, AppleOne, and Northwestern Mutual.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$27,000

$175,000

Salary Distribution
Idaho$62,143Rank: 23rd
The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RIA Growth.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$161,000

Salary Distribution
Illinois$58,112Rank: 36th
The average salary ranks 36th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Relevante Inc, RIA Growth, McAdam Financially Advanced, and Cube Management.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$153,000

Salary Distribution
Indiana$65,691Rank: 16th
The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RIA Growth, Thrivent Financial, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$173,000

Salary Distribution
Kansas$60,951Rank: 30th
The average salary ranks 30th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RIA Growth, Accounting Career Network, Zeal Financial Group, and World Financial Group.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$146,000

Salary Distribution
Kentucky$75,916Rank: 8th
The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Relevante Inc, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Thrivent Financial, and Modern Woodmen of America.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$18,000

$172,000

Salary Distribution
Louisiana$59,109Rank: 35th
The average salary ranks 35th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Relevante Inc, RIA Growth, NYLife Securities LLC, and Morgan Stanley.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$149,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$61,788Rank: 26th
The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Relevante Inc, Charles River Search, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, and SNI Financial.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$152,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$71,050Rank: 10th
The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Anuva Resource Solutions, Courtney Raymond Consultants, AspireWealth Planners, and NewDay Financial.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$15,000

$169,000

Salary Distribution
Maine$65,557Rank: 17th
The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Courtney Raymond Consultants and ProEnlist.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$21,000

$134,000

Salary Distribution
Michigan$54,500Rank: 41st
The average salary ranks 41st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RIA Growth, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Snelling – Grand Rapids, and Edward Jones.

  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$152,000

Salary Distribution
Minnesota$60,035Rank: 34th
The average salary ranks 34th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RIA Growth, Edward Jones, Aureus Group, and Thrivent Financial.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$160,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$65,026Rank: 18th
The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RIA Growth, Wells Fargo Advisors, Summit Wealth Strategies, LLC, and Edward Jones.

  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$179,000

Salary Distribution
Mississippi$25,656Rank: 47th
The average salary ranks 47th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like SBK, Primerica, Willis & Associates, and University of Mississippi.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$1,200

$3,300

Salary Distribution
Montana$50,184Rank: 44th
The average salary ranks 44th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Northwestern Mutual.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$18,000

$97,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$63,261Rank: 21st
The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Relevante Inc, Raymond James, Wells Fargo Advisors, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$149,000

Salary Distribution
North Dakota$60,635Rank: 31st
The average salary ranks 31st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Thrivent Financial.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$17,000

$129,000

Salary Distribution
Nebraska$62,930Rank: 22nd
The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RIA Growth, Access Staffing LLC, Modern Woodmen of America, and University of Nebraska.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$15,000

$143,000

Salary Distribution
New Hampshire$57,097Rank: 38th
The average salary ranks 38th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Humans Being Resources.

  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$162,000

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$62,126Rank: 24th
The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like MassMutual Financial Group, Courtney Raymond Consultants, TRESA Staffing Agency, and McAdam Financially Advanced.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$165,000

Salary Distribution
New Mexico$48,338Rank: 45th
The average salary ranks 45th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RIA Growth.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$123,000

Salary Distribution
Nevada$54,658Rank: 40th
The average salary ranks 40th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like ProEnlist, Ameriprise Financial, and AppleOne.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$138,000

Salary Distribution
New York$71,579Rank: 9th
The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like JPMorgan Chase, CyberCoders, Hamilton Mayer, and Royce Ashland Group, Inc..

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$189,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$52,210Rank: 43rd
The average salary ranks 43rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Accounting Career Network, RIA Growth, Careerfits, and Ameriprise Financial.

  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$143,000

Salary Distribution
Oklahoma$60,388Rank: 33rd
The average salary ranks 33rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RIA Growth, Rapier Solutions, Inc, TULSA WELDING SCHOOL, and University of Oklahoma.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$154,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$57,180Rank: 37th
The average salary ranks 37th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Access Staffing LLC, ProEnlist, and Oregon State Credit Union.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$141,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$69,433Rank: 12th
The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like New York Life, RIA Growth, Ameriprise Financial, and McAdam Financially Advanced.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$171,000

Salary Distribution
South Carolina$53,654Rank: 42nd
The average salary ranks 42nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Edward Jones, Advisor Employee Services, Tri-County Technical College, and AXA Equitable Life Insurance.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$142,000

Salary Distribution
South Dakota$68,504Rank: 13th
The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RIA Growth.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$69,856Rank: 11th
The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Relevante Inc, Transamerica, RIA Growth, and Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$15,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$63,473Rank: 20th
The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Innovative Funding Services, Shingold, Network. Houston, and Cube Management.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution
Utah$61,825Rank: 25th
The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Relevante Inc, MassMutual Financial Group, RIA Growth, and Advanced Wealth Concepts.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$151,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$64,275Rank: 19th
The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Courtney Raymond Consultants, McAdam Financially Advanced, Anuva Resource Solutions, and TRESA Staffing Agency.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$153,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$79,273Rank: 5th
The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Voya s, Willis Consulting, Cube Management, and Network. Seattle.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$17,000

$187,000

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$76,800Rank: 6th
The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, Thrivent Financial, RIA Growth, and AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$192,000

Salary Distribution

Top 20 National Employers

According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Financial Advisor. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.

Employer NameLocationAverage Salary

Learn More

Related Careers

Career NameAverage Salary

Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

"It doesn't matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once." - Mark Cuban