Financial Advisor Salary

By Henry R. Steele - January 8, 2018
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.

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$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.

Alaska Iowa Missouri Oklahoma
Alabama Idaho Mississippi Oregon
Arkansas Illinois Montana Pennsylvania
Arizona Indiana North Carolina South Carolina
California Kansas North Dakota South Dakota
Colorado Kentucky Nebraska Tennessee
Connecticut Louisiana New Hampshire Texas
DC Massachusetts New Jersey Utah
Delaware Maryland New Mexico Virginia
Florida Maine Nevada Washington
Georgia Michigan New York Wisconsin
Hawaii Minnesota Ohio
Alaska$108,800 Rank: 1st
The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Regional RIA Firm.

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$25,000

$252,000

Salary Distribution
Alabama$61,061 Rank: 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.

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$15,000

$137,000

Salary Distribution
Arkansas$76,370 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$188,000

Salary Distribution
Arizona$57,064 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$147,000

Salary Distribution
California$67,683 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$167,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$61,055 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$165,000

Salary Distribution
Connecticut$82,353 Rank: 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.

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$15,000

$204,000

Salary Distribution
DC$86,475 Rank: 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.

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$22,000

$191,000

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

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$18,000

$130,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$68,352 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$179,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$44,585 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$123,000

Salary Distribution
Hawaii$60,579 Rank: 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.

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$15,000

$136,000

Salary Distribution
Iowa$85,234 Rank: 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.

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$27,000

$175,000

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

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$14,000

$161,000

Salary Distribution
Illinois$58,112 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$153,000

Salary Distribution
Indiana$65,691 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$173,000

Salary Distribution
Kansas$60,951 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$146,000

Salary Distribution
Kentucky$75,916 Rank: 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.

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$18,000

$172,000

Salary Distribution
Louisiana$59,109 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$149,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$61,788 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$152,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$71,050 Rank: 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.

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$15,000

$169,000

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

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$21,000

$134,000

Salary Distribution
Michigan$54,500 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$152,000

Salary Distribution
Minnesota$60,035 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$160,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$65,026 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$179,000

Salary Distribution
Mississippi$25,656 Rank: 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.

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$1,200

$3,300

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

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$18,000

$97,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$63,261 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$149,000

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

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$17,000

$129,000

Salary Distribution
Nebraska$62,930 Rank: 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.

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$15,000

$143,000

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

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$14,000

$162,000

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$62,126 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$165,000

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

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$14,000

$123,000

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

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$14,000

$138,000

Salary Distribution
New York$71,579 Rank: 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..

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$14,000

$189,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$52,210 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$143,000

Salary Distribution
Oklahoma$60,388 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$154,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$57,180 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$141,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$69,433 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$171,000

Salary Distribution
South Carolina$53,654 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$142,000

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

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$14,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$69,856 Rank: 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.

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$15,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$63,473 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution
Utah$61,825 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$151,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$64,275 Rank: 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.

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$14,000

$153,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$79,273 Rank: 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.

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$17,000

$187,000

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$76,800 Rank: 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.

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$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 Name Location Average Salary

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. 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.Follow on Twitter.com

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