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Financial Advisor
Career Outlook

Join ICM

Financial Advisor Career Outlook with Join ICM

Most people know they should manage their money wisely—but they don’t always know how to do it. That’s when they turn to financial advisors, who have the expertise to help them. Financial advisors undergo rigorous education and training to attain the certifications and skills necessary to succeed in this career. The path to becoming a professional financial advisor can be direct, or may include a number of twists, turns and side trips depending on past education and experience. This guide provides information to assist in weighing all of the pros and cons—including job duties, salary expectations, degree options, and step-by-step, in-depth instructions to becoming a financial advisor—to help readers decide if this is the right career choice.What Does A Financial Advisor At Join ICM Do?

Carrer Basics


Financial advisors help individuals make wise decisions regarding money management. They assess a person’s financial position, understand their needs and goals, and then make recommendations on how to best achieve them.


The minimum educational requirement for financial advisors—also known as financial consultants or counselors—is a bachelor’s degree, typically in finance, accounting, business, economics, statistics or a similar field.


Most financial advisors obtain at least one of the many certifications available, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or . In addition, a master’s degree in finance or a related subject can offer a competitive edge.

Financial Advisor Salaries

According to 2014 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. financial advisors earned a mean hourly wage of $51.97, or a mean annual wage of $108,090.

Median wage estimates for financial advisors are as follows:

> 187,199
How does JOIN ICM Financial Stack Up?

Financial Advisor Job Growth,
Prospects And Outlook

For one we we offer competitive and fair compensation depending on various factors. Califorina is the second biggest growth state for financial career opportunities.

Financial advisors are looking at a robust job outlook over the next several years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the field will grow by 27% through 2022—nearly double the 14 percent growth rate projected for U.S. occupations on average. This translates into more than 60,000 new jobs in addition to the almost 225,000 that existed in 2012. Aging populations in particular are paying close attention to their finances and seeking investment advice as they near retirement. In addition, more people are becoming savvy to the benefits of smart saving and investing. They recognize the value of a personal financial advisor who can offer the individual attention not typically found with a traditional banker. Because the growing need for services puts more pressure on the time commitments for senior advisors, new entrants into the field should see increased opportunities.

New York
North Carolina
5 Steps

Steps to Becoming
a Financial Advisor


Earn The Right Degree

A bachelor’s degree is required for a career as a financial advisor. Majors in finance, economics, business, statistics or similar fields are acceptable. Financial advisors can be generalists, or they may specialize in one of several areas, including retirement, taxes, estate planning, or insurance and risk management.

Major firms or high-end clients may require their financial advisors to continue their education at the graduate level. Some pursue an MBA program after working in the profession for a number of years and while continuing their full-time employment.


Server As An Intern

Academic instruction in the classroom provides the foundation for learning, but internships offer opportunities for financial advisors to get real-world experience. It’s important for students to attend a school that has forged relationships with financial firms or other companies that can provide training opportunities for students to practice what they have learned, and gain instruction and insight from mentors working in the field.


Obtain Certifications And Licenses

Numerous certifications are available for financial advisors, usually after they have accrued three years of work experience. Certification typically requires specialized training or coursework, an exam, and continuing education. At least one of the following certifications is recommended by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA):

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)
  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Some specialty areas require licensing. For example, financial advisors who want to sell insurance must be licensed in their state as an accredited adviser in insurance. Advisors who focus on investments must register with their state or with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a Registered Investment Advisor.


Land An Entry Level Job

Check with your school’s career office to identify job leads and obtain help in writing resumes and cover letters. Take advantage of networking with other students, instructors and professional organizations to find employment opportunities and discuss market trends. Finally, don’t neglect social media as an excellent channel for posting resumes and searching for open positions.


Return To School

There’s always more to learn—especially in the fast-moving world of finance. Finance laws and strategies are always changing, and advisors must keep up with current trends. Many certifications in financial advising require continuing education, while senior positions often demand an advanced degree. A graduate degree in finance, typically offered as a master’s in finance (MSF) or an MBA with a concentration in finance, can provide a competitive edge.

Finance Degrees At A Glance

Finance Degrees
And Courses

Finance degrees range from a two-year associate degree through a doctoral degree that can take several years to complete. Courses can be taken in a traditional campus setting or online. Below is a quick look at each degree level, along with how each will suit a prospective student’s needs.

Educational And Career Goals Associate Bachelor’s Master’s Doctorate Online
Students are exploring a finance career to determine if they want to pursue further education. They learn the basics of finance to attain entry-level employment or to establish a foundation to continue to the next level of education.
Students take thorough coursework to learn how to manage an organization’s money and make investment decisions. Graduates are prepared to take the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exams.
Theory and decision-making are emphasized to prepare students for management positions that involve leading teams of other financial employees, or for positions that involve large projects or clients.
Students receive advanced education for teaching, research, and executive roles. They hone their communication, research, and leadership skills, as well as build on their financial knowledge base.
Regardless of the degree level they want to obtain, these students may not be physically close to a campus offering a finance degree, or need flexibility to manage their work, family, and educational obligations