How Much Does a Financial Planner Earn?

Financial planners’ sole job is to help their clients make money and retain money. So it would stand to reason that financial planners would be well compensated for their services. But though many financial planners serve the wealthy, the vast majority of financial planning professionals assist middle class and upper middle class clients with their financial needs. As such, financial planners earn a respectable income, but perhaps not quite as much as some would think.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial planners who primarily served personal clients averaged just under $91,000 per year in compensation in 2012. But this statistic can be somewhat short of the take-home. For example, while the top 10 percent of earners brought home over $180,000 per year in 2012, the bottom 10 percent saw an income of just $32,000.

The earning power of financial planners seems to be linked to multiple factors, with the region in which they are employed being one of the most significant. For example, financial planners in the Northeastern states, such as New York and Connecticut, routinely saw incomes over $120,000. But, surprisingly, financial planners in Fayetteville, Arkansas topped the earnings list, seeing incomes over $155,000.

The most lucrative financial planning positions tend to be at companies that offer financial services. Also, companies that sell stocks, bonds, or those that produce mortgages, tend to pay generous salaries to their financial planner employees. But even companies which focus on computer and software design paid their financial planners a mean salary of over $107,000 in 2012, which was above the national mean.

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Financial planning as a profession is expected to undergo increasing growth in the coming years. One of the major driving forces of the occupation’s growth is the astronomical number of baby boomers who are retiring, and preparing to retire, in the coming decade.