Becoming a Certified Financial Planner

Helping individuals prepare for their financial future can prove to be an exciting and rewarding career path. Being a certified financial planner (CFP) involves helping people with their personal and professional finances in a variety of ways.

The first and most basic aspect of becoming a CFP is acquiring certification in finance and passing a CFP training program. The courses within this program involve in-depth finance and a focus on career preparation. Most people who pursue CFP training are those interested in taking CFP courses that will help them land a job in the Financial Advisory industry or those who already have an established career in financial planning but are interested in certification to boost their credentials.

There are several financial planning academies across the United States, all of which are designed to help students develop and hone their skills as a financial planner. These institutions hold their students to an extremely high standard of excellence and they have the expectation that those who graduate from their programs will do so with experience, education and an ethical foundation that will translate into a successful career as a CFP.

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The CFP program is a standard course comprised of five separate modules that prepare students for their career in the financial advisory field. These modules are as follows:

  • An Introduction to Financial Planning
  • Insurance Planning and Risk Analysis
  • Employee Benefits and Retirement Planning
  • Investing Strategies
  • Estate Planning and Tax Preparation

Each module includes extensive course work and, except for the introductory module, a final exam that must be passed in order to move on to the next module. Each exam takes approximately 2 hours to complete on average and requires a score of 50% in order to pass. A final exam is required after all the modules are completed, which takes an average of 4 hours to complete, and also requires a score of 50% in order to pass.