California is the most populous state in the United States and its third largest by area. It is home to some of the most valuable companies on the planet and is at the forefront of the technology and culture industries of the world. As a Californian, your state is home to natural wonders like Mount Shasta and the Redwood National Park, the craggy shores of the northern coast and the gorgeous beaches in San Diego.
This economic and cultural titan is also home to the highest number of certified financial planners in the country. There are 9,574 CFPs in California, according to the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board. That is 10.8% of the total number of certified financial planners in the country. In order to be certified by the CFP Board, a financial advisor must first become a fiduciary, who is legally bound to act based on their clients’ best interests, as opposed to acting in self-interest, namely for commissions, or the sale of financial products and services.
Consequently, aspiring financial planners have two career paths before them – one is fee-based advisory and the other is commission-based advisory. Fee-based advisors make their living through a pre-stated fee for their services rendered to their clients. This fee usually consists of a flat retainer, and/or an hourly rate for investment advice and other services.
Meanwhile, a commission-based advisor makes a living by earning commission when they sell their financial products or services to their clients. While fee-based advisor require certification for their practice, commission-based advisors do not.
If you are interested in how salaries for financial advisors, stockbrokers and insurance agents vary across different regions of California, you have come to the right place. We have compiled data on the salaries of financial advisors, stockbrokers and insurance agents in California, across its various metropolitan and non-metropolitan regions. This data has been acquired from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and is visible below.
Financial Advisor Salary in California
Below, we have data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2019 on the financial advisors in California’s metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas.
The hourly mean salary is highest in the San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande area at $171,370. The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area comes in second at $157,720. The median salary also is highest in the San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande area where it is $165,240.
Note that annual wages are calculated by multiplying the corresponding hourly wage by 2,080 hours. Also note that that self-employed workers were not counted in this data.
The San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande area may also have the highest annual wages in the 75th and 90th percentiles, but this data is unavailable. Data for the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area is also unavailable and is most probably higher than or comparable to the San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande.
Stockbroker Salary in California
The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area contains 22,900 stockbrokers, the most in the state. The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward is second with 10,660 stockbrokers working there, less than half as many. The annual mean salary is highest in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area at $101,770. Bakersfield and Santa Rosa both have annual salaries of more than $80K.
Life/Annuity Producer Salary in California
The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area is home to 15,670 life/annuity producers in California, the highest in the state. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward is at a distant second with 5,800 professionals.
The annual mean salary is highest in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area at $109,960, followed by Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, where the annual mean wage is $91,690 for a life/annuity producer. Annual median wage is also highest in San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward.
Although the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area is home to the highest number of life/annuity producers in California, they are somewhere in the middle on all metrics. Earners in the 90th percentile make $106,790 annually, while those in the same bracket in Santa Rosa and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara make almost twice this much. Data on the 90th percentile in SF is unavailable for comparison.
(Salary and job growth data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2019 for personal financial advisors; securities, commodities and financial services sales agents; and insurance sales agents. Figures represent national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Information accessed February 2021.)