From the bustling streets of Atlanta to coastal, historic Savannah, there’s something for everyone in Georgia. As the eighth most populous state in the U.S., there’s a lot to do in this Southern hub, whether it’s hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains or visiting the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. Whether you’re a city-dweller or someone who prefers a quiet, rural life, Georgia can be a great place to build your career.
When it comes to state income tax, Georgia joins 31 other states and the District of Columbia in employing graduated-rate income tax. This means that based on your income, you will be taxed between 1% and 5.5% depending on which of six tax brackets you fall into; also, Georgia requires that you specify whether you are filing as a single, or jointly as a married couple. Still, when compared with other states, Georgia’s income tax rates are pretty middle-of-the-road, making it a reasonable place to start your business in financial planning. So, if you’re considering a career or a degree in financial planning and want to understand your earning potential and job opportunities in the state of Georgia, you’re in the right place.
According to the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board, there are 2,701 certified financial planners in the Peach State, accounting for 3% of nationwide CFPs. Georgia is ranked 11th on the list of states with the most financial planners; so, while this means that you might have more competition for your business, this also proves that there is a demonstrated need for experts in your field. Plus, the prevalence of financial planners lends itself to networking opportunities with professional peers.
Of course, it’s also necessary to consider what kinds of services you hope to provide in this booming sector. Some financial advisors charge a fee for their service, regardless of whether they are successful in managing their clients’ money. Other times, advisors offer their service on a commission basis – if your client makes money, you earn a percentage of their earnings, too. Additionally, when you work as a CFP, you must be a fiduciary, which means that you’ll act according to your client’s best interests, not your own.
In 2019, the median household income in Georgia was $58,700, according to the United States Census Bureau. This is slightly lower than the national median of $62,843. Still, given the prevalence of financial services workers in the state, there is a clear need for financial planners.
Keep reading to learn more about your potential salary as a financial planner in Georgia. We have accurate data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that covers the earnings of financial advisors, stockbrokers and insurance agents in the varied urban, suburban and rural regions of this Southern state.
Financial Advisor Salary in Georgia
As one might assume, the majority of personal financial advisors reside in populous, metropolitan Atlanta – there are 4,180 personal financial advisors in the Capital, as opposed to just 120 in Savannah. The annual mean, or average, salary for an advisor in Atlanta is $109,840 – but, in less populous areas like Columbus and Macon, the average salary drops to $71,160 and $80,160 per year, respectively. In the chart below, you can learn more about the estimated hourly wages of personal financial advisors in each region of Georgia; but, remember that advisors rarely charge their clients per hour, and that these figures are not a representation of how professionals price their services for clients.
Stockbroker Salary in Georgia
As of data from 2019, there are just under 10,000 stockbrokers across Georgia, with about 8,100 of them living in Atlanta. But, the salaries of stockbrokers vary drastically across the state based on population density, wealth and other factors. Home to the University of Georgia, Athens appears to be the most profitable market for stockbrokers. In this attractive college town, the mean annual salary for stockbrokers is $121,240. This is a significant increase from the Capital city of Atlanta, where the average yearly salary is $82,520. In more rural areas like the non-metropolitan South Georgia region, there are just 180 stockbrokers, who earn an average of $50,290 per year.
Life/Annuity Producer Salary in Georgia
Generally, life/annuity producers, or insurance sales agents, make a smaller salary than stockbrokers and financial advisors. Still, depending on where you live and work, you can earn a comparable yearly income. The most profitable place in Georgia to work as a life/annuity producer is in Savannah, where the annual mean salary is $76,980 – but, those in the 90th percentile and above made up to $174,570. So, no matter what region of Georgia you live in, there is a potential to grow your annual salary over time. After Savannah, the cities with the next highest earnings are Albany and Atlanta.
(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.)