From the music and decadence of Mardi Gras in New Orleans’ French Quarter to the museums and manors of Shreveport, Louisiana is a state steeped in history. Its Creole and Cajun traditions reflect a blend of French, African, American and French-Canadian culture. Tourists can find beaches, bayous, riverboat gambling, forest hiking and of course, all the Cajun food they can eat.
The largest city in Louisiana is the rich cultural center of New Orleans, with approximately 391,000 people, followed by the state capital of Baton Rouge with 225,000 and Shreveport with 192,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Louisiana has the third-highest state and local sales tax rate in the U.S., at 4.5% state and nearly 5% local in most places. It also has a state income tax, ranging from 2% for the lowest earners to 6% for the highest.
If you live in Louisiana, or you want to, and you’re considering a degree in finance or financial planning, this guide will give you an idea of your projected salary and career prospects in this gorgeous and diverse state.
According to the Certified Financial Planner Board, there are 641 certified financial planners in the state of Louisiana—that’s less than 1% of the population. Most are in the cultural center of New Orleans, but there are opportunities in less populous areas, like Lake Charles or Monroe. The higher competition of the larger cities usually translates to a higher salary, as well as more networking and mentorship opportunities in the field.
Being a CFP requires you to be a fiduciary. That means advisors act on behalf of their clients, not their own self-interest, commission, products or services. You’ll want to consider your fee and payment structure as well. A fee-based advisor charges clients flat fees to manage their money. Commission-based advisors earn a percentage commission when they sell financial products or services to clients. The charts below give an estimated hourly rate for comparative purposes, but keep in mind that CFPs are rarely paid by the hour.
We’ve compiled salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Monroe, New Orleans-Metairie, and Shreveport-Bossier below, for financial advisors, stockbrokers and insurance agents.
Financial Advisor Salary in Louisiana
There are 1,170 personal financial advisors practicing in Louisiana. That’s 650 in the New Orleans area, 220 in Baton Rouge, 120 in Lafayette, and 70 in Shreveport. The annual mean wages vary significantly. In Lafayette and New Orleans, personal financial advisors make $120K to $152K per year. In Baton Rouge and Shreveport, financial advisors make $60K to $73K per year. But the 90th percentile in Baton Rouge is $81K, so it’s certainly possible to make more in smaller markets.
See the table below for additional data on the hourly mean compensation and salaries for professionals these locations, including the 75th and 90th percentiles of all financial advisors. Note, the hourly rate is a breakdown of the salary, not a representation of what advisers charge their clients.
Stockbroker Salary in Louisiana
There are 740 securities, commodities and financial sales agents, or stockbrokers, in the New Orleans-Metairie area. That’s compared to 530 in Baton Rouge, 400 in Lafayette, 340 in Shreveport, 170 in Lake Charles, and 80 in Monroe. The mean annual income is highest in New Orleans as well at around $108K per year. At the lower end, stockbrokers in Baton Rouge make about $70K per year. The 90th percentile in Baton Rouge is nearly $127K, indicating a significant income spread across stockbrokers.
Find additional information on stockbroker salary, including the mean 75th and 90th percentiles for other major Louisiana regions, in the table below.
Life/Annuity Producer Salary in Louisiana
A life/annuity producer is another term for an insurance sales agent. They tend to earn less money than certified financial planners and stockbrokers, but it’s still possible to make a comfortable living in this line of work in Louisiana. There are 1,690 life/annuity producers in New Orleans, 1,180 in Baton Rouge, and only 120 in Lake Charles. Agents make a median $64K per year in New Orleans and a median of $40K per year in Shreveport. The 90th percentile in Shreveport, nearly $60K, reflects higher earning potential for some agents.
Find additional data on hourly mean wage and annual median salary for other major Louisiana regions below.
(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.)