When one thinks of the Southwest, one typically thinks to the mesas and vibrant red sands of New Mexico, or the famous chiles of Hatch and the white sand dunes of White Sands National Monument. New Mexico is the nation’s fifth-largest state and only about 25% of its roads are paved.
The state is home to the largest hot air balloon festival in the world, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and has more cows than people due to its rich history as a heavyweight cattle producer. Other industries that are important to the state’s economy are oil drilling, mineral extraction, agriculture, lumber milling, retail trade, scientific research, technological development and the arts.
The median household income in New Mexico is lower than the national median income at $49,754 and $62,843, respectively, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But New Mexico residents also pay lower housing costs than the national averages as well, so there’s a lower cost of living in the state compared with others.
However, the state is one of the harder-hit states when it comes to unemployment spikes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as its unemployment rate increased 3.4 percentage points YOY from 4.8% in December 2019 to 8.2% in December 2020, which is 1.5 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate of 6.7% for the same period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
If you plan to become a financial planner in New Mexico, you’ll need to decide to work as a fee-based or commission-based advisor. Fee-based advisors can choose to become fiduciaries, which means that they are required to make financial decisions and recommendations that are in the best interests of their clients. If you do, you’ll likely become a Certified Financial Planner, or CFP of which there are 235 in New Mexico, according to the CFP Board, which tracks such data.
The BLS publishes data for the salaries of financial advisors, stockbrokers and life/annuity producers (insurance agents) for the state’s two largest cities, Albuquerque and Santa Fe. See the data breakdown below.
Financial Advisor Salary in New Mexico
There aren’t very many financial advisors in the BLS data – 150 in Albuquerque and 100 in the capital of Santa Fe. But the salaries are well worth the effort as the annual mean salary in Santa Fe is $173,970, more than 3X the state’s median income, and $97,880 in Albuquerque. The data points provided for the 75th and 90th percentiles for experienced advisors aren’t very indicative of the salaries you can expect at those levels, but with averages as high as they are, advisors in New Mexico can expect to earn a nice living.
Stockbroker Salary in New Mexico
There are significantly more stockbrokers in New Mexico than financial advisors, but they also make less money. The annual mean salary for Albuquerque is $54,580, while it’s $70,180 in Santa Fe. At the highest levels of the profession, brokers in the 90th percentile can expect to earn as much as $107,670 in Albuquerque and $125,630 in Santa Fe. See the table below for additional details.
Life/Annuity Producer Salary in New Mexico
The only data the BLS provided for insurance agents, also known as life/annuity producers in New Mexico, was for the city of Albuquerque, where there are more than 1K agents employed. They earn an average salary of $43,930 per year, but that increases by $10K at the 75th percentile and goes up to $73,240 at the 90th percentile.
(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.)