Oklahoma, the 20th-largest state in the U.S., is home to more than 10 different ecological regions, which represents more per square mile than any other state. Four different mountain ranges abide within its borders, and there are forests, canyons, mesa ranges, prairies and the Great Plains.
The state is a large producer of natural gas, aircraft and agricultural products, ranking fifth in the overall production of wheat in the U.S. But there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the Sooner State. If you’re looking to work in finance or financial planning in the state of Oklahoma, there are a few things to know.
Salaries in the Midwest and the Southern U.S. tend to be a bit lower than those found on the West Coast or East Coast, and Oklahoma’s 2019 median household income is consistent with that trend at $52,919, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That figure is almost $10K lower than that national median income of $62,843, but the median gross rent also is $250 less per month than in the larger U.S., at $810 per month for Oklahomans and $1,062 nationally.
Additionally, the unemployment rate in December 2020 for Oklahoma was 5.3%, which is 1.9 percentage points higher than the unemployment rate for the same month in 2019 (3.4%), but still lower than the national unemployment rate of 6.7%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
If you plan to work as a financial planner in Oklahoma, you might consider becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), which also means you’ll be a fiduciary who’s required to act in the best interest of their clients when offering financial advice. According to the CFP Board, there are 448 certified financial planners in Oklahoma, representing 0.5% of CFPs nationwide.
You’ll also want to decide whether you’ll operate on a fee-based model, charging clients fees for the assets under management, or a commission-based model, earning commission when you make financial transactions for your clients.
Tulsa and Oklahoma City are the state’s largest metropolitan regions, and the BLS has salary data for those two cities, as well as the Northeast Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area for stockbrokers, financial advisors and annuity/life insurance producers.
Financial Advisor Salary in Oklahoma
Somewhat surprisingly, Tulsa takes the top spot in Oklahoma for the annual mean salary for stockbrokers at $111,550 per year. Oklahoma City brokers earn considerably less at $77,170 per year, and the Northeastern nonmetropolitan area takes third place again with an annual salary of $60,030.
Stockbroker Salary in Oklahoma
The highest annual mean salary for stockbrokers in Oklahoma can be found in Oklahoma – not surprising, given that it’s the largest city in the state – at $84,240. Tulsa is the next-highest-paying region at $78,180 per year, and the Northeast Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area has the lowest annual mean salary at $53,120.
At the highest end of the spectrum, experienced brokers in the 90th percentile can earn $173,170 in Oklahoma City and $157,500 in Tulsa.
Life/Annuity Producer Salary in Oklahoma
The annual mean salaries for insurance sales agents (annuity producers) in Oklahoma are lower across the board than those for our other two occupations. The lowest paying region, again, is the northeastern nonmetropolitan area with a salary of $53,030 per year, followed closely by Oklahoma City, where the annual mean salary is $53,570. Tulsa again is the highest-paying region in the state at $69,760 per year.
For experienced agents in the 75th percentile of all insurance agents, Tulsa again was the winner with a $15K bump and the northeast region saw the smallest gain with a bump of only $30 per year.
(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.)