The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest states in the U.S. and is steeped in American Founder Father folklore. It had the sixth-largest gross state product (GSP) in the nation in 2018 and if it were an independent country, the state’s economy would rank No. 19 in the world.
The state is home to 50 Fortune 500 companies, such as H.J. Heinz, GE, U.S. Steel and the Hershey Company. Pennsylvania also ranks 19th when it comes to agricultural production, producing mushrooms, apples, Christmas trees, chickens, nursery products, sod, corn for silage and grapes.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2019 median household income in the state of Pennsylvania was $61,744, which is about $1K lower than the national median household income of $62,843. The state does tax its residents at a higher rate than other states, however, and it holds the tile for levying the 15th-highest state and local tax burden on its residents.
The unemployment rate in December 2020 in Pennsylvania was 6.7%, which is the same as the national unemployment rate to the last percentage point. It does, however, represent a 2.1% increase YOY, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Pennsylvania is No. 5 in the U.S. when it comes to the number of Certified Financial Planners (CFP)s who work in the state at 4,720, which represents 5.3% of the total number of CFPs in the nation, according to the CFP Board. CFPs are fiduciaries, which means they’re required to act in the best interest of their clients, whether that interest aligns with their business interests or not.
If you’re considering a career in finance or financial planning in Pennsylvania, you’ll want to decide whether to serve clients as a fee-based advisor, earning flat fees from the managed asset amount, or a commission-based model where you earn commissions based on products and services sales.
The BLS publishes data for the annual salaries of financial advisors, stockbrokers and life insurance/annuity producers in the Pennsylvania regions of Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Altoona, Chambersburg-Waynesboro, Erie, Harrisburg-Carlisle, Johnstown, Lancaster, Northern Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pittsburgh and Reading.
Financial Advisor Salary in Pennsylvania
Surprisingly, financial advisors in Philadelphia, which is the state’s largest city, don’t earn the highest salaries at $94,800. The highest annual salaries for Pennsylvanian financial advisors are found in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton metropolitan area at $145,250, followed by Pittsburgh planners at $141,900 and York-Hanover planners ranking third with annual salaries of $137,680.
The lowest salaries can be found in Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Hazleton, State College and the Southern Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area. Salaries in the 75th or 90th percentile for Allentown weren’t available, but Johnstown is home to a 90th-percentile salary of $196,620 for experienced advisors.
Stockbroker Salary in Pennsylvania
Salaries are quite a bit lower across the board for stockbrokers in Pennsylvania when compared with financial advisors, ranging from $50K to $90K. The highest-paying regions for brokers was Philadelphia with an annual mean salary of $90,110, followed by Harrisburg-Carlisle with pay of $81,430.
The lowest-paying regions were no surprise: State College at $51,390, the Southern Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area at $52,320 and the Western Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area at $52,920 per year.
Life/Annuity Producer Salary in Pennsylvania
Annual salaries for life insurance/annuity agents are like those of stockbrokers in Pennsylvania but here, Erie takes the top salary spot in the state, where the mean annual salary of an agent is $89,730. Most of the salaries in the state are in the range of $40K-$70K with Erie being the outlier on the high end and Altoona bookmarking the low end at $35,950.
(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.)