From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay, Virginians get star status as the first colonists in the U.S. Now, more than 36% of the Commonwealth of Virginia residents live in the Baltimore-Washington metro. The state has a wide range of economic sectors, from agriculture to military institutions, seaports to federal agencies.
The state is the 35th largest by area and had the 13th largest GDP in the nation in 2018. Virginia’s unemployment rate in December 2020 was 4.9%, which is 1.8 percentage points lower than the national unemployment rate for the same time period at 6.7%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the median household income in 2019 was $74,222, which is significantly higher than the U.S. median household income of $62,843, according to U.S. Census data.
If you’re interested in working in finance or financial planning in the state of Virginia, it’s likely that your clients will work in the military or defense space, as Virginia has the highest defense spending of any state in the nation per capita.
There are 2,612 Certified Financial Planners in Virginia accounting for 2.9% of all the CFPs in the U.S., according to the CFP Board. CFPs are fiduciaries, which means they’re required to act in the best interest of their clients rather than in their own interests.
One thing you’ll have to consider is whether you’re going to work as a fee-based advisor, which means you charge your clients a fee for your services, or a commission-based advisor, charging clients commission based on the products and services you buy/sell for them.
If you’re looking to be a financial planner in Virginia, you’ve come to the right spot. We have data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the salaries earned by financial advisors, insurance agents and stockbrokers in the regions of Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Northeast Virginia nonmetropolitan area, Richmond, Roanoke, Southside Virginia nonmetropolitan area, Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News and Winchester.
Financial Advisor Salary in Virginia
Financial advisors in Virginia can expect to earn an annual mean salary of $71,870 in Winchester to $154,490 in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News area, with Winchester and Harrisonburg being the only two regions in which Virginia advisors make less than $100K per year. The three cities that BLS provides data for experienced advisors making in the 90th percentile include Harrisonburg advisors making $169,020, Lynchburg advisors making $205,950 per year and Winchester advisors making $100,910 per year.
Stockbroker Salary in Virginia
The stockbroker annual mean salaries in Virginia are somewhat lower than those of financial advisors and tend are highest in Richmond, Roanoke, Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News and Winchester. In Richmond, the annual mean salary is $90,520; the lowest salary came from Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford with an annual wage of $56,200. Salaries in the 90th percentile, however, are high across the board with brokers in the Southside Virginia nonmetropolitan area earning the lowest at $81,410 and those in Roanoke making the highest at $191,280.
Life/Annuity Producer Salary in Virginia
Insurance agents in Virginia make annual mean salaries in the $45-$76k range with those in Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford earning the lowest at $45,600 and agents in Richmond earning the highest wage at $76,920, corresponding to hourly rates of $19.84 and $26.74, respectively. At the high end, though, agents in Charlottesville can make up to $181,890 per year in 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.)