From the Tamarack gallery and marketplace to the New River Bridge, West Virginians have a special piece of the country. With a love of pepperoni rolls and getting to experience all four seasons, West Virginia residents are proud of their home state.
According to 2019 U.S. Census data, 20.5% of the state’s residents are 65 and older with a population decrease estimate of 3.3% from 2010 to 2019. The percentage of West Virginia residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher (ages 25+) was 20.6%, which is lower than the national average of 32.1%. And the median household income in 2019 was $46,711 with 16% of its residents living in poverty.
Despite the state’s slightly decreasing population over the past 10 years, the population of older folks means that there’s a great opportunity for those looking to move to West Virginia to work in the field of finance and financial planning. If you live in West Virginia and are considering a career in finance or financial planning, we have the information you need to make the best decision for your career.
According to WorkForce West Virginia, the state’s unemployment level in December 2020 was 6.3%, and the average annual wage in 2019 was $46,616. So, while unemployment is still affecting the state’s residents, it is marginally lower than the overall U.S. unemployment rate of 6.7% for December 2020.
Additionally, the number of fiduciaries in West Virginia is small. As a fiduciary, you’re required to act in the best interest of your client and not your own business interest, and the number of fiduciaries in the state in is 127, which is 0.1 % of the overall number of CFPs in the United States, according to the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board.
Don’t forget to take into consideration whether you’ll want to work as a fee-based advisor who charges clients a flat fee or a commission-based advisor, earning commission on product/service sales.
Below is salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2019 that outlines the historical data for financial advisors, stockbrokers and life/annuity producers in West Virginia for the regions of Charleston, Huntington-Ashland, Morgantown and Parkersburg-Vienna.
Financial Advisor Salary in West Virginia
Financial advisors in West Virginia can plan on making a decent living. The salary ranges for the major metros in the state far outstrip the median income with advisors the lowest-paying metro of Parkersburg-Vienna making an average annual wage of $61,290 and going up to $115,890 in Huntington-Ashland. Additionally, at the 90th percentile data point, the salaries go all the way up to $204,990 per year in Charleston, the highest data point BLS provides for this sector.
Stockbroker Salary in West Virginia
Looking at the same metro areas for stockbrokers, the annual mean wage for stockbrokers starts at $7K more than the annual median wage for the state at $53,070 in Morgantown and is the highest in Charleston at $86,280. And Charleston wins for the highest 90th-percentile wage at $164,740 per year, according to the BLS. Keep in mind that those making salaries in the 90thpercentile likely have years of experience.
Life/Annuity Producer Salary in West Virginia
Life insurance and annuity producers earn a wide annual mean salary range in West Virginia, from $35,650 in Morgantown to the high end of $71,950 in Charleston. At the 90th annual percentile wage, the same trends continue with Morgantown producers making the least and Charleston agents making the most.
(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.)