Although Wisconsin is known as the America’s Dairyland, Wisconsinites know there’s more to the state than its reputation for making amazing cheese. The state is also a tourism mecca with its coastlines along Lake Michigan and Lake Superior providing ample recreational activities. In addition, it’s the 23rd-largest state and the 20th most-populous state.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Wisconsin had an unemployment rate of 5.5% in December 2020, which was 1.2% higher MOM but still far lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 6.7% for December.
The median household income in 2019 for Wisconsinites was $61,747, which is only $1K less than the U.S. median household income of $62,843 for the same time period, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, the population per square mile is 105.0 in Wisconsin, compared with the national average of 87.4.
If you’re one of the 68% of Cheeseheads who live in urban areas in Wisconsin who’s considering a career in finance or financial planning, you’ll have a larger population from which to build a client base. There currently are 1,730 Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) working in Wisconsin, which represents 2% of the total number of CFPs in the U.S., according to the CFP Board. Remember, being a CFP means you’re a fiduciary that requires advisors to act in the best interest of their clients rather than advising clients based on their own self-interest.
Will you pursue employment in finance or financial planning in Wisconsin as a fee-based advisor charging clients a flat fee to manage their money or as a commission-based advisor, earning commission on product/service sales.
We’ve distilled data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the 2019 salaries of financial advisors, stockbrokers and insurance agents for the state of Wisconsin including the following regions: Appleton, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Janesville-Beloit, La Crosse-Onalaska, Madison, Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Northeastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area, Oshkosh-Neenah, Racine, Sheboygan, South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area and Wausau. Keep reading for the salary breakdowns for each job type.
Financial Advisor Salary in Wisconsin
Financial advisors in Wisconsin can expect to earn an hourly mean wage of anywhere from $26.06 an hour in the South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area to $64.20 per hour in La Crosse-Onalaska, which correspond to annual mean salaries of $54,190 to $133,540. Keep in mind that the hourly wage isn’t the rate that advisors are charging their clients, it’s just a salary breakdown. At the high end, we can see salaries reaching the $200K range for experienced advisors in the 90th percentile in Wausau, according to May 2019 BLS data.
Stockbroker Salary in Wisconsin
For Wisconsinite stockbrokers, the highest-paying regions in the state are the major population centers of Racine, Janesville-Beloit and Madison, the home of the Badgers (aka the University of Wisconsin-Madison), at $89,680, $80,990 and $80,400, respectively. Milwaukee, as the state’s largest metro area, has the largest number of stockbrokers at 1,920. La Cross-Onalaska on the state’s eastern shore of the Mississippi River has the smallest number of brokers at 50.
Life/Annuity Producer Salary in Wisconsin
Salaries for insurance agents in Wisconsin range from the low annual mean salary of $54,910 in Sheboygan to the high salary of $88,300 in Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, which isn’t surprising since Milwaukee is the state’s largest metropolitan area. However, when it comes to the highest salary in the state in the 90th percentile of all wages, that honor goes to La Crosse-Onalaska with an annual salary of $162,860.
(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.)