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How Much Does a Financial Planner Make?

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

You have two ways to invest wages that you earn. The first is to do it yourself, which takes time and expertise many people don't have. The second is to use the services of financial planners. They make their money by making sure you hang on to as much of yours as possible through wise investments, retirement savings and tax planning. As with most professions, the income of a financial planner depends on a variety of factors, including location and type of employer.

National Averages

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that personal financial advisors earned an average annual salary of $90,820 as of May 2012. The highest 10 percent of earners made $187,199 per year or more, while the lowest paid 10 percent made $32,280 or less. Half of all financial planners earned between $44,140 and $111,450 per year.

Regional Comparisons

Among the states, New York employed the most personal financial advisors as of May 2012, with 23,710 out of 175,470 positions. The mean pay here was $123,250, according to the BLS. The state with the highest pay was Connecticut at an average of $130,710 per year. New York ranked second for compensation. Among metropolitan areas, New York City topped the list for the most jobs with 21,100. Planners in the Big Apple earned an average of $127,400 per year. The metro area with the highest wages was Fayetteville, Ark., at a mean $155,540 per year.

Type of Employer

The type of employer also has an influence on job opportunities and pay for financial planners. The biggest employers were companies that provide other financial investment services, a BLS category that includes financial planning services. These employers also boasted the highest average salaries at $110,860 per year as of May 2012. Second for the number of jobs were securities and commodities brokers, which paid a mean $96,720 yearly. Ranking second for pay were computer systems design and related services at a mean $107,730 per year.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of jobs for financial planners to increase by 32 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is greater than the 17 percent projected for all business and financial operations occupations and more than double the 14 percent predicted for all industries. The country’s aging baby boomer population will drive the demand as they seek retirement planning. Competition will be fierce because the field attracts many who want its high incomes.