To Put This in Context:
Becoming a financial advisor requires a bachelor’s degree in finance or business for an entry-level position. And due to market trends and an aging population, the personal financial advisement profession is projected to grow 30% from 2014 to 2024. Top-earning professionals in this field also pursue certificates to learn about and utilize advanced financial solutions for clients. If you’re a college student or new graduate considering a future in wealth management, read on to see if this is the career for you.
The Market Needs Financial Advisors. Become One.
There has never been a better time to become a financial advisor. Businesses are moving away from traditional banks and brokerage firms to more holistic relationships with independent financial planners.  At the same time, 76 million baby boomers are approaching retirement, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck.  The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) estimates that 43% of baby boomers are not prepared to support themselves in retirement. 
These market conditions reflect a rise in financial advisor employment, which is projected to grow 30% from 2014 to 2024.  It will take a new kind of professional with a unique education to stabilize the financial future of companies and individuals alike.
Could that be you?
Between 2014 & 2024, more than 73,900 jobs are expected to be created for aspiring financial advisors. #Context
What Does A Financial Advisor Do?
Financial advisors apply knowledge from every aspect of finance, from real estate investments to taxes and pensions, to build financial strength and literacy for their clients. Many are self-employed, and others work for insurance companies. Their primary roles include:
- Meet with clients to discuss financial goals
- Educate clients on their investment options and potential risks
- Recommend investments to clients or select investments on their behalf
- Help clients plan for specific life events, such as mortgages, tuition, or retirement
- Monitor clients’ accounts and identify areas of improvement to accommodate lifestyle changes, such as marriage or having children
- Act in good faith on the behalf of a client’s money-related issues
- Research investment opportunities
Did You Know?
Wealth managers work for high-end clients with significant money to invest. These professionals manage collections of investments in portfolios. Financial advisors who ascend to this role often see their earnings increase by more than 35%. 
Companies See Your Potential. You See Higher Earnings.
Financial advisement is a lucrative career path that garners median annual wages of nearly $90,000.  The highest paid advisors earn more than $187,200 and often enjoy substantial bonuses.  In terms of younger professionals just entering the field, beginning salaries can be considerably less — starting at around $35,000.  But as a financial advisor, you can command a range of salaries contingent on your education, expertise, and specialization.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics gives median annual wages for personal financial advisors in top industries as follows:
|Securities, commodities, and brokerages
|Other financial investment activities
|Management of companies and enterprises
|Professional, scientific, and technical services
|Credit intermediation and related activities
Did You Know?
The best paying metropolitan areas for financial advisors are Danbury, Connecticut; Panama City, Florida; Great Falls, Montana; Winchester, Virginia; and Montgomery, Alabama. 
Distinguish Your Education. Secure the Job.
Financial advisors typically need a bachelor’s degree in finance or business for an entry-level position in the industry. But minimum qualifications are not enough for a thriving career in financial planning. While the Master of Business Administration is not necessarily required for the role, the degree provides improved finance, marketing, communication, and management skills that can increase a financial adviser’s ability to meet client needs.  In addition, students desiring new skills, industry expertise, and growth in their financial advisor career should seek certificates. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification, which is considered the standard of excellence for all financial planners, can provide all of these.  The exam covers:
- Financial planning
- Insurance and risk management
- Employee benefits
- Taxes and retirement
- Investments and real estate
- Debt management
- Emergency fund reserves
- Statistical modeling
Advisors need a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of work experience to take the CFP exam.
Did You Know?
According to a nationwide survey of upper-income households by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, 85% of respondents considered a financial advisor’s certification and education as “very important” or “extremely important.”
Become a Leader Among Leaders.
When you choose to become a financial advisor, you do more than join a growing profession; you commit to helping hard-working citizens meet their financial objectives. Financial advisors enjoy high earnings and longstanding client relationships because they are constantly learning better ways to do their job. Additionally, companies and consumers agree that an education is highly sought after when selecting financial advisors. The bottom line: Certificates and an MBA can not only help you enter this lucrative field, but can also open up numerous advancement and entrepreneurial opportunities.