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Financial Advisor Salary Range

Being a financial advisor has emerged as a lucrative career option, in the past few decades. The salary range of these professionals has proportionately risen with the increasing importance of this job in helping people manage their investments. Read to know about the latest salary projections.
CareerStint Staff
Projected Growth Rate
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment opportunities for personal financial advisors are expected to grow at a rate of 27%, until 2022.

The investment vehicles offered by today's economy provide unmatched opportunities for investor wealth to grow. With a plethora of options, ranging from the exotic (derivatives and options), to the simple but reliable 401(K)s, the financial markets offer a multitude of alternatives for wealth creation. The pay packages of financial advisors are on the rise due to the increasingly important role played by them, in helping people take advantage of investment opportunities.

The pay scale of every one of these professionals depends on experience, qualifications, client base size, personal track record, and the firm he or she is working for. Besides the job location, one of the macroscopic variables that determines their salary range is the performance of the economy as a whole. Close to one-third of the advisors work independently. There are various designations, given to these advisors, depending on the mode of their operation. There are two main profiles:
  • Personal Advisor: Personal financial advisers specialize in retirement planning, tax planning, as well as investment in securities for individuals. Most of them sell life insurance and other insurance covers too. They earn through commissions, based on the earnings they make for the clients, that are assigned to them, by a firm. High performances are often rewarded with bonuses. Wealth managers, also known as private bankers, are advisors who manage a portfolio for a few high net worth individuals.
  • Financial Analyst: Financial analysts are investment advisors for big companies, who are consulted regarding investment in various securities. They must study industrial sector performance, create and manage portfolios for investors, carry out asset valuation, and help in making high volume investments for companies. They may act as risk analysts, portfolio managers, fund managers, and ratings analysts.
Most advisors have an MBA degree in finance and come from a commerce background. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certifications can help boost career growth and salaries of advisors. They need to be good at handling people and analyzing financial data. They have to be experts in number crunching and their knowledge of various sectors of industry, investments, and tax laws, needs to be in-depth. The most important skill for these advisors is a mastery over valuation techniques of financial assets. 

Personal Advisor Salary
Median annual wages is a dividing value, that separates 50% of the individuals who earned more than that value, from the other 50% who earned less. According to BLS, based on data made available until May 2012, the median annual wage earned by personal financial advisors has been USD 67,520, which amounts to about USD 32.46 per hour. The most successful advisors, who constitute the top 10% of their ilk, earned more than USD 187,200, while the bottom 10% earned lesser than USD 32,280. This data excludes self-employed advisors. Income is earned by these advisors through percentage-based commission, according to size of assets under their management, sale of financial products, and other fees. According to statistics, about 30% of the advisors will work for more than 40 hours per week. Depending on the sectors these advisors might work for, here are the median salary figures, based on data provided by BLS.

Sector Median Annual Wage
Credit Related Activities USD 47,780
Insurance USD 63,500
Securities, Commodities, Brokerage USD 72,630
Professional and Technical Services USD 82,360
Financial Investing USD 83,400


Financial Analysts
Till May 2012, financial analysts earned a median wage of USD 76,950, which amounts to USD 37 per hour. The highest earning professionals, the top 10% of the professionals, earned more than USD 148,430. On the other hand, those falling in the bottom 10% earned lesser than USD 47,130. Depending on the sectors these advisors are employed in, here are the median salary figures of financial analysts, based on the data provided by BLS.

Sector Median Annual Wage
Insurance USD 72,270
Company and Enterprise Management USD 75,200
Credit Related Activities USD 75,300
Professional and Technical Services USD 75,920
Financial Investing USD 90,560

The job of a financial advisor comes with a great deal of inherent responsibility and risk. After all, people risk losing their life's earnings if your decisions go awry. So with the ever rising salary, comes an increasing level of responsibility. In the globalized world, as investment options have skyrocketed, so have the salaries of financial advisors, and they stand to gain from the future world economic growth.