What type of education do financial advisors need?
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) information on how to become a financial advisor, a bachelor’s degree is necessary. The agency also states that a master’s degree and professional certification could increase chances of advancement.
Advisors often start with an undergraduate degree in business or finance. A mathematics or accounting degree can also provide a knowledge base for those interested in finance careers.
In addition to providing the knowledge base necessary for a financial advisor career, a bachelor’s is necessary for some credentials, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification.
What skills do financial advisors need?
Financial advisors need analytical abilities and interpersonal skills. These requirements necessitate a diverse skill set. Here are some key traits of this profession:
- Analytical skills: Advisors must examine market trends, investment performance and risk profiles to create strategies to present to clients.
- Problem-solving: The financial world is unpredictable. On top of that, advisors often need to work with clients in challenging financial situations. They need to find ways to fix issues and put their clients on the correct track.
- Communication: The ability to explain concepts and financial plans is essential because it builds client trust and helps them understand financial decisions.
- Time management: Most advisors handle multiple clients, and they have to examine financial data and stay current on market movements while providing responsive service to customers. The job often involves prioritizing and multitasking.
- Ethics: These professionals need to work in the best interest of their clients and should always be transparent about decisions and advice.
- Empathy: Understanding clients’ emotions is crucial for this job. Advisors need to understand clients’ situations and offer support in difficult financial situations.
Some of these skills come directly from work experience. In fact, some industry certifications place as much importance on experience as academic credentials.
What level of experience do financial advisors need?
In the resource about becoming a financial advisor cited above, BLS notes that most professionals in the field gain experience by taking an entry-level position in a firm. In this job, they work alongside a seasoned advisor. They may learn the ropes and then deal with clients directly with oversight from the senior advisor.
CFP certification, one of the most common credentials, requires at least three years (or 6,000 hours) of professional experience before sitting for the exam. University of Phoenix does not educationally prepare for this certification exam.
Some financial advisory firms offer apprenticeships that typically last for two years or 4,000 hours. These jobs qualify employees for CFP certification if they also pass the exam.
What certifications do financial advisors need?
BLS says CFP certification enhances reputation and could bring new clients. However, financial advisors are not required to earn this certification. BLS says this position requires a license if advisors sell certain products directly to clients.
Students in finance or accounting programs can earn financial advisor certificates from their school to start getting specialized knowledge during their studies. Some programs combine business degrees with financial planning certificates.
Some specialized certifications advisors might obtain are:
- Financial Risk Manager (FRM)
- Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC)
- Certified Estate Planner (CEP)
These certifications are for advisors who want to specialize or highlight skills in a specific area.
How much do financial advisors make?
As of May 2022, it was reported that personal advisors earned between $46,700 and $239,200 annually, according to BLS. Pay depends on experience, academic credentials, certification and skills. Geographic location also played a part in salary expectations.
Financial advisors get paid in two ways. They earn a salary, and some get a commission if they sell investment products to clients. Commission-earning sales require registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Advisors selling insurance products may need to register with their state.
What is the career outlook for financial advisors?
BLS projects 13% job growth for financial advisors from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations. This statistic highlights the growth potential of the finance sector.
The growth potential, unique skills, entry-level salary and other factors make financial advisor careers attractive to those with an interest in finance. Though this career requires academic qualifications and extensive on-the-job experience, it is potentially rewarding, with advisors having a direct impact on the finances of their clients.
Education programs in finance at University of Phoenix
If a career as a financial manager interests you, a Bachelor of Science in Business with a Financial Planning Certificate at University of Phoenix can help you learn how to analyze financial information to address business needs. However, if you’re interested in one of the different types of financial managers, such as being a treasurer or cash manager, you will have to look up the specific education and requirements for those roles as the necessary focus areas may not be taught in the UOPX degree program.
In the business and financial planning program, you’ll learn top skills such as management, operations, financial planning and financial analysis. More specifically, you’ll learn how to examine areas of financial planning that can be used to improve decision-making and analyze financial information to improve operational performance.
Perhaps you’d prefer to pursue a career in accounting. If so, you may want to consider the University’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting. In this program, you’ll learn to develop specialized skills in managerial accounting, estate taxation, advanced topics in accounting research and more. If you’re interested in business in general, or other sector of business, explore more about the business degrees offered at University of Phoenix!