The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Advise clients on financial plans using knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, insurance, pension plans, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients’ assets, liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, tax status, and financial objectives. May also buy and sell financial assets for clients.
Sample of reported job titles:
Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Financial Advisor, Financial Consultant, Financial Counselor, Financial Planner, Investment Advisor, Portfolio Manager, Wealth Advisor
Interview clients to determine their current income, expenses, insurance coverage, tax status, financial objectives, risk tolerance, or other information needed to develop a financial plan.
Recommend to clients strategies in cash management, insurance coverage, investment planning, or other areas to help them achieve their financial goals.
Manage client portfolios, keeping client plans up-to-date.
Implement financial planning recommendations or refer clients to someone who can assist them with plan implementation.
Analyze financial information obtained from clients to determine strategies for meeting clients’ financial objectives.
Answer clients’ questions about the purposes and details of financial plans and strategies.
Review clients’ accounts and plans regularly to determine whether life changes, economic changes, environmental concerns, or financial performance indicate a need for plan reassessment.
Contact clients periodically to determine any changes in their financial status.
Investigate available investment opportunities to determine compatibility with client financial plans.
Explain to clients the personal financial advisor’s responsibilities and the types of services to be provided.
Recommend financial products, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or insurance.
Prepare or interpret for clients information, such as investment performance reports, financial document summaries, or income projections.
Monitor financial market trends to ensure that client plans are responsive.
Guide clients in the gathering of information, such as bank account records, income tax returns, life and disability insurance records, pension plans, or wills.
Recruit and maintain client bases.
Meet with clients’ other advisors, such as attorneys, accountants, trust officers, or investment bankers, to fully understand clients’ financial goals and circumstances.
Devise debt liquidation plans that include payoff priorities and timelines.
Open accounts for clients and disburse funds from accounts to creditors as agent for clients.
Recommend environmentally responsible investments, such as cleantech, alternative energy, or conservation technologies, companies, or funds.
Inform clients about tax benefits, government rebates, or other financial benefits of alternative fuel vehicle purchases or energy efficient home construction, improvements, or remodeling.
Conduct seminars or workshops on financial planning topics, such as retirement planning, estate planning, or the evaluation of severance packages.
Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Detailed Work Activities
Interview clients to gather financial information.
Recommend investments to clients.
Implement financial decisions.
Assess financial status of clients.
Correspond with customers to answer questions or resolve complaints.
Educate clients on financial planning topics.
Identify strategic business investment opportunities.
Interpret financial information for others.
Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.
Analyze market conditions or trends.
Advise others on financial matters.
Confer with others about financial matters.
Develop business relationships.
Compute debt repayment schedules.
Disburse funds from clients accounts to creditors.
Electronic Mail — 96% responded “Every day.”
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 91% responded “Every day.”
Telephone — 83% responded “Every day.”
Spend Time Sitting — 61% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 59% responded “Every day.”
Frequency of Decision Making — 61% responded “Every day.”
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
Structured versus Unstructured Work — 48% responded “Some freedom.”
Duration of Typical Work Week — 61% responded “More than 40 hours.”
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 52% responded “Very important results.”
Contact With Others — 41% responded “Constant contact with others.”
Deal With External Customers — 39% responded “Extremely important.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 52% responded “Some freedom.”
Level of Competition — 39% responded “Highly competitive.”
Letters and Memos — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
Time Pressure — 57% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 48% responded “Very important.”
Coordinate or Lead Others — 30% responded “Important.”
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 35% responded “Important.”
- Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
- Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.
- Related Experience
- A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
- Job Training
- Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
- Job Zone Examples
- Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
- SVP Range
- 2-4 years of preparation (7.0 to < 8.0)
Training & Credentials
- State training
- Local training
- State licenses
- Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov
to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
Management of Financial Resources — Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:
Bachelor’s degree required
Post-baccalaureate certificate required
Less than high school diploma required
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Wages & Employment Trends
- Median wages (2021)
- $45.27 hourly, $94,170 annual
- State wages
- Local wages
- Employment (2020)
- 275,200 employees
- Projected growth (2020-2030)
Slower than average (1% to 5%)
- Projected job openings (2020-2030)
- State trends
- Top industries (2020)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data
and 2020-2030 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
- State job openings
- Local job openings