If you are interested in a career as a financial advisor, you definitely want to know the industry’s status.

And since we’ve got your interest at heart, we’ll cover everything about financial advisor statistics today.

In this article, you’ll learn about:

Financial advisory industry analysis
Financial advisor demographics
Technology and the financial advisory industry
Financial advisors’ job satisfaction

Let’s jump into it.

Financial Advisory Industry Analysis

The financial advisory industry has experienced a tremendous growth rate in the past years.

The future is looking even brighter.

Baby boomers make up 56% of the total financial professionals in the industry. 

With their retirement looming, the financial planning market is opening up to the younger generation, who make a small fraction of the professionals in the industry.

Only 5% of financial advisors are below 30 years, yet the demand for financial planning services is expected to grow by 6% globally between 2021 and 2026.

The industry in the US needs to employ 25,500 new advisors annually to meet the demand for planning services and financial products.

More importantly, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the industry will grow by 5% in the next 10 years.

The growth rate is slower than the average of all occupations in the USA.

Despite the slow growth rate, there’ll be 21,500 financial advisors job openings every year for the next 10 years.

For this reason, apart from middle-aged professionals getting into the profession from other industries, the number of young people employed in the industry is expected to increase to fill the gap of the retiring baby boomers.

Let’s now dig deeper to have a clear picture of financial advisors professionals.

Financial Advisors Salary Outlook

According to Payscale, financial advisors’ average salary is $58,078. 

But then again, experience is at the core of how much a financial professional earns.

Other factors like certification, industry and geographical location also play a part.

So, how does advisors’ salary differ in regards to work experience?

Personal financial advisors with one year of experience earn an average of $47,000.

Those who’ve stayed in the field for 1-4 years can expect an annual salary of $57,000.

The average salary of financial advisors with 5-9 years is $70,000, while their counterparts with 10-19 years earn an average of $83,000 per year.

When we spin the variables a little and look into certifications, advisors’ annual salary varies depending on their certification.

Certified financial planners (CFP) earn an average of $80,566 per year.

Other specialists, like financial analysts, earn an average salary of $73,689.

A wealth manager’s salary, on the other hand, is estimated to be $87,689 per year.

It goes without saying that a certification gives an advisor a competitive advantage.

It’s also important to note that more is equally required from a certified advisor.

Before qualifying for certification, an advisor must have several years of experience, pass a rigorous examination, and adhere to a strict code of conduct and ethical standards.

For example, CFPs must have a bachelor’s degree and 3 years of experience before enrolling in the course.

Once done, a financial planner must comply with the fiduciary standards and maintain the certification through continuous education.

Employment of Financial Advisors by State

Entry-level financial planners have higher employment opportunities in Newyork, Los Angeles, and Boston, with each state employing 27,270, 10,520 and 8,740, new advisors per year, respectively.

When it comes to states that pay advisors well, Newyork takes the lead with an average of $169,310.

Second in line is Maine, with an average annual salary of $155,240. 

Hot in pursuit is Montana at number three, paying advisors an average of $154,630 per year.

Minnesota and Massachusetts are also among the top five well-paying states, with an annual average salary of $153,830 and $151,390, respectively.

BLS further categorizes Connecticut, Newyork, Rhode Island, Utah, and Massachusetts as the states with the highest job concentration. 

Lastly, California, Newyork, Florida, Texas, and Illinois have the highest employment level in the financial industry.

Industries that Employ Financial Advisors

BLS statistics show that securities commodities contracts and other financial investment-related activities employ the highest number of advisors, with a total of 159,650.

Credit intermediation and related activities have 32,720 personal financial advisors.

The third industry with the most financial professionals is agencies, brokerages, and other insurance-related activities with 6,090 advisors.

Management companies and enterprises also employ around 4,240 financial professionals.

And lastly, we have accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services with 2,660 financial analysts.

Among the many industries that employ advisors, the top payers are:

  • Other investment pools and funds 
  • Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investment-related activities
  • Real estate
  • Legal services
  • Management of companies and enterprises

Financial Advisor Demographics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 203,791 financial advisors in the USA.

Like many other professions, the gender pay gap is imminent in the financial planning industry.

Men make up the biggest number of personal financial advisors, at 68.5%. 

Women make up 31.5% of the financial advice industry.

While the percentage of female advisors is still low, 2020 witnessed a 3.1% increase in the number of female advisors with certified financial planner (CFP) certification.

When it comes to earnings, for every dollar a man earns in the industry, a woman earns 86¢.

Considering this fact, men earn an average of $76,162 while women take home $65,247.

As for age, the average age of financial advisors is 44 years.

This age group makes up 61% of financial advisors.

The average age for male and female advisors is almost the same, with male advisors’ age hovering around 45 years while female advisors are mostly 44 years old.

Advisors between 30-40 years make up 27% of financial planners.

The least represented group are young people between the ages of 20-30, who make up only 12% of advisors.

Moving on swiftly to race composition in the industry.

Whites are the most dominant race, making 76.6% of the financial advisors. 

The second largest group is Asians, who make up 8.2% of financial advisor professionals.

Hispanics constitute 7.9%, while blacks make up 5%. 

Statistics show that the predominant group is the top earners, followed by Asians, Hispanics, and lastly, blacks.

In 2020, the industry registered a 12.5% increase in the number of Hispanic and black CFPs.

But still, both Hispanics and blacks combined make only 4% of CFPs.

We can all agree that the industry is not very diverse.

However, inclusion and diversity have been at the core of the financial planning industry for decades. 

Many advisory firms have put policies in place to attract a diverse pool of personal financial advisors applicants.

In particular, these policies promote the inclusion of women, minority groups, and people of color in the financial advisory industry.

In matters of education qualification, 74% of financial advisors have a bachelor’s degree with a major in business.

Other courses that rank high include social sciences, statistics, accounting, and maths. 

With that said, 12% of financial advisors have a master’s degree, while 8% have an associate degree.

A small number, 3%, jump-started their financial advisory career with a high school diploma.

Advisors with a master’s degree earn the highest salary, with an average of $88,690 annually.

Advisors with undergraduate education come in second with an average annual salary of $76,162.

Undergraduate financial advisors’ median salary is $73,000.

Leveraging Technology in Financial Industry

There is a huge generation gap in the financial advisory industry. 

One in every five advisors is 40 years and below.

Twenty-six percent of advisors are 65 years and above.

The majority of advisors, fifty-six percent, are 50 years and above.

As this age group faces out, there’s a need for the financial industry to create an atmosphere that’s ideal for younger financial advisors.

Bridging the Age Gap with Technology

The new generation needs a different kind of support than their predecessors. 

A 2019 financial advisor satisfactory study by J.D. Power revealed that technology plays a big part in the support that the younger generation needs.

At the same time, the new generation of advisors reported not being satisfied with the technological support they were already receiving from the brokerage firms.

Many new advisors felt their firms were not responsive to their needs. 

And when they were, solutions offered were unreliable and irrelevant.

Therefore, firms that want to attract young advisors must meet these advisors at the point of their need.

That is to say, financial firms should provide technological solutions and train their advisors on the effective use of technology.

The study further revealed that despite 64% of advisors under 40 years reporting building relationships with prospects through social media and 47% others getting new clients through social media, 40% of financial firms don’t allow their employees to use digital platforms to communicate with clients. 

Since social media is the new norm, many entry-level advisors use social media to reach clients.

It’s only right for advisory firms to adopt the same.

But clearly, a very small percentage is offering that solution.

And when they do, the tools required to deliver effectively are not integrated.

This was clear in the same study where 46% of advisors reported not using smartphone-friendly tools.

Another 26% were unaware of any smartphone tools used to deliver financial planning services.

The good news, though, 82% of the advisors satisfied with their firms’ technology said they’ll definitely stay compared to only 33% who also voted to remain in their firms despite dissatisfaction with the technology. 

Similarly, 76% of advisors satisfied with their firms’ technology stated that they’d definitely recommend their firms.

Only 29% of advisors dissatisfied with their advisory firms’ technology said they’d recommend their firms.

It’s evident from these statistics that a functioning technology system inspires loyalty from employed advisors.

Besides, they automatically become their firm’s advocate.

An Overview of Financial Planning Tools

J.D. Power 2020 financial advisor satisfaction study shifted the focus to the advisory firms themselves.

Brokerage firms, wealth management firms, and independent firms have gone above and beyond to incorporate technology to enhance new advisors’ work experience.

The financial investment solutions are designed to help advisors better manage new clients’ data.

They also help with portfolio allocation, financial planning, investment management, and customer relationships.

In this study, J.D. Power found out that although advisors had been partially using technology, the pandemic pushed firms to leverage technology more.

Forty-eight percent of advisors reported that the technology their firms adopted was very valuable.

A staggering 92% of advisors reported using financial planning tools in their daily work.

Additionally, the research revealed that despite the progress in workstation technology, only 9% of financial service firms use Al tools.

Despite the low adoption rate, the advisors who use Al tools stated that they find such tools more beneficial than non-Al tools.

Perhaps this could be because of Al’s predictive feature.

Al-based technology can quickly pick clients’ financial situation, making it easier for an advisor to tailor a financial plan with just the right financial products to meet clients’ specific needs.

These tools equally come in handy in retirement planning or even estate planning.

They are also helpful where financial advice is concerned.

Lastly, only 21% of the advisors felt their tools were fully integrated.

A one-stop application makes managing the various financial planning tasks easy.

Financial Advisor Job Satisfaction

There’s conflicting research outcome about advisors’ job satisfaction.

Some surveys report that the financial advice industry is unsatisfactory, while others show that it’s highly satisfactory.

And so, to kick this discussion off. 

Let’s start with the positive vibes.

FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds advisors’ wellness study revealed that the financial planning industry is extremely satisfactory.

The satisfaction, the survey revealed, goes beyond compensation.

The more work experience an advisor accumulates, the more their satisfaction with the job increases

The three reasons that were imminent included:

  • Flexibility and Independence

Nineteen percent of the advisors who took the survey said they loved the job because of the flexible schedule and independence.

Whether working for an RIA firm, brokerage firm, or a hybrid, an advisor can structure their job to fit their schedule as long as they are meeting their client’s financial goals and the firm’s target.

Advisors can choose when and how they do their job.

  • An opportunity to help others

Beyond offering financial advice and developing financial plans, the real duty of advisors lies in understanding clients’ financial situation and goals.

From this preliminary stage, advisors can tailor a plan that helps a client live their dream.

Advisors’ wealth of knowledge in retirement planning, estate planning, real estate, mutual funds can truly help clients reach their financial goals.

In the survey, 58% of the advisors surveyed pegged their satisfaction on the fact that the job allows them to help people secure their financial future.

This satisfaction was shown to increase as advisors grew older.

Perhaps this is because the more an advisor stays in the field, the more they experience first-hand how their financial advice positively impacts their clients’ lives.

  • Opportunity to build a successful relationship

The financial advisory industry is a people’s job.

It involves connecting and nurturing relationships with different people from a wide range of demographics.

Above establishing these relationships for business, advisors enjoy strong, fulfilling relationships with clients, colleagues, and even the community because they are always networking.

Thirteen percent of advisors in the survey revealed that the relationships they build are what really make this profession outstanding.

Another survey with CareerExplorer gave the complete opposite of the FlexShare Exchange Traded Funds study.

According to the survey, financial advisors are the least satisfied with their careers.

In fact, they fall under the bottom 10% of professionals who are not happy with their jobs in the USA.

In the survey, advisors gave their job 2.7 stars out of the possible 5 stars.

The satisfaction index was measured against several factors: salary, finding a meaningful job, work environment, personality, and skill utilization.

Research conducted by Wiley Online Library on female financial planners’ job satisfaction revealed that women financial advisors are more satisfied with their job than males.

The research also found that female advisors tend to be more satisfied when working independently or with small firms.

The research further revealed that women are more likely to feel successful when working in big firms as compared to small ones. 

Another 2020 study by J.D. Power financial advisor satisfaction study linked financial advisors job satisfaction with their financial investment firm satisfaction index.

According to that research, investment advisors tend to be more satisfied with their careers if the working environment is satisfactory.

This could be true, as it is the advisors who take the satisfaction survey on behalf of the investment firm.

In the same breath, Edward Jones has topped the list for the highest employee advisor satisfaction for eleven consecutive years.

The company has consistently ranked first in all the categories: marketing and personal development, leadership and culture, operational support technology, product, and compensation.






J.D. Power

Wiley Online Library


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

J.D. Power




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