A CFP program, or Certified Financial Planning program, is an excellent option for students looking to enter the financial planning field and become a financial planner. There are several different types of CFP Board Registered programs that vary in style, length, and delivery method.
Furthermore, a certified financial planner is required to earn their accreditation through a CFP exam after completing their program. The CFP program prepares students for success on this test through a curriculum geared toward the exam. The CFP Board is the board of directors responsible for certifying those who wish to become a financial planner.
There are so many programs to choose from that there is undoubtedly a curriculum for every course level, learning style, and economic limitation. Uncover everything about a certified financial planning degree program, a CFP certification exam, and the best CFP programs below.
What is a Certified Financial Planner?
A CFP or professional planner can assist individuals in the process of personal financial planning as many people do not have the skillset to develop financial plans. A financial planner accesses clients’ needs and resources through financial service and wealth management to get the most out of their money in the long run.
CFPs, also known as financial advisors, must earn their approval through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Financial planners can work with various people, including individuals, families, and companies throughout their careers.
Online vs In-Person CFP Education
CFP program options include either in-person or online courses. Typically, colleges and universities offer both types of programs. There are advantages and advantages of both types of learning.
In-person education could be limited to a specific geographic area. While there is an increase in the amount of CFP programs, there are certainly still many main metropolitan areas lacking the program.
On the other hand, distance learning allows students to be anywhere, thus creating more flexibility. Ultimately, the decision might come down to students’ learning styles. Online programs require students to be able to succeed independently. They must take the initiative to complete their degree. In-person educational programs are better for some learners due to the structured learning environment.
A Certified Financial Planning Certificate Program is another possibility for students looking to advance their financial planning career. Usually, this program offers six to nine courses, much shorter than committing to a full-time degree. These programs provide education and training for students to advance their careers in a much shorter time frame.
Financial planning programs focus on investments, risk management, taxes, estate planning, retirement, and insurance, similar to economics programs. Some of the best financial planning programs are located in the College for Financial Planning, Boston University, and Kansas State University.
Boston University is an American college located in Boston, Massachusetts. The university offers an online Financial Planning certificate program. This program teaches students to become financial planners through a balanced curriculum that features foundational aspects that ultimately end in a capstone course or project at the end of the semester.
Kansas State University offers the Institute of Personal Financial Planning, which provides education to students. The institute has an outreach program that serves the community through clinics, workshops, and professional development.
Established in 1972, the College of Financial Planning was one of the first programs to offer financial planning exclusively. Its education places emphasis on real-world situations and solutions. It also provides an Online Certified Financial Planner Certification program. Find a full list of CFP programs here.
Job Outlook and Salaries for Certified Financial Planners
After graduation from a CFP program and passing the certification exam, there will be many career options available. Self-employment, as well as working for a major corporation, are both possibilities for CFP’s.
A few examples of larger companies can include banks, brokerages, or large investment firms. Several CFP jobs can consist of a financial analyst, financial manager, personal financial advisor, and securities, commodities, or financial services sales agent. A financial advisor’s job duties include discussing financial goals with a client, educating clients on investment options, and much more.
As a result of many companies no longer offering retirement benefits, many people are hiring financial planners. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial jobs are on the rise, with a seven percent projected increase by 2028. The average salary for a financial analyst is $81,760, a financial manager is $121,750, and a personal financial advisor is $90,530.
Requirements to Become a Certified Financial Planner
To simplify the process of becoming a certified financial planner, we have broken down the requirements. The professional qualifications to become a CFP include:
- Complete a CFP Board-registered program. There are many options to choose from to complete a program. Notify the CFP board when completed.
- Take the CFP exam. Education, examination, experience, and ethics are the “four E’s” that must be met during the CFP certification. This exam must be passed to obtain a financial planner certification. A few prerequisites for the qualification include a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and 6,000 hours of professional experience.
- Hold or earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university within five years of passing the exam.
- Prove financial expertise with professional experience in financial planning activities (6,000 hours) or an apprenticeship (4,000 hours)
- Agree to the CFP Board’s Candidate Fitness Standards, which means adhering to ethical standards. This includes passing a background check.
Those looking for a successful career in financial planning must complete a CFP program and pass the CFP examination. While the program and certification require a vast amount of work, it will pay off. The CFP accreditation is worth it because it proves that someone is credible in the industry, and that goes a long way with clients. Some questions to ask when considering which CFP program is right are what course level is right for me? What is the best learning style? How long will the curriculum take? Does the program help in preparing for the CFP exam?
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