Our Customer Support team's hours have temporarily changed. You can now reach us by phone from 12:00-6:00 pm EST and chat during regular hours.

Please be advised that our site may be intermittently unavailable for 4 hours on Saturday, December 10th, from 12:00 AM ET to 4:00 AM ET for maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Careers in Financial Planning

By: Kaplan Financial Education
August 25, 2020
financial planning careers - woman considering

Careers in the financial planning field involve helping clients with investment decisions, taxes, insurance policy selection, and retirement plans. The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. estimates that the employment of financial planners could grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. However, financial planning is an umbrella term for a number of different occupations. This article looks at some of the most common ones.


Paraplanners are the junior members of a financial planning team, and they usually work in financial management firms. They provide financial planning support by investigating investments, making preliminary financial planning recommendations, and coordinating marketing events. They also research financial databases and products for specific solutions that match client needs and prepare charts, graphs, and tables to be used in meetings.

Financial Planning Analyst

The primary role of a financial planning analyst is to analyze the current financial situation of businesses, organizations, and individuals. To achieve this, financial planning analysts use a wide range of quantitative formulas and techniques. They sift through a large amount of data and use their mathematical skills to help clients decide how best to invest their money. Using data gleaned from economic trends, relevant laws, and other factors, they create a viable financial model for a client.

Financial Planner

Financial planners help individuals, couples, and businesses make investment decisions. Much of the job involves meeting with clients, analyzing financial information, researching new opportunities, and explaining the kinds of financial services and investments they provide to clients. Typically, they help clients understand and set financial and investment goals, in addition to assessing their financial health by examining assets, liabilities, income, taxes, investment, and estate plans. They also monitor accounts and research new investment opportunities to recommend or select for their clients.

Download the free eBook, Getting There from Here: Career Path Stories from Finance Professionals, to get firsthand accounts of what it's like to have a rewarding career in finance.

Personal Financial Planner

A personal financial planner specializes in helping individuals organize their finances and meet long-term financial goals, advising and assisting with budgeting, cash flow planning, and saving for college and retirement. They create comprehensive plans for their clients after assessing their current financial situations and researching what they can do to improve them. Personal financial planners can also have certain areas of expertise, such as retirement planning or education funding planning.

Financial Advisor

Financial advisors help clients manage their money. They create short-term and long-term financial goals for their clients and then devise financial plans for achieving them. Financial advisors often specialize in investment management, estate planning, retirement planning, insurance, debt repayment, tax planning, or any other aspect of the finance industry. They can be stockbrokers, insurance agents, money managers, estate planners, bankers, and more.

Financial Consultant

A financial consultant focuses on the accountability aspects of financial planning. Designing action plans and a financial strategy, financial consultants help clients run their financial systems. They collaborate with other professionals, such as attorneys, accountants, and investment managers to ensure their clients' financial needs are met. They also stay up-to-date on financial news and economic events that might affect the plans they’ve designed for their clients.

Wealth Manager

Wealth managers provide services to high-net-worth individuals and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, and they are usually more hands-on than other financial planners. The solutions they offer are usually more customized because of the special needs of their high-net-worth clients. Examples of their services include investment management, personal financial planning, tax services and planning, retirement planning, legal planning, philanthropic planning, and estate planning, among others.

Interested in a Career in Financial Planning?

If any of these financial planning roles appeal to you, the College for Financial Planning®—a Kaplan Company can help. From designations for paraplanners, wealth management advisors, and more to the CFP® mark and MS in Personal Financial Planning, we provide the education and exam preparation needed for success in this rewarding field.

Free eBook: Create a CFP® Exam Study Plan That Works

Preparing for the CFP® exam can be a daunting task. Making a CFP® exam study plan is the best way to ensure you use your study time efficiently and are ready to pass on test day. Download this free eBook to learn how to create a CFP® exam study plan that works for you.