Financial Planning Career Paths: Building More Sustainable and Successful Businesses is a comprehensive workforce development guide from the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning to help firms in the financial planning profession with financial planner recruitment, onboarding, training, career development and retention.

The guide highlights the importance of clear and transparent career advancement to attract and retain the next generation of financial planners. It helps firms structure and effectively communicate career path opportunities by examining five rungs of the financial planner career ladder:

  • Analyst
  • Associate Advisor
  • Service Advisor
  • Lead Advisor
  • Partner

For each of the rungs, the guide elaborates on the requisite skills, experience and responsibilities necessary to achieve it. It also provides a framework for compensation and organizational advancement so that professionals can manage their expectations and be well rewarded for their efforts.

Leaders from thirty firms representing different types of businesses that employ and provide careers to financial planners and advisors contributed to the guide, which also incorporates data from various research studies of compensation and career development.

The publication is aimed at guiding firms in fostering career paths that offer:

  • A systemic plan for skill development
  • A logical progression of responsibilities
  • A sense of fairness across the organization
  • Clarity for advancement decisions
  • Help with identifying top performers who have leadership potential

Professionals can also utilize the guide as a roadmap for navigating the multifaceted career of a financial planner. The guide provides information on what to expect through each career rung, direction for self-development efforts, and a step-by-step progression of skill development that ensures the right skills are learned at the right time.

The Center is thankful for the support from BNY Mellon’s Pershing, the guide’s Signature Sponsor, as well as the support of the Center’s Lead Founding Sponsor TD Ameritrade Institutional, and Founding Sponsors Northwestern Mutual, Envestnet and Charles Schwab Foundation, in partnership with Schwab Advisor Services.