For Employers of CFP® Professionals


Benefits of CFP® Certification

Why do individuals choose to become CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals?

At a time when many Americans are reaching retirement age, the need for personal financial planning expertise is greater than ever. Recruiters and prospective employers recognize CFP® certification as the most desired designation in this growing field. Becoming a financial planner offers:

  • High income potential
  • Dynamic, respected profession
  • Satisfaction from helping people meet financial goals and plan for the future

Your Path to CFP® Certification

Joseph McLaughlin, CFP®, Financial Advisor, First Command Financial Services, is interviewed about how important becoming a CFP® professional was to his financial advising career.

Research by Aite Group shows that CFP® certification can be a key differentiator for firms and individual financial professionals looking to improve the quality of their advice and provide additional value to clients.  Key findings of the research – which was commissioned by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. – include:

  • While 20 percent of all financial advisors hold the CFP® certification, more than 70 percent of all team practices have at least one CFP® professional, providing a holistic view of clients’ finances;
  • 87 percent of clients who work with a financial advisor who has CFP® certification are satisfied or very satisfied compared with 72 percent of those who work with an advisor without certification;
  • Sole CFP® professionals generate between 40 and 100 percent more revenue than those financial professionals who do not hold the certification; team practices with a CFP® professional on staff generate 30 percent more in revenue;
  • Financial professionals with CFP® certification “work with more of their clients on a long-term, recurring basis, managing 45 percent of client assets for an AUM-based fee;”
  • 87 percent of CFP® professionals said that financial planning was “equally important” or “more important” than investment management to their advisory practice; and
  • CFP® professionals with less than ten years of industry experience are twice as likely to earn more than $215,000 annually (17 percent to 8 percent); and 35 percent of CFP® professionals with more than ten years of experience earn $215,000 annually compared to 23 percent of those advisors without the certification.

Download the Aite Group Research Report (PDF, 978KB)

What distinguishes CFP® Certification?

  • Education: Approved curriculum
  • Examination: Comprehensive exam
  • Experience: 3 years practical experience (or 2 years apprenticeship experience)
  • Ethics: High ethics and practice standards enforced by CFP Board

Where can I learn more about becoming a CFP® professional?

Get a quick overview of the CFP® certification requirements – and your next steps toward becoming a CFP® professional – at

CFP Board’s Guide to CFP® Certification provides full details about each of the certification requirements.

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