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Career and Education Opportunities for Personal Financial Planners in Columbia, Maryland

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for personal financial planners in the Columbia, Maryland area. About 3,790 people are currently employed as personal financial planners in Maryland. By 2016, this is expected to grow 39% to 5,270 people employed. This is better than the national trend for personal financial planners, which sees this job pool growing by about 30.1% over the next eight years. Personal financial planners generally advise clients on financial plans utilizing knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, and real estate.

A person working as a personal financial planner can expect to earn about $35 hourly or $72,940 annually on average in Maryland and about $33 hourly or $69,050 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Personal financial planners earn more than people working in the category of Accounting and Auditing generally in Maryland and more than people in the Accounting and Auditing category nationally. Jobs in this field include: portfolio manager, insurance consultant, and asset analyst.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including fourteen within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a personal financial planner. Given that the most common education level for personal financial planners is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a personal financial planner if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Personal Financial Planner

Personal Financial Planner video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, personal financial planners advise clients on financial plans utilizing knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, and real estate. They also duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, and financial objectives to establish investment strategies.

Personal financial planners analyze financial data obtained from clients to establish strategies for meeting clients' financial objectives. They also inspect clients' accounts and plans regularly to establish whether life changes or financial performance indicate a need for plan reassessment. Equally important, personal financial planners have to monitor financial market trends to insure that plans are effective, and to pinpoint any needed updates. They are often called upon to explain and document for clients the types of services that are to be provided, and the responsibilities to be taken by the personal financial advisor. They are expected to answer clients' questions about the purposes and specifics of financial plans and strategies. Finally, personal financial planners meet with clients' other advisers and investment bankers, to fully understand clients' financial goals and circumstances.

Every day, personal financial planners are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to deal with basic arithmetic problems. It is also important that they think through problems and come up with general rules.

It is important for personal financial planners to build and maintain client bases, keeping current client plans up-to-date and recruiting new clients on an ongoing basis. They are often called upon to sell financial products such as stocks and insurance if licensed to do so. They also devise debt liquidation plans that include payoff priorities and timelines. They are sometimes expected to conduct seminars and workshops on financial planning topics such as retirement planning and the evaluation of severance packages. Somewhat less frequently, personal financial planners are also expected to open accounts for clients, and disburse funds from account to creditors as agents for clients.

Personal financial planners sometimes are asked to meet with clients' other advisers and investment bankers, to fully understand clients' financial goals and circumstances. And finally, they sometimes have to explain to individuals and groups the specifics of financial assistance available to college and university students, such as loans and scholarships.

Like many other jobs, personal financial planners must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Accountant. Analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
  • Assessor. Appraise real and personal property to determine its fair value. May assess taxes in accordance with prescribed schedules.
  • Auditor. Examine and analyze accounting records to determine financial status of establishment and prepare financial reports concerning operating procedures.
  • Budget Analyst. Examine budget estimates for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with procedures and regulations. Analyze budgeting and accounting reports for the purpose of maintaining expenditure controls.
  • Cost Analyst. Prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service. May specialize according to particular service performed or type of product manufactured.
  • Credit Analyst. Analyze current credit data and financial statements of individuals or firms to determine the degree of risk involved in extending credit or lending money. Prepare reports with this credit information for use in decision-making.
  • Financial Analyst. Conduct quantitative analyses of information affecting investment programs of public or private institutions.
  • Financial Examiner. Enforce or ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and securities institutions and financial and real estate transactions. May examine, verify correctness of, or establish authenticity of records.
  • Income Tax Advisor. Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses but do not have the background or responsibilities of an accredited or certified public accountant.
  • Insurance Adjuster. Investigate, analyze, and determine the extent of insurance company's liability concerning personal, casualty, or property loss or damages, and attempt to effect settlement with claimants. Correspond with or interview medical specialists, agents, or claimants to compile information. Calculate benefit payments and approve payment of claims within a certain monetary limit.
  • Insurance Appraiser. Appraise automobile or other vehicle damage to determine cost of repair for insurance claim settlement and seek agreement with automotive repair shop on cost of repair. Prepare insurance forms to indicate repair cost or cost estimates and recommendations.
  • Insurance Underwriter. Review individual applications for insurance to evaluate degree of risk involved and determine acceptance of applications.
  • Loan Counselor. Provide guidance to prospective loan applicants who have problems qualifying for traditional loans. Guidance may include determining the best type of loan and explaining loan requirements or restrictions.
  • Loan Officer. Evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans. Advise borrowers on financial status and methods of payments. Includes mortgage loan officers and agents, collection analysts, loan servicing officers, and loan underwriters.
  • Real Estate Appraiser. Appraise real property to determine its value for purchase, sales, or loan purposes.
  • Tax Examiner. Determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Personal Financial Planner Training

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated fifty-six students in 2008.

Marymount University - Arlington, VA

Marymount University, 2807 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207-4299. Marymount University is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,541 students and an admission rate of 84%. Marymount University has a one to two year program in Finance.

University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,268 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Maryland-Baltimore County has a two to four year program in Finance.

Loyola College in Maryland - Baltimore, MD

Loyola College in Maryland, 4501 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21210-2699. Loyola College in Maryland is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,080 students and an admission rate of 69%. Loyola College in Maryland has a master's degree program in Finance which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated nine students in 2008.

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University, 37th and O St NW, Washington, DC 20057. Georgetown University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,318 students and an admission rate of 19%. Georgetown University has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated thirty-eight students in 2008.

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated nine students in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's certificate programs in Finance which graduated twenty-two, sixty-six, and one students respectively in 2008.

Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N Charles St, Mason Hall, Baltimore, MD 21218-2688. Johns Hopkins University is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,049 students and an admission rate of 26%. Johns Hopkins University has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Finance which graduated zero and fifty-five students respectively in 2008.

Catholic University of America - Washington, DC

Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064. Catholic University of America is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,705 students and an admission rate of 81%. Catholic University of America has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Trinity Washington University - Washington, DC

Trinity Washington University, 125 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017-1094. Trinity Washington University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,734 students and an admission rate of 74%. Trinity Washington University has a master's degree program in Finance which graduated four students in 2008.

Gallaudet University - Washington, DC

Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695. Gallaudet University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,389 students and an admission rate of 64%. Gallaudet University has a bachelor's degree program in Finance.

Morgan State University - Baltimore, MD

Morgan State University, 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251-0001. Morgan State University is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,554 students and an admission rate of 34%. Morgan State University has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Accredited Tax Advisor: This credential is for practitioners who handle sophisticated tax planning issues, including ownership of closely held businesses, qualified retirement plans and complex estates.

For more information, see the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation website.

Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter: More than 65,000 people have earned the CPCU professional designation.

For more information, see the American Institute for CPCU and Insurance Institute of America website.

Personal Financial Specialist: CPAs who specialize in personal financial planning can earn a specialist's designation, the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS).

For more information, see the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants website.

Certified Pension Consultant: The Certified Pension Consultant (CPC) credential is designed for benefits professionals working in plan administration, pension actuarial administration, insurance, and financial planning.

For more information, see the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries website.

Qualified 401(k) Administrator: The Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) credential is conferred by ASPPA to retirement plan professionals who work primarily with 401(k) plans.

For more information, see the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries website.

Certified Financial Planner: The CFP certification process, administered by CFP Board, identifies to the public that those individuals in the U.

For more information, see the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. website.

Certified IRA Services Professional: Applicable to financial services professionals who have dedicated IRA operational and technical experience.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Bankers website.

Certified Personal Banker: Applicable to financial services professionals who have completed the AIB Personal Banking Diploma and who function as personal bankers.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Bankers website.

Certified Funds Specialist: The CFS 60-hour program provides the practitioner with everything needed to select the right fund for any given situation.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Fund Specialists website.

Certified Annuity Specialist: The CAS program is a 60-hour self-study program.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Fund Specialists website.

Board Certified Estate Planner: Board Certified in Estate Planning (BCE) is the only designation designed and offered to brokers, advisors, and planners who have clients interested in estate accumulation, preservation, and distribution.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Fund Specialists website.

Registered Financial Associate: The Registered Financial Associate (RFA) is a designation granted only to recent graduates of an approved academic curriculum in financial services.

For more information, see the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants website.

Certified Investment Management Analyst: The CIMA offers an intense educational experience focusing on asset allocation, manager search and selection, investment policy and performance measurement.

For more information, see the Investment Management Consultants Association website.

Chartered Market Technician: The Chartered Market Technician (CMT) designation is the culmination of a certification process in which candidates are required to demonstrate proficiency in a broad range of technical analysis of the financial markets.

For more information, see the Market Technicians Association website.

Certified Retirement Specialist: If you are a professional with an interest in issues and opportunities in the 403(b) marketplace, advance your career by obtaining the Certified Retirement Specialist (CRS) designation.

For more information, see the NTSAA (National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association) Educational Institute website.

Economic Development Finance Professional: In NDC's EDFP Certification Program you will build the capacity to translate development opportunities into results for their communities.

For more information, see the The National Development Council website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.