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Career and Education Opportunities for Personal Financial Planners in Seattle, Washington

There are many career and education opportunities for personal financial planners in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 2,480 jobs for personal financial planners in Washington and this is projected to grow by 11% to about 2,760 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for personal financial planners are expected to grow by about 30.1%. Personal financial planners generally advise clients on financial plans utilizing knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, and real estate.

Income for personal financial planners is about $34 hourly or $72,130 per year on average in Washington. Nationally, their income is about $33 per hour or $69,050 yearly. Personal financial planners earn more than people working in the category of Accounting and Auditing generally in Washington and more than people in the Accounting and Auditing category nationally. Jobs in this field include: trustee of estate, financial coordinator, and investment counselor.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree as a personal financial planner. Personal financial planners usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Seattle 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.
  • 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

Seattle Pacific University - Seattle, WA

Seattle Pacific University, 3307 3rd Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119-1997. Seattle Pacific University is a small university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,891 students and an admission rate of 84%. Seattle Pacific University has a bachelor's degree program in Finance.

City University of Seattle - Bellevue, WA

City University of Seattle, 11900 NE First Street, Bellevue, WA 98005. City University of Seattle is a small university located in Bellevue, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,489 students. City University of Seattle has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Financial Planning and Services which graduated fourteen and nineteen students respectively in 2008.

Argosy University-Seattle - Seattle, WA

Argosy University-Seattle, 2601-A Elliott Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121. Argosy University-Seattle is a small university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 448 students and an admission rate of 85%. Argosy University-Seattle has a master's degree program in Finance.

Seattle University - Seattle, WA

Seattle University, 900 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122-4340. Seattle University is a medium sized university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,560 students and an admission rate of 65%. Seattle University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Finance which graduated twenty-eight and twenty-two students respectively in 2008.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated forty-four students in 2008.

University of Washington-Tacoma Campus - Tacoma, WA

University of Washington-Tacoma Campus, 1900 Commerce St, Tacoma, WA 98402-3100. University of Washington-Tacoma Campus is a small university located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,915 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Washington-Tacoma Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated thirty-five 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.