Salary and Career Info for a Financial Services Representative

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a financial services representative. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and salary expectations to find out if this is the career for you.

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Financial services representatives sell financial products to clients of banking and other institutions. They usually require a bachelor's degree in a business related field. Licensing is sometimes required.

Essential Information

Financial services representatives (FSRs), also known as financial services sales agents, work primarily for investment banking institutions. FSRs sell their clients a wide variety of financial products and services, such as banking accounts, credit cards, retirement funds, estate planning options and insurance. College education is not mandatory, but many employers prefer to hire someone with a bachelor's degree in economics, business or a related field. Licensure is sometimes required, particularly for agents who sell insurance or securities. Voluntary certification is available and may lead to enhanced job prospects.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in marketing, economics, business or other relevant field is recommended
Additional Requirements Licensure required to sell certain financial products; voluntary certification is available
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 10% for securities, commodities and financial services sales agents*
Mean Salary (2015) $102,860 for securities, commodities and financial services sales agents*

Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Salary Info for Financial Services Representatives

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Services (BLS), the mean annual wage in May 2015 for all securities, commodities and financial services sales agents was $102,860 (www.bls.gov). Because much of this job is based on sales, many financial service representatives are able to increase their salaries by earning a commission on the services and products they sell to their clients. Though the BLS predicted the employment market for such agents would grow at a steady rate of 10 percent from 2014-2024, the strength or weakness of the global economy could affect competition among financial services representatives for employment and clients.

Career Info for Financial Services Representatives

FSRs service both individual and corporate clients. Some rely on cold calling tactics to build their client base. Many increase their sales by analyzing the needs of a potential client and then developing a portfolio of products and services tailored to that client's specific financial profile. FSRs are also responsible for tracking current financial market trends and keeping their clients informed of products that might best serve them.

Education and Training

Many FSRs hold 4-year bachelor's degrees in finance-related majors such as economics, marketing or business; however, not all companies require such a degree. On-the-job training is common in this field, and many employers regularly send their agents to training seminars to keep them current on new financial products or services.

Certification Requirements

Certification is often not required; however, obtaining a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation can benefit financial services representatives by demonstrating a level of training, achievement and dedication that is recognized across the financial industry. Requirements for taking the exam include a 4-year bachelor's degree, four years of equivalent work experience or a 4-year combination of education and work experience. The CFA program is self-paced, allowing students to work while they study. It consists of three exams and can take 1-4 years to complete.

Most financial services representatives work for investment banking institutions. They usually hold bachelor's degrees in finance or another relevant area, and certification for financial services representatives is available, but not usually required. The job growth outlook for this position is faster than the job market as a whole, and the mean annual salary is about $103,000.

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