Financial consultant salaries depend on the types of services offered, where the consultant works, and current market conditions. Qualifications also play a key role. People considering positions as financial consultants can look up databases to see what kind of pay people in similar positions receive to determine if an offer from a prospective employer is fair. It is also important to consider the role of benefits in a salary; base pay may be low, but access to benefits could make up for that.
The qualifications of a financial consultant are one of the most important factors in the amount of salary he or she can receive. People with advanced educational training usually earn more, a reflection of their increased training and experience. Additionally, the longer someone has been working in the industry, the higher the potential salary. Financial consultant salaries are higher for people with more experience because they can bring valuable skills to the table.
Working conditions are also important for financial consultant salaries. Financial consultants can work for banks and other financial institutions, brokers, government agencies, credit bureaus, and independent firms that focus on financial consulting services. People working for corporations tend to make the most money and can access more benefits. Government workers make less, but may have more job security. Financial consultant salaries can also be dependent on location, as areas with a high cost of living tend to pay more.
Current market conditions may play a role, depending on the structure of a consultant's salary. Some firms offer commissions, rewarding people for good financial advice by giving them increases when their clients make more money. In a good market, a financial consultant can earn a lot of commissions and make substantially more. In poor markets, even skilled consultants may have trouble guiding their clients, and could make less money. It may also be possible to access special bonuses in a bad market if a financial consultant helps a client beat the market and exceed expectations in terms of investment returns.
Financial consultant salaries are also influenced by the services a consultant makes available to his or her clients. Full-service consultants make more money than people offering individual counseling sessions or assistance on particular topics. The level of work can also be much higher for people with full-service companies, as they need to be available to their clients all the time. People who prefer more flexibility with working hours and schedules may want to opt for more basic services and slightly lower pay.