Wealth Manager Salary

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Last updated:

The finance industry offers numerous career opportunities for professionals who possess the skills and knowledge to manage and grow wealth. 

Among such roles, wealth managers stand out as key players responsible for helping clients identify their financial goals and then creating strategies to achieve them. 

This article provides an overview of the average wealth manager salary range, examining factors that can contribute to these professionals’ earning potential and available career opportunities.

Wealth Manager Salary Overview

Wealth management is a specialized area of finance that focuses on investment planning, estate management, and other financial services. Wealth managers may work within a wealth management firm (or have their own firm), an insurance company, the government or family offices. 

For those considering a career in this field, understanding the earning potential at different stages of a wealth manager’s career is essential. 

The average salary for a wealth manager hovers around $82,279 per year. This can vary, however, and generally falls between $67,878 and $100,950. This salary range often reflects a median income that includes additional earnings from bonuses or profit-sharing schemes typical of this stage of a wealth manager’s career.

Entry-level wealth managers usually have less than five years of experience in the industry and can earn less. They’re often tasked with supporting more senior wealth managers in research, analysis, and client interactions.

Wealth managers with significant experience (i.e., 10 years or more) often earn a higher salary because they usually have a larger client base, more assets under management, and specialized skills or credentials. Experienced wealth managers also may handle more portfolios, provide comprehensive financial planning services, and hold managerial roles within their organizations.

The average wealth manager salary may vary based on many factors, such as their education, certifications, additional skills, and years of experience within the profession.

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Alternatively, you can learn more about this role in our What is Wealth Management article.

Factors Influencing Salary

Several factors can contribute to a wealth manager’s salary, including these common factors:

  • Qualifications: Wealth managers often possess at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a related field — although a master’s degree is increasingly becoming a standard requirement. Certifications, such as the certified financial planner (CFP) or CFA designations, also can significantly impact salary. Professionals with these qualifications tend to earn higher salaries compared to those without them
  • Experience: Experienced wealth managers usually have a larger and more affluent client base, which can contribute to higher earnings from commissions and bonuses
  • Location: Experienced professionals often work in major financial hubs where salaries are generally higher to begin with
  • Specialization: Wealth managers who specialize in specific areas (e.g., tax planning, estate planning, or investment strategies for high-net-worth individuals) may command higher salaries

By understanding these factors, you can better navigate your career path and salary expectations as you take on a wealth manager role.

Wealth Manager Jobs

Wealth management is a multifaceted field that encompasses various roles and responsibilities aimed at helping individuals and organizations manage their financial assets effectively.

Here are some common job titles within the wealth management sector that each carry their own set of duties and focus areas:

  • Wealth Manager: A wealth manager oversees a client’s entire financial life, including private wealth management, investments, retirement planning, tax strategies, estate planning, and sometimes even career advice. They focus on crafting financial plans and managing investment portfolios to meet their clients’ long-term objectives
  • Financial Planner: These professionals work in different wealth management divisions. They focus on helping clients set and achieve specific financial goals — whether that involves saving for retirement, buying a house, or funding education. They may specialize in certain areas, such as tax planning or retirement planning
  • Investment Advisor: With a focus on guiding clients in building and maintaining their investment portfolios, investment advisors offer recommendations on asset allocation, individual security selection, client relationship management, and other investment-related decisions
  • Portfolio Manager: These professionals directly manage investment portfolios — usually for high-net-worth clients. They make “buy” and “sell” decisions based on the investment strategy agreed upon with their clients or their clients’ advisors

Each of these roles contributes to the overarching goal of effective wealth management and can offer different pathways for career growth and specialization.

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How to Become a Wealth Manager

Becoming a wealth manager is a multi-step process that requires a combination of education, certifications, work experience, and development of financial planning and management skills.

This process often involve pursuing one or more of the following specialized credentials:

  • Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP): Designed for professionals who assist in the financial planning process, this certification equips individuals with the knowledge required to support planners and advisors in gathering and analyzing financial data, and preparing initial financial recommendations
  • Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor (APMA): This financial credential focuses on portfolio creation, management, and maintenance. It prepares professionals to build and manage investment portfolios, serving both individual and institutional clients
  • Wealth Management Specialist (WMS): Aimed at professionals focused on comprehensive wealth management services, this certification covers investment strategies, tax planning, and estate planning
  • Accredited Wealth Management Advisor (AWMA): This certification equips professionals with expertise in wealth management and high-net-worth financial services. It focuses on topics like asset management, estate planning, and client relationship building to cater to the needs of affluent clients
  • Master’s in Personal Financial Planning: This advanced degree gives students in-depth financial planning knowledge and skills. The program covers topics like investment strategy, tax planning, estate planning, and risk management to help prepare graduates for comprehensive financial advisory roles

Becoming a wealth manager is a rewarding, but demanding career path that requires a blend of technical knowledge, practical experience, and interpersonal skills. With dedication and the right approach, you can undoubtedly build a successful career in this dynamic field.

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Wealth Manager Salary FAQ

How much does a wealth manager make?

Based on recent data, the average wealth management salary is $117,950 per year. The average base salary is $72,000 per year. The top earners are likely to be in senior manager roles who have experience, larger client base, and generate a high income or management fee in their firms. Check out our Wealth Manager Salary article.

What does a wealth manager do?

A wealth manager oversees a client’s financial portfolio and long-term financial planning. They provide services that may include investment management, tax planning, estate planning, and retirement strategies. Their goal is to grow and preserve wealth tailored to the needs of high-net-worth clients.

How do I become a wealth manager?

To become a wealth manager, start by earning a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a related field. Next, gain initial experience in finance roles. Then, consider pursuing advanced certifications like the FPQP, WMS, or AWMA designations. If you’re interested in learning more about this process, check out our How to Become a Wealth Manager article.

Is it hard to be a wealth manager?

Working as a wealth manager can prove challenging. It not only demands a deep understanding of financial markets, tax laws, and estate planning, but also the ability to build and maintain client relationships in a traditional sense. Wealth managers also require continuing education and adaptability, especially if they are in a new business navigating financial market volatility.

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