The Series 6 license exam is a professional certification offered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for financial professionals who wish to sell a specific set of investment products, such as mutual funds, variable annuities, and insurance premiums.
Obtaining this license is essential if you want to work in sectors providing financial advice related to these products. This article will cover the Series 6 license salary range, including key factors that can affect licensees’ potential income and career opportunities.
Series 6 License Salary Overview
The Series 6 license is an important certification for roles like financial advisors, insurance agents, and investment sales associates. However, not all license holders earn the same annual incomes — this is determined by a combination of other factors.
Entry-level professionals who recently obtained their Series 6 license have a lower earning potential than those with more experience in the field. According to recent data, Series 6 license holders can expect to earn an annual salary ranging from approximately $40,000 to $60,000.
The average base salary falls at around $61,000 per year, however with more years of experience, Series 6 license holders have the potential to earn a significantly higher income. This is because experienced professionals often manage larger portfolios and have a more extensive client base, which allows them to earn significantly higher amounts in bonuses and commissions.
To achieve the higher salary ranges that come with the Series 6 license, candidates must pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. A deep understanding of the course content is needed to succeed in the SIE exam, which can be attained by utilizing reliable study resources.
Over 81% of our readers use Kaplan’s online courses — which come with a 93% pass rate — when preparing for their Series 6 exam. For comprehensive study packages, StateRequirement recommends:
For a more in-depth overview of the Series 6 license, check out our Series 6 article.
Factors Influencing Salary
Multiple factors can influence the earning potential of Series 6 license holders, including:
- Experience Level: Experience is a vital factor in determining salary. Entry-level professionals often start with a lower base salary while those with years of experience in the field can command significantly higher compensation
- Location: The city or area in which you work can affect your salary level. Larger cities or states with a higher cost of living typically offer higher salaries to adjust for their increased living expenses
- Economic Cycles: Recessions may result in layoffs or reduced earning opportunities — even for those in specialized roles — while economic booms can lead to higher salaries and more job openings
- Job Roles: Different roles that require a Series 6 license come with varied responsibilities and therefore different salary expectations
Understanding these factors can help you strategize your career development plan as well as set realistic salary expectations early on.
Series 6 Jobs
While finance professionals often use the Series 6 license as a stepping stone to other, more comprehensive licenses like the Series 7 or Series 63 licenses, it’s a key credential for several job roles in the financial services industry.
Here are some common job titles that may require a Series 6 license:
- Financial Advisor: Financial advisors often get a Series 6 license in order to offer a more comprehensive range of services to their clients. This job involves advising individuals on various aspects of their financial life — from investment planning to retirement and estate planning
- Insurance Agent: These agents (usually those with a life and/or health insurance license) specialize in selling investment-linked products like variable annuities. As such, they often hold a Series 6 license since it allows them to offer products that have an investment component in addition to insurance coverage
- Investment Company Representative: These investment advisors specialize in selling and providing investment advice on products like mutual funds. They typically work for investment companies, brokerage firms, or banks, helping clients make informed investment choices
- Variable Contracts Products Representative: Authorized to sell variable annuities and variable life insurance products, these licensed individuals often work for insurance companies, financial advisory firms, or broker-dealers and provide investment-linked insurance solutions to clients
- Mutual Fund Representative: These professionals specialize in the sale and promotion of mutual funds. They may work directly for a mutual fund company or as a third-party intermediary, focusing on educating clients and selling the mutual funds offered by their employer or clients
While these jobs may vary in terms of their responsibilities, salary, and required expertise, a Series 6 license serves as a key qualification for professionals who offer advice on — or sell — specific types of investment products.
How to Get Your Series 6 License
Before obtaining a Series 6 license, you must first register to take the exam. However, you need to meet certain eligibility requirements in order to qualify for the exam. Specifically, you must have:
- An affiliation with and sponsorship from a FINRA member firm or other applicable self-regulatory organization (SRO) member firm
- A passing score on the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam
- An approved accommodation to schedule an online appointment
Once you meet these eligibility requirements, you can register and take the Series 6 exam. After passing the exam, you may legally sell specific securities products. These include mutual funds (exclusively initial offerings of closed-end funds), variable annuities, variable life insurance policies, unit investment trusts (UITs), and municipal fund securities.
Exam Preparation and Procedure
The Series 6 exam qualifies individuals as investment company representatives, allowing them to sell investment company securities, mutual funds, variable annuities, and variable life insurance products.
The test typically covers the major job functions of license holders, such as evaluating investment objectives, seeking clients for their broker-dealer or other type of employer, regulatory guidelines, ethics, and the process of selling specific investment products.
Here are a few tips that can help you as you prepare for this exam:
- Know the exam’s content and format. The Series 6 exam includes 50 multiple-choice questions you must answer within 90 minutes
- Use official study materials and guides. Using comprehensive study guides, textbooks, and online resources from reputable providers will help you grasp the topics you’ll see on the exam
- Take practice tests. By taking multiple mock exams, you can familiarize yourself with the question format and practice your time management during the test
- Complete a prep course. Prep courses for the Series 6 exam offer structured learning, covering all essential topics from regulatory guidelines to investment products
We highly recommend that you take an exam prep course for your Series 6 exam. These courses include study materials, practice questions, and mock exams and often provide expert instruction to reinforce concepts and improve students’ test-taking strategies.
Recommended: Interested in getting started? We recommend using Kaplan’s online study packages, which come with a 93% pass rate.
Series 6 License Salary FAQ
What job can you do with a Series 6 license?
With a Series 6 license, you can specialize in wealth management and grow clients’ financial assets through various investment options — all while helping them benefit from generous company matching contributions to enhance their portfolio. Job titles may include financial advisor, mutual fund representative, or insurance agent who can sell insurance, mutual funds, and variable annuities.
Which is harder: the Series 6 or Series 7 exam?
In general, most candidates consider the Series 7 exam the more challenging of these two. It covers a broader range of financial regulations, including stocks, bonds, and options, in addition to the mutual funds and variable contracts covered by the Series 6 exam.
Is it worth getting the Series 6 designation?
The value of obtaining a Series 6 license depends on your career goals. It’s a great qualification for roles focused on selling specific investment products like mutual funds and variable annuities. To find out more about how much you can earn in each of these positions, see our Series 6 License Salary article.
How long should I study for the Series 6 designation?
The recommended study time for the Series 6 exam varies by individual, but most experts suggest allocating two to three months of focused study. Aim for a consistent study schedule, dedicating around 15 to 20 hours per week to review materials and take practice exams.
How difficult is the Series 6 exam?
Candidates usually consider the Series 6 exam as moderate in difficulty — especially when compared to other financial licensing exams like the Series 7 exam. However, it still requires a solid understanding of specific financial products, ethical considerations, and regulatory guidelines. Proper preparation is key to achieving a passing score on this exam.