Series 65 License Salary

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Last updated:

Series 65 License Salary

The Series 65 license exam — formally known as the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination — is a North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) exam designed for professionals seeking to work as a financial consultant or an investment advisor representative.

For those considering obtaining this license, one of the most common questions is how it’ll affect their earnings. This article aims to answer this question by breaking down the various factors that can influence the Series 65 license salary, as well as exploring your potential career opportunities with this license and a step-by-step look into how you can obtain it.

Series 65 License Salary Overview

With a Series 65 license, you can pursue jobs with different pay ranges like investment or personal financial advisors, portfolio managers, and financial planners, among others.

The average salary for a Series 65 license holder is around $72,000 or more per year. Although entry-level professionals might start out with an average base salary much lower than this, they have the potential to earn more through bonuses or commissions based on their performance.

As with most professions, experience is one of the most important factors influencing the salary of a Series 65 license holder, with some of the top earners making over $125,000 per annum. However, other factors such as your location, specific job role, and general market conditions will also play a big part.

In order to obtain a Series 65 license and unlock the higher-paying opportunities of these careers, you’ll need to first obtain a passing score on the final exam. Make sure you’re ready by utilizing high quality resources such as online courses and study guides.

Recommended Course

Over 81% of our readers use Kaplan’s online courses — which come with a 93% pass rate — when preparing for their Series 65 exam. For comprehensive study packages, StateRequirement recommends:

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

For a more in-depth look at the Series 65 license, check out our Series 65 article.

Factors Influencing Salary

The salary of a Series 65 license holder is influenced by a number of variables. Some of the important factors have been outlined in more detail below:

  • Experience and Education Level: Professionals with extensive experience, a bachelor’s degree, or specialized training typically command higher salaries than those just starting in the field
  • Geographic Location: Series 65 license holders working in urban centers with a high cost of living generally receive higher salaries than those in smaller cities or rural areas
  • Market Conditions: Economic and market conditions also can affect an investment advisor’s salary. During periods of strong market performance and economic growth, advisors may see an increase in their earnings due to higher asset valuations and increased demand for investment advice
  • Job Role and Responsibilities: Different job titles and roles come with different expectations, responsibilities, and required levels of expertise — all of which can influence compensation

Understanding how these factors may impact your earning potential will enable you to make informed decisions about your career path, seek opportunities that align with your goals, and negotiate better compensation for yourself.

Series 65 Jobs

The Series 65 license qualifies individuals to be able to offer investment advice and financial planning services to clients. Holding this license opens up various career opportunities within financial advisory firms, investment firms, banks, and other financial institutions.

Here are some of the most common job titles held by Series 65 license holders:

  • Investment Adviser Representative (IAR): As the most common career path for Series 65 license holders, these professionals provide investment advice as well as portfolio management and financial planning services to individual and institutional clients. They help their clients develop investment strategies and manage their investment portfolios
  • Wealth Manager: These professionals provide comprehensive financial planning and investment services to high-net-worth individuals or families. Their responsibilities often extend far beyond investments to include more comprehensive services like estate planning, tax strategies, and risk management
  • Portfolio Manager: These professionals actively manage investment portfolios on behalf of clients, making decisions about which assets to buy, hold, or sell. They often work for investment firms, hedge funds, or institutional investors and are responsible for achieving specific investment objectives
  • Compliance Officer: These officers monitor a firm’s operations, conduct audits, and help implement compliance programs. Series 65 license holders with a strong understanding of investment advisory regulations may find many opportunities in compliance roles
  • Mutual Fund Manager: These managers oversee the investment strategies and portfolio management of mutual funds. They make decisions regarding asset allocation and security selection to achieve the fund’s investment objectives

The above jobs — while just a few of the career opportunities available to Series 65 licensees — offer various levels of responsibility, specialization, and potential for salary growth.

How to Get Your Series 65 License

Obtaining a Series 65 license is the first step for those interested in working as investment advisor representatives or providing investment advice to clients. There are no prerequisites for eligibility, and you don’t need sponsorship from a FINRA member firm to take the exam.

When registering for this exam, you’ll fill out Form U4 if you have a FINRA member sponsor. Candidates without a sponsor should complete Form U10 instead. You can access both forms on FINRA’s website.

After you sign up for the exam, you’ll have 120 days to take it or you’ll need to register again. If you don’t pass, you must wait 30 days before you may try again. If you fail three times, you must wait 180 days before registering again. There’s no limit to how many times you can take the Series 65 exam.

Exam Preparation and Procedure

The Series 65 exam covers a range of topics, such as investment products, securities regulations, ethical guidelines, portfolio management, and financial planning. It has 130 multiple-choice questions, including 10 pretest questions that won’t affect your score. Candidates have 180 minutes to complete the exam and need a score of 72% or higher to pass.

Here are some tips to help you pass the Series 65 exam on the first try:

  • Create a study plan. Allocate study time for each topic based on its weighting within the exam. Schedule study sessions well in advance of your exam date and allow time for review and practice exams
  • Use official study materials. Get the up-to-date study materials specifically tailored for the Series 65 exam. Use a combination of textbooks, study guides, flashcards, and practice questions
  • Take mock exams. Complete as many practice questions and mock exams as possible. Practice under timed conditions to simulate the actual exam, and then review your answers so you can learn from your mistakes
  • Consider enrolling in a prep course. Exam prep courses often follow a specific curriculum designed to cover the exam’s content outline. They can give you the tools, resources, and support you need to pass the exam

Candidates are encouraged to enroll in an online course when preparing for the Series 65 exam. The combination of expert guidance, practice opportunities, and structured learning these courses provide can increase your chances of passing the exam on the first try. Research shows that candidates who participate in prep courses tend to perform better on exams compared to those who study on their own.

Recommended: Interested in getting started? We recommend using Kaplan’s online study packages, which come with a 93% pass rate.

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

Series 65 License Salary FAQ

How much can I expect to earn with a Series 65 license?

Recent data suggest that the Series 65 license holders can earn $70,000 or more per year. In many Series 65 jobs, total compensation represents a combination of profit-sharing, an hourly fee, and the opportunity to earn commissions from selling financial products. Building strong client relationships can lead to a strong client base that contributes to higher earnings.

What jobs can you get with a Series 65 license?

With a Series 65 license, you can pursue jobs like investment adviser representative (IAR), portfolio manager, and financial advisor, among others. This license allows you to provide investment advice and financial planning services, which can open doors to various roles within financial advisory firms, investment firms, banks, and other financial institutions. See our Series 65 License Salary article for more information.

What are the Series 65 license requirements?

Candidates only need to pass the Series 65 exam. There are no prerequisites and you don’t need sponsorship from a FINRA member firm. The exam has 130 multiple-choice questions with a passing score of 72%. After passing, you must register with the appropriate state regulatory authorities in order to work as an investment adviser representative.

What is the difference between Series 65 vs Series 7?

While both licenses can prove beneficial for financial professionals, the Series 65 certification focuses on investment advice and financial planning while the Series 7 certification focuses on sales of general securities (e.g., stocks, bonds, and mutual funds). For in-depth information about different securities licenses, visit our dedicated securities licensing page.

How does the Series 65 license salary compare to other financial industry certifications?

Series 65 license holders can earn competitive salaries, but their income may be lower than investment advisors with other certifications. Combining a Series 65 license with other certifications, like the chartered financial analyst (CFA), can further boost your earning potential. Check out our Series 65 article for more information.

Ready for more?

Start Studying

Learn More