The Series 66 license exam — also known as the Uniform Combined State Law Examination — is a North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) exam administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Having a Series 66 license demonstrates an individual’s proficiency in investment advisory and securities regulations. Those with a Series 66 license often earn attractive salaries by working as investment advisors and broker-dealers.
This article explores the various factors that can affect the Series 66 license salary range and examines the career path for professionals who hold this license.
Series 66 Salary Overview
Salaries for professionals with a Series 66 license depend on various factors, such as their experience, location, and job title as well as current economic trends.
According to recent data, the average salary for entry-level positions is usually around $60,000 per year.
With experience, however, this salary can significantly increase. Mid-level professionals can expect to earn between $70,000 and $90,000 per year while those in senior positions can earn more than $100,000 annually. These figures can fluctuate, though, based on changes in the financial industry and the demand for professionals with a Series 66 license.
Entry-level positions usually have lower salaries with increased income available as professionals gain experience and improve their skills. Moreover, professionals working in big-city financial hubs tend to have higher salaries due to the high cost of living and the concentration of major financial firms in these cities.
Additionally, employees working for prominent financial institutions often earn higher salaries than those working for smaller firms.
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For a more in-depth overview of the Series 66 license, check out our Series 66 article.
Factors Influencing Salary
Several factors can impact the salary of those holding a Series 66 license. While these may vary, here are some of the most common factors:
- Experience: The number of years an individual works within the finance industry will significantly influence their salary. Entry-level professionals can expect to earn a lower salary compared to those with several years of experience
- Location: Professionals working in major financial districts, such as New York City or San Francisco, generally earn higher salaries due to the high cost of living and the concentration of financial firms in these cities
- Role and Responsibilities: A Series 66 licensee’s specific job also can impact their salary. For instance, a portfolio manager might earn a higher salary than an investment advisor due to the differences in responsibilities and job requirements
- Industry Trends: Periods of strong economic growth or increased demand for financial advisory services can lead to higher salaries for licensed professionals
By considering these factors, you can better understand the compensation landscape and work toward optimizing your earning potential.
Series 66 Jobs
The job outlook for professionals with a Series 66 license remains positive because the demand for skilled investment advisers and financial planners continues to grow.
Some of the jobs that require (or prefer) candidates with a Series 66 license include:
- Investment Advisor Representative (IAR): This is an individual who works for an investment advisory firm and provides investment advice to clients for a fee
- Securities Agent: Individuals in this role represent a broker-dealer or an issuer of securities. They solicit and/or process securities transactions for clients
- Financial Advisor: This professional provides financial planning, investment management, insurance, retirement, and tax and estate planning services to clients
- Wealth and/or Asset Manager: This is an individual who provides comprehensive financial services to high-net-worth individuals and families. They also can manage the investments of institutional clients, such as pension funds, endowments, foundations, corporations, and governments
- Registered Representative (RR): Employed by a brokerage company, these professionals represent clients in investment product and securities trading. They can hold positions as brokers, financial advisors, or portfolio managers
These are just some of the common job titles that may require a Series 66 license. They may vary, depending on the specific employer, industry, or position. Having this license also provides a strong foundation for professionals looking to pursue other certifications and further advance their careers.
How to Get Your Series 66 License
Obtaining a Series 66 license involves a multistep process that requires thorough preparation for the Series 66 exam. You’ll also need to meet these three requirements before registering for the exam:
- You’re associated with — and sponsored by — a FINRA member firm or another applicable self-regulatory organization (SRO)
- You have an approved accommodation for online applications
- You’ve passed the Series 7 exam (the General Securities Representative Exam) — a corequisite for the Series 66 exam. (A corequisite exam is an exam you must take in conjunction with another exam. This means the Series 7 exam will complement your Series 66 exam)
The ability to offer additional services and the increased trust from clients can lead to higher incomes for professionals with a Series 66 license. This license also can enable licensees to negotiate higher salaries or better positions within a financial firm.
Exam Preparation and Procedure
To become fully licensed as an IAR, you need to pass both the Series 66 and the Series 7 exams. Here are four strategies you can use to help you pass them on your first attempt:
- Understand the exam content. You’ll have 150 minutes to complete the Series 66 exam, which is a computer-based test. It includes 100 multiple-choice questions, and you must score at least 73% in order to pass
- Develop a study plan. Dedicate a specific amount of time each day for studying — and stick to that schedule. Make sure you allocate time to review each section of the exam outline thoroughly
- Use study guides and materials. Obtain study guides and materials specifically designed for the Series 66 exam. These resources typically include summaries of key concepts, practice questions, and test-taking strategies
- Take an exam prep course. Enroll in a prep course designed for the Series 66 exam. These courses provide structured guidance, study materials, and access to instructors who can help with exam topics
Taking an exam prep course for the Series 66 exam can give you several advantages, making it an attractive option for many candidates. These courses often come with a wealth of study materials, including study guides, video lectures, practice exams, and flashcards — all of which can save you time because you won’t need to search for study materials or wonder what to focus on next.
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Series 66 License Salary FAQ
What is the average salary for a Series 66 license holder?
According to recent data, the average annual salary for those with a Series 66 license is $60,000. However, this number can fluctuate at any time. The average Series 66 salary can differ significantly between entry-level and experienced professionals. Experienced professionals have a deeper understanding of the financial industry, investment strategies, and client needs so they can earn higher incomes.
What are the highest-paying jobs with a Series 66 license?
The highest-paying jobs a Series 66 licensee can hold include experienced investment advisor representatives and personal financial advisors who have substantial client bases. Positions that often involve managing large investment portfolios and making high-stakes investment decisions, such as those dealing with wealth management, also can earn very high incomes.
How does the salary of a Series 66 license holder compare to other licenses, such as the Series 7 or CFA designation?
Series 7 and Series 66 license holders earn similar salaries because these designations enable them to act as securities representatives. Individuals who earn the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation may earn higher salaries given the rigor and prestige of the certification.
How hard is the Series 66 exam?
Many candidates consider the Series 66 exam challenging due to its breadth of topics, which include investment strategies, securities regulation, and fiduciary obligations. With 100 multiple-choice questions that candidates must answer in 150 minutes, this exam requires comprehensive knowledge and good time management skills. Proper preparation and practice are essential for success.
What is the difference between Series 63 and Series 66?
The Series 63 exam focuses on state securities laws. The Series 66 exam covers investment strategies, fiduciary obligations, and economic factors. Finance professionals taking the Series 66 exam usually hold or plan to obtain a Series 7 license. Want to learn more about these exams? See our Series 66 article.