How to Become a Certified Financial Planner


Becoming a certified financial planner is not an easy task. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and time. However, it can be well worth it in the end. This article will outline the steps and requirements necessary to become a CFP.


What is a Certified Financial Planner?

But what is a certified financial planner? A certified financial planner has met specific educational and experience requirements set by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board). They must also adhere to a strict code of ethics.

Financial planners help individuals and families plan for their financial future. This includes saving for retirement, college, and other major life events. They also help clients manage their debt, invest money, and plan for taxes. In short, certified financial planners are responsible for assisting people to make the most of their financial situation.

There are numerous advantages to becoming a CFP. First and foremost, it is a gratifying profession. It is also a great way to earn a good living. Financial planners typically earn a salary plus commission. The more clients they have, the more money they can make. Additionally, financial planners can work for themselves or a financial planning firm.

Becoming a CFP also offers a great deal of flexibility. Financial planners can choose to work part-time or full-time. They can also decide how many clients they want to work with. This allows them to create a work-life balance that works for them.


Requirements to Become a Certified Financial Planner

So what are the requirements to become a CFP? Let’s take a look.

Receive a Bachelor’s Degree

The first requirement is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. While no specific major is required, most CFPs have a degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business.

Complete the CFP Board Registered Program Coursework

The next requirement is to complete the CFP Board registered program coursework. Numerous schools offer this type of program. The length of the program varies, but most take between two and four years to complete.

Gain the Required Experience

In addition to completing the coursework, CFP candidates must also gain the required experience. Candidates must have at least three years of full-time personal financial planning experience. This experience can be gained through working as a financial planner, financial analyst, investment manager, or insurance agent.

Adhere to the Ethics Guidelines

All CFPs must adhere to the CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct. These standards protect the public and ensure that CFPs provide competent and ethical financial advice.

Take The Exam

The final requirement is to pass the Certified Financial Planner exam. This is a ten-hour, two-day exam covering investments, insurance, tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.

Candidates who pass the exam must complete a six-hour Capstone course. This course ensures that CFPs have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide competent financial advice.



Becoming a certified financial planner is not an easy task. However, it can be well worth it in the end. CFPs typically earn a good living and enjoy a great deal of flexibility. If you are interested in becoming a financial planner, follow the above mentioned steps. With hard work and dedication, you can become a CFP in no time.