Best job in America? Financial adviser makes CNN's list

It places sixth in annual ranking; high worker satisfaction cited

Nov 1, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

By Liz Skinner

Apparently, it doesn't get much better than being a financial adviser.

The profession has landed sixth on CNN Money's annual list of top jobs for offering growth opportunity, great pay and high worker satisfaction.

“Advisers help clients achieve financial success, which feels pretty warm and fuzzy,” according to the online list. “And they can hang a shingle for themselves, work as part of a larger firm, or even work virtually, if their clients are comfortable with it.”

To be sure, the job isn't perfect. It can be daunting to offer money advice when financial markets are down. Investment advisers can be “scapegoats,” the experts said.

But Bill Carter, president of Carter Financial Management, said he's not surprised that advisers ranked their job satisfaction as high. “It's extremely rewarding to work with people for 25 to 30 years and watch them achieve certain milestones in their lives, such as accumulating enough to educate their children or becoming financially independent,” he said.

The industry earned its lowest grade for the amount of stress it places on practitioners. “The stress is relatively high, but most of the time it's good stress,” Mr. Carter said. “The negative stress is usually related to difficult market conditions.”

Citing PayScale.com, the CNN Money list pegged the median pay of financial advisers who have been in the field for at least five years at $90,200, with top pay reaching about $206,000. There are about 206,800 financial advisers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Interested in becoming a financial adviser - or know someone who is? Register for the November 9 InvestmentNews NextGen Virtual Career Fair.

The title, “best job in America” goes to biomedical engineer, a career that involves solving tough medical issues. It's also one of the highest-paid engineering jobs. The four other professions that beat out financial adviser are marketing consultant, software architect, clinical research associate and database administrator.

Rounding out the top 10: Market research analyst, physical therapist, software developer and occupational therapist.

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