Professional Certifications For Financial Professionals

By WebCE
May 26, 2020
Professional Certifications That Can Advance Your Career

Professional certifications and designations are a great way to advance your career in financial services. Whether you are fresh out of school or are a seasoned financial services professional, a respected and accredited certification could be the jumpstart your career needs. If you are from another industry but are looking to transition into financial services, the right certification is the perfect way to do it.

WebCE is proud to offer continuing education courses for several certifications and designations for professionals in the financial services industry. Financial professionals can utilize any of the certifications listed below to elevate their career. Whether you’re just beginning or are an experienced professional, taking advantage of these available certifications can take your career to the next level.

CFP® Certification

With a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation, you can help clients create long-term plans to meet their financial goals. Whether it’s getting out of debt, saving for a home, diversifying their portfolio, or investing for retirement, CFP® professionals help their clients create a solid financial roadmap.

Holding a CFP® designation can offer career growth, income potential, and a high satisfaction from helping people meeting meet their goals. The CFP Board even says 83% of CFP® professionals say they have a competitive edge over other financial advisors because earning the CFP® certification shows they are a professional dedicated to the financial services industry. Whether you plan to work for a firm or practice as an independent, a CFP® designation allows you the flexibility you need to advance your career.

Earning the CFP certification consist of completing education requirements, passing an exam, proof of experience, and adhering to high ethical and professional standard. CFP professionals must meet continuing education and renewal requirements to maintain their certification.  

CIMA® (Certified Investment Management Analyst®)

The CIMA® (Certified Investment Management Analyst®) certification from the Investments & Wealth Institute is the top technical portfolio certification program designed for investment consultants, analysts, financial advisors, and wealth management professionals.

According to research studies, professionals with a CIMA certification are more satisfied with their careers, earn better compensation, and manage more assets for higher-net-worth clients than advisors without a CIMA certification.

Professionals seeking the CIMA certification must meet educational requirements, pass a comprehensive exam and background checks. Recertification through continuing education and paying renewal fees will be required upon earning the certification.  

CPWA® (Certified Private Wealth Advisor®)

The Investments & Wealth Institute also offers the CPWA® (Certified Private Wealth Advisor®) certification, an advanced professional certification designed for seasoned financial professionals who advise high-net-worth clients. Unlike credentials focusing specifically on investing or financial planning, the CPWA program takes a holistic and multidisciplinary approach.

Professionals with a CPWA certification are better able to acquire high-net-worth clients, deliver specialized expertise and skills, and grow firm revenues. The CPWA certification is ideal for wealth managers, financial planners and advisors, retirement specialists, tax and estate professionals, and other financial professionals.

Becoming a CWPA requires having an acceptable record per the Investments & Wealth Institute. Five years of experience is required, unless a specific course is taken through the institute that shortens the experience requirement to four years. 

Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

The Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners is the standard of excellence in the anti-fraud industry and is increasingly being designated as a preferred credential in the hiring practices of businesses, government entities, and law enforcement agencies.

There are numerous benefits from earning the CFE certification, including increased earnings (~34% more than non-certified colleagues), career advancement, enhanced marketability and job security, professional credibility and visibility, and the ability to impact your company's bottom line.

AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®)

The AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor) certification from the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE®) provides financial professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to assist clients with complex financial decision-making. When they're working with an AFC professional, clients know they will receive financial education and guidance specific to their unique needs.

With an AFC certification, financial professionals are better able to help their clients build a strong financial foundation, support their clients through financial challenges and opportunities, and help their clients develop lasting financial well-being.

Certifications Through The American College of Financial Services

The American College of Financial Services offers several certifications professionals can take advantage of to jumpstart their career, including the ChFC®, CLU®, FSCP®, RICP®, and WMCP® certifications. Each of these professional designations are great ways to advance the careers of both new and experienced professionals.

Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®)

The Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) designation from The American College of Financial Services offers a strong, foundational education so you can provide your clients with the best possible service while also advancing your career.

The ChFC® certification is perfect for early-career financial professionals looking for a boost to their career, as well as mid-career professionals looking to augment their CFP® certification. 

Chartered financial consultants (ChFCs) earn their designation by passing nine courses (seven core and two elective) administered by the American College. These courses prove that professionals have a foundational knowledge in many aspects of financial consulting.  

Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®)

Life insurance is an important and necessary part of financial planning for individuals and small businesses. For decades, the Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) designation has been the first choice for both insurance and financial professionals looking for the knowledge they need to succeed in the life insurance industry.

The CLU® designation is perfect for professionals who are just launching their career, as well as those already holding a financial designation but are looking to offer more to their clients.

Becoming a CLU requires completing a 10-course curriculum, and passing 20 hours of exams. Areas include pensions, insurance law, income tax, investments, health insurance, life insurance, and other subjects. 

Financial Services Certified Professional® (FSCP®)

The Financial Services Certified Professional® (FSCP®) designation offers the most complete product knowledge, marketing, and financial planning skills for financial service professionals. Earning the FSCP® designation will give the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed for financial professionals to excel in their career.

To become an FSCP, candidates must complete a curriculum and pass exams. Many FSCPs earn other certifications as they specialize. 

Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®)

The Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) program at The American College of Financial Services was developed by more than 45 of the top retirement planning experts. It provides comprehensive instructions on building integrated retirement income plans, with a key focus on strategies for generating sustainable income from available sources.

Demand for retirement planning professionals is strong and will continue to increase over the next decade as more than 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every day. With the RICP® designation, professionals have more confidence serving senior clients and are able to make better, more informed decisions regarding retirement financial planning.

RICPs must pass a broad exam that covers many investment and insurance vehicles, which people might use for retirement.  

Wealth Management Certified Professional® (WMCP®)

The Wealth Management Certified Professional® (WMCP®) credential relies on investment management, portfolio management, and financial planning strategies to bring a new level of value to the relationship between financial advisors and investors in a program with the highest degree of accreditation

Wealth Management Certified Professionals gain the expertise to implement investment management plans for a range of client goals, including retirement planning, small business planning, and more. You'll also develop a deep understanding of investment management and financial planning so that you can meet your clients’ investment goals and help them effectively manage their risk.

Becoming a WMCP requires passing an exam and one year of full-time work (or several years of part-time work).

Order Certification CE Courses With WebCE

Professional certifications need to be renewed annually through continuing education courses. And as the leading provider of online continuing education and training, WebCE knows how important education is for your professional development.

WebCE is proud to offer a comprehensive course catalog for the CFP®, CIMA®, CPWA®, CFE®, and AFC® certifications, as well as all of the American College certifications listed above.

Certifications Catalog