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Complete Guide to Becoming a (CFP) Certified Financial Planner

certified financial planner

In today’s article, we will discuss what a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) is, what they do, the eligibility criteria to become a CFP, the fees required to complete this course, its syllabus, job opportunities, and finally, we will cover the salary.

What is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)?

Certified Financial Planner is a professional course, and this certification is offered by FPSB (Financial Planning Standards Board). A CFP member’s job is to provide financial advice to their clients on how to manage their finances, where, when, and how much to invest, and to decide on future financial plans for their clients so that they can achieve their goals. Therefore, most CFPs work in areas such as investment planning, estate planning, tax planning, insurance, and personal cash flow.

According to the Financial Planning Standards Board’s 2023 report, there are currently 2731 CFP members in India, and the demand for CFPs in India is increasing. So, it would be best if you did not hesitate to build a career in this field, as there is a high demand for it. If you do this course, you can get a job not only in India but also in foreign countries because it is a globally recognized course that is popular in 26 countries, including Japan, Malaysia, China, Australia, France, Germany, and Others.

Roles and Responsibilities of a CFP

A CFP’s primary responsibility is to help clients achieve their financial goals by offering sound financial advice. Here are some of the key roles and responsibilities:

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  1. Evaluating Financial Details: Assessing clients’ income, expenses, liabilities, and other financial details.
  2. Developing Financial Plans: Creating, implementing, monitoring, and updating financial plans to meet clients’ requirements.
  3. Business Analysis and Reporting: Researching, preparing, and presenting business analyses and financial reports.
  4. Assisting with Financial Decisions: Helping clients with investments, insurance, estate planning, retirement planning, tax planning, and education planning.
  5. Recommending Financial Products: Suggesting suitable financial products and services for both long-term and short-term gains.

Eligibility Criteria for Becoming a CFP

Next, let’s look at the eligibility criteria. There are two pathways to enter CFP: the regular pathway and the challenge status pathway.

  • In the regular pathway, if you are 18 years old and have completed your 12th grade, regardless of your stream (Arts, Commerce, or Science), you can get admission.
  • In the challenge status pathway, you only need to pass one paper, Advanced Financial Planning, after which you become a CFP. For this pathway, you need to have advanced-level qualifications like CA, CMA, CS, CFA, or LLB.

Course Fees for CFP Certification

The fees for the CFP certification vary depending on the institution and the mode of study. On average, the total cost of the course can go up to 2, lakhs INR. If you opt for coaching, this amount may increase further.

CFP Syllabus and Subjects

The CFP certification exam is divided into four levels:

  • Level 1: Three papers
  • Level 2: Two papers
  • Level 3: Two papers
  • Level 4: Three papers

After clearing each level, you receive a specialist certification. Clearing the final level grants you the CFP degree. If you have a professional degree like CA, CFA, or CMA, you only need to pass the fourth-level exam to become a CFP. In the regular pathway, you need to clear all four levels.

Level 1Personal Financial Management
Investment Planning & Asset Management
Regulatory Environment & Legal Compliances
Level 2Retirement Planning
Tax Planning
Level 3Risk Management & Insurance
Estate Planning
Level 4Financial Planning Process & Skills
Engaging Clients in Financial Planning
Integrated Financial Planning
CFP certification subjects for each level

Work Experience for CFP Certification

For CFP, you need to have three years of work experience. You can gain this work experience either before clearing the CFP or after clearing it; it depends on when you want to do it.

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Career Scope for CFPs

According to the US Department of Labor, jobs in financial planning are expected to grow faster than average, at a rate of 13% through 2032. There will be significant job opportunities for CFPs in the coming years, both in India and internationally. CFPs can work as Financial Analysts, Investment Managers, Portfolio Managers, Wealth Management Advisors, or Personal Financial Planners.

Salary Expectations for CFPs

The salary of a CFP varies based on their skills and knowledge. While it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact figure, a knowledgeable and skilled CFP can expect to earn a lucrative salary starting from 6-8 LPA.


Becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) in India is a rewarding career choice with a high demand for qualified professionals. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can start a successful career in financial planning, helping clients achieve their financial goals while securing a bright future for yourself.

If you found this article helpful, please share it and stay tuned for more informative content on financial planning and career development.

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