How to Meet the CFP Experience Requirement

In order to earn CFP® certification, a person must have a bachelor’s degree, pass an accredited CFP educational program, pass the national CFP Board exam, and meet the 3-year work experience requirement.  For a person not currently working in the financial services industry, a common question is, “How does one go about getting the proper experience?”

What is the CFP Experience Requirement rule?

The CFP Board will allow professionals to sit for their national Board exam and pass without having the work experience.  However, prior to issuing the CFP marks for a person’s business and/or marketing purposes, the CFP Board requires a work experience requirement to have been met.  The work experience requirements dictate a person’s work has been centered around:

“the supervision, direct support, teaching or personal delivery of all or part of the personal financial planning process to a client.”

Additional specifics include:

  • At least 3 years of full or part-time work experience
  • Work experience may be earned up to 10 years prior to passing the Board exam or 5 years thereafter

How to Get the Work Experience?

For individuals who have worked in the financial services industry and have been using the topics on a regular basis, the majority of this time may qualify as experience.  However, for those who are changing careers or are new to the industry, it can be more difficult.  There may be situations where consideration of one of the following areas could be helpful:

  • An internship with a local advisory firm
  • Teaching a class around the topics at a local community organization
  • Joining a residency program through a local association