Paraplanner jobs are becoming more and more common in the financial planning industry. A paraplanner's main duty is to assist a financial planner with his or her administrative duties so that the financial planner has more time to spend with his or her clients. This also frees up the financial planner to focus on sales. Paraplanner jobs are often one way to break into the financial planning industry, and many paraplanners often eventually become financial planners themselves. The different jobs performed in the role of a paraplanner include administrative duties, conducting research, coordinating meetings between the planner and clients and assuming other tasks as assigned by the planner.
The educational requirements for paraplanner jobs vary considerably, depending on the company. Some might require a bachelor's degree in business, and others offer training on the job for entry-level positions. Certification as a paraplanner might also be an option. Senior paraplanners are often responsible for supervising other paraplanners if the company has a paraplanning department within the organization. Smaller financial planning companies can often not afford entire paraplanning departments, so they often hire paraplanners on an independent contract basis.
There are three main areas of responsibility in paraplanner jobs. They are responsible for the administrative duties of the financial planner. This can include preparing reports for the client and/or planner so that the client has a better understanding of his or her financial situation and gathering and entering client data.
Although administrative duties comprise most of the paraplanner's work, he or she might also be responsible for conducting research. The type of research could vary quite a bit depending on the needs of the client. Paraplanners often must also be responsible for the financial planner's schedule and must coordinate meetings between the planner and the client. This often includes answering the phone and interacting with the client.
Paraplanners often take on much of the financial planner's responsibilities, so the job can be stressful. Knowledge of finances is very important, even though a paraplanner is not qualified to give financial advice. Other important skills in paraplanner jobs include interpersonal skills, because they often work closely with clients and financial planners, and the ability to multitask, as well as strong time-management skills.
Although the job can be considered high-pressure, there is a growing demand for paraplanners because of the influx of retirees. Many retirees are using financial planners to manage their retirement accounts, so there is likely to be an increase in business. A paraplanner's salary can vary, depending on whether he or she works for a public or private company as well as on his or her education level.