From early childhood through college and beyond, personal finance should be a requirement at every point of a person’s development. 

AFC professionals are meeting people where they are through financial coaching, counseling, and education.

Career Examples

  • Cooperative Extension
  • College Education
  • Financial Aid
  • Campus Financial Literacy
    • Money Management Center
    • Financial Wellness Centers
Sylvia Watford, AFC, gives a presentation from a podium

Career Qualifications

  • Financial Aid Representative level
    • Bachelor’s degree preferred
    • 2-5 years experience
  • Coach/Counselor level (varies depending upon the institution)
    • Associate’s – Bachelor’s degree
    • 6 months experience
  • Administrative/Director/Associate Director level (varies depending upon the institution)
    • Bachelor’s – Master’s degree
    • 3-8 years of student financial services experiences at a higher education institution or related experiences in working with students in financial aid, financial planning financial literacy, or business/billing settings.


Varies on location and type of institution:

  • Financial Aid Representative level
    • $35,000-$55,000/year 
  • Coach/Counselor level 
    • $32,000-$50,000/year 
  • Director/AD level
  • $45,000-$130,000/year
Karen Richel, AFC, answers questions for a group of students

How to get started (New)

  • Volunteer or work at institutions: Financial Aid Office, Student Financial Counseling Center, Financial Literacy Program
  • Volunteer to work with area high school students in personal finance classes
  • Volunteer at local non-profits providing financial coaching/education

How to get started (Career-Changer)

  • Leverage work history in a personal finance adjacent field (e.g. banking, insurance, counseling, education, accounting, finance) to apply to a financial coaching/wellness center at a university
  • Build on prior career experience in coach employees/clients in behavior modification/improvement with acquired personal finance knowledge

Pros and Cons of Education Careers


  • Consistent schedule and pay
  • Satisfaction of supporting students pursuing their education
  • Some positions are a part of a Union
  • Many positions provide excellent benefits including tuition reduction, health insurance, retirement matching and access to Deferred Compensation Plans,
    Educational growth opportunities
  • Collegiality with others the field of personal financial counseling
  • Research possibilities


  • Hiring processes can be time consuming and last several months
  • Can have high workloads with minimal resources to support
  • Positions may be grant funded, with less job security as new grants must be applied for or renewed.
  • High structured and bureaucratic work environment

Education Professional Profiles

Sara Croymans, AFC®

Sara Croymans, UMN Extension Educator, has extensive experience teaching financial capability with individuals, families and agencies. Sara is an AFC with experience counseling military service members and individuals with gambling addictions.

Rob Jones, AFC

Rob Jones, MS, MAEd, CFP®, AFC®

Rob Jones is an adjunct Professor/Program Director of Personal Financial Planning at Park University.

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