The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, which announced earlier this year that it added a record number of certificate holders in 2023, says a good portion of them have landed at some of the biggest financial firms.

The board said it added 6,089 new professionals in 2023, giving the board a total of 98,875 certificate holders. The board added that the group of recruits was its youngest and most diverse ever. Among the new CFP planners, 56% were under age 35 and the number of women CFP professionals grew by 11.5%, the board said. Also, the number of racially and ethnically diverse professionals grew by 12.6% over 2022.

Edward Jones was one of four big firms that swelled their ranks with advisors who earned the CFP certification last year and was by far the leader with 1,000 new hires, a 62% year-over-year increase, the board said.

"We are encouraged by how many of our colleagues have earned or are pursuing the 20+ professional designations we support, including the CFP certification," Edward Jones said in an email statement to Financial Advisor.

The other firms that significantly increased their ranks of CFP certificate holders last year included Fidelity Investments, which added 313 new CFP professionals, a 30% year-over-year increase; Charles  Schwab, which added 308, an increase of 111%; and Northwestern Mutual, which added 258, a 44% increase.

“The CFP certification is the gold standard in financial planning, and the growing number of CFP professionals at Schwab reflects our long-standing commitment to providing high-quality investing, trading and wealth management experiences for clients,” Richard Janes, director of planning at Charles Schwab and a CFP, said in a statement.

The board said that CFP professionals are employed by more than 10,000 firms across the U.S. It credited the growth of the program to increased awareness of CFP certification among the target consumer audience, adding that awareness has risen from 75% to 90%, and those who would rather work with a CFP professional has jumped from 22% to 84%.

“Firms have become more intentional and strategic about the designations their advisors hold—recognizing that not all are created equal,” said Joseph V. Maugeri, CFP Board managing director of corporate relations. “CFP certification has increased significantly at firms because they see the marks as a vehicle for competent and credible advice that inspires confidence.”

According to the CFP Board's 2023 compensation survey, 79% of CFP professionals say they earn more because of the certification. Also, 87% say they are satisfied with their career choice and 89% are satisfied with the decision to pursue CFP certification.

The study found that those with a CFP certification earn a median of $23,820, or 12% more in annual compensation than their peers in 2022. Total compensation for CFPs was $222,320, while non-CFPs earned $198,500, according to the study.