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How to become a Financial Planner

Financial Planners, also known as Financial Advisors, help clients to set financial goals and provide advice on the best ways to invest and spend their money. They can work with individuals as well as businesses and government.

If you have a sharp mind for maths, enjoy helping people, and are willing to commit to lifelong learning and development, this could be the perfect career for you.


About you:


  • Analytical and thorough
  • Excellent problem solver
  • Fantastic communicator
  • Mathematically minded
  • Willing to act ethically
  • Can work independently
  • Committed to lifelong learning
  • Critical thinker


The job:


  • Analysing a client’s current financial situation
  • Making investment recommendations
  • Monitoring investments on a client’s behalf
  • Developing budgets and savings plans
  • Helping clients to save for retirement
  • Advising on superannuation matters
  • Ensuring you are always acting in the client’s best interests


Lifestyle Impact: Low


  • Part Time opportunities: Very low – only around 15% of Financial Planners work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 44 hours a week, which is average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Financial Planners’ salary (average) $110,000* per year (source: seek.com.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Strong (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Most of your work will probably be done indoors, during normal business hours.


Financial Planners are most in demand in these locations:


Around 24,100 people worked as Financial Planners in Australia in 2021 (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au). Demand is highest in New South Wales and Victoria. Most Financial Planners work in the Financial and Insurance Services industry.


How to become a Financial Planner in Australia


To become a Financial Planner, you’ll need to complete an accredited degree, undertake a year of training and an exam, and gain registration with the Australian Security and Investments Commission (ASIC).


Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a focus on English and Maths.


Step 2 – Complete an approved undergraduate qualification, generally a Bachelor of Business majoring in Financial Planning, or Bachelor of Accounting. You can see the full list of approved qualifications here.


Step 3 – Complete a full-time professional year that includes at least 1,500 hours of work activities and 100 hours of structured training (a total of 1,600 hours).


Step 4 – Complete the Financial Adviser Exam before starting the third quarter of your first professional year.


Step 5 – Register for an AFS License with the Australian Security and Investments Commission (ASIC).


Step 6 – Complete 40 hours of professional development each year, and comply with the Code of Ethics.


Find out more here –




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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What do Financial Planners do?


Financial Planners help their clients find the best way to save, invest and spend their money.


Which industries employ Financial Planners?


Financial Planners are mostly employed in the Financial and Insurance Services industry.


What options are there for career progression?


There are different kinds of Financial Planning your might like to specialise in, including superannuation, tax planning or debt management.


Do I need to go to university to become a Financial Planner?


Yes, you will need to study an accredited undergraduate degree, and also meet further requirements and continuing professional development.


Where do Financial Planners work?


Financial Planners might work for a private firm, or in-house for a business or organisation. They might even work freelance, operating their own small business.


What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Financial Planner?


If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Financial Planner is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:

  1. Start working on your maths skills. Create your own budget or try and help the family with theirs, and start researching how investments, taxes and superannuation work.
  2. See if you can find work experience in business or finance. This will help you see if you might enjoy the work, and can help you start building important contacts for the future.
  3. Talk to a Financial Planner to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in finance.

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