Financial Adviser

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Are you great with money? Do you like giving advice? If you want to combine your great financial skills with helping clients to make the most of their assets, a career as a financial adviser could be perfect for you.

Are you interested in a career as a financial adviser? Explore the current financial services sector graduate opportunities available to you right now.

What do financial advisers do?

Financial advisers are responsible for making suggestions on the best way for clients to use their money. This means you have to understand the many ways of managing money and apply this to different clients. In the career path, you could work for finance organisations like banks or insurance firms. Here are the tasks that you typically have as a financial adviser:

  • Meet with clients to understand their needs, the assets they have and what their intentions are for the long term and the short term.
  • Research the economic environment and the current policies that could relate to your clients.
  • Learn about current schemes that your clients might be interested in pursuing.
  • Look into your clients’ accounts and monitor any changes, positive or negative.
  • Meet with your colleagues to discuss short term and long term strategies.

Financial adviser career path

As a financial adviser, you have the opportunity to reach high levels within a company. You’re also exposed to many other career paths during your working life which you could move into. If you enjoy the financial side of the job but not giving out targeted advice, you could move into an accountant position. If you enjoy the analytical side and giving out advice but not finances, you could become an internal or external auditor. If you want to continue down the financial adviser career path, here are the roles that you could explore:


Many people begin their financial adviser job as a finance administrator in a bank or other organisation. This is a great way to begin your career in financial advice if you don’t have the required qualifications to go straight into a financial adviser role. You work with the accounts, keeping records that help when an audit happens, dealing with payroll for your colleagues and looking into the payments that colleagues have made from the organisation’s accounts.

You could start your career in a junior financial adviser role if you have the right training. This role teaches you the necessary skills that you need to do the job and you have lots of on-the-job training. You’re responsible for a client’s accounts but sign off your work with your more senior colleagues before submitting anything to a client.

Career progression

With experience and once you’ve gained the necessary skills, you become a mid-level financial adviser. In this role, you increase your responsibility level, working independently with clients and providing them with expert, tailored advice. You monitor your clients’ progress, setting achievable budgets and targets for them.

Future career

You reach a senior financial adviser position with years of experience and a positive track record. In this role, you’re responsible for the biggest clients or most complex cases. You’re trusted to give excellent advice to clients and use this knowledge to train junior colleagues when they join your department.

If you have the experience and the inclination, you could start your own financial advisory firm. This might mean taking on a wider role than just a financial adviser, looking after your own accounts along with finding clients and managing any employees that you hire.

If you’re interested in learning about how you would go about becoming your own boss, complete this Bright Network Academy module on how to start your own business.

Financial adviser salaries

The specific salary that you earn in your career depends on the type of organisation you work for, its size and geographic location. Here are the salaries that you could earn when working as a financial adviser:

  • In entry-level positions like financial administrator, you earn between £20,000 and £30,000 per year and in a junior financial adviser role, you earn an average of £30,000 per year.
  • As a mid-level financial adviser, you earn between £20,000 and £50,000 per year.
  • As a senior financial adviser, you could earn up to £100,000 per year.

Qualifications and training

Having the right education and experience positions you well to get a job in financial advice. Here are the qualifications and training that you need to get ahead:


Financial advisers typically have an undergraduate degree for the role. Relevant degrees are in finance-based subjects. The knowledge that you gain during your degree teaches you relevant theoretical and background information that you can use to contextualise your work. Having a master’s degree isn’t a requirement for the career path but it can help you to specialise your knowledge and learn more, working to impress a hiring manager.

You don’t need a degree to begin your career as a financial adviser. You could join after finishing your A-Levels in a financial administrator position or similar and work your way up, gaining the experience that you need through the jobs you do and by taking the time to educate yourself independently. Whilst going straight into work rather than education may save you money, it may take you longer to move upwards.

Another way to get into the career path is with an apprenticeship. In an apprenticeship, industry experts teach you how to do the job whilst you work in the position. This route lets you develop the specific skills that you need to do the job whilst paying you a modest salary. If you’re interested in an apprenticeship, explore the opportunities available to you with this government apprenticeship search tool.

You can also explore diplomas for financial advisers. The London Institute of Banking and Finance provides a diploma for financial advisers which teaches you the skills that you need to succeed in the career path or you can look into the diploma in financial planning by the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Financial adviser skills

Gaining the relevant skills alongside your qualifications and experience is a great way to impress any hiring manager. You can gain these skills through your education and work experience. You should have some good examples of where you’ve demonstrated these skills in your career to include in your CV. Here are the skills that you need for a career as a financial adviser:

Hard skills

  • Financial knowledge. You need to have a good understanding of all things related to finance. This includes the economy and current investment and banking schemes. You should be able to apply this knowledge to individual cases and make informed suggestions as to how they can make the most out of the opportunities available to them.

Soft skills

  • Critical thinking. You should have good critical thinking skills so you can apply your understanding of the current financial environment and the opportunities available to the client you’re working with.
  • Eagerness to learn. Understanding the developments, both big and small, in the financial sector and economy helps you give tailored advice to your clients. This means being willing to learn and updating yourself on current events.
  • Communication. Being a financial adviser requires you to have great communication skills. You need to express your suggestions well to clients, making sure they fully understand what you’re saying and any potential implications the moves could have on them. Since it’s a client-facing job, you need to get them on board and build up a level of trust which means communicating in a confident and informed way. Brush up on your communication skills with these Bright Network Academy modules on adapting your communication style and developing effective presentation skills.

Pros and cons of being a financial adviser

As with any career, there are positive and negative parts of the job. Understanding the good and the bad helps you decide whether it’s the right career path for you in the long run. Here are the pros and cons of working as a financial adviser:


  • Senior positions can be very well paid
  • Organisations always need financial advisers meaning it’s a fairly stable job
  • You could receive a great pension scheme


  • You have to stay up to date on changes to the financial environment in a country which can be difficult at times of turmoil and doing this alongside your daily work.
  • The entry-level work is comparatively low paid.
  • It can be a stressful career because you’re working with the economy which can be volatile.

Financial adviser work-life balance

Most of your work as a financial adviser is office-based. This means you work standard office hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with slight variations depending on the specific organisation you’re working for. The job comes with a large workload which means you may find yourself working overtime most days. This can make maintaining a healthy work-life balance difficult.

The large workload and the type of work you’re doing means that it can be a stressful job. Having healthy stress management strategies can help you have a happier working life.

Typical employers

Knowing the type of employers that you could work for helps you know which organisations to target your applications to. Here are some of the organisations that you could work for as a financial adviser:

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