Hello all, welcome to this unique guide on Financial Advisor Requirements.

Be assured that reading this article to the end will help you with all you need to know on the requirement of becoming a Professional in the Financial Advisory field, the benefits you stand to get and its pay expectations.

In this article, we’ll share valuable information to help you evaluate:

Financial Advisor requirements
Benefits of becoming a Financial Advisor
Financial Adviser work responsibilities
Financial Advisor pay expectations

Let’s dive right in!


The road to becoming a Professional Financial Adviser may be straight or winding, with many bends and detours along the way, depending on your previous education and experience. 

What Do Financial Advisors Do?

Most individuals are aware of the need for prudent money management, but many lack the skills to do it. 

When this happens, they turn to personal Financial Advisors for assistance since they have the necessary knowledge. 

Financial advisors assist their clients in making sound financial decisions by providing valuable financial advice and guidance. 

As a result of this analysis, they provide suggestions on effectively accomplishing a person’s financial objectives.

Unfortunately, Financial Advisers have to go through training and education to get the credentials and abilities needed to succeed.

Financial Advisor Career Basics

The backgrounds of Financial Advisers may vary widely, and although some specialize in one specific field like retirement planning or tax law, others provide a wide range of general services.

Financial Advisers may be found in a wide range of professions and environments but those in the investing, finance, and insurance sectors are more likely to work for big corporations than those in other fields. 

Financial Advisers who work for themselves are often salespeople and as a result, they devote some of their free time to giving seminars or networking at events outside of office hours.

Financial Advisors Career Path (In-depth)

A bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, Business administration, Economics, Statistics, or a related area is required to become a Financial Advisor. 

While in college, you should take majors in the following areas risk management, taxes, investments, and estate planning. 

Financial Advisers must understand their customers’ short- and long-term financial goals, such as retirement, college savings, and other objectives, and assist them in achieving them. 

They explain and suggest investment products, determine the kind and amount of insurance required, and verify that tax returns and other financial paperwork are compliant.

A Master’s degree in finance or a similar field may also help.

Required Capabilities for a Financial Advisor

Every day, as a Financial Adviser, you will interact with members of the public. 

In an outward-facing position, one of the most important things you do is contact individuals outside your employer’s office. 

Your ability to connect with your customers both personally and professionally is thus critical.

Taking collegiate Math and Accounting courses has allowed you to sharpen your math abilities. 

It would help if you thus collected as many books on accounting and mathematical subjects as possible. 

Study the theories and equations until you are sure you understand all there is to know about them.

You’ll have to filter through a lot of data as you research the various financial products you want to suggest to your clients.

To function as a Financial Adviser, you must also possess a specific set of abilities. 

Some examples are as follows:

•Thinking critically

•Abilities with people

•Abilities in selling

•Talents in finance and accounting

Does a Financial Advisor Need a Degree?

Financial Advisers were self-employed in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

However, working in an office is necessary to work in the industry, and most employers need a relevant degree to recruit you.

A Bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, business, or mathematics is a solid start. 

These classes may help students find jobs and prepare them for advising. 

It’s not only about increasing your knowledge; it’s also about opening up new job opportunities.

Even if it is not mandatory, continuous education may help advisers and planners remain current or broaden their financial advising perspectives.

Students seeking minors that complement their majors may consider communications and marketing as alternatives. 

To be a successful Financial Adviser, you must learn to network and promote yourself effectively.

Financial Advisor Requirements: Licensing

Unless your specialization demands it, Financial Advisers do not need to be licensed.

Some advisers want to assist their customers in purchasing and selling stocks, and they’ll require licenses. 

Even providing financial advice needs a license. 

Insurance agents and brokers will also require licenses to sell and advise on insurance.

Be warned: they’re required, but they come with costs, courses, and tests. 

Make sure you’re informed of the risks. 

You want to help people with their money, so keep your own to obtain the training and certifications you need.

FINRA Licenses: Series 6 & Series 7

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority established these exams for Financial Adviser licensure.

Examining Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representatives (IR) is the FINRA Series 6 test. 

A Financial Adviser who passes the Series 6 exam may offer mutual funds, insurance premiums, and variable annuities. 

But you can’t sell stocks or bonds.

There will be 50 questions and 90 minutes. 

Prerequisite: the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) test, which begins every Oct. 1. 

If you do not pass the test the first time, you may retake it 30 days later.

FINRA’s Series 7 license is required to sell stocks and bonds as an adviser. 

The General Securities Representative (GS) exam measures your fundamental understanding of the securities sector. 

The exam is lengthier than Series 6, and test-takers are given extra time.

The SIE test, like Series 6, is needed to obtain your license. 

Until then, a Series 6 test costs $100, and a Series 7 exam costs $305.

NASAA Licenses: Series 65 & Series 66

Other licensed prospective Financial Advisers should be aware of those regulated by FINRA but created by NASAA. 

Series 65 and 66 licenses.

The Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination (Series 65) is needed in 49 states (Wyoming is exempt). 

This exam covers fundamental economics, investing knowledge, and customer requirements. 

To pass this test, you must correctly answer 94 out of 130 questions. 

The test currently costs $175.

To pass the Series 66 test, you must also pass the Series 7 exam. 

In addition, the “Uniform Combined State Law Examination” (Series 66) is required to become an Investment Adviser Representative (IAR) – for those who want to provide investment advice to clients. 

To pass the exam, you must score 73 out of 100 questions correct in 150 minutes.

You may retake these tests 30 days after your first and second failure. 

However, if you miss three times, you must wait 180 days.

Becoming a Certified Financial Advisor

It’s also a good idea to check into qualifications early in your career, depending on what kind of Financial Adviser you want to be. 

Financial Advisors must adhere to a code of ethics and have extensive expertise in the field to stay certified.

The credentials you get will be based on your career goals as well as your financial capabilities. 

Fees for continuing education and exams are many and expensive. 

Successful early in your advisor career? 


If you can afford to attempt this next step, even better! 

Everyone must, however, understand the conditions.

These four licensed Financial Planners have made a name for themselves in the financial services industry.

Certified Financial Planner

To become a Certified Financial Planner and offer financial planning services to clients, you must have been certified by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

As a result, those who choose to become CFPs must uphold the ethics and distinctiveness of the designation to maintain the designation’s good name. 

Currently, according to the CFP Board’s website, just 20% of financial planners have the CFP designation.

A recognized university bachelor’s degree and college courses from an approved CFP Board-registered program are prerequisites for becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). 

In addition, a minimum of 6,000 hours of professional financial planning expertise is required (or 4,000 hours as an Apprentice).

The Exam

After a 40-minute break, the CFP Exam is over in around 7 hours: two sections of 3 hours each. 

When you apply more than six weeks before the deadline, the test costs $595; but if you apply within two weeks before the deadline, the exam costs $795. 

Aspiring CFPs must also pass a background check and abide by the CFP Board’s code of ethics before being certified.

Personal Financial Specialist

To put it another way: A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is another term for a Financial Adviser.

To be a Personal Financial Specialist, you must have a CPA license and preferably be a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). 

To become a PFS, a CPA must have at least 75 hours of personal finance planning coursework and 3,000 hours of full-time company experience or two years of experience teaching personal financial planning. 

However, members of the AICPA pay a reduced exam cost of $300.

This test is not required for CPAs who have already completed the CFP exam.

Certified Fund Specialist

A CFS credential is awarded to Financial Advisers who have excelled in the mutual fund industry. 

According to FINRA, a CFS must have a bachelor’s degree or 2,000 hours of work experience in the financial sector to be eligible for the course and test. 

Once you’ve signed up for the course, you’ll have a whole year to complete it at your speed.

Becoming a CFS may be a significant career move for a Financial Adviser who works with mutual funds, but the training is pricey at $1,365.

Chartered Financial Analyst

Investment and portfolio analysis specialists should strive to become Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs) to demonstrate their expertise.

You must satisfy one of the following education requirements to participate in the CFA Institute’s required CFA course to become a CFA.

The equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in addition to at least 4 years of work experience, or the comparable mix of education and work experience. 

Additionally, you’ll require:

•A passport that is valid for travel outside the country

•The ability to communicate well in English is a requirement for the test.

•Satisfy the ethical requirements set out by the CFA Institute

•Must be a citizen of one of the participating nations

To become a CFA, you must pass examinations at three different levels. 

Students may take the Level One test in June and December, but they can take the Levels two and three exams in June.

Financial Controller

Professionals in this field deal with companies, doing regular internal account audits and closing up the month’s accounting as required.

Financial Director

Essentially, Financial Directors do the same thing as Personal Financial Advisers, but they only work for one business, and in this case, only that one company. 

They are well-versed in the financial aspects of the business and can make sound judgments about where the firm stands concerning its objectives.

Financial Advisor Salary

It is not surprising for Financial Advisors to earn over $200,000 in states like New York, Washington, D.C., and Wyoming.

Financial investments and associated operations) has a mean yearly income of $129,950 for Financial Advisers. 

Real estate Financial Advisers make an average of $161,860 a year, but they are a tiny minority.

BLS estimates that the employment of Financial Advisors will increase at a faster-than-average rate from 2016 to 2026 due to a growing elderly population in need of financial assistance.


Financial analysis has a lot to offer job seekers since it’s a growing industry with plenty of room for growth. 

Meanwhile, the lack of educational and informational options has become less of a barrier to admission. 

Professionals may decide whether or not to seek further certifications after earning a bachelor’s degree and obtaining on-the-job experience. 

These include Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC). 

Any financial analyst student may take practical steps to increase their chances of a successful career as a financial analyst by obtaining a FINRA license and a CFA certification.

Increasing demand for personal Financial Advisors is expected as our population becomes more financially educated and understands the significance of making good financial choices. 

Now that you know how to become a Financial Adviser, you’re ready to go out on your professional path and begin offering sound advice.



Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)


U.S. News

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