How to become a Financial Planner in Australia

How to become a Financial Planner in Australia

Financial Planners are investment professionals who are qualified to assist individuals and organisations in meeting their long-term financial objectives. By discussing and analysing their clients’ status and desired outcomes, a Financial Planner helps people to set targets and develop strategies to reach them.
Although they might specialise in a number of areas, such as tax planning, risk management or retirement planning, the basic function of a Financial Planner is that they help their clients invest and manage their money in order to achieve or maintain their financial goals.
These goals may include retirement, saving for a house, minimizing tax burden, budgeting, generating income or debt reduction. In addition to helping achieve goals, Financial Planners help clients’ understand the strategies behind these decisions so they are better informed.

Have a head for numbers and organisation? Feel like maybe the life of a Financial Planner is the life for you? Here are a few steps to get you where you want to be.

Step 1: Get your degree.
To be a Financial Planner, you will need at least a bachelor degree with a major in economics, finance, business, statistics or something similar.

Step 2: Volunteer and be an intern.
Don’t be afraid to apply for an internship. Academic instruction in the classroom is the basis for learning, but an internship offers opportunities for budding Financial Planners to get invaluable real-world experience. Serving as an intern gives you the chance to practice what you have learned while gaining insights and instruction from mentors with experience in the field.

Step 3: Upskill with extra certifications and licenses.
There are numerous additional specialisations and certifications available to Financial Planners, such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP). Large firms and clients may require their Financial Planners to continue their education at the graduate level. Many Financial Planners will undertake an MBA program after working in the field for a few years and while continuing their full-time employment.

Step 4: Approach the big firms.
Research potential employers to find firms that suit or appeal to you and tailor your resume and cover letters to each company. Apply for entry-level positions even when they are not advertising vacancies, that way when they do decide to hire, you are already in their minds.
Finally, don’t forget that social media is an excellent way to post resumes and search for open positions.

What do Financial Planners do?
Financial Planners are experts at developing financial strategies for individuals and organisations, assisting their clients with making complex decisions and finding the best way to preserve and grow their wealth. Additional responsibilities of a Financial Planner may include active involvement in business development and identification of new investment opportunities, while strictly adhering to risk and compliance processes and protocols.
As a Financial Planner, it is vital that you maintain your education and training so that you're always giving the most current and accurate advice.


  • Assessing clients’ financial standing and desired outcomes.
  • Creating plans to achieve customer goals.
  • Giving advice regarding investments, budgeting and financial management.
  • Understanding and explaining financial laws and regulations.
  • Maintaining current knowledge of investments, planning strategies, tax and insurance.
  • Recommending appropriate financial products and services.

Skills for Success.
Financial Planners require strong analytical skills and an outgoing personality, as firms and financial institutions expect Planners to effectively help and maintain clients over an extended period of time. You will need to be methodical and exact, good with numbers and passionate about getting the best result for your clients.

Skills & Attributes

  • Great communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Aptitude for research
  • Excellent with numbers
  • Analytical and planning skills

Average Salaries

How much does a Financial Planner earn?
The average salary for a Financial Planner is $71,380. There is a broad range in salary for Financial Planners, depending on their experience and abilities, this is an indicator only according to Payscale 02/18

min $49 K
max $102 K
av $71 K