Become a Financial Adviser

The complete guide to becoming a financial adviser


Would you like to become a financial adviser? Our specialist courses are designed to help you take the first steps towards a new career in Financial Services, advising your clients on investments, savings and pension products.

Read on to learn more about the role of a financial adviser and the qualifications and skills that are required.


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What does a Financial Adviser do?

Financial advisers provide their clients with regulated financial advice on services including pensions, investments and taxes.

As a financial adviser, you will meet with your clients to discuss their goals and answer their questions. You’ll then be responsible for researching and recommending investments, monitoring the performance of your client’s accounts, and advising when changes are needed.

Some financial advisers decide to specialise in certain products such as company pension schemes or private investment advice. Others prefer to offer more general services, covering a wider range of products including savings and insurance.

Is Financial Advice for me?

Good financial advice is always in demand, which means there is always a need for good financial advisers.

People make important financial decisions every day and want to make sure that they are making the best possible choices. They will need guidance from someone who is qualified to advise on these decisions… and that highly valued professional could be you.

The world of financial advice offers great opportunities and excellent job prospects:

  • Potential to earn a fantastic salary
  • Advance your prospects through ongoing training
  • Help people with your valued, professional skills
  • Work independently or for a company
  • Options to specialise within your field

What qualifications do you need to be a financial adviser?

If you want to work as a financial adviser in the UK, you must hold a suitable qualification recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA) is FCA approved and the perfect first step along your new career path. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge required to begin advising clients on retail investment.

Simply Academy’s DipFA courses are delivered by our team of highly experienced trainers. You’ll learn online in small classes through our successful Live Webinars, which allow you to interact with your tutor and fellow students.

And our popular AdviserSkills course is the perfect complement to the DipFA. It helps you to develop the valuable interpersonal skills that you will need to be a successful financial adviser.

Mortgage Adviser CeMAP/CeMAP Diploma Equity Release CeMAP/CeRER Financial Adviser DipFA AdviserSkills

What skills do you need to become a financial adviser?

Once you have successfully completed your DipFA training, you will be qualified to offer professional financial advice on retail investment products. However, great advisers also have the following five skills which truly set them apart…


It’s really important to build trust with your client, and you can do this by offering honest advice for each individual client based on your professional opinion. If a client believes that you’re working in their best interest, they are more likely to take your advice and recommend your service to others.


Enthusiastic people make great financial advisers because if you’re passionate about what you do, you will perform better. Your clients will notice your genuine interest and your drive to offer exceptional service.


Clients will take important decisions based upon your financial advice. They must be able to trust its accuracy, so it’s vital that you carefully check your calculations every time. You need to have an eye for detail and never rush your work.

People Skills

As a financial adviser, a really important part of your job is presenting your work to your clients. You must be able to communicate effectively and engage with your clients, persuading them to trust your judgement and listen to your professional opinion.


Great financial advisers are really interested in what they do. They are motivated to keep themselves up to date with changes in the financial industry and new products that become available. In this way, they can be sure to offer the best and most up to date advice.

Where could my career take me?

The financial services sector offers a variety of financial adviser jobs, and you could choose to work as a self-employed financial adviser or within a company.


Banks, building societies and wealth management firms employ financial advisers to offer advice to clients on their own range of products.

Financial advisers are also employed by insurance firms, specialist pension consultancies and law firms who have developed financial services as part of their business.

How much could I earn?

If a company employs you as a financial adviser, you will probably be required to work full time hours. This usually involves working between 35 and 40 hours per week, Monday to Saturday.

You will probably have targets to meet, but a financial adviser’s salary usually starts at between £30,000 and £40,000 per year. This could rise with commission and you may also enjoy other benefits including bonuses, a pension or car allowance.


Becoming an independent financial adviser allows you to set your own hours and avoid the office environment. You will work from home and travel to clients, but you may find that you have to work evenings and weekends to suit your clients’ needs.

If this is your preferred route, you could opt to become Directly Authorised however many advisers prefer to work under the umbrella of a network. These usually provide access to products across the market together with other benefits, especially around compliance and regulatory changes.

How much could I earn?

As an independent financial adviser, you will charge your clients directly and there are various ways that you could be paid for example by fixed fee, percentage of assets or by hourly rate.

IFA’s normally charge anything from around £500 for investment advice to £5,000 or more for specialist pension advice.

You could also increase your earning potential by becoming qualified to advise on a wider range of financial products such as residential mortgages.

The figures…

94% of financial adviser firms reported making a profit in 2019.

Commission accounted for 16% of revenue while fees/charges accounted for 82%.

Revenue from ongoing charges increased 16% to £3.89bn.

*Financial Conduct Authority Data Published July 2020


How do I become a financial adviser?

In order to become a financial adviser, you must hold an FCA recognised qualification such as the Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA). Our AdviserSkills programme has been designed to complement DipFA. By undertaking this in conjunction with DipFA, you will learn the valuable soft skills required to be successful within this highly rewarding but competitive industry.

You don’t need any previous experience to begin the DipFA course and it could be the start of your brand new career.

How much does a financial adviser earn?

The amount you will earn once you become a financial adviser depends on the career path you choose. A full time financial adviser is likely to work 35-40 hours per week and earn £30,000 – £40,000 p/a. You may also receive benefits such as a car allowance, pension and bonuses and have the potential to boost your pay with commission.

If you decide to become an independent financial adviser, you will set your own working hours. Your pay, therefore, will be linked to the amount you work. Your hourly rate could be between £75 and £350 or you may agree a monthly or ongoing fee with your clients.

How do I become a self-employed IFA?

To establish an independent financial adviser career, you should still begin by studying a recognised financial adviser course. The DipFA is perfect for this. You then need to advertise your services, attract clients and set up meetings.

Many financial advisers choose to work as part of a network which can provide access to products and benefits.

What is the professional qualification for financial advisers?

There is a choice of qualifications but the DipFA is a fantastic access point into the industry. The Level 4 DipFA qualification is doable for both career changers and mortgage advisers looking to expand their product portfolio.

By completing this financial adviser course with AdviserSkills you will become fully prepared for your new career while gaining an FCA approved qualification.

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Simply Academy is trusted by the Education & Skills Funding Agency
Simply Academy awarded the Highest Rated Courses Brilliance Award 2019 from CourseCheck
Simply Academy is FSQS (Financial Services Qualification System) registered

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