CareerExplorer’s step-by-step guide on how to become a financial advisor.

Step 1

Is becoming a financial advisor right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do financial advisors do?
Career Satisfaction
Are financial advisors happy with their careers?
What are financial advisors like?

Still unsure if becoming a financial advisor is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a financial advisor or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

Step 2

Bachelor's Degree

Most financial advisors have at least a four-year bachelor's degree. Getting a specific major typically doesn't matter, however a Bachelor's Degree in Finance, Accounting, Business, Economics, or Mathematics can look good on a resumé.

Step 3


There are a number of professional certifications or licenses that financial advisors can get. Once you know the path you want to follow, you'll know which certifications or licenses you will need.

For example, if you plan on becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), it is advisable to complete a program specifically designed for the certification examination process.

Step 4


An internship can give aspiring financial advisors connections and experience in the financial services industry. Many start their careers as unpaid interns before they complete their degree, and some internships may be eligible for class credit towards a degree.

Step 5

Master's Degree

Having a master's degree enables a financial advisor to command a higher salary and, if they own their own firm, they can charge their clients more for their services.

Also, having a Master's Degree or Ph.D. in Finance, Business, or Economics may eliminate the need for any licensing and certification exams.

Step 6

Continuing Education

Many licenses and certifications have requirements for continuing education that must be met to maintain good standing. There is also a renewal fee that must be paid every year.