How do I Become a Financial Counselor?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2018
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A person who wants to become a financial counselor usually needs a high school diploma and a college degree in order to pursue this field. In many places, a person interested in this field may also have to seek insurance training in order to get a job as a financial counselor. Additionally, a person who wants to become a financial counselor may have to pass exams for two types of licenses. Depending on the laws in his jurisdiction he may need both an insurance and a securities license. Financial counselors typically find work in banks, investment institutions, insurance companies and securities firms.

An individual who wants to become a financial counselor prepares for a career helping other people to plan and manage their finances. The exact duties a financial counselor has may depend on where he works. For example, some jobs may require a financial counselor to help people to choose insurance plans and figure out how to pay for them. Another job may require a person in this field to help clients to make and manage plans for retirement or putting their offspring through college. Sometimes a person in this field may provide a wide range of financial help rather than focusing on just one category.


Usually, a person who wants to become a financial counselor has to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in order to secure this position. An individual who is interested in this field may pursue a bachelor’s degree in finance, marketing, or even business. While bachelor’s degrees are usually considered suitable for beginning a career in this field, those who earn master’s degrees may have an advantage over job applicants with four-year degrees. It’s worth noting that some employers may be willing to hire candidates who have earned high school or equivalent diplomas. In such a case, they may be willing to offer training to applicants who have experience in a finance-related job.

In addition to a college education, a person who wants to become a financial counselor may have to take insurance classes to prepare for his jurisdiction’s licensing exam. An individual may opt for classroom training in preparation for this exam, but there are also many courses a person may take from home. The insurance exam usually covers such things as sales practices, insurance regulations, and ethics.

A securities class may also be part of the training requirements for a person who wants to become a financial counselor. This training helps an individual prepare to help clients make investment decisions and even handle transactions for them. After completing this training, an aspiring financial counselor typically has to pass a securities licensing exam. In some places, a person may need sponsorship from a securities broker-dealer to take his jurisdiction’s securities licensing exam.

Once a person has completed the necessary training and secured the licenses needed to become a financial counselor, he may seek a job with a financial planning company, brokerage, or other type of financial services company. In some cases, a person may even offer financial counseling independently. In such a case, he may have to seek business licensing in his jurisdiction.



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