How To Become A Certified Financial Planner In Australia

A Financial Planner is a licensed and trained professional who has the qualification to help individuals and organisations set and meet their short-term or long-term financial goals. First, they analyse the current status of the clients and discuss their prospects and desired objectives with them. This helps them to have a look into their future and set achievable targets. Then they work with these clients to implement plans that enable them to reach those goals.

Suppose you aim to work in the finance industry and pursue a career where you can apply the knowledge of wealth creation, debt and risk management, estate planning, and superannuation. In that case, you must consider becoming a financial planner.

You can get Certificate IV in financial services, for starters. Here is your complete plan on how to become a certified financial planner in Australia.

What It Takes To Become A Financial Planner

Becoming a financial planner requires a specific skill set and knowledge that can only be learned through the requisite courses. In Australia, the criteria for becoming a financial planner are even more challenging. However, the government has set clear standards that you need to meet before an employer signs you up for the job.

You can also choose to specialise in financial planning, tax planning, superannuation, or debt management. However, the primary task of financial planners is to help clients manage and suggest money investing schemes sensibly to achieve their desired financial goals. For example, their aim could either be to save for retirement, reduce debt or generate income. They might also want to buy a house, and you could suggest the most reasonable way to achieve these objectives.

Financial planners are similar to educators as they help the clients understand their current financial condition and reach future goals. Additionally, they educate clients on financial aspects—for instance, budgeting, saving, investment, insurance, and tax issues.

The authority that governs the requirements to become a financial planner is the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Here are some of the steps you can take on your path to becoming a financial planner.

Step 1: Acquire A Diploma Or Bachelor’s Degree

The regulatory guide 146 of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) demands that individuals who want to become financial planners must meet several general and specific knowledge requirements. The guide recommends you complete a bachelor’s degree or at least a diploma in a relevant field.

You need to get a qualification in financial planning, accounting, or business with a focus on financial planning. It gives you the necessary skills and training required to advance your career in the field and gain more knowledge. These qualifications are also the CFP® Certification’s minimum education requirements.

Step 2: Choose The Type Of Planner You Wish To Be

After the completion of your primary education, you should have developed an idea about the kind of services you would like to provide us, a Financial planner. You have options of superannuation, financial planning, insurance, or you can pick a combination of all of these.

Furthermore, ASIC requires you to demonstrate the specialist knowledge you have gained before you can be allowed to practice as a financial planner.

Step 3: Gain Entry-Level Employment

Once you are past that stage, you need to complete your education to apply for entry-level positions. There you need to work with practising financial planners or organisations that hold an ASIC’s Australian Financial Services License (AFSL).

This is because financial planning is a very experience-based career. So, you need to be prepared to get your roots string to work your way up. You might even have to start as an administrator or Paraplanner to become an associate advisor and move into the desired role of a financial planner.

Step 4: Get Your Certification.

To practice as a financial planner, you aren’t required to have a certification. However, acquiring a recognised qualification can increase your chances of employment. Additionally, an additional certificate can set you apart from the rest of your colleagues and put you at an advantage.

It can demonstrate your high commitment to the profession, ethical standards, and level of professional development. Employers are also more inclined towards hiring certified candidates. So gaining more qualifications will only improve your prospects of employment and increase earning potential.

One of the most preferred and recommended certifications is the Certified Financial Planner (CFP). However, before you get certified, you need to meet specific requirements, such as completing education, performance on the CFP exam, professional ethics, and work experience.

The CFP exam encompasses a wide range of topics such as insurance, tax planning, risk management, and estate planning. You have to attempt 170 multiple choice questions in total. However, all the questions won’t be purely academic. Some address the development of your rapport with clients and your techniques to collect the required information from them. 

You need to gain professional experience of at least two years of apprenticeship work or three years of full-time employment. One of the things that some people overlook is that before the CFP board certifies someone, they do numerous background checks. You can find further information on the CFP Board website.

Step 5: Upskill With An Online Short Course

FNS41820 Certificate IV in Financial Services online is a nationally recognised qualification that can help you develop your knowledge about the field and teach you how to apply them in the industry’s wide variety of business activities.

You get to learn how to best manage your priorities as well as design and use spreadsheets for comprehensive calculation and planning of finances. It also teaches you to build sustainable business relationships, implement professional practices, perform reconciliations, prepare budgets, and interpret financial market information. All in all, you get to figure out how to coordinate better with your clients and advise them effectively.

Once you’re done with the Cert IV financial services, you graduate with a specific set of skills and qualifications to professionally work in many roles, such as:

  •         Banking Sales Consultant
  •         Administrative Assistant
  •         Finance Customer Service Officer
  •         Financial Services Administrator
  •         Finance Sector Team Leader

What Does A Financial Planner Do?

Being an investment expert, you are trained to assess and evaluate the financial standing of your clients. You can help them to outline their goals and develop and implement strategies to achieve those goals. They offer recommendations based on research to help their clients manage and invest their money more constructively.

Here’s a quick look at the everyday tasks you are expected to perform as a financial planner:

  •         Perform analysis of clients’ financial position
  •         Research investment opportunities
  •         Inform about finance products
  •         Identify and outline short-term and long-term goals for the clients
  •         Develop plans and strategies to achieve clients’ desired outcomes
  •         Provide information on many different topics of finance and investment
  •         Maintain updated knowledge of government financial and regulatory issues

How Much Can You Expect To Earn As A Financial Planner In Australia?

The average salary of a financial planner per year is around $67,123. This can vary significantly based on the experience, education, and certifications of the individual.  


A successful financial planner at the very base needs to have a desire to help people, be dedicated, organised, and great with numbers. Moreover, you must have a strong aptitude for research and be great at planning and strategy.

It is necessary to get the skills, education, training, and experience that has been set as a standard by ASIC if you want to become a certified financial planner. It can make your chances of employment and earning brighter.

Certificate IV in financial services can help you gain the necessary skills and knowledge to qualify for the job of a certified financial planner in Australia. Once you get this qualification, you are capable of helping your clients manage and plan their finances appropriately. So sign up for a Certificate IV in financial services to take your first step into the finance industry.


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