If you have ever saved to buy a new car or house, or figured out how to put yourself through college, than financial planning might be a great career choice for you. Financial planning is the perfect job for a recent college graduate or someone looking for a career change later in life. If you enjoy managing and budgeting money, as well as working directly with people, then it might be something you want to look into. It’s a very rewarding career that is very obtainable if you have the skills and drive. If you’re interested in becoming a financial planner follow these steps to make sure you’re doing it right.

Make Sure Financial Planning is Right for You

Financial planning is not for everyone. It demands certain skills and can have grueling hours. Make sure that you have an interest in investment and finance, as well as a strong understanding for math and learning new technology before jumping into this career. If you do not enjoy working with numbers or aren’t keen on details, this career may not be for you. Additionally, some financial planners start out as unpaid interns, so make sure you’re okay with starting from the bottom and working your way up.

Get a Bachelor’s Degree

Most financial advisors have a bachelor’s degree, so having one will give you an edge among your competitors. If you want a professional certification such as CFP or CFA, having a bachelor’s degree is required. Although your major doesn’t matter, it helps if it’s in Accounting, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Business or Commerce. Studying Mathematics or Computer Science will also give you an advantage and a better understanding of finance and computer technology.

Obtaining a degree in the career you want to pursue is important even if you decide against financial planning. Gaining at least a bachelor’s degree is highly recommended, even if you don’t plan on getting any certifications.

Gain Experience

What would a career at Fisher Investments be like? Well, how about looking for an internship that can give you a good idea of what the finance business is all about, or look for a entry-level job at a reputable company like Fisher Investments. Learn everything you can about the business during this time and decide which route you would like to take as a financial planner.

Once you figure out what path to take, start looking for jobs at companies that fit you and your needs. Try starting out at a smaller company so you can get opportunities for one-on-one mentoring and will be able to broaden your knowledge by performing several different tasks for different clients.

Look Into Training Programs

Some large investment companies offer training programs for financial planners, during which they will help you gain the necessary work experience and help prepare you for your licensing exam. The companies will teach you the rules and regulations, but cannot force you to be passionate about it. So make sure you’re making the right decision before getting this far. This is also a chance for you to get your foot in the door by showing your dedication and willingness to learn. These programs are very competitive and time-consuming, but highly recommended if you have the time.

Get Licensed

Having a professional license shows your clients and employer that you care enough about your job to pursue extra education and certifications. The licence(s) you’ll need depend on which path you want to take in your financial career. Look over a list of certifications and their purpose before choosing which one is right for you. Also, make sure you follow-up with continuing education. Some licenses require you to take continuing education examinations every few years or pay re-licensing fees.

Financial planning is a great career and is very accessible if you’re willing to put in the work. The hours may be long and the work may be grueling, but it’s definitely doable if you have the drive and determination. If you think that a career in financial planning is for you then follow these steps to get on the right path.

Author Bio: Samantha Ducati is a loving wife and a mother of 2. She loves reading and writing so much that during her free time she writes about anything and believes that a pen is mightier than a sword.


Mike, aka The Dividend Guy, authors The Dividend Guy Blog since 2010 and manages portfolios at Dividend Stocks Rock. He is a passionate investor.