How to Become a Financial Advisor in Canada?

If you are looking for a career that is both challenging and rewarding, becoming a financial advisor in Canada may be the perfect choice for you. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started in this exciting field. 

We will discuss the education and experience requirements, as well as the different types of financial advisor careers available in Canada. So if you are ready to take the next step in your career, read on!

How to Become a Financial Advisor in Canada? 

The financial advisor requirements vary depending on the type of career you want to pursue. However, most financial advisor roles require at least a university degree in finance or economics. 

In addition, many employers prefer candidates who have previous experience working in the financial industry. Here are the essentials for becoming a financial advisor in Canada:

Educational background: You will need to complete an academic program related to finance or economics before you become a financial advisor. This can be in the form of a certificate, diploma or degree. 

The Canadian Securities Course (CSC), taught by the Canadian Securities Institute (CSI), is the minimum requirement for most financial services professions. It’s also a prerequisite to obtaining a securities dealer license.

Over 270 industry-recognized courses and financial advisor qualifications are available through the CSI, including the CIM, Personal Financial Planner (PFP), Certified International Wealth Manager (CIWM), and MTI® Estate & Trust Professional.

Work experience: As mentioned above, most financial advisor jobs require candidates to have previous experience in the field. This is usually achieved through internships or entry-level positions at financial institutions such as banks and investment companies. 

Many of the required designations will necessitate some level of work experience — either before applying for a certain certification or as a requirement after coursework. To acquire CFP certification, you must have three years of qualifying financial planning experience at the time of application.

Tests/licenses: When you’ve completed all of the coursework, it’s time to take and pass a final exam before becoming a financial advisor in Canada. The CFP certificate requires a six-hour final securities examination that is computer-based and administered three times a year by FP Canada. Before applying for certification, make sure you’ve completed any work standards necessary.

Registration as a stock broker: If you want to work in the capital markets, then becoming registered as a stock broker is an integral part of becoming a financial advisor. Wondering how to become a stock broker in Canada? This can be done through IIROC or the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF). 

daily stock market update in a news paper

What is a Financial Advisor?

A financial advisor is someone who helps clients make important decisions about their money. This could mean anything from investing in stocks to buying a house or even planning for retirement. They are often referred to as investment advisors, wealth advisors and personal financial planners among other titles. 

The main goal of this type of career path is to help people achieve their goals and dreams with their money. Some of the key roles of Canadian financial advisors include:

Helping with money management: One of the main roles of a financial advisor is to help clients manage their money. This includes developing budgets, creating investment plans and providing advice on insurance products. 

Helping clients reach financial goals: A financial advisor will work with clients to help them reach their short- and long-term goals. This might include buying a house, paying for college or saving up enough money to retire comfortably. 

Helping with debt management: Financial advisors can also help clients manage their debt. This may involve consolidating loans, negotiating with creditors or setting up a repayment plan. 

Helping with retirement planning: Retirement planning is one of the most important aspects of financial advising. A good certified financial advisor will help clients figure out how much money they need to save each year, what kind of retirement funds to invest in and when to start withdrawing money. 

Taking care of tax issues: Another important responsibility of a financial advisor is to help clients with their tax filings. This includes preparing tax returns, claiming deductions and helping clients understand how new tax laws will affect them.

Building investment portfolios: A financial advisor is also responsible for providing investment counsel services, creating and managing investment portfolios. This could involve picking stocks, mutual funds or other types of investments. 

How long does it take to become a financial advisor in Canada?

When it comes to becoming a financial advisor in Canada, you can take several routes. Some financial professionals choose to start their careers as assistants or interns at investment firms while others get jobs at banks, insurance companies and other types of businesses. 

There are numerous different criteria for each career track or rank. It’s also worth noting that certain courses or learning paths might have set restrictions on how long it will take you to finish the required standards.

For example, the Canadian Securities Course exam, which is the minimum requirement for becoming a licensed financial advisor in Canada, takes around 100-200 hours of study time. Although it’s impossible to say how long it will take before you step into a full-time role, you’ll almost certainly have more than a year of financial advisor schooling behind you.

financial advisor pointing on a tablet

Types of Financial Advisors in Canada

Financial advisors can work in a variety of different industries and organizations. Some common types include wealth managers, investment advisors and personal financial planners. 

Financial planner: Financial planners help create plans for individuals or businesses to achieve their financial goals. They work with clients on issues like debt management, retirement planning and tax filing. 

Financial coach: A financial coach is an individual who provides advice on personal finances. They are often paid by their clients but may also receive commissions from the products they recommend or sell such as insurance plans and investment funds. 

Investment advisor: A registered investment advisor helps clients invest their money in stocks, mutual funds and other securities. They provide advice on what to buy and when to sell in order to make the most profit. 

Financial consultant: A financial consultant provides analysis and recommendations on financial planning, investment opportunities and debt management. They usually work for banks, accounting firms or other businesses.

Portfolio manager: A portfolio manager is responsible for the investment portfolios of their clients. They make decisions about what stocks or funds to buy and sell, how much money to invest and when to take profits.

Final Thoughts

Getting a financial advisor license in Canada is not an easy task. It takes several years of education or relevant work experience before you can become one yourself (and even then there are many hurdles to overcome). Nevertheless, if you have a passion for finance and helping others reach their goals, it can be a very rewarding career.


How to Become a Financial Advisor in Canada? 

There are a few different ways to become an independent financial advisor in Canada. You can work for an existing company or start your own business as an independent contractor (also known as being self-employed). 

How much do Financial Advisors make in Canada? 

The average salary for a financial advisor in Canada is around $72,000. However, this can vary depending on the type of advisor you are, your experience and the size of the company you work for. 


When Angela combined her deep-seated love for linguistics with her growing interest for finance and money management, she struck a gold mine. She’s scoured the internet far and wide for all things related to money and finances, including payments, budgeting and investing. Now she’s eager to share her knowledge and skills with the world, determined to make it a better place. In her free time, she loves to read a good book.

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