What is financial planning?

Financial planning is the process of developing, implementing and managing client wealth through various growth and protection strategies and methods. It requires a clear understanding of various aspects in finance such as taxation, estate, investment, risk management and insurance, and more.

The key objective of financial planning is to help individuals or organisations identify their financial goals, plan and create a roadmap with recommendations to achieve financial goals, and implementation and monitoring the initial plan with adjustments when necessary.

Career outcomes in financial planning

Once you’re qualified and trained as a financial planner, there’s a range of different career opportunities available:

  • Securities and Commodities Broker
  • Financial Planner for Insurance Companies
  • Financial Investment Firms
  • Banks
  • Self-Employment
  • Rental or Real Estate
  • Commercial Finance Services

Financial planning in Australia

According to PayScale, the median salary for a financial planner is $86,261, with a high chance of employability through a sharp rise in opportunities over the past few years. This is great to know if you’re considering entering the industry for the first time. It’s also a trend that’s expected to continue in coming years.

As a larger occupation, it’s expected that financial planner vacancies will be available across most of the country, particularly in urban areas. It’s also an area that employs a high number of self-employed and full-time workers, with 84.6% working equal to, or more than 45 hours a week.

Financial planning courses

There are several different courses for financial planners; many people initially pursue a career in a related field, then decide to undertake relevant training to become a financial planner.

Short Courses

These financial planner courses often only last a few weeks or months and are intended to give participants both an idea of the type of work financial planners undertake and develop a deeper understanding of the role. There are also financial planner courses which cover a particular topic in-depth, such as investment or share trading.


A Diploma of Financial Planning is the basic qualification required to become a financial planner or financial advisor. The Diploma is offered at several different institutions, as well as being available as one of a growing number of financial planning courses online.

There are no formal entry requirements for acceptance into the course, but communication skills, a good level of written and spoken English and a strong grasp of basic maths, written and spoken English are usually important for success. Financial planner courses can often be studied part-time and there are a range of flexible study options on offer. This means learners can often combine undertaking a qualification with continued employment.

Advanced Diploma

This qualification provides further experience and in-depth knowledge that puts students in a strong position to advance their career within the financial sector. It’s also a qualification that can be used to satisfy university entry requirements for learners that want to go on to undertake a degree course.

To be accepted into the Advanced Diploma course, students will usually need to already possess a relevant Diploma or have acquired the relevant knowledge through another route.

An Advanced Diploma will take most people between one and two years to achieve, depending on whether they study full- or part-time. Both the Diploma and the Advanced Diploma are offered as TAFE courses, which don’t need to be studied at university.

Bachelor Degree

For a Bachelor degree, financial planning courses covers generic business management and related skills, as well as a comprehensive study of the information and skills necessary to deliver high-quality financial advice. Both theory and technical skills are studied, giving students a broad insight into the industry. Topics studied may include estates planning, taxation planning, investment, and pension planning.

Master’s Degree

The terminal qualification in financial planning, a Master’s Degree frequently includes independent study on a relevant topic, as well as further development of professional skills and knowledge. Participants will normally need to hold a relevant Bachelor’s degree. A Master’s degree usually takes between one and two years but will take longer if studied part-time.

Explore our range of courses for financial planners available today and take the first steps in developing your career.