Financial planner holding a laptop.
Financial planner holding a laptop.

Financial planner salaries in Australia: What can I earn?

Financial Planning

Becoming a financial planner means you can apply your financial knowledge to help more people manage their money better.

Financial planners guide their clients towards wealth creation, crafting personalised strategies essential for achieving long-term financial goals. They assess their clients' finances, establish goals and research ways to fortify their financial standing, often through savings, investments and debt management. 

If you want to help people and apply your skills in maths and finance, becoming a financial planner may be ideal for you. But what can you earn in this industry? Is it worth it?

What is the average salary for a financial planner in Australia?

According to Seek, financial planner salaries in Australia average between $105,000 to $125,000 per annum. This can change depending on your experience, where you work, your financial niche and your clientele.

  • Starting financial planner salaries begin at approximately $100,000 per year, with an average of $120,000 annually.
  • A certified financial planner's salary averages around $116,707 annually, potentially earning up to $161,000 as you get more experienced and build your client list.
  • According to Indeed Australia, as a senior financial planner, your salary increases with your experience level, starting with a base salary of $127,700 per annum. The sky's the limit if you have an entrepreneurial bent and establish your own practice.

Financial planner jobs vary depending on the niche you specialise in. Other roles you can explore with a financial planning degree include:

Financial advisor

Financial advisors help people manage their finances by assessing their current situation, setting goals and crafting strategies to reach those objectives. They recommend suitable investments and financial products and adjust plans to align with life changes and market conditions. Their role includes educating clients on financial matters while adhering to strict industry regulations.

The average financial advisor salary in Australia is $110,000 per year

Duties and skills required: 

  • Developing and implementing financial plans for individuals or organisations.
  • Advising on investment strategies, tax legislation and implications, securities, insurance, pension plans, and real estate.
  • Approved qualification and passing the financial advisor exam.
  • Continual professional development (40 hours per year).

Insurance advisor

Insurance advisors analyse a client's needs to recommend appropriate insurance coverage, helping to protect against financial losses from unforeseen events. They guide people through policy selection, manage claims processes and regularly review coverage to ensure it's aligned with the client's changing circumstances and requirements.

The average base salary for insurance advisors in Australia is $89,000 per year. 

Duties and skills required:

  • Enrol, refer and help clients get insurance
  • Resolve issues with insurance companies if they arise
  • Processing renewals and assisting with complex claims
  • Negotiating insurance rates 
  • Maintaining relationships with underwriters
  • Stay current on all new policies and procedures
  • Bill and collect private insurance receivables
  • Comprehensive knowledge of commercial insurance
  • Customer service and communications skills.

Superannuation consultant

Superannuation consultants specialise in retirement planning, advising people on optimising their superannuation and securing their future. They provide advice and strategies for contributions and investment options within super funds and guide people on superannuation regulations and benefits to maximise retirement savings.

The average salary range for a superannuation consultant is $59,000 to $150,000+ per year, depending on location and experience.

Duties and skills required: 

  • Comprehensive knowledge of superannuation, financial products and services and associated regulations
  • Liaising with individuals and/or companies during onboarding processes
  • Promote online tools for superannuation management
  • RG 146 compliant with a Diploma of Financial Planning (DFP) or higher
  • Effective communication and advisory skills
  • Good analytical skills.

Risk advisor

Risk advisors specialise in identifying, assessing and mitigating risks within organisations. They play a crucial role in ensuring businesses understand their potential vulnerabilities and take proactive measures to prevent losses. 

According to Seek, a typical annual wage for a risk advisor in Australia is $120,000. 

Duties and skills required: 

  • Identifying, assessing and managing risk
  • Preparing documentation for senior management
  • Auditing organisations for potential risks
  • Developing risk mitigation strategies
  • Produce reports on and measure risk trends
  • Perform stress testing and scenario analysis
  • Using their knowledge to help people make informed decisions.

Client services officer

Client services officers provide a range of clerical and administrative services within a financial management team.

The average salary range for a client services officer is $53,000 to $81,966 per year, based on your level of experience and where you work in Australia.

Duties and skills required: 

  • Responding to client enquiries 
  • Data entry
  • Records management
  • Handling transactions for clients
  • Managing individual client caseloads.

Business development manager

A business development manager helps a business grow and evolve to increase its profits and reputation over time. They do this by researching and identifying new business opportunities and establishing and managing client relationships. They also identify new business markets, partnerships and techniques for appealing to existing markets. They may suggest new products and services to help a business attract new and existing customers. 

A business development manager in Australia can be expected to earn $101,930 per year on average.

Duties and skills required:

  • Identifying and mapping the business strengths and its customers' needs
  • Researching local and international industry trends
  • Using research and mapping to develop business plans and growth strategies
  • Researching and cold-calling potential new customers
  • Responding to leads and increasing a company's client base
  • Arranging appointments for sales executives to make sales based on generated leads
  • Attending networking events, exhibitions and conferences
  • Advising developers and management on existing and proposed products and services
  • Negotiating, drafting and reviewing business partner contracts
  • Delivering sales reports and predictions.

How much do similar financial professions get paid in Australia?

If you look at similar financial salaries, a tax accountant takes home $81,772 per annum on average

For senior or executive roles, such as being appointed Head of Treasury, Head of Tax, Head of Risk or Head of Internal Audits, you can expect to earn above $400,000 per annum.

What factors affect my salary in financial planning?

The figure on your monthly pay cheque isn't etched in stone. Understanding the factors that can influence how much you earn will suggest ways to navigate towards a higher salary bracket.

Here are some factors to consider.

  • Location

The city in which you work can significantly affect your earnings. For instance, financial planners in bustling economic hubs may garner higher salaries due to the higher cost of living and potentially more extensive clientele.

  • Seniority and experience

Like many professions, your experience and qualifications can increase your perceived value to a company and allow you to command a higher salary. For example, some findings suggest that financial planners who become senior financial planners could expect an average salary increase of $17,500.

  • Certifications and specialisations

Financial planning is a vast field. Specialising in a particular niche or achieving a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) accreditation can propel you into a higher earning bracket. It's a testament to your expertise and commitment to continual learning.

  • Industry reputation and clientele

Building a reputable standing in the industry and cultivating a robust clientele can significantly influence your earning potential. A solid reputation often translates to a larger client base and higher revenue streams.

Can postgraduate study increase my salary potential?

In this profession, where staying updated with fiscal laws, market trends and financial strategies is pivotal, education isn't a one-off event but a continual journey. Postgraduate study is an investment in your professional future. Here's why:

  • Stand out as an expert.

Postgraduate studies sharpen your expertise and knowledge. Higher qualifications arm with a deeper understanding of financial planning and a broader skill set.

  • Access higher-level positions.

A postgraduate degree can unlock senior roles with higher salaries, greater responsibility and a chance to influence organisational strategies.

  • Expand your career horizons.

You can diversify your career by specialising. Whether it's delving into estate planning, tax planning or retirement solutions, a postgraduate degree equips you to navigate these niches confidently.

  • Get formal recognition and increase your network.

Interact with like-minded individuals, industry experts and potential clients while you study. The relationships you forge while undertaking a postgraduate qualification can help expand your professional network.

How do I become a financial planner?

In 2019, the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) implemented stringent standards for becoming a financial planner or financial advisor in Australia. 

Here is a snapshot of the steps required to become a financial planner in Australia:

  1. Get your degree. Complete a FASEA-approved bachelors or higher-level degree. 
  2. Take a professional year. After you complete your degree, you'll need to undertake a professional year equating to 1600 hours of part-time or full-time work, including 100 hours of structured training. 
  3. Sit the exam. During your professional year, you need to pass the FASEA exam successfully. 
  4. Provisional status. Passed the exam? Continue your professional year as a provisional financial planner, which means you can work with clients under indirect supervision. 
  5. Ongoing professional development. FASEA requires financial planners to undertake 40 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) annually across various subjects.

As a financial planner, your career path isn't just about the numbers—it's about the impact you can make in your client's lives by guiding them to greater financial security and wealth management. 

The financial rewards are as compelling whether you're starting out or eyeing a senior financial planner position. But your expertise also shapes the financial futures of those you advise. So, dive in, grow your skills and watch your career, salary and clients' fortunes flourish.

Step into a rewarding career as a financial planner. Learn more about VU Online’s Master of Financial Planning and Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning by downloading a brochure.