Financial Advisor Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Financial Advisor Do?

Financial advisors use their expertise to advise clients on a wide variety of financial planning endeavors, such as investments, taxes, estate planning, college savings accounts, insurance, mortgages, and retirement. They typically spend their day talking to clients in person or via phone call about their financial objectives and risk tolerance. They recommend a specialized financial planning strategy for each client based on individual needs. They must have exceptional people and communication skills to advise and inform clients as well as answer questions regarding financial plans and strategies. 

Good analytical skills are necessary since they evaluate client financial data as they develop strategies to meet client financial goals. They must have excellent presentation skills as they often give seminars and talks on new investment opportunities and changes in financial plan strategies. Proficiency in MS Office and working with various financial programs is necessary. Financial advisors must adhere to all industry and federal regulations. As industry experts, Financial advisors must have in-depth knowledge of the stock market, mutual funds, securities, and tax regulations.

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National Average Salary

Financial advisor salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Financial Advisor is:


Financial Advisor Job Descriptions

It’s important to include the right content in your job description when hiring a financial advisor. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.

Example 1

[Your Company Name] is committed to hiring an exceptional financial advisor. The ideal candidate will be driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to own a business. You should also be excited by uncapped earning potential and the ability to work on your own terms. Our advisors are passionate about solving problems for their clients while constantly researching the best strategies that lead to long-term results and relationships. If you’re willing to learn from and be molded by a team of expert peers who are dedicated to winning together, competitive and driven to excel, self-motivated and resilient through losses, failures, and challenges, a fantastic communicator, and able to make complex topics attainable and easy to understand, you could be our perfect fit.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Meet with clients to determine financial objectives 
  • Offer advice on products and services including investments, debt management tools, insurance coverage and more
  • Secure bonds and stocks 
  • Move money from accounts
  • Engage in market research to stay on top of industry trends
  • Maintain compliance with rules and regulations
  • Identify and pursue potential clients

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, finance, accounting, economics, or a related field
  • One year of related experience

Required skills and qualifications

  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • Impeccable sales and customer service skills
  • Familiarity with mutual fund, securities, and insurance industries
  • Ability to convey options with benefits and risks 
  • Excellent organization skills
  • Ability to assess client needs

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience working in a large, fast-paced financial firm

Example 2

Responsibilities and tasks

The Financial Advisor will serve as a relationship manager for an existing group of clients and will work alongside the Lead Advisor in the market to provide advice and guidance to help clients achieve their goals. They will be expected to follow-through consistently in all efforts, build relationships with prospects and clients, and help prepare for client appointments. Other daily, weekly, and/or monthly tasks may include:

  • Interact professionally with clients by phone and/or in person to update the client’s profile and financial situation/needs
  • Complete service requests, resolve client issues, and keep CRM updated by entering detailed notes
  • Review existing Annuity, Life, Long Term Care, and/or Disability insurance policies to determine if they still meet client needs
  • Meets production targets that impact overall company revenue goals
  • Prepare client reports and review summary for upcoming appointments
  • Assist with client reports, mailings, and in setting client appointments
  • Assist with New Business processing & review documents prior to submission
  • Additional tasks as assigned by management

Minimum requirements

  • 4-year degree in Accounting, Finance, or related field
  • Series 65 or 7/66 with Life & Health Licenses
  • 2-7 years in financial services offering investment management and insurance services
  • Strong experience with MS Office and the ability to learn new software quickly
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills both in person and via phone
  • Proactive mentality, positive attitude, and consistent follow through
  • Highly intelligent, strong organizational skills, and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently with good time management and critical thinking skills

Additional preferred skills

  • CFP® designation
  • Experience with SalesForce CRM software
  • 2+ years working in a fast-paced office environment

Example 3

Develop, negotiate, and finalize student financial plans consistent with financial planning policies and procedures and with Federal/State regulations for awarding aid. Work closely with new, continuing, and re-entry students and their families to ensure the financial plan and re-plan continue to best meet the families needs. Counsel students on all acceptances and other matters related directly to the student financial plan.

Key job elements

  • Work cohesively with Admission Representatives in order to facilitate outstanding service to prospective students and their parents
  • Efficiently and accurately package assigned students which includes new, continuing, re-entry, and transfer students
  • Assist students/parents with the completion of the FAFSA and review the resulting ISIR, assign the appropriate budget, and package the students correctly
  • Create financial plans for assigned students in compliance with institutional policies and Federal regulations, communicate the plan to students and parents, and effectively explain rights and responsibilities for each aid source
  • Assist students and parents with alternative means of financing any remaining balance after awarding eligible federal, state, or institutional aid
  • Ensure student files are complete and accurate and that aid is paid to student’s accounts in a timely manner
  • Review and complete Basic Verification and C Code Reviews for students as necessary
  • Utilize reports to review students, analyze work needed, and work with the Director of Financial Aid for priorities
  • Complete the appropriate training modules within 30 days of the new or revised module becoming available
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor’s degree in a related discipline preferred OR Associate’s Degree plus 3 years of related experience with federal and student financial aid, OR 5 years of related experience with federal and student aid
  • Customer service, problem-solving approach to work
  • Effective communication, interpersonal and presentation skills
  • Ability to make small group presentations as well as skill in interacting as an individual contributor
  • The ability to multitask, work independently, and make decisions based on guidelines
  • Strong basic computer software (MS Office) skills as well as exposure to more concentrated financial aid software (Campus Vue/Campus Nexus preferred)

Example 4


  • Interface with/train branch employees in an effort to develop a referral pipeline of qualified prospects to ensure bank and employee referral goal attainment
  • Meet with referred customers in bank setting or customer’s homes or offices as requested
  • Collect and analyze customer data such as income, assets, investment, and/or debts to determine appropriate financial products best meets the customer’s needs and financial circumstances
  • Provide guidance to customers regarding the advantages and disadvantages of different financial products
  • Close sufficient volume from bank branch referrals and outside relationships to attain gross revenue production expectation
  • Responsible for marketing, servicing, and promoting the Bank’s financial products in order to obtain new business
  • Identify and refer specific qualified clients to affiliated Wealth Management Group
  • Identify potential existing Brokerage customers to initiate additional sales by actively “account managing” and refer customers with banking needs to retail banking partners
  • Perform on-going self-education to remain product/solution fluent and maintain licensing capability
  • Prepare reports and present as appropriate


  • Series 7, Series 66, and Life and Health licenses required
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office products
  • Prior Sales experience in a bank environment is preferred
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to travel daily to generate business and/or meet with clients within given territory is required
  • High School diploma or equivalent required
  • College degree and advanced designations preferred


  • Sitting or standing for extended periods of time
  • Sufficient dexterity of hands and fingers to efficiently operate a computer keyboard, mouse, and other computer components
  • Ability to converse and exchange information with customers and all levels of staff within organization
  • Ability to observe, perceive, identify, and translate data
  • Ability to travel via train, bus, automobile, or airplane

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Certified Financial Planner (CTF). To gain a CTF certification, there are rigorous requirements that are set by the Certified Financial Planner Boards of Standards. Up to 1,000 hours of work will be needed to complete the coursework and exam. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is needed to pursue the CTF certification. Three years of financial planning experience is also required for this certification.
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). CFA certification is important in portfolio management and investment research. A bachelor’s degree is needed to obtain this certification. There are three required exams, and each takes six hours. Candidates will need to study extensively before taking their exams.
  • Personal Financial Specialist (PFS). PFS studies estate planning, investing, retirement planning, insurance, and more. Three years of work experience are required and an exam must be passed.

Sample Interview Questions

  • Why did you become a financial advisor?
  • In what ways do you keep up with changes in the financial industry, including tax laws, investment trends, and market conditions?
  • What are the factors you consider when determining the best investment strategy for your clients?
  • Could you give an example of a difficult financial situation you helped your client navigate?
  • When you have multiple clients with competing needs, how do you prioritize and manage your workload?
  • Describe the process you use to assess a client’s risk tolerance.
  • If a client has a long-term financial goal, how do you balance it with a short-term financial need?
  • When evaluating investment opportunities, what factors do you consider?
  • What is your approach to financial planning?
  • How do you build and maintain trust with your clients?

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