In Focus: Modern financial planner  

Earning potential 'huge' motivation among advice trainees

Earning potential 'huge' motivation among advice trainees

As students receive their GCSE results, advisers have highlighted the benefits of a career in advice with many pointing to the high earning potential as a major selling point.

This year’s 5.5mn GCSE students will join the thousands of students who received their A-level results last week as they decide what to do with their futures. 

If subject popularity is anything to go by, a career in finance may be a good fit for many of this year’s school leavers, with mathematics remaining the most popular subject for A-level students this year - accounting for 11.3 per cent of all entries. 

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But even if maths is not a student’s strong point, a successful career in financial advice or planning is possible according to the head of Quilter Financial Adviser School, Julian Hince.

“There is a space for those that enjoy the technical side of things and those who want to work closely with people and help them reach their financial goals,” Hince said.

“I think a lot of people when starting out can be put off by some of the technical sides of the subject matter or feel that the career is too heavily to do with maths. This is not the case and in fact the soft skills required to be a financial adviser can be as important if not more so than some of the technical requirements."

“For some people knowing this might mean that they are more likely to pursue a career in advice in the first place or keep going when the financial advice diploma gets more complicated,” Hince said.

In Hince’s view, a career in financial advice can be a great opportunity for school-leavers as it can have a high earning potential with the opportunity for individuals to set their own hours and achieve a healthy work life balance. 

Debt burden of university

Others in the industry pointed out that a university degree is not an absolute necessity either.

Official statistics from the House of Commons Library suggest that the average student will graduate with £45,800 of debt, including student loans.

While research by the Association of Investment Companies, released last week showed that two-fifths (40 per cent) of students with no plans to go to university identified not wanting to get into debt as one of the reasons, while 36 per cent said tuition fees were too high.

For those interested in a career as a mortgage broker, while it is best to have some finance experience “like a few years in banking or a degree in something finance related” it is not a requirement, according to Chris Sykes, technical director at the independent mortgage broker, Private Finance.

“We have many advisers without degrees for example. Any employers that offer a trainee or academy programme would be a good bet, training you on the job over the first couple of years until you are ready to be an adviser yourself.”