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Financial Advisor and Financial Manager

If you are the type of person who loves numbers, decimal points, stocks and portfolios, savings accounts or financially preparing for the future, then a career as a financial advisor or financial manager may be the right career choice for you.

Discovering your passion

As a military spouse, you probably handle the finances for your household, especially when your spouse is deployed. In fact, learning to balance a budget, making ends meet and planning for the future on a military salary should prepare you for a profession in the financial industry. You may want to take advantage of the financial skills you use regularly and turn them into a career in the financial industry. You can review the Research Occupations tool on MySECO to find information related to the financial industry or take self-assessments to make sure your skills and interests align with this career path.

Education and training

Once you have made the decision to pursue a career as a financial advisor or financial manager, you can explore the many tools and resources on MySECO to assist you in achieving the education requirements necessary to practice in your profession. Following completion of a high school degree or equivalent, financial advisors or managers enter a four-year bachelor’s degree program. While there is not a specific degree for a financial advisor or manager, most companies prefer employees to have completed a program focusing on finance, economics or accounting.

College Scorecard is a great starting point for researching and selecting an education institution. When you visit College Scorecard, search by program/degree, location, size and more to find a program of study near you. You can also use the Scholarship Finder to assist with finding funding relevant to the military community to help pay for classes.

Every year, more than 50 military spouses are trained to be accredited financial advisors through the Military Spouse Fellowship’s Accredited Financial Counselor Program. Make sure to check out this resource and apply during the open enrollment period to be eligible for this training program.

All states require financial advisors or managers who directly buy and sell stocks, bonds, insurance policies or offer specific investment advice, to obtain a combination of licenses that vary based on the products they sell. In addition to those licenses, smaller firms that manage clients’ investments must be registered with state regulators, and larger firms must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Personal financial advisors who choose to sell insurance need licenses issued by state boards. State licensing board information and requirements for registered investment advisors are available from the North American Securities Administrators Association.

Finding employment

Now that you’ve met the education requirements to become a financial advisor or manager, it’s time to find a job in your occupation. One of the first places to look is the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search. Hundreds of partner employers have made the commitment to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers. A recent search of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search using the keyword 'Finance' provided job listings with many companies, including positions with the following: 

You can also search your local state and national job bank for finance positions or use the MySECO Job Search Tools, which include the following:

Professional organizations and networking

Another key to starting and progressing in your career as a financial advisor or manager is to make the right connections through networking. Consider joining a professional organization in your chosen field to gain a better understanding of current industry practices and policies surrounding the financial industry. Professional organizations are great ways to continue your education through workshops and conferences, which will add to your transferable skill set as you move. Networking with other professionals in your industry will give you an edge in meeting the right people who may have the connections you need to obtain an interview at your new location. Read The Value of Professional Associations for more information on how becoming a member can help enhance your career.

Next steps

To explore additional information related to starting your career as a financial advisor or manager, check out the Research Occupations tool on MySECO. Enter the keywords 'Personal Financial Advisors' or 'Financial Managers' to learn more about the occupational overview for your specialty field. If you need additional information on obtaining the proper license or certification as part of your specialty field, visit the Advantages of Licensure article in the Licensures and Certifications section of the Education, Training and Licensing lifecycle stage of MySECO. You can also view the Spouse Licensure Map for state legislation and licensure information for your specific state. Call 800-342-9647 and speak with a career coach to discuss career or education choices, searching for a job or overcoming challenges. Career coaches are available to review your resume, practice interviewing, discuss networking or assist you in understanding employer requirements for this field.

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