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Investment Advisor

Investment advisors assist clients by providing investment advice and recommending the purchase or sale of securities. Taking into account a client's income, assets, age, tax burden and financial expectations, investment advisors help the client identify financial goals and recommend investments to assist in achieving those goals.

  • Avg. Salary $85,404.00
  • Avg. Wage $36.43
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 1,700
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Broker, Investment Analyst, Stockbroker, Personal Financial Services Specialist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Securities Agents and Investment Dealers (1113.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Securities Agents, Investment Dealers and Brokers (B013) 
  • 2011 NOC: Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers (1113) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Investment Advisor is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Securities Agents and Investment Dealers

Interest in identifying potential investments for clients and in preparing investment strategies to help clients achieve their financial goals


Interest in consulting clients by offering advice and information on various investments to guide them in managing their portfolios; and in developing long-term relationships with clients and a network within the financial industry to gather relevant information


Interest in co-ordinating information to monitor clients' investment portfolios and ensure that investment transactions are carried out according to industry regulations

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Dec 19, 2016

Investment advisors deal with a variety of investments such as:

  • stocks
  • bonds
  • mutual funds
  • government treasury bills and bonds
  • options
  • pooled funds
  • insurance products.

They may work with individual investors or large institutional accounts but, in general, investment advisors:

  • discuss investment objectives with clients and make recommendations accordingly (for example, low risk securities only or a balance of high and moderate risk securities with long term growth potential)
  • maintain strict confidentiality regarding client information
  • buy and sell investment products
  • advise clients on investment decisions such as what and when to buy and sell 
  • recommend securities and help clients develop a portfolio
  • seek out new clients by identifying and calling on potential clients.

Investment advisors are expected to build their own client base with minimal assistance from their firm. Early in their careers, advisors spend most of their time identifying and calling on prospective clients. Once they have a base of satisfied clients, new business may be generated through referrals.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Advisors usually work in an office setting. They work long days and may be out of the office often. This is a fiercely competitive business with constant pressure to trade securities.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Successful investment advisors are:

  • self-motivated
  • aggressive and able to work in a competitive environment
  • quick decision-makers
  • able to deal with rejection
  • quick learners
  • good listeners 
  • energetic and willing to work hard
  • able to handle a stressful working environment.

In addition, they need the following characteristics:

  • an aptitude for numbers
  • strong interpersonal skills
  • excellent sales skills
  • experience with computers
  • the coping skills required to deal with many rapid changes.

Investment advisors should enjoy taking a methodical approach to collecting information, analyzing situations and finding innovative solutions, consulting with people and directing the work of others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Brokerage firms generally require applicants to have related post-secondary education, preferably a university degree. 

Successful completion of the Canadian Securities Course offered by the Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) is required to sell securities and mutual funds. If they do not already have them, investment advisors will be required to take other CSI courses after they are hired:

  • Conduct and Practices Handbook
  • Professional Financial Planning
  • Investment Management Techniques.

Commerce, business administration and related degree and diploma programs are offered by post-secondary institutions throughout Alberta.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Athabasca University

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

University of Alberta

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Investment advisors work in the securities industry for investment and stock brokerage firms. Some of the larger investment firms hire summer students which provides excellent experience. Firms also recruit students on campus. New employees generally start in entry level Discount Broker positions.

Advancement in the investment field depends almost entirely on the initiative and ability of the individual. Some investment advisors become senior managers in their firms or move into senior financial positions in government or business.

Investment advisors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1113: Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers.  In Alberta, 82% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 1,800 Albertans are employed in the Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.1% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 20 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As investment advisors form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for investment advisors.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Investment advisors may receive commissions on transactions or charge a flat fee based on the value of assets under management. Many advisors earn both kinds of income.

New employees may be paid a salary during the first year. Usually, all of their income is from commissions by the end of their third year.

Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $17.95 $36.06 $26.00 $23.08
Overall $19.30 $89.42 $36.43 $36.08
Top $19.79 $112.98 $55.01 $57.69

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) website:

Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Jan 17, 2013. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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