Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

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Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.


The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Occupation Details

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Financial Adviser - Assistant

Job Zone

These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, jobs requiring you to deal with the public would benefit from previous experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

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These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

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At a Glance... header image

Carries out the day-to-day tasks arising in a Life Assurance/Mortgage Broking environment.

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The Work header image

The Work

An Assistant Financial Adviser is a qualified worker capable of carrying out competently, under normal operational conditions, the day-to-day tasks arising in a Life Assurance/Mortgage Broker environment.

These tasks include conducting insurance business that conforms to regulatory changes; maintaining client files as specified by the Central Bank; inputting client and policy details to the computer and liaising with Insurers and Lenders.

The assistant financial adviser helps the financial adviser better manage their time by handling routine customer inquiries and should be familiar with financial terms and processes.

Employment opportunities can be found with mortgage brokers, banks and other financial institutions.

You will have opportunities to progress to senior positions in the Financial Services sector through your experience and further education or training which you may undertake in areas such as banking, mortgages and pensions.


  • Provide support to the financial advisor.
  • Conducting insurance business that conforms to regulatory changes
  • Maintaining client files as specified by the Central Bank
  • Inputting client and policy details on computer
  • Liaising with Insurers and Lenders.
  • Answering customer queries relating to life assurance and mortgage broking
  • Implementing financial planning recommendations or refer clients to someone who can assist them with a plan implementation.
  • Answer clients' questions about the purposes and details of financial plans and strategies.


Personal Qualitiesheader image

An interest in the financial services sector is important.

Excellent literacy, numeracy and communication skills are essential for this position.

An ability to work methodically and thoroughly.

Being able to work as part of a team along with good organisational skills are also crucial.

Entry Routesheader image

SOLAS (Formerly FÁS) provide a Financial Adviser’s Assistant Traineeship which awards a FETAC Level 5 Award in Financial Services Support.

This course is provided for candidates who have 2 year previous experience working in this sector.

The duration of the Financial Adviser’s Assistant Traineeship is 27 weeks.   The Traineeship consists of 19 weeks off-the-job training with SOLAS (including 2 weeks integrated training - 3 days per week with FÁS and 2 days per week with a host employer) and 8 weeks on-the-job training with a host employer.

To become an apprentice you must be a minimum of 16 years-old and have a D in five Junior Certificate subjects, or the equivalent.

If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, you may still be able to register as an apprentice with an employer if you satisfactorily complete an approved preparatory course. You can also be eligible if you are over 18 years-old and have three years of relevant work experience.

For more information look at the SOLAS page on eligibility and assessment.

It’s worth noting that employers may require additional minimum qualifications to those specified by SOLAS.

Last Updated: February, 2015

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Contactsheader image


Organisation: Irish Brokers Association
Address: 87 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 661 3067
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: SOLAS
Address: Castleforbes House, Castleforbes Road, Dublin, 1
Tel: (01) 533 2500
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Banking, Insurance & Financial Services

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