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 Lynsey Gargan from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:


Lynsey Gargan

Manufacturing Engineer


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  Lynsey Gargan
With regard to education I say don't worry if you think you have the wrong subjects in school. I certainly didn't have the subjects you would typically expect.

There are a number of courses that cater to different backgrounds. The most important thing is to do your research. Go to open days, talk to the colleges and generally just find out what exactly you would be getting in to.

Don't just take for granted you know what a certain course or career is all about. Think about what you like to do, and not just necessarily in school, if you find yourself being curious about how things work or how thing are made, it's a good indication that you could like something like engineering.

One of the best things about engineering is that it really can be your passport to the world. There are great travel opportunities within the industry and chances to be involved in the next big thing.

Practically every man-made product around you came from a manufacturing plant, it's a huge industry with a lot of different avenues to take. Innovation is a really big part of what engineers do. The desire to be creative and improve production and processes is an important attribute for a manufacturing engineer.

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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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, a bank teller would benefit from 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. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
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.

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

Related Occupationsheader image

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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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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