what is an advisor?

An advisor is a person with specialised talents and experiences in a particular field. They use their deep knowledge to counsel others in developing their own multidisciplinary and cross-functional expertise.

As an advisor, you consult with clients but are not a consultant. Consultants are fixers and provide concrete answers, analyses, expert opinions and practical recommendations. As an advisor, you guide your clients to identify issues in their business and develop the best solutions instead of dictating the steps they should take.

An advisor supports planning processes without necessarily providing answers. Instead, they offer guidance and suggestions to help their advisees reach conclusions about their options and strategies. The advisor's goal is to help find solutions through reason and interaction. Advisees develop professional relationships with advisors and gain access to their expertise, experiences, networks, education and more on a personal level.

Good advisors know how to communicate efficiently. They listen constructively to grasp all aspects of a situation, then access and use their history to provide relevant information. Most importantly, advisors exude a strong sense of leadership.

Would working as an advisor suit your leadership skills and industry-specific expertise? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an advisor role.

advisor jobs

average advisor salary

If you look around the professional world, you will find advisors everywhere. Their functions vary across all branches of industry. Advisors' skill levels and experiences always differ. That's why salary ranges are wide. According to ONS, the median salary of an advisor is £26,999 per year. At entry-level, your take-home salary is £22,000 per year, while experienced professionals receive a salary of £40,000 annually. The salary usually depends on your area of expertise and whether you receive a commission-based salary. For instance, a financial advisor takes home an average salary of £40,865 per year and can earn over £65,000 with experience.

how to increase your salary as an advisor

Experience and industry-specific knowledge usually dictate the compensation package of an advisor. You can improve your technical skills with additional qualifications and continual awareness of the trends in your industry. You should also gain experience by taking on various responsibilities in your area of expertise. For instance, if you want to be a successful financial advisor, start by becoming a finance or investment analyst to understand the industry. Advisors earn better salaries in urban centres, and you may have to relocate to cities to enjoy higher wages. Large cities provide challenging opportunities that build your skills, and the demand for advisors by major businesses pushes salaries and benefits upwards.

smiling female looking to the side
smiling female looking to the side

types of advisors

Some of the common types of advisors include:

  • political advisors: as a political advisor, you strategise and plan. You are intensely involved in political campaigns and also work with elected officials. Advisors attend meetings, manage schedules, suggest next moves and identify the elements needed to influence parties to support a politician. You also conduct and analyse polls to better understand the political landscape.
  • academic advisors: your role is to keep students on track, advising them through academic accomplishments and promoting smart choices concerning career goals. As an academic advisor, you work with students, providing honest assessments of interpersonal and academic interests, skills, weaknesses and strengths.
  • energy advisors: an energy advisor ensures that an organisation has the necessary support for a full spectrum of energy-related functions. They investigate, report and counsel on energy supply processes. Their work promotes better management of risk and procurement. They also foster smart decisions in energy markets.

working as an advisor

Working as an advisor involves helping companies and individuals to develop and improve their business processes and personal trajectories. Let's explore the career path and specific tasks of an advisor.


education and skills

As an advisor, you need to be an expert in your industry and possess valuable resources to solve your clients' problems. Some of the qualifications of an advisor include:

  • bachelor's degree: to become an advisor, you need to complete an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject. For instance, you can pursue a course related to consultancy, business, finance, economics or management. While a degree is sufficient to land you a job, you should consider pursuing a postgraduate qualification in a relevant field of study.
  • work experience: you need years of experience to become an advisor. For instance, if you intend to become a financial advisor, you need experience in a high-ranking business position to provide effective advice. You can start with internships after graduation to gain entry-level experience. You can also work in entry and middle-level management positions to learn the ropes.

skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of an advisor include:

  • interpersonal skills: whether working with upper management or suggesting a course of action to a local politician, an advisor must excel at interacting with all types of people under pressure.
  • self-awareness: you need self-awareness to help people understand themselves and empower them to build on their strengths. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses provides a solid foundation for accepting those of others. This principle helps advisors to excel in their practices.
  • analytical skills: as an advisor, you need to evaluate all aspects of a business before providing guidance. Strong analytical skills help you assess business plans and budgets and help you develop better strategies for businesses. Analytical skills also improve your problem-solving ability.
  • leadership skills: as an advisor, you require leadership skills to provide effective help to businesspeople. To lead a team to success, you have to earn their trust and loyalty through exceptional leadership skills.
smiling female
smiling female


FAQs about working as an advisor

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