Types of advisors

There are a variety of advisor roles within the financial services industry often based on the licensing and/or registrations that an individual has obtained.

Here are just a few of the role names you may have come across:

  • Financial advisor
  • Financial planner
  • Insurance advisor or insurance agent
  • Investment advisor
  • Wealth management advisor
  • Insurance and wealth advisor

You may have also seen designations such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Financial Analyst (CFA), or Registered Financial Planner (RFP).

Once contracted with Sun Life, you have options to grow your practice over time, enhance your knowledge, obtain designations, and build out a team if you choose. Whether you are interested in establishing and managing your practice as a solo advisor, hiring staff, or joining forces with another advisor to form an alliance or incorporating, Sun Life works with you. We have dedicated teams to help you through the life cycle of your business – from start up, to business growth support, to helping you build a team of service or marketing support staff as well as licensed team members.

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KATINA MICHELIS : Hi I’m Katina Michelis, and we’re looking for outstanding people to become advisors with Sun Life.

People from various professional and educational backgrounds have found success in the advisor career at Sun Life.

That’s because being a successful advisor is not just about what’s on your resume. It’s about who you are as a person.

Are you someone who loves talking to people?

Are you disciplined and motivated?

Do you enjoy your independence?

Do you love learning and developing new skills?

If this sounds like you, let’s talk. You could be ready to launch your new career in just a few weeks.

With our help, you will register and complete the relevant online courses and exams to obtain the required licensing, prepare your business plan, set up your office, and start earning.

Are you ready to make a difference in your own life, and the lives of others?

Be the difference. Be a Sun Life advisor.

How to become a Sun Life financial advisor

Step 1 - Discover

Meet with a recruiting consultant or a field leader to get to know each other, learn more about the career and ask questions. Complete an online career assessment to determine whether the advisor career, your skillset and the timing may be a fit.

Step 2 - Analyze

Review your assessment results with Sun Life. Continue more in-depth discussion about your goals, the advisor career at Sun Life including the compensation program. Complete application for initial approval stage. 

Step 3 - Learn

If you do not already have a Life and Accident & Sickness Insurance (LLQP) license or are not Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) registered, register for the required course with an approved provider, connect regularly with a field leader, complete online course and prepare for exam(s).

Step 4 - Qualify

If you do not already have a Life and Accident & Sickness Insurance (LLQP) license or are not Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) registered, register for and pass the appropriate provincial licensing exam(s). Apply for your provincial license/registration (or request a license transfer for those already licensed/registered).

Step 5 - Appointment

Work with your field leader to evaluate your market potential, prepare your business plan, begin your in-field training and earn your official appointment.

Step 6 - On-boarding

Set-up laptop, office, etc. and begin work with your field leader, the local district team, and Sun Life’s Learning & Practice Management team to begin the Advisor Success On-boarding Program at Sun Life.

Advisor career

The advisor career is one of the fastest growing occupations.

Households with an advisor

Households with an advisor have approximately twice the level of financial assets over non-advised households. 

More wealth

More wealth is being handed down to the next generation than at any other time in history and these individuals may be looking to work with advisors that align with their values. 

Meaningful career

You want a meaningful career. Being a financial advisor is about helping people find solutions to their needs.


There may be an opportunity to acquire a business from retiring advisors. Many advisors are looking for the right person – they don’t want to hand over their business to just anyone. 

Build your own business

You want to run and build your own business. As an advisor, you work for your business and your hard work and efforts are rewarded and recognized.

For those considering a career change to financial services, the following may describe you:

  • You have a track record of success but may currently be experiencing dissatisfaction in your career
  • You want a career that provides you with unlimited earning potential
  • You want to be recognized for your efforts
  • You want a career that provides you with the flexibility to adjust your schedule around your personal and family obligations
  • You are disciplined and have a solid work ethic
  • You have an entrepreneurial spirit and understand what it means to invest in your business
  • You are eager to learn new things and are looking for a career that allows you to develop professionally and personally
  • You want a meaningful career that leaves a positive impact to society
  • You enjoy working with people and offering advice.

For those with experience in financial services and considering a change, the following may describe you:

  • You have reached an income ceiling in your current position
  • You are feeling pressure to scale up your practice
  • You have limited dedicated support to help you grow your practice or take it to the next level
  • You have an entrepreneurial spirit and are seeking autonomy in your practice
  • You are looking to incorporate or to expand your practice beyond your province of residence
  • You want to establish a recurring income stream in your practice
  • You are interested in succession opportunities and are looking to either grow your practice with other advisors or to transition your practice to the next generation.

A financial advisor provides advice about insurance and investments to Clients through a thorough review of their needs. Successful advisors build long-term relationships with Clients, help them build a solid financial strategy and put the right products in place throughout their various life stages. Here are some of the more common activities performed by financial advisors:

  • Meeting with prospects and Clients
  • Gathering information about their future financial goals as well as reviewing their current financial state
  • Helping build a financial roadmap Clients achieve these goals
  • Recommending suitable insurance and/or investment products that align with this financial strategy
  • Meeting with Clients regularly to ensure their plan continues to stay up to date as the Client’s life situation changes (family, career, housing, etc.)
  • Completing on-going training and professional development to remain current with industry and regulatory environment changes
  • Obtaining professional accreditations and designations (such as Certified Financial Planner – CFP)
  • Staying connected within their community through on-going referral, marketing, and networking activities.

Find out more information about the advisor role

Why partner with Sun Life?

“The people at Sun Life are like no other - within a month, I felt more at home than at my former institution. Our financial centre is like a family.”

Joined Sun Life as an experienced advisor

“This career offers flexibility and autonomy. Many people don’t want a 9 to 5 job, they like the idea of running a business that leverages the digital resources available to be able to schedule time for Clients and family.”

New Canadian

“At Sun Life you’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself”

  • On-going training, coaching and sales support through local leadership teams (district directors, business development partners, business development consultants and office resource teams), as well as through a centralized learning & practice management team, advanced case managers, estate planners, wealth, and digital consultants.
  • Leadership teams focused on supporting new and experienced advisors with their development. Our leaders do not build or manage personal books of business.
  • Best in class products and access to over 40 mutual fund companies through the Sun Life Dealer platform.
  • Marketing strategy and support for advisors in addition to nationally televised commercials and social media ads to help advisors define and amplify their unique value to Clients and prospects in their communities.
  • Market Development financial support to help advisors promote their business through events, webinars, advertisement, and general marketing activities for the purposes of prospecting, lead generation, and public awareness.
  • A Leads Program to provide advisors with introductions to potential Clients. Each year, Sun Life invests millions of dollars into generating leads for advisors to help them build and strengthen their business.
  • Best in class Digital Tools to enable a modern advisory practice.

  • Monthly bonuses offer new advisors compensation stability in Years 1 – 3 as advisors focus on learning and taking positive actions that will contribute to building a strong foundation
  • For experienced advisors transitioning a wealth book of business, a Transition Bonus as well as transfer fee support may be available to help offset transition costs to Sun Life
  • Sun Life rewards advisors for the on-going service of Clients through its Level Commission structure
  • Sun Life’s unique and attractive Commissions on Release (CORe) program provides advisors with over 3 years under contract, on-going monthly commission payments for a period of 10 years after their advisor agreement has ended
  • Sun Life is committed to advisor professional development and growth. As part of this commitment, we have established a financial awards program to support advisors in obtaining relevant professional designations to better support Clients.

Advisors can earn bonuses, prizes, and travel incentives during regular campaigns, and qualify for recognition such as Conventions and conferences, Advisor of the Year, Award of Excellence, and Advisor stock ownership.

  • Sun Life has been named one of Glassdoor’s 2021 Best Places to Work in Canada.
  • Sun Life was voted as “Most Trusted Brand™ of Life Insurance Company,” according to the 2022 Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand™ Survey and was recognized as a Platinum winner having won in its category for 10 or more consecutive years.
  • For the 13th consecutive year, Sun Life has earned a spot on the Corporate Knights’ 2022 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World.
  • Corporate Knights has once again included Sun Life on its list of the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada.
  • Tied for the #1 position among insurance companies globally representing the top 1% in the world on sustainability performance.
  • In 2021, for the 16th consecutive year, Sun Life was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index (DJSI).
  • Sun Life gets a perfect score, for the 2nd year in a row, on the LGBT Corporate Canadian Index (CCI) when it comes to LGBTQ Diversity and Inclusion.
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HANS FRIEDRICH : I’m Hans Friedrich. I worked in the investment industry in Germany before I came to Canada and became a Sun Life advisor.

Being an analyst was a desk job—all screens, and very little interaction with people. Becoming a Sun Life advisor let me combine my two passions—people and investing markets.

About 2-3 times a week, I go into the office for in-person meetings. The rest of the time I work from home over Zoom.

I have about 5 meetings a day with Clients. And then there are internal meetings, too, because we’re a multi-advisor practice, and we help each other a lot.

I like that you can start as early as you want, work as late as you want, but you can carve out time during the day to make things happen for the family, or for yourself.

Like when I’m training for a triathlon, I’ll make time for a swim in the middle of the day or, you know, a bike or a run in the afternoon. I have four kids and I like to do a lot of sports with them, including coaching their hockey teams.

When I started, I was just focused on one area—investments—and my business development partner really opened my eyes to all the different Client needs I could address with holistic planning. That was a game changer for me.

To me "Being the Difference" means working every day to improve peoples' lives. I love when I am able to inform Clients that they might be able to retire even earlier than they expected.

So, the sky is truly the limit. You can build your own company, with your own style and a holistic approach to deliver to Clients. You can really fulfil your vision.

You have credibility with the Sun Life name, people just know us.

Sun Life has a very collaborative culture. I feel like everyone is really working towards the same mission, from head office all the way through to the advisor teams. Everyone supports each other.

To be successful, you’ve got to be excited for the day—and love talking to people. And you can really accomplish whatever it is that you want.

A Sun Life career was the change I needed.

Be the difference. Be a Sun Life advisor.

“I have seen a lot of pain over the years as a nurse. A young man was dying of cancer and was the sole provider for his family. He had not done any financial planning for his family … Seeing that anguish up close played a role in leading me to Sun Life. I originally became an advisor so that I could try to protect families from similar outcomes.”

Former career as a registered nurse

“I joined Sun Life after connecting with the manager. He asked what I want out of this business - I explained it to him - he said I will help you find people to talk to, to get every one of those steppingstones accomplished. He said, we can do that, because we have people doing that, I will do what I need to get you there.”

Former small business owner,
landscaping business

“I am 9 -10 years from retirement. I am looking for the right person to join Sun Life. I don’t want to hand my business over to just anyone.”

Financial security advisor (Quebec)

Commitment to community

Our success depends on the well-being of the communities we serve, and we believe we play a role in their development and sustainability.

Diabetes Awareness

  Mental Health

Sports Properties

The Sun Life community plays an integral role in bringing our purpose to life. You Give We Give is our employee and advisor giving program where employees and advisors can give back to causes that are important to them. Through You Give We Give, we’re building healthier, sustainable communities.

Ready to connect with us?

Ready to take the next step?