Hjelm, who played as a striker, began his career in 1981 at FC Ilves. In 1988 he transferred to Stuttgarter Kickers in order to return after two seasons with Ilves. After this he switched FC St. Pauli and Ilves off getting his career in 1996 at HJK Helsinki to decide. With Ilves, he became Finnish champion in 1983 and won the National Cup in 1990. He also won in 1996 with the Cup. In 1987 he was voted Finnish footballer of the year.
For the Finnish national football team came exactly 100 times in action in which twenty Hjelm goals. He made his debut on March 16, 1983 in the friendly game against East Germany, and scored in his debut. His 100th and last international match followed exactly thirteen years later, on 16 March 1996 against Kuwait  .
|[see]Ari Hjelm's international games for Finland |
With Ilves Tampere:
With HJK Helsinki:
- Suomen Cup: 1996
With Tampere United: