How much do CFA® Charterholders earn?

How much do CFA® Charterholders earn?

Earning a CFA certification is an excellent way to grow your career in the financial industry. But does being a CFA charter holder influence how much you can earn? According to Payscale, since you can work in several roles with a CFA charter, the salary scale ranges from $64,000 to $255,000 annually in the United States. Additionally, years of work experience and bonuses influence the salary you earn.

Consultant financial analyst

As a financial analyst consultant, firms hire you to provide an independent evaluation and analysis of their business. Consequently, consultants assess the company to identify growth opportunities and give future economic predictions.

According to a survey by the CFA Chicago Society, CFA charter holders who work as consultants earn an annual average salary of $74,000.

Research Analyst

Research analysts play a crucial role in applying mathematical processes and analyzing qualitative data to identify trends and patterns on which managers make corporate investments and financial planning decisions.

According to the CFA Institute, fifteen percent of CFA charter holders are research analysts working in corporate finance. According to Payscale, the average annual salary of research analysts who hold a CFA certification is $73,954.

Portfolio manager

Portfolio managers work with teams of researchers and financial analysts and keep up to date with market and business changes that impact their funds. Additionally, portfolio managers utilize expert knowledge and experience to decide whether to sell or buy assets when markets fluctuate on behalf of their companies.

According to data from the CFA Institute, at least 22% of CFA charter holders are portfolio managers. In addition, the annual financial compensation survey by the CFA Chicago Society reported the average fixed yearly income for portfolio managers as $132,500. Likewise, the survey says the annual fixed income for an equity portfolio manager is $136,000.

Chief Finance Officer

The CFA Institute reports that an estimated seven percent of CFA charter holders are in chief-level executive positions. However, they do not state the specific executive position. Chief financial officers head corporate finance and are considered the peak of corporate finance careers.

According to a survey by the CFA Chicago Society, chief investment officers and chief financial officers who are CFA charter holders earn an average of $227,500 annually. On the other hand, Payscale reports it to be $170,618.

Risk Managers

Financial risk managers find likely risks that the firm could encounter and develop ways to avoid them. A CFA Chicago society survey indicates that risk managers who are CFA charter holders earn an average of $126,060 annually.

Relationship Manager

As a CFA charter holder, you can work as a relationship manager to help companies maintain good business relationships with their clients and partners. According to the CFA Institute, approximately 5% of all CFA charter holders work as relationship managers. Additionally, their annual average salary is $120,000.

Financial Advisor

Financial advisors work with clients and assist them in choosing investment options, insurance products and understand tax obligations. The average annual salary for relationship managers who are CFA charter holders is $110,000.

How do I become a CFA charter holder?

Earning a CFA designation does not guarantee you a top position, but it gives you an edge over other candidates and can help you advance your career. If you are interested in becoming a CFA charter holder, you can do so in a few simple steps.

Requirements for earning a CFA charter are;

  1. To enroll in the CFA professional course, you should hold a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent or be in the final year of your undergraduate studies. You are also eligible to register for the CFA program if you have at least 4,000 hours of relevant work experience or 4,000 hours of the combined university and professional experience.
  2. Sit for and pass all three levels of the CFA exams.
  3. You should agree to abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and become a member of the institute by paying the fee.
  4. You should provide proof of 4,000 hours of full-time work experience in a position involving decision-making on investments or a product that contributes to the decision-making process. The work experience can be from before or after you did the CFA exam.

The next step after enrollment and registration is to start studying for your exam. You should prepare for the CFA exams and be ready to put in at least three hundred hours of study and practice for each level. The following study tips will help you have the best chance of success:

Set up a study routine and adhere to it

To pass your exams, you need to understand the material and have the skills to apply this knowledge. The exam will test how to apply what you learned to different scenarios. Setting up a study routine will help you attain this high level of understanding and application skills.

Pay attention to the core areas of study

There are some core areas of the curriculum that you need to master in CFA. Therefore, during your study sessions, you should pay more attention to these topics to master them.

Relate your knowledge to real situations

To pass the CFA tests, you should know the material and the skill to apply that knowledge to real life. It would be best to keep in mind that you will need to use the material you learned in the real world. You can make your learning material simpler to remember by relating it to real-life situations.

Practice taking the exam using mock tests

Taking mock examinations will enable you to identify any knowledge gaps and adjust your study sessions. You will also understand the terms used during testing, the calculations required, and how to apply the knowledge to solve problems.

Contact us at and access our extensive computer-based mock exam database. Our simulated exams mimic the test at the end of your course and equip you with experience to help you pass any level.

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