CFA Salary in US 2023 - Check Average Salary, Job Profiles and Recruiters


Sristy Sharma
Updated on Feb 27, 2023 04:57 PM IST

What can you earn if you are a Chartered Financial Analyst or CFA in the US? Well, here’s what you need to know about CFA salary in US per month, factors affecting it, best job profiles, and top recruiters.

CFA Salary in US 2023 - Check Average Salary, Job Profiles and Recruiters

CFA Salary in US: CFA is one of the most prestigious professional qualifications in the world. CFAs use their knowledge and skills in a wide range of positions in the finance industry. They are the most sought investment management professionals in the USA. However, just a professional degree is not enough, you also need to make use of the degree to advance your career and grab a higher salary.

CFA salary in US per month is considered to be the highest in the world. After all, the country is the headquarter and place of origin of the CFA Institute, which conducts the CFA exam and grants professional degree. It also supervises the ethical code of conduct of the CFAs registered with it. The salary is influenced by many factors such as the industry sector, professional experience and seniority, area of specialisation and the region of practice.

Explore the CFA salary in US, know in detail the factors that affect it, and how to become a CFA. Additionally, the best CFA job profiles and top recruiters in the US have also been discussed.

What does a CFA do?

A CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst provides clients with personal or professional financial advice. They typically function in banks, insurance companies, investment firms, trust companies, brokerage houses, underwriting firms and industries. Their responsibilities include the collection and analysis of data, preparation of the budget and providing investment and financial guidance to clients. 

They generally work with financial data that includes trends of stocks and bonds, economic forecasts, historical financial performance and trading volumes.  They evaluate financial risks, assess financial performance, develop tools for analysing financial portfolios and help prepare investment budgets. The typical job roles include portfolio management, research, consulting, risk analysis and risk management. The average base salary for a CFA is USD 126,000 and the total compensation of USD 177,000. 

Minimum CFA Salary in US

With CFA being a professional role, with a variety of job profiles in different financial fields it is not possible to ascertain the minimum CFA salary in US. 

The minimum remuneration for any job role is fixed to promote fair wages in exchange for the time and effort devoted. However professional roles like CFA, are based on other strong factors such as qualifications, skills, experience, communication skills, ability to take financial decisions and so on. As a CFA in US, one will get the same as US minimum wage rate per hour which is the minimum salary guaranteed to workers in the US. However, one must not feel discouraged as a CFA salary is generally based on work profile and experience and is quite higher than the minimum wage set for working. One must be assured to get paid well based on factors affecting salary. 

There are many high-paying job opportunities in the US for international students. Consult experts on how to make the best use of study abroad opportunities in the US.

Explore the best courses to study in the US!

High Paying CFA Job Profiles in US

CFA is a professional degree. It defines your abilities and expertise in matters of finance, but not the profile in which you need to work. A job profile describes the functions and services expected from you if you get employed in its capacity. As a holder of a CFA professional degree or a CFA Level certification, there are many job profiles you can be employed in. Here are some of the best job profiles for CFA professionals, along with their average annual CFA salary in US:

CFA Job Profiles

Average Annual Salary (in USD)





Corporate Financial Analysts


Corporate Strategist


Financial Advisors


Portfolio Manager


Relationship Manager


Research Analysts


Risk Manager


Source: Glassdoor & Indeed

Top 7 CFA Recruiters in US

CFA is among the reputed professionals, especially in the business and economic sectors. It goes without saying that the top recruiters of CFA professionals in the United States are organisations dealing directly in the marketing, investment, financial, and economic sectors.

Here are the top seven CFA recruiters in the US, their headquarters, and the average annual CFA salary in US as paid by them:



Average CFA Salary in US

JP Morgans Chase

New York, US



Zurich, Switzerland



Toronto, Canada



London, UK


Wells Fargo

San Francisco, US



New York, US


Morgan Stanley

New York, US


Source: Glassdoor

Factors Affecting CFA Salary in US Per Month

The factors affecting CFA salary in US per month are a two-edged sword, which means you can not only use them to negotiate for a better salary, but the employers can also use these factors to determine a fair wage which is affordable for their organisation.

CFA Level

There are three levels of a CFA degree. It is only when you clear all three levels that you are considered a full-fledged CFA professional. For each level, the CFA Institute conducts exams that need to be passed to clear the level. On every clearance, you receive a Level Certification.

Although recruiters will readily employ you even with CFA Level 1 or CFA Level 2 certifications, you will not be compensated as highly as a chartered CFA. The CFA Level 1 salary in US is far less in comparison to a CFA professional. Hence, the level certifications play an important role in the negotiation and compensation of your CFA salary in US.

Work Experience

Your total work experience at any given point in time is a huge factor in determining the final amount of your CFA salary in US. The more experience you have the better your compensation as a CFA professional. Apart from the number of years of work experience, other factors such as the domain of experience, relevance to your new job profile, performance quality, work position, etc., are also significant in deciding your final salary.

Job Profile

A job profile describes the functions and responsibilities expected from you in an organisation. If you get employed for a particular job profile you need to fulfil the relevant responsibilities. The salary of a job profile is decided by the organisation on basis of services and the potentiality expected from the employee in such a position.

Hence, a job profile has a huge effect on CFA salary in US per month.

Employment Contract

The one factor which will single-handedly be responsible for your salary is your employment contract. The contract is the direct result of your negotiation with your employer. It not only mentions your roles and responsibilities but also your compensation. As your CFA salary in US is heavily factored by your negotiation and conversation with your employer, you need to ensure a level-headed, equitable, and fair negotiation to get the deserving compensation.

Additional Qualification

A bachelors degree is a must to even attempt CFA Level 1 in US. Hence, additional qualification refers to masters or postgraduate degree. You can have an additional bachelors degree also. These additional qualifications will impact your CFA salary in US per month by a lot. Since they will ensure a better experience and expertise, you will be able to negotiate a higher salary. In fact, a CFA degree along with a masters degree like MBA will make you one of the highest-paid professionals in US.

How to Become a CFA in US?

To earn even a CFA Level 1 salary in US, you need to clear CFA Level 1 exam. However, the level would not make you a fully qualified Chartered CFA, for that you will have to follow the steps below.

Step 1: Clear Application Eligibility Criteria

To become a CFA in US, you need to clear CFA levels, and to register for the CFA levels, you need to satisfy the relevant eligibility criteria. For each level, the eligibility expands to include that you have cleared the previous CFA level exams.

The eligibility criteria to register for CFA Level 1 is:

  • Must have completed or be in the final year of a bachelors degree, or

  • Must have 4,000 accumulated hours of professional work experience (in any sector).

You will also need to have an international passport to register for CFA Level 1 in US.

Step 2: Clear CFA Levels

After you have ensured the satisfaction of eligibility criteria, you need to appear for the CFA levels and clear them in succession.

  • CFA Level 1 is a multiple choice objective exam lasting for two hours and 15 minutes. It consists of 180 questions based on topics like ethical and professional standards, economics, equity investments, corporate issuers, etc.

  • CFA Level 2 is also a multiple choice exam lasting for four hours and 24 minutes. It is conducted in two sets and is based on the same curriculum as CFA Level 1, but with a deeper understanding and application of concepts.

  • CFA Level 3 is a constructed response questions-based exam lasting four hours and 24 minutes. Similar to CFA Level 2, it is conducted in two sets, morning and afternoon, and tests the same curriculum as CFA Level 1 and 2.

Step 3: Gain Experience and References

After you have cleared all three CFA levels, you need to gain experience and references to apply for membership with the CFA Institute.

You will have to complete your practical training under chartered CFA professionals to gain experience. The role must be relevant to CFA qualifications and expertise.

For references, you will have to approach your senior chartered CFA professionals to recommend your skills, calibre, and rightful deserving of getting a Chartered CFA title.

Step 4: Apply for CFA Institute Membership

You need to compile your references, work experience certificate, other required documents, and your CFA levels certifications to apply for memberships with the CFA Institute. It is only when your membership gets finalised, can you become a full-fledged Chartered CFA.

It must be clear to you that a CFA professional is not only highly regarded but also highly compensated in the US. Whichever CFA Level certification you hold, you can rest assured that you will earn fairly above USD 40,000 in the US. Furthermore, the degree is also acceptable in India and other countries. Hence, you can also pursue a career in lands other than the US. It also helps that finance is an important concern even for non-profit organisations, meaning, you will find opportunities open throughout various industries.

You can consult our experts to learn more about studying in the US to become a CFA. Reach out to them by writing to them at

Explore How to Become a CFA in the US!


Is CFA a high paying job profile in the US?

Yes, CFA is a high paying job profile in the US. Candidates who get employed in the capacity of CFA can claim remuneration suitable for a professional. They are eligible to negotiate high salaries in return for their professional services. The job profiles often require handling of financial matters, which is another reason behind high remunerations.

How many levels are there to become a CFA in US?

There are three levels to become a CFA in US which includes three levels of examinations. Though successful candidates of each of the three levels can find employment, to get employed as a fully-fledged CFA charter holder, one needs to complete all three levels. The CFA salary in US for CFA charter holders is the highest.

What is the starting CFA salary in US?

There is no fixed starting CFA salary in US. However, the amount has been observed to range between USD 65,000 and USD 255,000. Clearly, there is a wide gap between the starting salaries, and this is due to each salary depending on the factors which affect the salary negotiation at the time of employment confirmation.

Are there any additional benefits to CFA salary in US per month?

Yes, there are additional benefits to CFA salary in US per month. However, these benefits are negotiable and differ for different organisations. While certain organisations may offer benefits like medical insurance, HRA, travel allowance, and food allowance, others might not even offer dental insurance, which is a common employee perquisite in the USA.

Is there a minimum basic salary fixed for CFA salary in US per month?

There is no minimum basic salary fixed for CFA salary in US per month. The salary is negotiable on the basis of the level of exam cleared, job profile, industry, work experience, and responsibilities attached to a job. Hence, it is not possible to fix a single sum as a salary as it could mean an unfair negotiation for highly qualified candidates, such as those who have cleared two levels of CFA.

Who is eligible for CFA salary in US?

The person who holds the CFA qualification and has been employed in the same capacity is eligible for a CFA salary in US. There are many job profiles available for a CFA to get employed for. As long as the relevant qualification of any job profile is CFA, one can negotiate a CFA salary in US per month which is suitable for the qualification.

Can I study in India and still get paid a CFA salary in US?

Yes, you can study in India and still get paid a CFA salary in USbut you will have to compete for CFA examinations in US. You can gain a CFA qualification as long as you clear the three levels of the degree. It does not matter from where you have completed your past education. You can complete your bachelor’s, or even master’s or other qualifications in India, and then pursue CFA in US.

Can a CFA get paid in India?

Yes, a CFA can get paid extremely well in India. The qualification is revered among Indian organisations, and they offer handsome salaries as well. Moreover, there are many US-based companies and organisations in the top cities of India, such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Gurgaon, who readily accept CFA-qualified professionals. 

Is MBA beneficial for a CFA in US?

Yes, MBA is highly beneficial for a CFA in US. While a CFA qualification will allow you to become a professional in financial matters, MBA would ensure a more expanded and holistic career in higher positions. Moreover, MBA professionals are among the highest earning people in the US. You will be able to increase your salary by at least 70%-80% after the course.

Can I work in other countries after getting a CFA degree?

Yes, you can work in other countries after getting a CFA degree. The qualification is well respected in many countries, and often CFAs enjoy being a part of high-earning professionals. There are over 165 countries where you can find employment after becoming a CFA including the UAE, Hong Kong, Canada, and Australia. 

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