CFA Salary In US For 2022: Category Wise Distribution, Qualification & Job Prospects

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A Chartered Financial Analyst or CFA charter holder is responsible for acting as an investment analyst and helping businesses and clients make better investment decisions to improve their financial position. On average the base CFA Salary In US is $126,000 USD and total compensation of about $177,000 USD. CFA Professionals have a wide range of scope to hold different positions in the finance industry in various streams such as trading, asset management, investment portfolio management, and the like.

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In this article, we talk about a-z of the CFA Salary In US. Keep reading to find out!

CFA salary in US

CFA Salary In US Based on Job Title

The pay scale for different designations depends on the job type and job function. The kind of work you do affects your base salary. The following are some of the most sought after job titles after acquiring a CFA charter:

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CFA Salary In US For 2022: Category Wise Distribution, Qualification & Job Prospects

Portfolio Manager

Portfolio management is not an entry-level job. People can begin this at the associate level with a few years of experience. The role of a portfolio manager includes giving directions to investment professionals. Private wealth management companies also hire them to work with their clients individually.

Around 22% of the people take up a job in portfolio management after completing the CFA program. CFA charter holders can hold managerial positions such as Senior Portfolio Manager, which leads to a career path in an executive position such as Chief Investment Officer.

According to the CFA Institute Compensation Study, the global-total compensation for portfolio managers is 177,000 USD, and the base salary is 126,000 USD.

Research Analysts

In an entry-level job, research analysts play an important role in the process of business valuation and investment management. Research analysts can take up positions in the field of Investment Banking, Hedge funds, and Data Science, amongst others, in different organizations.

Around 15% of people who do CFA pursue to become Research Analysts. The total compensation CFA salary for this role in the USA is 140,000 USD, and the base salary is 100,000 USD.

Chief Executives

Around 7% of CFA charter holders become chief executives in roles such as Chief Investment Officers (CIO), and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). They are responsible for developing investment strategies, managing investment teams, and making decisions on risk management.

The average total compensation is 240,000 USD.

The median base salary for CIOs is 184,000 USD, and the average Chief Financial Officer CFA Salary In US is 410,000 USD.

Corporate Financial Analysts

Around 5% of CFA people become Corporate Financial Analysts. Entry-level Financial Analysts require a bachelor’s degree in finance or MBA. The career path can grow to Junior Financial Analyst and Senior Financial Analyst. The advancement requires professional certification such as the CFA exam. The median total compensation for financial analysts is 80,930 USD.

Financial Advisors

Around 5% of people in the finance industry provide financial services such as guiding investment and finance management. According to PayScale, the median base salary for financial advisors is 61,484 USD.

Risk Manager

Risk managers are crucial in protecting businesses from financial risk, insurance risk, and credit risk. The average risk manager CFA Salary In US is 129,000 USD (total compensation), and the base salary is 105,000 USD.

Relationship Manager

Relationship managers are essential to managing business relationships between entities, clients, and partners. About 5% of CFA charter holders become relationship managers. The average salary with the bonus is around 120,000 USD per year.

CFA Salary In US Based on Companies & States

FirmsUS StateAverage Salary Range
PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
An auditing firm that has 79 offices across different US cities including New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, etc
New York85,524 USD to 150,438 USD
JP Morgan Chase
A financial institution with 136 offices in 44 countries. Some US cities with their office include Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, etc
Pennsylvania76,490 USD to 134,548 USD
A private management service institute with offices in over 50 countries. Some of its US main offices are located in Boston, New York, and Washington
Massachusetts82,699 USD to 145,469 USD
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
A financial consulting firm with over 15,000 financial advisors in all the 50 states in the US. Some US cities with their office include San Francisco, Washington DC, and Beverly Hills
Marquette Associates
A financial consulting firm with branches in Baltimore, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Lutherville and many more cities in the US
Maryland75,330 USD to 132,507 USD

Job Prospects & CFA Salary In US after Three Series Exam

The CFA institute administers the Three CFA series exams that measure the investment management skills of the candidate.  The candidate needs to clear all three levels in sequence. These three levels of CFA exams come with their own set of qualifications that allows you to work in specific positions such as the following:

Level 1: 

  • Assistant Portfolio Manager
  • Equity Research Analyst
  • Asset Manager
  • Junior Financial Analyst
  • Risk Consultant
  • Associate Analyst

The average salary range for Level 1 is around 43,218 USD to 78,374 USD.

Level 2:

  • Equity Research Associate/Analyst
  • Rating Analyst in Rating Agency
  • Risk Analyst
  • Corporate Strategist
  • Financial Planning Analyst (FPA)

The average salary range for candidates who have completed the CFA level 2 exam is 43,364 USD to 86,300 USD.

Level 3:

  • Senior Portfolio Manager
  • Corporate Financial Analyst
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Investment Officer

The average salary range is 67,786 USD to 217,242 USD for individuals who have successfully finished the Level 3 CFA exam.

Qualifications Required to Become a CFA in USA

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Proof of English Proficiency (IELTS exam or TOEFL exam score)
  • Passing all three levels of the CFA exam 
  • Complete work experience requirements in the field of investment decision making or a product or process that adds some kind of value to the investment value
  • 2 or 3 professional references 
  • Application for CFA and get approved to earn a CFA Charter
CFA Salary In US For 2022: Category Wise Distribution, Qualification & Job Prospects


Chartered Financial Analyst is a certification that is globally acknowledged. Though it is hard to acquire, the skills acquired can greatly advance your career in different fields such as investing, auditing, analyzing, and more. The job position and the company you work for greatly affect the salary you can earn. For more related content, check out the LeapScholar library! To push your study abroad dream into reality contact Leap Finance

Related: CFA Annual Salary In UK   

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is the CFA salary in the US high compared to other countries?

Ans. According to the CFA Institute, the following is the list of average salaries of CFA holders in different countries:

A. The UK – The range of salary offered is 36,892 USD to 128,298 USD per annum.
B. Singapore – The annual salary can go up to 235,000 USD.
C. India – The salary of a CFA can be up to 14,838 USD per annum.

Whereas, The US – Median total compensation for Post Graduate CFA holders is 215,542 USD per annum. For bachelor’s degree CFA holders, it is 154,025 per annum From the comparison above, it is clear that the average CFA salary in the USA is higher compared to the average salary offered in other countries.

What can you do to increase your CFA salary in the USA further?

Ans. CFA charter holders earn not only depending on their job title but also on the CFA exam level they have completed. The exam has three levels and a passing rate of 42%. Completing each level will unlock a new range of CFA salaries in the US and help you advance your career path.

What is the estimated salary raise of CFA over the next 5 years in USA?

Ans. The estimated Salary of a CFA over the next 5 years is 11% raise, which is a minimum of $114,281 (USD). 

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Atima Khurana

Atima has 12+ years of experience in the field of overseas education and she specializes in U.S. admissions.

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