CFA Salary Guide

Below is an overview of how much CFAs earn and a breakdown of their pay between base salary and bonuses.

CFA total compensation

CFA compensation typically consists of a combination of base salary, cash performance-based bonuses, and some type of equity or profit sharing.  The general formula to calculate total compensation is below:

Base Salary + Cash Bonus + Equity = Total Compensation

The total compensation for CFA charter holders (in the U.S.) is approximately $300,000 according to the CFA Society.

The median base salary for charter holders is approx. $180,000 which leaves the balance that’s a split between cash bonuses and equity or profit sharing.

CFA base salaries by job title

Averages do not provide the full picture, as there’s a wide range of salaries by job title.  Below is a breakdown of base salaries only for CFAs by job type:

Financial analyst: $40,000 – $95,000.
Senior financial analyst: $50,000 – $ 100,000.
Investment analysts: $45,000 – $120,000.
Portfolio managers: $60,000 – $160,000.
CFO: $75,000 – $240,000.

Where do CFAs work?

CFAs earn their remuneration across a wide range of corporate finance roles including:

Portfolio management
Equity research
Investment banking
Corporate development

How to increase your pay?

If you’re a CFA looking to earn more money the key is to make yourself more valuable.  This includes strategies like asking for more responsibility, taking on a cross functional role, mentoring junior team members, and upgrading your technical financial skills. Become a lynchpin and an indispensable member of the team.

Additionally, it is always beneficial to know the current wage market for your skill level and job function. If you notice you are being underpaid, or if a certain skill you have raises your wage potential, don’t be afraid to negotiate a raise during performance evaluations. The key is to prove your worth through your work and through proper research.