CFA Salary Guide

Break down of CFA compensation

Total compensation and CFA salary guide

CFA compensation typically consists of a combination of base salary, cash performance-based bonuses, and some type of equity or profit sharing.  A CFA salary can be quite high, relative to other professionals in the finance industry.

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 salary compensation


CFA compensation 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 median total compensation for CFAs by job type:

  • Financial Analyst (corporate) $80,930
  • Portfolio Manager (fixed income) $253,250
  • Chief Investment Officer $316,600
  • Portfolio Manager (equities) $344,500


The above information was released in a 2016 CFA compensation survey.


Where do CFAs work?

CFA’s earn their remuneration across a wide range of corporate finance roles including:


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.


Additional resources

Thank you for reading this guide to CFA salary and total compensation information.  To keep learning and advancing your career we highly recommend these additional resources: