Top Jobs for CFA® Charterholders

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The employment of finance professionals in the United States is projected to increase by 5% , faster than average, from now until 2029, revealing just how in-demand CFA charterholders are across all occupations. This is excellent news not only for aspiring finance professionals but also for the U.S. economy since it indicates a positive growth outlook. As a result, more finance professionals will be needed to employ their expertise and experience in a wide range of positions throughout the global finance industry.

If you’re on your way to becoming a CFA charterholder and are contemplating ways to expand your career opportunities, here are some of the top jobs in the profession to consider once you have obtained the designation:

Research Analyst

Research analysts gather valuable insights on publicly-traded companies. They specialize in summarizing large amounts of information into understandable and workable financial advice for their clients. Research analysts can specialize in credit (ie, debt), equity, or alternative investments such as real estate or commodities. They can work in the private sector as employees for a company or consultants, or for government agencies.

Average salary*: $65,000

Portfolio Manager

Portfolio managers generally manage institutional investments, such as a mutual fund. The manager develops an investment strategy and then implements the strategy through appropriate investments in equities, fixed income, derivatives, or alternative investments. Individuals (and sometimes other institutional investors) then invest funds with the portfolio manager. While the manager often provides communication on performance, economic trends, and other information, investors almost never have any say in the investments themselves.

Average salary: $111,000

Credit Analyst 

Credit analysts assess a company’s existing debt and issue reports that aid investors in determining whether a company’s bonds are a good investment. They also assist companies who want to access the credit markets for additional borrowing

Average salary: $55,000 (junior) – $65,000 (mid-level)

Risk Analyst

Risk analysts usually work for financial institutions or insurance companies. They evaluate financial documents and economic conditions and help potential clients mitigate the risk of making certain financial decisions. Depending on the type of employer, risk analysts may be required to travel often to their clients’ locations to provide financial consultation on-site.

Average salary: $73,000

Financial Consultant

Financial consultants typically create financial plans and recommend investments for individuals to assist in helping them achieve their financial goals. They develop financial strategies, and monitor financial situations. Finance consultants also create detailed reports on their client’s financial status. Therefore, they must be highly organized and adept at communicating complex financial information in language that their clients can easily understand.

Average salary: $66,000

Accountant or CPA

Accountants are professionals knowledgeable of tax law and finance who work with individuals, small businesses, large corporations, non-profits, and government agencies to prepare and organize financial and tax documents. An accountant’s tasks are heavily dependent upon the type of accounting in which he or she specializes. Accountants can also become Certified Public Accountants (CPA). CPAs are accountants who have met licensing requirements for the state in which they practice accounting.

Average salary: $86,000

Financial Analyst

Many companies hire financial analysts to track a company’s financial performance against a plan. They assist senior executives’ strategic planning by creating forecasts of economic conditions and industry and competitor trends. Financial analysts can work for financial or non-financial companies. For example, they may work for a car manufacturer on a project to develop a line of electric vehicles, or  to help measure the effectiveness of a specific internal campaign’s return on investment.

Average salary: $72,000

Chief Investment Officer

Chief Investment Officers are c-level executives who manage their company’s investment portfolios. Their main priority is to develop short and long-term investment plans, which include investment recommendations. In addition, they oversee teams of staff responsible for monitoring pensions, and managing and allocation assets. Chief Investment Officers report to their company’s board of trustees. They typically work for investment firms, banks, or retail companies. Note that this is a senior position that requires a significant number of years of experience in the industry.

Average salary: $216,000

There are various high-paying career options available to CFA charterholders. In all likelihood, finance professionals who obtain the CFA Charter will be capable of providing outstanding value to any firm or organization, no matter what career path they choose.

We wish you the best of luck as you get started on your CFA journey!

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  1. Research Analyst
  2. Portfolio Manager
  3. Credit Analyst
  4. Risk Analyst
  5. Finance Consultant
  6. Accountant
  7. Corporate Financial Analyst
  8. Chief Investment Officer

*Disclaimer: These average salary figures can fluctuate depending on various factors such as experience, type of portfolio, firm reputation, prestige, etc.

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