A lot of people end up on this site searching for what sort of salaries those with the CFA designation earn. Payscale.com slices and dices the data in a variety of ways: depending upon your years experience, job title, how big your firm is, where it’s located, etc., but I think most people just want The Big Picture.
Here’s their officially sanctioned link, which should always be up-to-date:
Key Takeaway #1 that you can glean from the above graphic is that your job description makes a big difference. CFOs and Portfolio Managers make the most, and are probably also those with the most experience.
Key Takeaway #2 unfortunately not shown on their chart is that salary range is huge for each of these job titles. As I write, the median CFO salary in the above graphic is $131K, but the range spans $78K to $225K. You need to go to their site to see that.
Key Takeaway #3 is just some advice. If you spend $6000 like I did passing the exams, you’re likely to make that up in additional salary, maybe even immediately upon passing Level 3. The greater tuition is the opportunity cost of your time – the roughly 1200 hours of studying over 3-5 years that could have been spent on other things.
Still, if the larger salary means you get to retire earlier, maybe you also come out time-flow positive too?
Have you already taken the plunge and signed up for Level 1? You might be interested in my CFA eBook.