What are the CFA Work Experience Requirements? 

Are you aware of the latest changes in the CFA work experience requirements that impact applications for CFA charters and the program enrollment criteria?

One of the two biggest challenges aspirants deal with when pursuing the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter is the CFA work experience requirement. (The second major obstacle is the CFA exam.) The CFA paper is challenging—it can take years to qualify and consists of three progressively harder levels. Besides, there are severe requirements for CFA job experience.

In this quick guide, we will take you through the concept of CFA work experience requirements, what qualifies, and how to verify you have it.

The Latest Changes in the CFA Work Experience Requirements 

The CFA Institute changed the CFA Level 1 admission requirement on March 3, 2021, to align with the most recent (new) CFA membership guidelines, which can be summed up as follows:

Changes to CFA Work Experience Before March 3, 2021

  • A final year at a reputable university, or the equivalent, in addition to a bachelor’s degree


  • Four years of professional experience and schooling might not be connected to investments holding full-time jobs or internships (not including part-time employment). 

Changes to the CFA Work Experience After March 3, 2021

Changes to the CFA work experience requirement consist of:

  • Possessing four thousand hours of work experience (which might not be connected to investments) and/or more education than three consecutive years, assuming that, if relevant, a higher education program requires 1000 hours per year.

The candidate must pass the CFA Level 1 exam apart from the academic requirements, which include having a minimum of four years of work experience and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or its equivalent. 

Requirements for CFA job experience to become a regular member of the CFA Institute

On July 1st, 2020, the CFA work experience requirements for regular membership in the CFA Institute were revised. Among these prerequisites are the following:

4000 hours of professional experience in investments, to be completed in a minimum of three years, or 36 months. 

Professional experience may involve working remotely or on a part-time basis while enrolled in the CFA program or even after. 

These changes to the CFA work experience requirement encouraged the participation of more part-time professionals who could adapt to changes in employment trends in the global investment industry. 

How Do I Apply for the CFA Exam Based on Work Experience?

For the candidate’s job experience to be considered for regular membership in the CFA Institute, they must:

  • Seek employment profiles related to the process of making investment decisions.
  • Create work products that enhance or enlighten that process in some way.
  • Make sure that the work experience—whether it be from a full-time, part-time, or remote position—is accumulated before, during, or following your enrollment in the CFA program.
  • Make sure the membership application accurately describes the job experience.
  • Make sure their job experience is supported by professional references. 

To assess the candidate’s job experience relating to investments, they must make sure that:

  • To make investment decisions, their work experience involves evaluating or applying economic, financial, and statistical data or supervising others who have conducted such analysis.
  • Teach others how to use or analyze this kind of data.

How Can a Candidate Locate Jobs That Fulfill the Work Experience Requirements of the CFA?

To gain an understanding of how job experience influences or adds to the process of making investment decisions, let’s check through the following list of examples:

  • Corporate Finance: Building financial models using publicly accessible data to calculate value criteria. 
  • Actuary: conducting an annual actuarial valuation of a DB (definite benefit) scheme’s funded state. 
  • Accounting: creating financial reports and assessing the possible return on investments made in company initiatives. 

Bottom Line 

This article has helped you better understand what you need to do to fulfill the job experience criteria for the CFA. Hence please get in touch with us if you have any questions. You can also read Mirchawala’s best CFA study guides, uncover the solutions to often-asked CFA test questions, or find out what the Level 1 exam comprises to understand more about the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Does CFA Level 1 require work experience?

Ans: Indeed, you require four thousand hours of job experience (which need not be related to investments) and/or three years of higher education.

Q: How can I obtain my four years of CFA experience?

Ans: Four years of relevant work experience are required, which you can get before, during, or following your passage of the CFA exam.

Q: Does a work internship qualify as CFA work experience?

Ans: For CFA purposes, a full-time, paid internship is considered job experience.

Q: Can you find a job at CFA Level 1?

Ans: Several companies hire individuals who have passed the first level of the CFA test because it is a highly competitive exam. After passing the CFA Level 1 exam, you can look into careers in financial analysis, valuation, equity operations, data evaluation, and business analysis.

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