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Work Experience Self-Assessment

Does Your Work Experience Qualify?

When you apply for regular membership, we will ask that you describe your current and prior job responsibilities to demonstrate qualified work experience. We will review your application with the following requirements in mind:

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    Length of Time

    You must have at least 4,000 hours of experience, completed in a minimum of 36 months.

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    Relevant Experience

    Qualified hours must be directly related to the investment decision-making process or producing a work product that informs or adds value to that process.

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    Work Arrangements

    Experience earned through full-time, part-time, or remote work arrangements—before, during, or after your participation in the CFA® Program—can qualify.

Take the Self-Assessment

Our Work Experience Self-Assessment is an easy-to-use tool that guides you through what is considered relevant work experience. 

Find Out If You Are Ready

Questions for Self-Assessment

Unable to access our Work Experience Self-Assessment tool? Then read the following guiding questions to help you evaluate whether your work experience qualifies. Answer the questions for each position you have held, even if they were held at the same company, and think about the majority of your duties as you answer.

If you can answer "yes" to any of the following questions, your work experience is likely to qualify for regular membership, and we encourage you to apply. Please note that these questions are intended only as a guide. If you have specific questions about your work experience, please contact us.

  1. Do you construct or rebalance client portfolios, prepare financial models, or perform/evaluate independent analysis leading to an investment decision?
  2. Do you make investment decisions based on the application of financial, economic, or statistical data involving securities or similar investments held as part of an investment portfolio?
  3. Do you supervise employees who evaluate or apply financial, economic, and/or statistical data as part of the investment decision-making process?
  4. Do you determine capital structure and funding needs through equity, debt, and alternative investments, conduct long-range financial planning, evaluate financial fundamentals, analyze and value securities for public offerings or mergers and acquisitions, and/or make asset sales and capital investment decisions?
  5. Are you engaged in investment/financial advising or planning for corporations, institutions, or individuals (other than yourself or your family)?
  6. Do you conduct asset allocation analysis or apply investment knowledge to develop, analyze, and/or explain investment policy statements or strategies designed to achieve investor goals as part of the overall investment process?
  7. Do you oversee legal/regulatory compliance matters in the investment profession, perform due diligence, and/or ensure that investment firms adhere to applicable laws, regulations, and professional standards of practice?
  8. Do you research or develop tools, models, strategies, and/or communications that assist portfolio managers and traders with investment decision and risk management?
  9. Are you a full-time professor or instructor teaching finance related courses and/or CFA Program curriculum, developing educational content, and engaging in research to advance the understanding of investment practice and theory?
  10. Do you design and implement software solutions for people, processes, and technology that directly drive investment decisions (i.e., software and/or platforms that are used to build financial models, construct, manage, and analyze portfolios, analyze risk and return)?

Still Gaining Your Work Experience?

If you answered "no" to all the questions listed above, your work experience does not qualify you for regular membership. While you earn your work experience, we invite you to explore our content to help you make thoughtful career choices and plan for the future. Our affiliate membership option, which you can pursue by joining CFA Institute and a local society that offers affiliate membership, gives you many of the same benefits as regular membership while you earn your qualifying work experience. Find out more about types of membership.
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CFA Society Community

When you apply to become an affiliate member of CFA Institute, membership to a local society is required. Requirements to become an affiliate member of a society vary by society. Find a society and explore their requirements for affiliate membership.

Investment professional of the future

Investment Professional of the Future

Read the full CFA Institute report or executive summary, which explores the changing roles, skills, and organizational cultures that affect the career path for investment professionals.

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Career Success: Navigating the New Work Environment

What are your best skills? In what type of jobs will you succeed? Read our guide and take our assessment to see how well you are managing your career and which resources in Career Success can help you take the next step.

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