Work Experience Guidelines

When you apply for regular CFA Institute membership, you will be asked to attest that your work experience meets the following qualifications:

At least four years (48 months) of experience in:

  • Evaluating or applying financial, economic, and/or statistical data as part of the investment decision-making process; supervising persons who conduct such activities; or teaching such activities.

For a position to qualify, at least 50% of your time should be spent directly involved in the investment decision-making process or producing a work product that informs or adds value to that process. Work must be full time and can be earned before, during, or after participation in the CFA Program. Managing your own investments or the investments of your family or friends (without compensation) does not qualify.

Before You Apply

Explore whether your work experience qualifies for CFA Institute regular membership by taking the Work Experience Self-Assessment.

Take the Work Experience Self-Assessment

Tips for Writing Good Descriptions

When you apply, you will be asked to describe your responsibilities for each of your positions to demonstrate that it is qualified work experience. Please only enter positions that qualify as acceptable work experience.

What Makes a Good Description?

For each job description, you should describe your job duties and how they relate to investment decision making. Each description needs to:

  • green check icon

    Demonstrate how you conduct independent analysis that impacts investment decision-making for institutions or individual clients.

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    Indicate how your duties produce a work product that informs or adds value to the investment decision-making process.

Qualifying Description Non-Qualifying Description Non-Qualifying Description

"I prepare financial models based on reviewed information, analyze fundamentals, and value acquisition targets to provide recommendations to the investment committee."

"My work focuses on successfully managing key relationships with end-clients relating to a new Know Your Client (KYC) initiative."

"I conducted an annual actuarial valuation process and benefit calculations."

Why It’s Good

1. The applicant describes the types of independent analysis involved in this position.

2. The applicant creates financial models and investment recommendations as work products that influence investment decisions.

This description needs some work.

The applicant describes the types of independent analysis involved in this position.

What It’s Missing

Nothing! This is a good description of qualifying work experience.

This applicant needs to submit additional job details. It is not clear that the position involves independent analysis and it does not describe a work product that impacts investment decisions.

This applicant needs to better demonstrate how the analysis created a work product that added value to the investment decision-making process

Improved Description

This is a good description of qualifying work experience and doesn’t need improvement.

"I develop and maintain strong working relationships with clients and communicate investment performance and strategy. I provide advice on a wide and diverse range of investment solutions customized to best meet the financial needs of those clients after thoroughly assessing financial fundamentals, reviewing business risk profile, and doing stress testing on cash flows."

"I conducted an annual actuarial valuation process and benefit calculations which included performing projections, cash flow analysis, and durational analysis of individual health insurance policies. These analyses had a direct bearing on the investments chosen to back the reserves for these blocks of business."

After You Apply

Once you submit your application, it will go through our review process.

What to expect after you apply

Ready to Apply?

If you meet the work experience requirements, log into your account to apply for regular membership.


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