cfa level 1 salary

CFA Level 1 Salary In 2024 | Top 5 Best CFA Level 1 Jobs

A CFA certificate can help you get a variety of financial jobs. Read this article to know about CFA level 1 salary, top-paying companies, & best-paying jobs.

Updated at September 20, 2023

You can enter a range of financial positions with a CFA certificate, including asset management, corporate finance, and investment banking. There are three levels in the CFA exam program: Levels I, II, and III. We’ll give you all the details about the CFA level 1 salary in this article.

Let’s get started with our free CFA Level 1 practice questions so you can ace the test on your first try and earn a high score.

What is CFA level 1 average salary?

cfa level 1 salary

CFA entry level salary

The average monthly income for an Entry Level CFA in the United States is $3,939 as of March 3, 2022. The majority of entry-level CFA salaries in the United States now vary from $2,750 (25th percentile) to $4,125 (75th percentile). The average income for an Entry Level CFA varies widely (by as much as $1,375), implying that there may be several prospects for promotion and higher pay depending on skill level, location, and years of experience.



Early career




Late career




Based on 8 salaries, an entry-level Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with less than 1 year of experience can expect to make an average total salary of $85,000 (including tips, bonus, and overtime pay). Based on 29 salaries, the average total salary for an early career Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with 1-4 years of experience is $79,136. Based on 11 salaries, the average total salary for a mid-career Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with 5-9 years of experience is $83,810. Based on 7 salaries, the average total salary for a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with 10-19 years of experience is $142,500. Employees with a late career (20 years or more) get an average total remuneration of $142,500.

Averages, on the other hand, don’t tell the whole story because CFA® salaries vary widely based on the job title. CFA® charter holders’ compensation often includes a base salary, performance-based bonuses, and some form of stock or profit-sharing. In comparison to other professionals in the banking industry, charter holders might earn a lot of money.

The following is a general formula for calculating total compensation:

Total Compensation = Base CFA Salary + Cash Bonus + Equity

According to the CFA Society, the average total salary for charter holders in the United States is over $300,000.

The median basic income for charter holders is around $180,000, with the rest made up of cash bonuses and stock or profit-sharing arrangements.

The following is a list of job types and their median total compensation:

Portfolio Manager (equities) 


Chief Investment Officer


Portfolio Manager (fixed income)


Financial Analyst (corporate)


Top highest paying cities for entry-level CFA jobs

cfa level 1 salary

In ten places, the average income for an Entry Level CFA job is higher than the national average. Santa Clara, CA is at the top of the list, followed by San Francisco, CA, and Fremont, CA, in that order. Fremont, CA, outperforms the national average by $7,646 (16.2%), while Santa Clara, CA, outperforms the national average by another $9,918 (21.0%).

Unfortunately, the job market for CFA Level 1 jobs in Santa Clara, CA is underperforming, making it harder to find work in this city.

With average salaries that are greater than the national average in these ten cities, the chances for economic progression as an Entry Level CFA appear to be plentiful.

Finally, the average pay in these top 10 cities differs only by 9% between Santa Clara and Santa Maria, underscoring the limited possibilities for wage development. When it comes to location and income for an Entry Level CFA position, the likelihood of a cheaper cost of living may be the most important thing to consider.

Santa Clara, CA



San Francisco, CA



Fremont, CA



San Jose, CA



Alexandria, VA



Oakland, CA



Tanaina, AK



Wasilla, AK



Sunnyvale, CA



Santa Maria, CA



Top 5 best CFA level 1 job salaries in the U.S.

We found at least five positions in the Entry-Level CFA category that pay more per year than the average salary for an Entry Level CFA. CFA Python, Senior CFA, and CFA are just a few examples of these positions.

Importantly, these positions pay between $47,875 (101.3%) and $62,929 (133.1%) more than the average Entry-Level CFA salary of $47,263. If you’re qualified, landing one of these related Entry Level CFA jobs could help you earn more money than the average Entry-Level CFA job.

CFA Private Equity









Senior CFA



CFA Python



Is CFA worth it?

Even when the work experience aspect is removed, the average compensation rises dramatically as candidates proceed through the CFA Program.

Candidates who said they completed CFA Level 3 or are CFA charter holders received 53 percent more than those who said they passed CFA Level 1.

Candidates who completed CFA Level 1 saw a 29 percent increase in total remuneration in 2022, while candidates who achieved CFA Level 2 saw a 34 percent increase in total compensation. In terms of average income increment, there has been a shift in the job market, with passing CFA Level 1 and Level 2 being valued identically. This might be wonderful news for individuals who pass CFA Level 1 because the payback would be earlier and faster.

​Which financial industry pays the most on average?

cfa level 1 salary

Not surprisingly, candidates in finance-related industries out-earn their non-finance counterparts.

  1. Management consulting 
  2. Private wealth management 
  3. Fund management 
  4. Equity & fixed income research
  5. investment banking

Obviously, pay is only one factor to consider while considering a field. Your interests, work-life balance, and perks, among other things, are also important.

There is a 10% decline in average indexed salaries in the Investment Banking, Fund Management, and Accounting & Auditing sectors compared to our previous survey a few years ago.

This is most likely due to the profitability constraints and scrutiny that these three industries have received in recent years. It’s worth mentioning that remuneration in the banking industry is often volatile.

How to increase your CFA level 1 salary?

Making yourself more valuable is the key to raising your CFA® income as a charter holder. Examples of this include requesting more responsibility, accepting a cross-functional role, coaching less experienced team members, and improving your technical finance skills. Become a team’s cornerstone and an indispensable player.

Also, it is typically good to be aware of the current wage market for your degree of expertise and job function. Do not be hesitant to request a raise at performance reviews if you feel you are being underpaid or if you possess a skill that boosts your earning potential. The objective is to thoroughly research the proper level of remuneration for your degree of experience and skill set and to use your work to illustrate your value.

That concludes the discussion about CFA level 1 salary. We really hope that this article will provide you with all the info you require on the pay for CFA level 1 charter holders, allowing you to make an informed career choice in finance.