Top 15 Finance Certifications to Enhance Your Career | 2023

Getting finance certifications can be a good start to building an exceptional finance career in any part of the world. With a certification in finance, you can increase your employability and advance knowledge in finance.

Currently, many finance certifications are available for finance professionals that help prove your experience and expertise. These professional finance certifications focus on niche areas of the industry, allowing you to build your knowledge and skills in areas that matter the most.

In this article, you will learn about the top certifications in Finance that are in high demand because of their relevance.

Read on!

How do I get finance certified?

To get finance certified, you must:

Complete an education program approved by the CFP Board

For your schooling, you have a variety of possibilities. When you’ve finished it, you must notify the CFP Board. Many coursework providers can assist you with this.

Prepare to take the CFP® test.

Once the CFP Board has been notified of your education completion, you can proceed. In March, July, and November, the CFP® test is offered three times a year. You must take the exam within the 5-day interval at one of the CFP Board’s recognized venues.

You may register for the exam before completing your program, but you must provide CFP Board with verification of your education completion by the education verification date, otherwise, you may be charged.

Have or obtain a bachelor’s degree from an approved institution or college.

You can take the exam beforehand, but you must complete your degree within the 5-year time frame.

Demonstrate knowledge in financial planning.

This can be either 6,000 hours of professional experience in relevant personal financial planning activities or 4,000 hours of apprenticeship experience that meets extra standards.

Candidate Fitness Standards of the CFP Board must be met.

To do so, you must agree to follow their ethical guidelines. You must also pass a background check and declare any criminal or employment termination history. For additional information on the ethics, go here.

What are s6 and s63 certifications?

These are the two most popular security licenses issued by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)- A regulatory body charged with maintaining and administering all the security industry licenses.

The s6, known as Limited-Investment Securities License, takes care of securities sold together as a single unit. These securities can be mutual funds, variable annuities, or indexed life insurance.

On the other hand, Series 63 is an administrative license that focuses on the securities regulations that govern the sale of securities in each state. Both the Series 6 and Series 63 licenses are required to sell securities or variable insurance in any state in the United States.

To get these licenses, you may be expected to take the Security Industry Essentials (SIE) exam which can be taken if you are above 18 years.

Interestingly, with s6 and s63, you can be permitted to market packaged securities as part of a comprehensive investment program. You can sell mutual funds, variable annuities, unit investment trusts, and even municipal fund securities.   

What is the CFA salary?

CFA salaries vary. For instance, CFA salary in the United States ranges from $64,234 to $255,000 per year, according to This is affected by a lot of factors such as responsibility level, experiences, and sometimes bonuses.

Below are some of the positions with their salary range:

  • Portfolio Manager: $132,500
  • Equities Portfolio Manager: $136,000
  • Research Analyst: $73,954
  • Chief-level Executive: $227,500
  • Consultant: $74,000
  • Risk Manager: $126,060
  • Relationship Manager; $120,000
  • Financial Advisor: $110,000

Is CFA harder than CPA?

Not really. Although they both take a long process that requires a degree, high pass score, and years of experience, CPA is harder to pass than CFA.

This is because the CPA standard changes almost every year, unlike the CFA, which is grounded more by its finance emphasis and the finance principles do not have the same rapid degree of change.

And the more CFA standard changes, the more it expands. Also, failing to write the CPA exam after receiving one’s accounting or MBA degree could lead to the worst of all situations- recognizing an issue or problem and utilizing knowledge that is out of date or only partially correct.

And because the standard changes, you might write based on what you knew only to end getting everything wrong.

What are the best certifications for finance?

When it comes to selecting qualifications, you need to consider your career objectives. Do you wish to work in management or as an internal auditor, for example?

You’ll also have to consider how much time and money you’ll be able to devote to the procedure and how long you’ll be able to keep the designation. Consider also your qualifications, including your level of education and experience.

Top 15 finance certifications to get in 2022 in banking and finance

Here’s an overview of 15 of the most prestigious financial certificates to help you figure out which one is right for you.

  1. CFA®–Chartered Financial Analyst
  2. CPA–Certified Public Accountant
  3. FRM – Financial Risk Manager
  4. CFP-Certified Financial Planner
  5. CIMA–Charted Institute of Management Accountants
  6. ACCA–Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  7. CAIA–Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst
  8. ChFC–Chartered Financial Consultant
  9. CMA–Certified Management Accountant
  10. Certified International Investment Analyst
  11. Government Financial Manager Certification (CGFM)
  12. Personal Financial Specialist Certification (PFS).
  13. Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHEP)
  14. Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® Certification
  15. Chartered Underwriter in Life Insurance (CLU)

#1. CFA®–Chartered Financial Analyst®

If you want to learn financial management and investment, this is one of the best certifications in finance to pursue. Finance credentials are sufficient in and of themselves to propel your career forward.

There are three stages to pass, and you must have four years of full-time, relevant experience to be certified.

The certification in finance is quite demanding, and you will need to put in a lot of effort to pass it. CFA has a lower pass percentage than any other finance qualification, with a success rate of fewer than 20% overall.

Role: CFA finance credentials are required for careers in asset management, private equity, equity research, and investment banking. If you want to work in the investing industry and just have one finance certification to choose from, the CFA is the only one you should get.

#2. CPA–Certified Public Accountant

If you enjoy accounting (rather than finance), this is one of the best finance certifications in demand that can pay you well. The AICPA has approved it (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants).

Accountants and tax experts will benefit from this finance qualification. CPA certification necessitates a 150-hour study period. After that, you must pass a difficult exam. In addition, you must have a CPA license.

The study will set you back roughly $3000. You can pass the exam if you prepare carefully. The success percentage for the first try has been around 50%.

Role: This financial certification program will undoubtedly assist you in pursuing a profession in accounting. This financial certification’s only flaw is its narrow concentration on corporate finance.

#3. Certified Financial Planner Certification (CFP)

If you want to be part of wealth management, retail banking, and private banking careers, this certification is what you need.

Certified Financial Planner Certification is among the best finance certifications in demand worth going for. You should check for CFP certification if you want to hire a financial planner or if you want to become one.

CFP isn’t just about money; it’s also about knowing how to handle one of the most important aspects of business: customer relations. A seven-hour test must be passed to pass the CFP.

You must study for at least 1000 hours to pass the CFP. The sole disadvantage of this certification is that it focuses on a very narrow area. After completing this exam, you can work in wealth management, retail banking, or private banking.

This finance certification program is not only excellent, but it is also reasonably priced, costing roughly $2000. In 2017, 64% of candidates passed the CFP exam.

#4. Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

FRM is a specialized finance certification program that caters to a specific market. The topic material will not suit all financial professionals until they are interested in risk analysis and management, which is the only disadvantage of this finance certification.

This is the right qualification for you if you want to work as a risk analyst in a company or if you want to build a name for yourself in risk management.

You can also assist clients who want to make sound financial decisions. This certification is inexpensive – roughly $1500 – and you may accomplish FRM-I and FRM-II in a year (though it is not easy).

GARP oversees FRM (The Global Association of Risk Professionals). FRM has a pass rate of roughly 50%, but the percentage varies yearly.

#5. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, United Kingdom) is for people who want to learn everything there is to know about management accounting.

In fact, by connecting its curriculum with strategic and risk management it broadens the scope of accounting, which is very valuable from a company management standpoint.

It’s a four-tiered certification program with levels for certificate holders and professionals.

CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting can be earned by completing the basic level and qualifying for professional-level studies, which are organized into three learning pillars: enterprise, performance, and financial understanding.

Each of these pillars is further subdivided into operational, management, and strategic levels, totaling nine knowledge areas addressed in professional studies.

After achieving the strategic level, three years of professional experience certified by the CIMA Institute will enable you to acquire the CIMA Member title.

Note, with this financial certification program, you can get a job as a Management Accountant, Financial Analyst, Finance Manager, or Internal Audit Manager, among other positions in advanced management accounting.

#6. Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)

If you’re interested in hedge funds or asset management, these are the best finance certifications in the USA. This qualification will allow you to advance your career in the hedge fund or asset management industry.

Private equity, hedge funds, ethics, risk management, asset allocation, and structured products are among the major topics covered by this finance certification. The certification fees are on the upper end of the scale, at roughly $3000.

There are two levels to the qualification. This certification has a rather high success rate, around 70%. It would take 12 to 18 months to complete CAIA certification.

Where you can work: hedge fund or asset management industries

#7. Chartered Financial Consultant Certification (ChFC)

If you cannot get CFP certification, you can pursue ChFC certification instead. This is an excellent alternative because it covers everything you’ll learn in CFP and allows you to specialize.

The CFP certification, for example, will educate you on how to be a financial planner in a broad sense. The ChFC designation will enable you to specialize in financial planning, such as small business or divorce financial planning.

Although this is one of the less well-known finance qualifications, it is a game-changer in financial planning. The American College of Financial Services is in charge of its administration.

#8. Certified Management Accountant Certification (CMA)

If a lucrative career and financial gains seem like a good idea, you should go for CMA certification.

This is the best credential you can earn if you want to work in management accounting. This is one of the most sought-after finances and accounting qualifications.

You will have more opportunities in the corporate world after graduating from CMA. The Institute of Management Accountants has approved the finance certification program (IMA). The course is split into two sections.

You’ll also have to take 11 financial competency examinations in total. Simply put, this qualification will provide you with a competitive advantage in the fields of management and accounting.

According to the survey, a CMA earns 47 percent more than any other professional in the United States.

#9. CMFC–Chartered Mutual Fund Counsellor

CMFC is one of the best finance certifications in the USA you should invest in mutual funds if you wish to multiply your money. You’ll need someone who specializes in mutual funds for this.

You may rest certain that your mutual fund advisor has completed the CMFC certification process. Alternatively, chartered mutual fund counselor certification is a good option if you wish to pursue a financial certification program in a mutual fund.

This is a 10-week short course. After the course, you must pass an exam. The College for Financial Planning is in charge of this course. This course contains project work relevant to the mutual fund business and other financial products.

#10. Personal Financial Specialist Certification (PFS)

The CPA certification includes the PFS certification. This credential will show your experience in insurance, tax, retirement, estate, and investment planning if you have gotten your CPA and wish to pursue a profession centered on financial planning.

You can earn your PFS by bypassing the necessary CPA test criteria or earning the CFP or ChFC certification in addition to your CPA.

There are 160 questions in the PFS exam. About half of the questions are multiple-choice, and the other half are case studies.

Short scenarios with two to five multiple-choice questions are common in case studies. There are two larger case studies with up to 18 multiple-choice questions each.

To keep your PFS, you must be a current AICPA member, have a valid CPA, sign a statement stating that you will follow the recertification standards, and complete 20 hours of authorized continuing professional development (CPD).

#11. Government Financial Manager Certification (CGFM)

The CGFM will demonstrate your experience in this field if you want to work as a federal, state, or municipal financial analyst or manager. For government enterprises, this professional qualification includes financial reporting, internal controls, auditing, and accounting.

To achieve this qualification, you must have a bachelor’s degree, at least two years of professional experience in government financial planning, and pass three CGFM tests.

Governmental environment (GE), Governmental accounting, financial reporting and budgeting (GAFRB), and Government financial management and control are all included in the CGFM exams (GFMC).

#12. Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHEP)

The CHFP credential allows financial professionals in the healthcare industry to exhibit their expertise in this field.

To obtain this credential, you must join the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and pass two educational modules, including coursework and tests.

The first module is about the healthcare business, while the second is about operational excellence. You must be a current HFMA member and complete 60 hours of qualifying continuing education every three years to keep your certification.

#13. Certified International Investment Analyst

The CIIA credential validates your understanding of economics, corporate finance, portfolio management, stock valuation and analysis, fixed income valuation and analysis, valuation and analysis, and other topics.

To acquire this certification, you must have three years of professional experience in portfolio management, investment, or financial analysis.

In addition, you must be a member of a participating national or regional society and pass all CIIA tests. This certification covers topics like corporate finance, economics, and portfolio management.

#14. Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® Certification

Obtaining a financial modeling certification from an institute such as CFI is a new and more popular option for corporate finance professionals.

The course covers everything from creating a financial model to advanced valuation methodologies and sensitivity analysis, all while using Excel.

CFI’s comprehensive Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst Program (FMVA)®, which starts at $497 and includes over 24 courses and over 100 hours of video teaching, is an economical investment. The FMVATM test has a pass rate of roughly 70%.

#15. Chartered Underwriter in Life Insurance (CLU)

The American College awards this credential, and individuals who have it work mostly as insurance brokers. The CLU title is given to people who have completed a 10-course study program and 20 hours of tests.

Also, the basics of life and health insurance, pension planning, insurance law, income taxation, investments, financial and estate planning, and group benefits are all covered in this course.

The following are the most useful analyst abilities acquired as a result of this certification:

  • You may perform financial analysis, ratios, and corporate performance in Excel.
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to create a financial model in Excel.
  • Methods of valuing a business (most common techniques used in industry)
  • Financial models for real estate, e-commerce, retail, and other industries
  • Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) modeling, sensitivity analysis, and scenario analysis are examples of advanced uses.
  • Making PowerPoint presentations, Excel dashboards, charts, graphs, and other deliverables

What certifications should I get for finance?

There are so many certifications recommended for anyone who wants to build a career in finance, some of them include:

  1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  2. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  3. Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  4. Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
  5. Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)
  6. Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation
  7. Project Management Professional (PMP)
  8. Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC)
  9. Certified Fund Specialist (CFS)
  10. Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  11. Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
  12. Certified Financial Planner ® (CFP®)
  13. Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
  14. Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA)
  15. Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA) certification
  16. Certified Treasury Professional®
  17. Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
  18. Chartered Market Technician (CMT)
  19. Certified Government Financial Manager ® (CGFM)
  20. Certified Healthcare Financial Professional ® (CHFP)
  21. Energy Risk Professional (ERP)®
  22. Certified International Investment Analyst (CIIA)
  23. Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA)
  24. Chartered Economic Analyst (ChEA)
  25. Financial Risk Manager (FRM)®
  26. CMFC – Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor
  27. Certified Professional, Life and Health Insurance Program (CPLHI)


Obtaining one of these financial or accounting certifications will help you stand out in a crowded field. However, regardless of which path you take, most employment in these fields begins with a solid education.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are the best financial certificates?

Here’s an overview of 15 of the most prestigious financial certificates to help you determine which is right.
CFA® – Chartered Financial Analyst
CPA – Certified Public Accountant
FRM – Financial Risk Manager
CFP – Certified Financial Planner
CIMA – Charted Institute of Management Accountants
ACCA – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
CAIA – Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst
ChFC – Chartered Financial Consultant
CMA – Certified Management Accountant
Certified International Investment Analyst
Government Financial Manager Certification (CGFM)
Personal Financial Specialist Certification (PFS)
Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHEP)
Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® Certification
Chartered Underwriter in Life Insurance (CLU)

What is CFA salary in the USA?

CFA salary in the United States range from $64,234 to $255,000 per year



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