What Is a Typical Salary for a Chartered Financial Analyst?

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Chartered financial analysts, or CFAs, work in a range of industries. CFAs help other financial professionals, such as certified public accountants and accountants, manage a company's money and financial objectives.

A chartered financial analyst's salary is based in part upon experience, although an employer's characteristics — the kind of company, its market value and size, and its sales volume — all also influence how much CFAs earn.

The salaries discussed here were current as of February 2017 and are based on reports from PayScale.com, which bases its estimates on responses from more than 2,600 CFAs across the U.S.

Average Salary for CFAs

CFAs earn from around $45,000 to upwards of $180,000 per year. Unsurprisingly, those with less experience have lower reported salaries -- those with less than one year of experience earn around $58,600, while those with one to four years of experience earn about $68,000, on average.

CFAs with 10 to 19 years of experience earn about $127,000, and CFAs with 20 or more years on the job earn about $156,000 per year.

When you consider the average pay for various jobs for CFAs, the most highly paid work as chief financial officers, or CFOs, and earn about $152,000 per year. Portfolio managers earn about $109,000, senior financial analysts earn around $81,500, financial analysts earn about $65,500, and securities or investment analysts earn around $70,000.

Research analysts earn about $75,800.

CFA Salaries by Industry

The kind of employer for whom a chartered financial analyst works has an effect on how much that person earns.

For example, self-employed chartered financial analysts make the most: some $170,900 on average. Those on contract also do well, pulling in $142,400 on average per year.

CFAs working for foundations or trusts make an average of just around $100,000 annually, those in private practice with a firm earn around $85,000, and those working for federal, state or local governmental entities earn between $81,400 and $87,000 a year.

Hospital-based CFAs earn around $92,600, and college or university CFA employees make around $75,000.

CFA Salaries by Company Size

The company's size helps to determine how much the company pays its CFAs — generally speaking, larger companies pay slightly better than smaller companies, although the differences are not extreme.

For example, small companies with fewer than 10 employees pay the second-lowest median incomes, about $84,500 per year, while in this survey, companies with between 200 and 599 employees paid CFOs the lowest incomes, around $81,500 on average.

Meanwhile, companies with between 10 and 49 workers paid CFAs about $88,100, and companies with 50 to 199 workers paid their CFAs around $90,300.

The most lucrative employers for CFAs to work for were those with between 20,000 and 49,999 workers: Those companies paid CFAs around $102,200. Meanwhile, larger companies paid slightly less, about $97,900.