If you’re someone who loves numbers and math, you may have thought about going into a field where you can utilize your skills and interests while making decent money. Of all the math-related industries, nothing is quite as unique as accounting, and when it comes to accountants, no one compares to CFAs.
Certified Financial Accountants are a special breed of bean-counter, as they have to go through years of schooling and training to get certified by the government. That means that if you want to go that route, you have to pass the CFA exam. It can be well worth it, though, as CFAs make about $100K per year on average.
So what is involved in getting this certification? Follow these three steps.
- Get a Degree: While states will vary as to what level of schooling you need, all of them require that you have some kind of degree in accounting or finance. Therefore, before you can even start thinking about becoming a CFA, you have to go to school and put in work in the classroom. While enrolled, make sure that you maximize your time by taking only classes that will qualify you for the exam. Also, be sure to network while you’re in school. You may want to consider going to a masters as well.
- Meet Exam Requirements: As we mentioned, states have their own hoops that CFAs have to jump through to get certified. Therefore, you will want to familiarize yourself with all of the requirements necessary to take the exam in your state. Also, be sure to download an online CFA study guide so you can pass when the time comes. In addition, most states require 48 month or professional work experience.
- Pass the CFA Level 1 Exam: Once you meet all of your state’s requirements (or the state in which you want to work), then it’s time to take the test. You will start with the CFA Level 1 Exam and work your way up. The test is the same for all 50 states.
Overall, becoming a CFA is a long and difficult process. However, if you like this kind of work and want to make a career out of it, this is your best option. Keep in mind that a CFA will be typically chosen over an accountant who isn’t certified. Be sure to check out Crush The CFA Exam for more helpful tips and study materials for your test.