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What It Takes to Become a CFA Level 1?

how to become a cfa level 1 candidate

If your activity revolves around the financial world. You certainly have to meet individuals that are excited about earning their CFA Level 1 designation. Knowing what you are getting into is the first step of the process and make no mistake. It can be challenging and time-consuming to become a certified CFA Level 1. If you do have an idea of how gruesome the process can be and still want to move forward. You certainly know that there are many benefits associated with such a prestigious certification.

Requirements To Become CFA Level 1

To become a CFA Level 1, there are a few steps that you need to complete. The first step is finding an institution that offers preparatory courses. There is a lot to study and it is anything but easy. If you treat the course with the mentality that you will pass the exam without investing too much time in individual study. You have a high chance of failing. Pass rates tend to be around 45% for the Level 1 exam.

Become a CFA Level 1

Once you have secured a preparatory course and completed it, you need to look at the professional requirements. To take the exam and pass it, you need to have 48 months of acceptable work experience. The definition of acceptable work experience is broad and includes things such as economics, trading, corporate finance, and many more. If you do not meet the work experience requirements, you will not receive the CFA Level 1 designation.

The Benefits of Being a CFA Level 1

One of the many benefits to become a CFA Level 1 is the knowledge that you will acquire. Putting this designation and the preparatory course on your CV acts as a reputation boost. Most people in the financial world are well aware of the time investment and dedication it takes to get the CFA Level 1 certification. For them, it is a testimony of your abilities to learn, your dedication, and your perseverance to achieve your goals.

At the same time, having the CFA Level 1 on your CV may also incur some financial benefits. You could be entitled to a salary increase with your current employer or you may be able to ask for higher pay during an interview for a new job. Employers are keener on playing more for an applicant with CFA Level 1 than for someone without.

Become a CFA Level 1

Another benefit would be the impact it can have on your career. If you want to move towards investment management. Being a CFA Level 1 can help you obtain a role such as an investment manager.


Become a CFA Level 1 does not guarantee any of the benefits. Depending on the career opportunities within your existing organization or companies within your area. You may find that you either have limited opportunities as a CFA Level 1 or you can boost your career and compensation.

It can also force you to relocate to a different city or country that may present more career opportunities. Not everyone is willing to move to advance in their career. However, after investing so much time and dedication into obtaining the CFA Level 1 certification. It would be a shame not to do so.