How To Become A CFA Charterholder

To earn the CFA charter you must have four years of qualifying investment work experience; you must become a member of CFA Institute (the global association of investment professionals that administers the CFA charter), pledging to adhere to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct on an annual basis; you must apply for membership to a local CFA member society; and you must pass all 3 levels of the CFA Exams.

Work Experience​ Requirements

You must have completed four years (48 months) of qualifying work experience in activities that consist to a majority extent of:

  • Evaluating or applying financial, economic, and/or statistical data as part of the investment decision-making process involving securities or similar investments, which includes, but is not limited to, publicly traded and privately placed stocks, bonds, and mortgages and their derivatives; commodity-based derivatives and mutual funds; and other investment assets, such as real estate and commodities, if these other investment assets are held as part of a diversified, securities-oriented investment portfolio; orSupervising, directly or indirectly, persons who practice such activities; or Teaching such activities.

  • Work experience may be accrued while you're in the CFA Program, after you've passed all three exam levels, or in previous positions.


  • At least 50 percent of your work experience must be directly involved in the investment decision-making process

  • Positions must be full-time. Part-time positions do not qualify. Managing your own investments does not qualify.


Membership of CFA Institute & Local Society 

CFA Institute offers two types of memberships:

  1. Regular Membership

  2. Affiliate Membership

The regular membership type is recommended for candidates in the CFA Program and required for award of the CFA charter.

Passing the Exams

The CFA Program includes a series of three exams that are offered in test centers around the world. In Pakistan, they are conducted in Lahore & Karachi.

These three exams — Level I, Level II, and Level III — must be passed sequentially as one of the requirements for earning a CFA charter.


Level I exams are offered in December and June (typically on the first Saturday);

Level II and III exams are offered in June only (typically on the first Saturday). 


Each exam consists of both a morning and an afternoon session; you must attend both sessions in order to receive your exam results. View a typical exam day schedule.


Exams are offered in English only, in order to ensure global consistency, both in administering the exam questions and in grading candidate responses.