Considering the CAIA® Charter?

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To earn the CAIA Charter, you must take and pass the Level I and Level II CAIA exams. There are no degree or work requirements for taking the exams, but after you pass both, you must earn or finish earning a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and have at least 1 year of professional experience, or complete a minimum of 4 years of professional experience without a degree. You also have to join CAIA Association and submit two professional references to the association.
The CAIA Charter is valued by top employers and recognized globally as the highest standard of achievement in alternative investment education. As the CAIA designation continues to grow, so do its benefits. According to Payscale, the median salary for a CAIA Charterholder in the United States is $96,000 a year. Investment analysts who hold a CAIA make about $74,197. On the top end of the scale are investment consultants, who earn an average of $139,565.

Registration fees vary based on how early you sign up and if you are a repeat or first-time test taker. First-time test takers registration can cost between $1,395-$1,795 for Level I and between $995-$1,395 for Level II. The retake fee is $450.

For more information about registration fees, visit the CAIA Association website.

The CFA exam is harder according to both student surveys and official pass rates. Only 43% of CFA test takers pass Level 1, with 47% passing Level 2 and 54% passing Level 3, whereas for CAIA, pass rates are higher for both Level 1 (52%) and Level 2 (65%).

Everything you need to know about the CFA Exam vs. the CAIA Exam »

CAIA is an acronym for Chartered Alternative Investment AnalystSM. Offered by  CAIA Association, the CAIA Charter is recognized globally as the benchmark for analysis, application, and standards of practice in the alternative investments arena. What are alternative investments? They are investments that are not stocks, bonds, and cash. Examples include real estate, infrastructure, natural resources, commodities, hedge funds, private equity, collateralized debt obligations, and credit derivatives. Check out this article for more details.