Choosing the Right Path for Your Career: FRM® Vs. CFA® Certification



Embarking on a finance career journey can be thrilling, but with choices like FRM® and CFA® Certification, it’s essential to navigate wisely. In this comprehensive blog, we’ll delve into the specifics of each designation, helping you make an informed decision aligned with your career aspirations.

Similarities & Differences of FRM and CFA

While both demand rigorous exams and a commitment to learning, the key disparity lies in specialization. FRM Focuses on risk management, encompassing operational, credit, market, and other risk facets. On the contrary, CFA spans a broader spectrum, covering portfolio management, economics, and quantitative analysis.

Requirements for FRM® and CFA® Certification :

Criteria FRM Certification CFA Charter
Educational Qualification No specific degree requirement. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
Work Experience Full-time financial risk role for two years. 4,000 hours of relevant work experience in roles involving investment decision-making.
Exams Pass both FRM exams. Pass Level I, Level II, and Level III CFA exams.
Membership None Become a CFA Institute member.

Exam Topics, Formats, Fees, and Pass Rates:

FRM Exam Topics CFA Exam Topics
1. Foundations of risk management 1. Ethical and professional standards
2. Quantitative analysis 2. Quantitative methods
3. Financial markets and products 3. Economics
4. Valuation and risk models 4. Financial statement analysis
5. Market risk measurement and management 5. Corporate issuers
6. Credit risk measurement and management 6. Equity investments
7. Operational risk and resiliency 7. Fixed income
8. Liquidity and treasury risk measurement and management 8. Derivatives
9. Risk management and investment management 9. Alternative investments
10. Current issues in financial markets 10. Portfolio and wealth management

Exam Formats

  • FRM: Multiple-choice for both Part I and Part II.
  • CFA: Multiple-choice for Levels I and II; written and multiple-choice for Level III.

Fees and Pass Rates

  • FRM Exam Fee: $400 for Part I, recent pass rates: Part I (45%), Part II (63%).
  • CFA Exam Fee: $700-$1,000 per level, recent pass rates available on the CFA Institute website.

Preparing for the Exams

Both designations demand diligent preparation. For FRM, plan 200-240 hours of study per part, engage in classes, and focus on practice exams. For CFA, allocate at least 300 hours per level, concentrate on Learning Outcome Statements (LOS), enroll in preparation classes, and immerse yourself in practice questions and mock exams.

Learn More about FRM and CFA :


The CFA charter is a highly valuable certification for anyone hoping to succeed in the banking and investment industries. CFA charter holders are eligible for a number of important roles, including:

  • Risk Manager
  • Financial adviser
  • Consultant
  • Accountant
  • Fund Manager
  • Portfolio Manager
  • Research Analyst
  • Investment Banking

The FRM certification is increasingly valued amidst growing business competition and rapid changes in the finance industry.FRM-certified professionals are eligible for various key roles, such as:

  • Director
  • Chief Risk Officer
  • Investment Risk Management
  • Senior Risk Analyst
  • Head of Operational Risk

Watch Video to know more about FRM & CFA

FRM or CFA : Which is right for you?

In contrast to the CFA designation, which covers a wider range of financial analysis and investment topics, FRM is extremely specialized and places a strong emphasis on risk management. From a career growth perspective, FRM and CFA are equally respected as internationally recognized credentials that provide plenty of job opportunities in their respective industries. To improve their performance and elevate their careers, a lot of finance professionals seek both certifications.


Ultimately, your career journey is a personalized adventure. By understanding the nuances of FRM and CFA, you can confidently choose the path that resonates with your passion and sets the stage for a fulfilling and dynamic career in finance.


1.Can CFA and FRM programs be done simultaneously?

Pursuing the CFA and FRM programs simultaneously will affect your scores because both designations require a lot of preparation and focus. The best course of action would be to take the FRM after passing all of the CFA exams.

2.What’s the eligibility criteria for taking the CFA and FRM Exams?

Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree or be in their final year of study in order to register for the CFA exam. There are no essential requirements to take the exam in the FRM program.

3.Which program is more expensive, the FRM or the CFA?

Yes, there are free resources available for both FRM® and CFA® exam preparation.In order to prepare more thoroughly, candidates frequently add official study materials or prep courses to these.