11 Certifications for Bankers To Pursue

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 15, 2021

The financial industry can often be competitive, so earning a banking certification can be a great way to stand out from other candidates. Listing a banking certification on your resume tells employers you're updated on banking regulations, procedures and policies in the industry. Many of these certifications take several hours of studying to earn, which is what makes them so impressive to hiring managers. In this article we explore what a banking certification is and different certifications for bankers to pursue.

What is a banking certification?

A banking certification is a qualification financial professionals earn that demonstrates their skill and expertise in the industry. These certifications typically take several hours of studying financial topics and completing coursework before passing challenging exams. Earning a banking certification proves you have advanced knowledge in various financial subjects within your field. By listing these certifications on a resume, you can stand out from other candidates, qualify for high-level jobs and increase your earning potential.

Related: Top 11 Finance Certifications To Enhance Your Expertise

Certifications for bankers

Earning a certification related to the role and field you pursue can improve your knowledge of the industry and better prepare you for the role's responsibilities. Here are the different banking certifications you can pursue:

1. Chartered financial analyst

A chartered financial analyst (CFA) certification, offered by the CFA Institute, is one of the most recognized and respected investment management designations in the world. It demonstrates your advanced knowledge of securities, investments, equity research, portfolio management, economics and equity research.

This is a great certification to pursue if you want to work as an investment manager or financial analyst in fields like mutual funds, investment banks, consultancy firms or hedge funds. The courses you take in this certification educate you on 10 different investment subjects. There are three levels of exams you must take and pass to officially earn your certification.

Related: How To Become a CFA: A Step-by-Step Guide

2. Certified financial planner

This certification offered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards educates you on several valuable financial subjects, such as retirement planning, insurance, stocks, bonds and estate planning. Once you finish the courses and training sessions, you take a seven-hour exam to test your knowledge on these topics. This certification qualifies you to work in fields like private banking, retail banking and wealth management.

Related: Financial Planners vs. Financial Advisors: Here's What You Need to Know

3. Certified public accountant

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants offers this certification to professionals serving in the accounting and financial industries. This certification demonstrates your advanced knowledge in topics like taxation, auditing, financial accounting, financial reporting, risk management and company law, which makes it highly esteemed by most businesses.

After finishing the 150 hours of courses and passing the rigorous exams, you must earn your CPA license to legally work in public accounting and provide tax and auditing services to clients.

Related: CPF vs. CFA: What's the Difference?

4. Chartered investment counselor

If you hope to work in portfolio management or investment counseling, this certification could be a great option to pursue. To be eligible, you must work at a firm that's a member of the Investment Adviser Association and hold at least five years of experience in this workplace.

For those who aim to work as a fiduciary, you must provide professional and personal references to qualify for this certification and the role. This is a great option if you have a large portfolio and want to portray yourself as a highly experienced investment manager.

5. Chartered financial consultant

As an alternative to the chartered financial planner certification, you can earn the chartered financial consultant certification to study specialties beyond what the chartered financial planner courses offer. It typically consists of four months of studying courses and taking challenging exams. If you'd like to work in a specific area of the financial industry, like financial planning, then this credential is an effective choice.

6. Certified management accountant

When you earn this certification, you prove yourself to be an expert in the management accounting field. This is an effective option if you plan to work in a corporate setting, instead of in private accounting. With this certification, you'll take courses that help you build accounting and management skills to make significant financial business decisions for organizations. In the courses, you learn about 11 different financial competencies and take a two-part exam.

7. Chartered mutual fund counselor

If one of your key goals is to gain advanced knowledge in mutual funds, consider earning a certification as a chartered mutual fund counselor. You must take courses that last around 10 weeks and pass various exams. These classes teach you subjects regarding packaged investment products with in-depth studies on various aspects of the mutual funds field.

8. Financial risk manager

This certification poses you as a risk-management specialist and typically qualifies you to work as a risk analyst at banks or other financial organizations. Some professionals with this certification also pursue independent roles, where they provide investment guidance and advice to private clients. With this certification, you take an eight-hour exam with multiple-choice questions about the investment and financial fields.

9. Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst

Any financial professionals interested in the management of alternate investment, like real assets or hedge funds, should earn a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst certification. It consists of 12 to 18 months of courses and occasional exams regarding asset allocation, private equity, risk management, real assets and hedge funds.

Related: Financial Planners vs. Financial Advisors: Here's What You Need to Know

Chartered life underwriter

For those pursuing a career as an insurance agent, the chartered life underwriter certification offers eight courses centered on this topic. None of these courses require you to take any exams. This certification covers estate planning, risk management and life insurance topics.

Financial modeling certification

This certification teaches financial professionals, like lawyers, accountants, analysts or consultants how to construct financial models, represent financial accounts and analyze investments. It offers in-depth courses like project finance modeling, merger and acquisition, valuation modeling and advanced functions and charting.

Explore more articles