Here’s a straightforward guide on all the relevant CAIA certification cost you really need to budget for both levels of the CAIA exams.
First, we are going to look at the total cost of CAIA exams (and its assumptions).
Then, we will delve into the details of the 5 main types of costs, before finally discussing money-saving tips to further slash these fees.
Let’s go! 🙂
The total CAIA certification cost ranges from $3,000 – $5,208 for both Levels
The total cost of all CAIA exams ranges from $3,000-$5,208, assuming 2 consecutive passes with no travel & accommodation costs.
This is the CAIA exam cost breakdown by level:
- CAIA Level 1: $1,725 – $2,829
- CAIA Level 2: $1,275 – $2,379
Since there isn’t much cost difference between early and standard registration fees, the main factor that affects the cost range is whether a candidate chooses to use third party study material or not.
Let’s go through each of the 5 key cost components so you can further improve your cost estimates.
1) CAIA enrolment and registration fees [REQUIRED]
CAIA exam fees consists of:
- a one-off enrolment fee of US$400 (paid once only during your entire CAIA program, either when you first register for Level 1, or Level 2 if you’re skipping Level 1 via Stackable Credential Program), plus
- a registration fee (for each Level) of $1,150-$1,250, depending on when you register for your exams.
Here are the exam fees payable to CAIA Association and relevant registration deadlines:
|Fee Type (for all Levels)||CAIA Certification Cost (US$)|
|One-time Enrolment Fee|
(paid once only during the whole program)
|Registration Fee (per Level, not applicable to retakes):|
|Retake fee (per Level, if applicable)||$450|
2) CAIA exam calculator’s price [REQUIRED]
This is something most CAIA candidates forget to budget in for, although it’s a relatively small amount of $50 on average.
For those who prefer to bring a spare calculator as a backup during exams, remember to double the cost below accordingly.
Here are the prices of each of the 4 most popular CAIA exam approved calculators:
- Texas Instruments BA II Plus: $34
- Texas Instruments BA II Plus Professional: $50
- HP12C: $56
- HP12C Platinum: $44
Not sure which calculator to choose? Check out our BA II Plus vs. HP12C guide →
3) CAIA study materials cost [REQUIRED]
CAIA official curriculum cost
Unlike CFA exams, CAIA registration fees do not include any study materials cost, so you need to factor that in.
There are 2 aspects to this, which depends on whether you’re using CAIA official curriculum or third party study materials as your primary source of learning:
- CAIA’s official curriculum books (extra $125 per Level): As mentioned previously, CAIA registration fees do not include any study materials by default. If you prefer to use CAIA’s official curriculum, you can get the ebooks physical copies for $125 per Level – they cost the same.
- Third party study materials ($499-$1,129 per Level): While it is perfectly feasible to study just from CAIA’s official curriculum itself, some candidates may choose to spend a little extra to use more concise third party study materials to save time. The cost depends on the type of package and prep provider you choose for each CAIA level.
If you choose to use CAIA’s curriculum exclusively, the savings can be significant here, although third party study materials do add value with mock exams, concise notes and practice questions.
CAIA third party study materials cost comparison
Here is a quick summary of the main types of third party study material packages offered by each CAIA prep provider, and its associated cost per Level:
|Study Material Cost, per CAIA level (US$)||Self Study*||Self Study + |
|Premium Course*||Premium + |
|Cost Range ($)||$495-499|
* Self study packages typically include study notes, question bank and practice exams. Premium courses (online-based) include learning materials in self-study package, plus video classes.
4) Other CAIA exam costs: Travel, retake & rescheduling costs [IF APPLICABLE]
Even with more global test locations available for the in-person computer-based testing and the new online proctored (OP) exams, some CAIA candidates may still have to travel some distance to a test center, and/or make accommodation arrangements to stay overnight nearby. If applicable, these additional costs should be taken into account for both Levels as well.
Another significant cost consideration would be exam retake fees (and the associated study material costs). As you can see from the Registration Fee and Study Material sections, each exam retake costs another $450 in retake fees and perhaps another $125-$1,129 if you need to purchase the latest study materials.
5) CAIA Association’s annual membership fee [REQUIRED]
Finally, if you have passed both levels of the CAIA exams, and submitted relevant qualifying work experience (or if you’re already a CFA charterholder), you can then obtain your CAIA Charter.
An important note: just like CFA Institute, CAIA Association requires you to be a member to use your CAIA designation.
This annual membership costs US$350 per year ($100 per year for emerging markets) going forward for CAIA charterholders.
How to reduce CAIA certification costs: Tips, discounts & free resources
- Aim for Early registration, if you can: This saves $100 off the Standard registration fee of $1,250 for every Level. We also recommend candidates to register early in order to have sufficient study time to maximize your pass chances. Refer to our latest key CAIA exam dates here.
- Apply for CAIA scholarships: Students and faculty in CAIA Academic Partner programs have exclusive access to scholarships which shaves off more than $1,000 off the registration fees, reducing candidates’ exam registration fee to just $100. Do check them out and apply!
- Use our Free Resources & Guides: We have tons of useful, free resources to help you pass your CAIA exams, use them!
- Finally, check our Offers Page for CAIA study material sale & discounts: Third party study materials can be a valuable time-saver and excellent, complementary study resource to CAIA’s curriculum. It is worth checking out the CAIA section of Offers page before purchasing.
Hope this helps with your CAIA cost budgeting. How much did you spend so far on your CAIA exma preparations? Leave a comment below!
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