Home > CPWA

Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA) Certification Program

Certified Private Wealth Advisor ® (CPWA®) is an advanced professional certification for advisors who serve high-net-worth clients. It’s designed for seasoned professionals who seek the latest, most advanced knowledge and techniques to address the sophisticated needs of clients with a minimum net worth of $5 million. Unlike credentials that focus specifically on investing or financial planning, the CPWA program takes a holistic and multidisciplinary approach.


The Value of CPWA

Clients that say specialized designations are important when choosing an advisor
Average assets per client of CPWA advisors
Times higher average assets per client of CPWA advisors vs. non-CPWA practices

CPWA certification is for seasoned professionals who seek the latest, most advanced knowledge and techniques to address the sophisticated needs of high-net-worth clients. See the key reasons why you should make the commitment and earn the CPWA certification.

Learn More

How It works

CPWA Certification Process

1​ Application

Submit the certification application and meet the prerequisites, which are:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or one of the following certifications or licenses: CIMA®, CIMC®, CFA®, CFP®, ChFC® or a CPA license.

  • Five years of experience in financial services or delivering services to high-net-worth clients.

  • Successfully complete a comprehensive background check.

And select a registered education program:

  The Institute Yale Online Chicago Booth
Member US$6,495 US$6,995 US$7,495
Nonmember1 US$6,890 US$7,390 US$7,890
1Includes one-year membership
2​ Education

Candidates complete the CPWA education requirement through a registered education program.

Depending on the registered education program you select, CPWA coursework can be completed through a combination of online and in-person executive education, or completely online.

Time Commitment:
To successfully prepare to sit for the Certification Examination, the recommended study time is 10-15 hours per week for approximately 6 months. Successful candidates report studying a total of 100-250 hours to prepare for the exam.

Upcoming Classes

Class Type Enrollment Deadline1 Online Education In-class Education Program2
The Institute3 Enrollment Closed January 2018-June 2018 June 3-8, 2018
Chicago Booth March 9, 2018 March 2018-September 2018 September 23-28, 2018
Chicago Booth September 7, 2018 September 2018-March 2019 March 2019 - TBD
Yale Online N/A On Demand N/A

1Classes have limited capacity and may fill up before the enrollment deadline.
2Subject to change.
3Currently being held at the
Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center.

3​ Examination

Candidates complete the CPWA Certification Exam, a 4 hour-long, computer-based examination administered at local Pearson VUE testing centers.

The exam is comprised of 135 multiple-choice questions.

Completion of the education program is a requirement for CPWA certification. The content presented during the program is designed to be educational, and should not be solely relied upon for test preparation. Instructors do not have specific knowledge of exam questions.

4​ Certification
The final step is to sign a license agreement to adhere to the Investments & Wealth Institute’s Code of Professional Responsibility and the appropriate use of the certification marks.

Apply Renew

More CPWA Information

Why Earn a CPWA Certification?


Learn how the CPWA certification has increased certificants’ knowledge and skills as they work with high-net-worth clients and compare how the CPWA certification stacks up against the CIMA and other well-respected industry designations.


Ready to get started?

Apply for CPWA certification now or if you have additional questions, request more information.

Apply Request more information