Chartered Market Technician: Certification Program Information

The Chartered Market Technician (CMT) designation recognizes professionals within the investment community worldwide. Candidates obtain it by completing rigorous qualification requirements set by the Market Technicians Association (MTA).

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CMT Designation

Technical analysts focus on a stock's historical price pattern and related data points, as portrayed on charts, to predict future price movements. The CMT designation reflects a professional's proficiency in all aspects of technical analysis. A primary objective of the MTA is to educate the public on the practice of technical analysis and to promote it as a legitimate analytical discipline.

CMT designation may qualify an analyst for specific employment opportunities. Employers who seek CMT-designated candidates include stock brokerage firms, investment banks, mutual fund companies, pension fund management companies and hedge funds. A benefit of CMT designation is exemption from the FINRA Series 86 (research analyst license) qualification exam, which is satisfied by passing levels one and two of the CMT exam.

Requirements

Requirements begin with the successful completion of a 3-level examination. Level one is a 132-question multiple-choice exam that covers definitions and basic concepts relevant to technical analysis. Level two is a 160-question multiple-choice exam that covers the application of advanced technical analysis concepts. Questions at these two levels are most heavily weighted toward the subjects of market indicators, analysis construction, trend analysis and chart pattern analysis.

Level three is an essay examination that requires the analyst to integrate and apply his knowledge by interpreting charts and other data to form opinions, develop portfolio strategies and make trading decisions. The exam also includes an ethics portion that the analyst must pass.

The CMT exam is administered twice yearly, once in the spring and once in the fall. Candidates must pass all levels of the exam within five years of their initial CMT exam registration date.

CMT candidates must also be employed in a professional analytical or investment management position for a period of at least three years and to have member status in the MTA (following sponsorship by three current MTA members). There's also affiliate and student status membership available through the MTA.

Preparation for CMT Designation

Prospective CMTs are typically professional securities or financial analysts employed in the investment industry. They must have at least a bachelor's degree in a finance-related program. Many analysts continue their education by obtaining an MBA, which provides the foundation for pursuing the CMT designation.

Candidates must also master a large body of relevant information using a self-study format. The MTA publishes a list of required study materials and recommends at least 400 hours to prepare for the CMT exam. It provides access to an online prep course, called CMT Institute, which includes live discussion sessions with faculty and other candidates. Additionally, technical analysis courses and CMT preparation classes are available at some colleges and universities. Online courses are also available.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

CMTs fall into the broader classification of financial managers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classification system. From 2010-2020, these workers were projected to see a 9% growth in employment opportunities. The mean annual wages for financial managers were $123,260 in May 2012, stated the BLS.

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