9 Best Industry Recognized AML Certification to Uplift Compliance Career

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You have been aware that in recent years’ financial crimes have been all over the headlines and brutally disadvantage the world economy. Whether in the United States or another corner of the globe, financial crimes are increasing speedily and lurking as a massive problem. The biggest concern of organizations nowadays is to stop such financial crimes; either barbering or money laundering. The concern raises the demand for Anti-money laundering specialists with cutting-edge skills to survive and compete with those crimes. What do you think, where you can’t get those top-notch skills? Certifications? Yes! AML certifications are the best way to compete and stand out against all the risk factors.

In this article, you will get to learn about the best AML certifications and delve deep into them to know what is best for you.

The Purpose of Anti-Money Laundering

Anti-money laundering refers to collections of laws, policies, and regulations to prevent and restrain criminals from committing financial crimes and illegal activities. AML targets a variety of crimes such as tax fraud, corruption, money laundering, and illicit trade. Moreover, AML also masks these activities and prevents criminals from funneling illegal funds into the financial systems. On the other hand, most criminals and terrorists use illegal money for their illicit operations, so AML plays an important role in crime-reducing consequences.

Historical Background of Anti-Money Laundering

The inception of implementing AML procedures was adopted in 1970 in the United States when the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) – the first piece of anti-money laundering legislation was established for the first time. The BSA was an early attempt to identify and prevent money laundering and it underwent many changes and was strengthened by new anti-money laundering regulations.

Next, The Global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was inaugurated in 1989 by the government to create and promote anti-money laundering prevention standards worldwide. Another major body that is governing is the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The main goal of the IMF is to sanctuary the stability of the International monetary system. The European Union also developed its first anti-money laundering Directive in 1990 to prevent financial systems from misusing money laundering. Apart from this, several laws and regulations are working together in the U.K. to establish a financial crime-free culture. 

Now you have been aware of the AML purpose and history, let’s deep dive into the best AML certification that helps you get on board.

Best AML Certification

Out of many AML certifications, the below certification stands top in our best list.

1. CAMS- Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist

CAMS is a globally recognized certification and gold standard in the AML certification. The certification demonstrates the fundamental principles of money laundering and how to prevent it. Individuals and teams can become certified as Anti-Money Laundering Specialists in as little as four months.

The certification is offered by the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) and is designed for financial professionals to understand and comprehend AML regulations and compliance. 

Cost: The cost of the CAMS certification depends on the bundle and package you opt for. The standard package costs $1,895 for the private sector and $1,445 for the public sector. The cost of virtual classroom bundles is $2,295 for the private sector and 1,945 for the public sector.

2. CFCA- Certified Fraud Control Associate

In a world that is caught up with fraudulent activities and corporate financial insecurity, the need for skilled fraud-control professionals is in demand. The CFCA is the fundamental level the fraud control certification that demonstrates your competencies and skills in preventing, detecting, and investigating potential corporate fraud and abuse. 

This certification is the best way to start a journey in fraud control management and vying for top positions in the initial phases of your career. 

Cost: Contact the vendor for the actual cost

3. CFE- Certified Fraud Examiner

If you’re in the fraud management industry, you must be aware of the Certified Fraud Examiner certification. The certification is considered a gold standard in the anti-fraud industry as it evokes a passion for fighting against fraud. The certification builds your expertise in preventing and detecting fraud. The certification demands two years of fraud-related work experience because it will take you deep down into the world of fraud to establish strong prevention techniques.

The CFE certification exam tests your knowledge of financial transactions, fraud schemes, laws, investigation, and fraud prevention and deterrence.  

Cost: The total CFE cost includes membership dues, exam prep method, and exam fee. The exam fee is $450 and if you purchased the exam prep course, the cost will go down to $350.

Read more: How to Earn your CFE Certification

4. CFA – Chartered Financial Analyst

The CFA – Chartered Financial Analyst designation is allotted to those who complete the CFA program and fulfill the required work experience. The CFA Program consists of three part exams (CFA Level I, II, III) that assess the fundamentals of investment tools, asset valuation, portfolio management, and wealth planning. 

Candidates with a finance accounting, economics, and business background can pursue the CFA program. Moreover, the certification elevates a strong foundation in advanced investment analysis and real-world portfolio management skills. 

Cost: The cost of the CFA program depends upon when you take the exam. The early registration cost is $940 and the standard registration fee is $1250. Check out the periods of early registration and standard registration on the CFA website before you apply for the exam. Moreover, there is also a one-time enrollment fee of USD 350 when you register for the CFA program and level exam. The fee will not be applied to the next-level exams.

5. CAMI – Certified Anti-Money Laundering Investigator

Certified AML Investigator is the best international money laundering certification that sets your AML journey to the next level. The certification develops an acumen of financial prevention to anti-money laundering and knowledge that deals with global development changes. The certification builds your competencies in assessing Risks and methods of money laundering and terrorist financing, International AML standards, and AML procedures and operations. 

Professionals with more than three years of experience in banking/finance are eligible for this certification as it requires thorough familiarity with Anti Money Laundering provisions.

Cost: The Certified AML Investigator course costs $650 by Regtech Times Academy.

6. CAME – Certified Anti-Money Laundering Expert

Certified Anti Money Laundering Expert, known as CAME is the certification to meet the growing demand for skilled resources in the AML field.  The certification emphasizes the identification of suspicious transactions. The certification provides a detailed overview of the laundering transition around the world and covers many aspects of laundering transactions from conventional methods to technology methods.

The certification also enhances your knowledge in topics like defining, the size of money laundering, the reason for such activities by criminals, the impact of money laundering, risks of KYC to mitigate, and Indian laws of money laundering. 

Cost: The CAME training cost in India is ₹21,500.00

7. CRCM - Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager

The CRCM certification from the American Banker Association is the most prestigious certification for banking and compliance professionals. The certification is widely acknowledged because of the competencies it builds. It demonstrates your proficiency in the regulatory compliance fields and proliferates your expertise in compliance risks program management or validation of compliance risk control effectiveness. 

This certification is achievable when you meet all the required criteria. You can check the experience tiers on the official website. Candidates must have U.S.-based experience to fulfill the experience requirement. Moreover, the compliance experience must be directly related to U.S. consumer banking laws and regulations. 

Cost: The cost of the CRCM exam is $775.

8. BSACS - Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Specialist

The Bank Secrecy ACT Compliance Specialist credential endorses your expertise in identifying the latest forms of illicit financial activities and understanding evolving Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws. To attain this certification, you have to complete the required training and complete the BSACS certification exam. Moreover, you have to attend one of the following events:

  • CUNA BSA/AML Certification Conference with NASCUS
  • CUNA BSA/AML Certification eSchool with NASCUS

Cost: Contact the Credit Union National Association – CUNA for the certification cost.

9. CBAP – Certified BSA/ AML Professional

The BSA / AML professional certification program covers all the requirements of regulations and promotes guidance on best practices for financial institution compliance under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). To obtain the Certified BSA/AML Professional certification, you have to attend the course program, complete the assignments, and pass the certification exam. 

The certification builds in-depth knowledge, provision of resources, and peer networks to effectively manage your BSA/AML function or audit this function effectively.

Cost: Contact ICBA for the certification cost

Value of Having an Anti Money Laundering (AML) Certification

Earning a professional certification in AML provides numerous benefits that help you grow professionally and personally. The significant advantages that come with having such certifications are:

1. Proficiency in Performing Compliance and AML Tasks

In recent years, the demand for AML certifications has soared worldwide because these certifications provide skills that are the mainstay of safeguarding the financial system. The certifications target various domains of anti-money laundering and provide frameworks by which AML professionals can fight money laundering and other financial crimes. The certifications develop a certain level of proficiency in doing successful financial transactions and how to promote best practices for preventing financial crimes.

2. Competitive Edge in Getting a Job

No doubt, there is a substantial number of certified professionals who are combating money laundering in the United States. Still, there is a need for more professionals as the risks associated with financial crimes rise predominantly. The fact that certification gives an edge to individuals is because hiring managers look at certified individuals with a different perspective. It shows that a person is a self-starter, has invested time and resources in acquiring advanced knowledge, is of a professional mindset, and has skills in a defined area of study.

3. Boosted Market Demand

One of the greatest benefits of AML certification is that it improves career prospects and earnings potential for finance and AML specialists. The average salary of an anti-money laundering specialist is $84,000 in the United States, according to PayScale. Below are the top job roles and the average salaries you can get after AML certifications. 

Job Titles Average Salary Salary Range
Compliance Analyst $66,649 $49k - $91k
Bank Secrecy Act Officer $84,553 $51k - $133k
Compliance Officer $82,931 $55k - $149k
Compliance Manager $94,310 $71k - $127k
Compliance Director $125,608 $83k- $169k
Chief Compliance Officer $148,692 $97k - $221k
Fraud Investigator $69,584 $50k - $118k
AML Analyst $58,341 $50 - $78k
Sr. Compliance Analyst $124,724 $72- $172k

The above salary statistics are a clear indication that having an AML certification is the best way to upsurge your salary to new heights. So, whether you are in the middle of a career, or thinking of giving a breakthrough, you must have one of the best anti-money laundering certifications on your resume. 

Read more: ACAMS Certification Roadmap

Is an AML Certification Really Necessary? Which One to Consider?

Do you need an AML certification? Many of the readers are asking and looking for the answer. The answer to this question is very subjective and everyone has a different perspective on that. The first and foremost thing is that having a certification is necessary to build a stable career.  Moreover, it depends on your path and the job you’re seeking. You can’t expect to land a job that demands current skills while not having the desired knowledge and skill set. Certifications assist you to acquire such skills and grow your career. Additionally, you can have many perks such as a boosted salary, industry recognition, and credibility among employers and employees, just because you hold a certification. 

Well, which certification you want to get solely depends on your choice, however, there are some points that you need to consider before opting for the one

Aligned with your Career Goals

The first point you need to consider is that it matches and aligns with your career goals and aids you in establishing a strong career. Having an AML certification demonstrates a certain level of expertise and helps you gain a deeper understanding of laws and regulation, hence making a way to become an AML expert.

Give a Significant Salary Hike

Choose a certification that gives you a significant salary boost. A certification that doesn’t advantage you in salary factor is not worth it. Not all certifications will benefit you, so if you want one that will benefit you in every way, these top AML certifications should be your choice. 

Read more: Benefits of Getting IT Certification


In today’s fast-paced world, combating money laundering and safeguarding your business assets from criminal conduct is crucial, and having an advanced skill set is the only way to fight all those financial crimes. One of the efficient methods to educate yourself and your employees with the latest AML practices is to gain AML certifications. The certification gives you complete insights and techniques to implement the best anti-money laundering practices in the constantly changing environment. Moreover, it allows getting hired in lucrative job roles with better-earning potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

Both of the certifications are globally accredited, however, each targets entirely different domains. If you want to pursue a career in AML only, CAMS is the best choice. On the other hand, if you want to attain proficiency in fraud investigation, CFE should be your way to go. 

ACAMS certifications are considered industry standard in the field of anti-money laundering. Although ACAMS provides a pathway of certification that targets different domains, CAMS is the most acquired and indispensable. Once you complete CAMS, it will show your potential in the particular field and dedication towards your job, hence, building a good impact on potential employers.

The best way to prepare for AML certification is to utilize a combination of resources. You must develop a strong understanding of which certification you’re pursuing. First, prepare a strong study schedule and opt for instructor-led training or self-paced that best caters to your learning needs. Next, practice concepts and your knowledge with Dumpsgate exam dumps.



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