What Education Does a Certified Fraud Examiner Need?
Learn about certified fraud examiner schools and programs, and enter one of the top fraud-busting careers.
Program and Career Overview
American businesses lose about seven percent of their annual revenues to fraud, according to a study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. If you're a business professional or a criminal justice worker, consider pursuing certified fraud examiner training to learn just how and why fraud occurs—and how to prevent it. Certified fraud examiners help identify cases of corporate or government fraud, investigate the details of specific fraud claims, and help bring wrongdoers to justice.
Am I a Good Candidate for the Job?
A certified fraud examiner's job is an interdisciplinary art, requiring a diverse set of skills. CFEs need investigative abilities as well as expertise in finance and law. And a background in criminology doesn't hurt. Investigators or legal professionals who have earned a criminal justice degree or accountants who specialize in auditing and analysis are good candidates for certified fraud examiner training.
Certified fraud examiners with a background in finance may work in the following setting:
- Accounting companies
- Consulting firms
- Banking institutions
- Insurance industry
- Local, state and federal government
Their job responsibilities may include:
- Reviewing statements and records for evidence of suspected fraud
- Train employees to prevent future cases of fraud
- Recognizing warning signs of potential wrongdoing
Careers Available with CFE Training
Regardless of where they work, the job duties of a CFE may include interviewing suspects, testifying in court, doing background checks, investigating employee theft, forensic accounting and many other tasks that root out fraudulent practices. Professionals with certified fraud examiner training are found in a number of different—but related—careers, including the following:
- Audit consultant
- Compliance officer
- External or internal auditor
- Financial analyst
- Forensic accountant
- Fraud analyst
- Private investigator
- Risk manager
- Special agent
Training and Certification
To become a certified fraud examiner, you need to pass an exam administered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Most people who seek out CFE certification have a bachelor's degree, or sometimes an associate's degree plus on-the-job experience in fraud analysis. Others choose to pursue certified fraud examiner training as part of an MBA or other business-related degrees.
To be eligible for certification, the ACFE also requires two years of professional, fraud-related experience, either in direct fraud investigation, accounting or auditing work, fighting white-collar crime in a law enforcement or criminology career, corporate loss prevention, or fraud litigation. Finally, you’ll need to apply for and pass the CFE exam.
Salaries for Certified Fraud Examiners
Certified fraud examiner training may lead to a number of different careers, so your salary will vary depending on your level of education, where you're employed and your particular job.
|Job Title||Median Annual Salary*|
*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.
- Homeland Security
- Cybersecurity Specialist
- Certified Fraud Examiner
- Emergency Management
- Criminal Justice Administration
- Public Administration Careers
- Administration Jobs in the Public Sector
More Law Enforcement Careers
- Police Training and Careers
- Federal Law Enforcement
- Criminology and Criminal Justice
- Investigation and Security
Did You Know?
According to CFE, Nick Brignola, the general characteristics of a fraud perpetrator are as follows:
- 75 percent of all frauds are committed by men.
- They are intelligent, and often commit fraud for the challenge when they are bored at work.
- They are egotistical and feel they aren't paid enough.
- They are risk takers and aren’t afraid to fail.
- They are rule breakers and justify breaking the rules.
- They are hard workers, which makes them seem unlikely fraud candidates.
- Married employees commit the most fraud.
- Many are at the management level. Managers are sixteen times more likely to commit fraud than non-managers.
Source: Professor Larry Crumbley of the Louisiana State University Accounting Department