CIA® Exam Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA®) Designation?

The CIA is the only globally accepted designation for internal auditors and has been the standard by which professionals demonstrate their knowledge for more than 40 years.

Earning the CIA designation is a valuable accomplishment and a professional advantage for auditors at all stages of their careers, including chief audit executives, audit managers, audit staff, and risk management staff, as well as students enrolled in an accounting or other business or financial degree program.

Is CIA certification worth it?

There are many reasons to become a Certified Internal Auditor® (CIA®). Earning your CIA certification opens you up to a world of opportunities within the internal auditing profession

Ultimately, earning your CIA certification will:

How Much Can I Earn With CIA Certification?

That’s a good question—and the answer depends on the job title and position.

Here’s what salary tracker Payscale reports for auditor positions:

Median Salary by Job – Certification: Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) (United States)Median Salary by Job

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How Do I Earn CIA Certification?

Administered by IIA, the CIA program has specific education and experience requirements that you must meet, in addition to passing the CIA exam, to earn your certification.

Educational Requirements
You must have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from an accredited university. This requirement can be partially or fully waived with two to seven years of professional experience in internal audit.

Experience Requirements
Candidates must accumulate and verify (via your employer) two years of internal audit experience. Related professions, such as external audit, internal control, compliance, and quality assurance can also be accepted. A master’s degree in a relevant field can substitute for one year of work experience.

What Is The CIA Exam?

Similar to other accounting designations such as the CPA and CMA, the CIA exam is 100% computerized. Candidates take the exam in the 500+ Pearson VUE centers around the world. The registration and tracking of candidates’ process is done via the CCMS system.

The CIA exam is offered in 16 languages, including: Arabic, Chinese (traditional), English, French, German, Hebrew, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Thai.

The CIA exam consists of three parts:

       Part 1: Internal Audit Basics
       Part 2: Internal Audit Practice
       Part 3: Internal Audit Knowledge Elements

For those who are not eligible for the “full” CIA exam, they can go through the specialization exam, which has a lower barrier of entry in terms of eligibility requirements.

What Is The CIA Exam Pass Rate?

IIA no longer discloses pass rates. However, roughly speaking, the pass rate for the CIA exam is on par with the CPA exam, as an estimated 45%-50% of candidates pass.

Which Part of the CIA Exam Should I Take First?

According to the IIA you should start with Part I or II if you have a couple of years of professional experience and are familiar with the process of an internal audit engagement as well as the International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF), also known as the Standards.

Start with Part III if you have recently completed post-secondary coursework or another professional exam with similar finance and information technology content, such as the CPA or CISA exam. You should consider a specialty exam if specific expertise in a field such as finance, government audit, or risk and control.

How Much Does the CIA Program Cost?

IIA Member Non-IIA Member Student
Membership Fees $240 $0 $35
Application Fees $100 $200 $50
Exam Fees
Part 1 $250 $350 $200
Part 2 $200 $300 $150
Part 3 $200 $300 $150
TOTAL $990 $1,150 $585