Definition of Chartered Market Technician (CMT)


What is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT)?

A Chartered Market Technician (CMT®) is a professional technical analyst holding the CMT designation organized by the CMT Association (formerly MTA), a global accreditation body with nearly 50 years of service to the financial industry. The CMT marks the highest level of training within the discipline and is the preeminent designation for professionals around the world.

Technical analysis provides the tools to successfully navigate the gap between intrinsic value and market price across all asset classes through a disciplined and systematic approach to market behavior and the law of supply and demand. Earning the CMT designation demonstrates that you have mastered a basic body of knowledge about investment risk in portfolio management, including quantitative approaches to market research and the design and testing of rules-based trading systems.

Key takeaways

  • The Chartered Market Technician (CMT®) designation is a professional credential earned by those who demonstrate extensive knowledge and aptitude in the field of technical analysis and trading.
  • To earn the designation, candidates must complete an intensive self-study program and pass a series of three comprehensive exams.
  • Administered by the CMT Association, this program aims not only to develop technical and professional skills, but also to provide a code of ethics and an ethical framework to work with.

Understanding a Chartered Market Technician (CMT)

To earn a Chartered Market Technician (CMT®) designation, a candidate must pass three levels of examination, complete the membership application process, and accept the CMT Association’s code of ethics.

To register for the CMT Program, individuals must first join the CMT Association as an affiliate member and then enroll in the CMT program. After enrolling in the program, candidates can pay and register for their first exam. All three levels of the CMT program exams are given on a computer in the testing facility.

Among industry professionals, the CMT designation is widely considered the gold standard in technical analysis globally.

The CMT exams

The purpose of the CMT Program is to promote the development of the candidate’s professional knowledge regarding the study and application of technical analysis. The CMT program is self-study. The curriculum is available through Wiley: Efficient Learning.

CMT Level I

The CMT Level I exam measures entry-level basic proficiency and understanding of technical analysis. The Level I candidate should have a working knowledge of the basic tools of a technical analyst. Once the first level is successfully completed, there is no time limit to pass subsequent levels. The CMT website states that the Level 1 exam measures basic entry-level competence and understanding; the candidate should have a working knowledge of the basic tools of the technical analyst:

Registration costs for CMT Level I are as follows: for early registration, the cost is $ 295 for members and $ 470 for non-members; for standard registration, the cost is $ 395 for members and $ 570 for non-members, and for late registration, the cost is $ 595 for members and $ 770 for non-members.

Thematic areas of CMT level I
Content areas Percent
Theory and History 9%
Markets 5%
Market indicators 7%
Graphics construction 5%
Trend analysis sixteen%
Chart and pattern analysis 2. 3%
Confirmation 3%
Cycles 5%
Selection and decision making 13%
System test 5%
Statistic analysis 6%
Ethics 3%
Total 100%
Thematic areas of CMT level I

CMT Level II

The CMT Level II exam requires the candidate to demonstrate a greater depth of analysis and use of technical tools. The Level II candidate is expected to demonstrate proficiency in the application of more advanced analytical techniques and theory of technical analysis. The MTA website states that the Level 2 exam requires the candidate to demonstrate a greater depth of analysis and use of technical tools. Candidates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in more advanced analytical techniques and theory of technical analysis.

The CMT program is self-study, so be sure to follow the required readings for each level. You cannot choose to write both the research paper and the exam, you must choose one. If you choose to write a research paper, you must demonstrate your ability to integrate what you have learned in levels 1 and 2 with the analysis of real data. If approved by the MTA Accreditation Committee peer review panel that reviews your paper, your paper could be published in the MTA Journal of Technical Analysis.

CMT Level II subject areas
Content area Percent
Theory and History 3%
Market indicators 5%
Building 1%
Trend analysis twenty%
Chart and pattern analysis 2. 3%
Confirmation fifteen%
Cycles 3%
Selection and decision 17%
Money management system test 10%
Ethics 3%
Total 100%
CMT Level II subject areas

CMT Level III

The CMT Level III exam assesses the candidate on developing logical and consistent research opinions, portfolio strategies, and business decisions based on a wide range of charts and technical data. The Level III candidate is asked to analyze case studies, make recommendations, and justify those recommendations based on the data provided.

All candidates must pass the ethics portion of this exam. Upon successful completion of Level III, candidates can begin the membership process to earn the Chartered Market Technician® designation. The MTA website states that the Level 3 exam requires the candidate to analyze case studies and make and justify recommendations based on the data provided. The main focus of the exam is the practical and ethical application and integration of technical analysis.

CMT Level III subject areas
Content areas Percent
Ethics 5%
Risk management twenty-one%
Asset relationships 18%
Portfolio management 18%
Behavioral finance 10%
Volatility analysis 7%
Classical methods twenty-one%
Total 100%
CMT Level III subject areas

Additional CMT Association membership requirements

In addition to the requirements listed above (passing three levels of exam), completing the membership application process, and accepting the CMT Association’s code of ethics, candidates must obtain at least three CMT Charterholder references that can speak to the knowledge, the skill, and ability in the field of technical analysis.

During the referral phase, also known as the “sponsorship” phase, CMT candidates will offer their original research to different CMT Charterholders within the Technical Analysis community for sponsorship in the CMT Association. CMT Charterholders will review the CMT candidate’s original technical analysis research and make a determination through a sponsorship request to support an individual’s candidacy.

As of January 2019, the CMT Association has discontinued its membership requirement for CMT exam candidates. You can still choose to become an Affiliate Member before enrolling in the CMT Program, but it is no longer required. However, the pricing for member exams differs from non-member pricing.

Additionally, CMT candidates must complete at least three years of professional work experience practicing technical analysis in their position.

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  1. CMT Association. “CMT Level 1“. Accessed July 21, 2021.

  2. CMT Association. “CMT Level II. “Accessed July 21, 2021.

  3. CMT Association. “CMT Level III. “Accessed July 20, 2021.

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