What Do You Need to Study to Become an Anti-Money Laundering Specialist?

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An Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (AML specialist) is a professional who is committed to a financial system in protecting it against money laundering. An AML specialist is also responsible for looking out for, scrutinizing, and reporting any kind of financial transactions that are deemed suspicious. 

Unlike a Money Market Analyst, the AML specialist is a smaller group of 20k individuals across the globe. To be eligible to be such a specialist, one must clear the certification- Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS). But this certification course is the last lap of a series of academic and certification courses. 

Academic qualifications

The suitable academic qualifications include a bachelor’s degree preferably in finance-related subjects, maths, etc. It also requires you to have a specific number of credits for a bachelor’s degree, coursework during college, professional experience, and additional points for completing other related certification courses before getting eligible for the CAMS course. Each certification course carries separate credit points. 

For the CAMS eligibility, you must have at least 40 credit points. With multiple options, aspirants could comfortably compile the necessary points. Several certification courses carry a significant number of points so choosing them carefully will earn you enough points. 

Certification courses

One of the most important certification courses for CAMS eligibility is CIBOP. The Certified Investment Banking Operations Professional course serves as the stepping stone towards being an AML specialist. 

Such courses for investment banking are conducted by experienced professionals. Most of the curriculum covered here has a global outlook so further upskilling in related fields will be easier for the candidates. Other certification courses to look forward to are CPP, CPA, and CPE. 

Personal and professional skills

Apart from the academic qualifications, the candidates should also have certain personal skills to excel in the job profile. In many cases, the anti-money laundering specialist could very well be an entry-level job. To climb the corporate ladder from there onwards, these personal, as well as professional skills, will be highly important. Some of the basic skills required here are, 

  • Experience in financial management, investment banking, AML banking, etc. This is one of the reasons why Investment banking courses are popular. 
  • One must have strong communication skills verbally, and interpersonally. 
  • Having analytical skills makes their job easier and problem-solving skills will be an added advantage. 
  • One of the most significant added skills would be a thorough knowledge of the AML data vendors. You need to have a clear understanding of the value and structure of the data provided. 

Significance of CAMS

AML specialist is a challenging career where you need to be constantly aware of the trends in the financial world so that you know where to look for what. CAMS is a global certificate so the curriculum is also going to be highly challenging. The standard of this certification is regularly raised so one must keep up with the current financial affairs and regulations. 

At the same time, you can complete other certification courses to prepare yourself for the bigger league by understanding the field and getting more experience in your profession before you make the big leap. 

Courses such as the CIBOP are ideal for knowledge up-gradation and getting ideal job profiles for professional experience. 


Though CIBOP is quite suitable for newcomers, they can choose the various investment banking courses or other kinds of banking courses before heading towards other specialist courses. This way they can become more authoritative with their decisions in their further career options.  

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