Why Become a Certified Internal Auditor?

why become a certified internal auditor

If you are just entering the internal audit profession or are a seasoned internal auditor, you may be wondering, “Why should I become a certified internal auditor?” This is a great question to ask, and the answer can change your career for the better. Here are five advantages to earning the CIA certification.

The Top 5 Benefits of Becoming a Certified Internal Auditor

The CIA offers a variety of vocational, educational, and personal benefits. No matter where you are in your career, there are many ways the CIA certification can help you advance.

  1. Increased job opportunities and stability
  2. The Institute of Internal Auditors (The IIA) states that internal auditors have more opportunities for career advancement once they earn the CIA. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10% increase in demand for accountants, auditors, and financial specialists through the year 2026. To meet these demands, many organizations are developing mentoring programs and providing clear paths to promotions. According to Robert Half, the CIA is currently one of the most in-demand accounting certifications, and “internal auditor” is one of the roles most sought-after by professional organizations.

    Additionally, companies are working hard to retain the certified employees they already have. Almost across the board, organizations are making improvements to company culture by adding perks and fringe benefits, like free snacks, free or subsidized meals, subsidized gym memberships, casual dress codes, and regular social events to help recruit and retain those individuals in the most sought-after positions. Once you get certified, you will see that you can go further in your career at an accelerated pace and be more comfortable along the way.

  3. Increased earning potential
  4. The IIA reports that internal auditors can increase their earning potential by as much as 51% by becoming certified. On average, CIAs earn $38,000 more than non-certified auditors, and the 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide finds that financial professionals with certifications can earn starting salaries 15% higher than the market average. The recent hiring trends in accounting and finance appear to favor job candidates as firms across industries are increasing compensation. In fact, many companies are now offering salaries above market rates before even beginning negotiations in an effort to attract top talent. With the CIA, you can earn salaries like these:

Average Internal Auditor Salaries

Chief Audit Executive




Senior Auditor


Internal Auditor


  1. Increased benefits and incentives
  2. Having the CIA can not only help you secure a larger salary, it can also entice companies to sweeten the deal with bigger bonuses, additional perks, and more vacation time. If you are looking for a job, the CIA will help you secure competitive benefits and incentives. If you already have a job you love, earning the CIA may make you eligible to receive sizable bonuses or open other doors. Many organizations determine salary increases by merit calculation and bonuses by individual and company performance, and the CIA is a line item that weights the balance heavily in your favor.

    Common benefits include

    • Medical insurance
    • Dental insurance
    • Life insurance
    • Vision insurance
    • Accidental death and dismemberment insurance
    • Disability insurance
    • Employee assistance program
    • Reimbursement for tuition/professional certifications
    • Healthcare flexible spending account
    • Dependent-care flexible spending account

Common incentives include

    • Spot awards for individual or team achievement
    • Profit sharing
    • Retention bonuses
    • Stock options, restricted stock, or performance shares
    • Deferred compensation

  1. Increased knowledge and skill
  2. The process of becoming a CIA affords you an opportunity to expand the scope of your internal audit knowledge and skills. Studying for the CIA exam will deepen your understanding of the profession, and passing the exam will solidify your status as an internal auditing expert. Additionally, maintaining your CIA status requires you to complete continuing education, which will consistently expand your expertise and confirm your commitment to the profession. With your increased knowledge and skill, the quality of your professional performance will increase, and your confidence and competence will rise right along with it.

  3. Increased credibility and respect
  4. The letters “CIA” behind your name send a clear signal to your peers and business associates. Passing the CIA exam proves that you are an audit expert and can be trusted with significant responsibility. Certified internal auditors are part of an elite group of professionals, and you can join their ranks as soon as you meet the CIA requirements. When you earn the CIA, you earn a reputation for excellence.

The Top Exam Prep for Becoming a Certified Internal Auditor

Now that you know some of the benefits of becoming a CIA, you can start your journey toward certification. Taking the CIA exam is a large part of that process, and the best way to pass the exam is to prepare with the #1 CIA exam prep course. More CIA candidates turn to Gleim CIA Review to pass the CIA exam than any other provider. We provide candidates with the most comprehensive coverage and the best customer support available. To prove it, we’ve created this free CIA exam guide that can tell you everything you need to know about becoming a CIA. Access it for free today!