Each year the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) conducts a global salary survey to discover trends in compensation and other useful information for members. The IMA is the largest management accounting association in the world, and its certification branch, the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA), is responsible for the development, administration, and grading of the CMA exam.
Data from the IMA 2019 Global Salary Survey shows that the average Certified Management Acccountant (CMA) base salary in the Americas is $101,178 (compared to $54,401 globally). Only 37% of respondents this year hold the CMA, down 19% from last year, and the pool of respondents is much younger on average than in past surveys. This explains the slight drop in numbers across the board (CMAs and more experienced accountants earn higher salaries). But even if those figures are slightly suppressed by less experienced accountants, they are great news for anyone interested in the profession. Earning the CMA remains one of the best professional development options available to accountants, and the benefits extend beyond just a higher salary.
The median base salary for CMAs is $102,500 in the Americas and $65,000 globally. Among non-CMAs, median base salary is $80,000 in the Americas and $30,000 globally. All said, the average base CMA salary in the Americas is ~28% greater than that of a non-CMA, and the average CMA salary, globally, is ~117% greater than that of a non-CMA.
Getting your Certified Management Accountant certification is a fantastic way to make more money and get ahead. In addition to being one of the most profitable accounting certifications, the CMA gives you the opportunity for career advancement into senior management positions, like a CFO or controller.
Becoming a CMA comes with significant perks, and we’ll cover a range of advantages, starting with compensation. We’ll also provide some supporting statistics from IMA’s most recent Global Salary Survey, which draws insights from 5,208 total responses (twice the previous year’s count) from respondents in 78 countries.
CMA salary in the Americas
The median base salary for CMAs in the Americas is $102,500, and the median for non-CMAs is $80,000. This region continues to maintain the highest salaries overall by a large margin, but did experience a 10% decrease since last year. Median total compensation for CMAs in the Americas is as high as $115,000.
CMA salary in Asia
The median base salary for CMAs in Asia is $28,710, and the median for non-CMAs is $20,000. Asia has experienced relatively little change in compensation (a 5% decrease).
CMA salary in Europe
The median base salary for CMAs in Europe is $70,000, and the median for non-CMAs is $50,000. Of every region, Europe saw the largest increase (17.4%) in survey respondents age 20-29 this year.
CMA salary in the Middle East and Africa
The median base salary for CMAs in the Middle East and Africa is $30,000, and the median for non-CMAs is $12,250. The Middle East and Africa region saw the greatest decline in median earnings going into 2019, at 30%.
Compensation for CMAs has fluctuated over the past several years. Globally, average compensation has recently decreased, but it is important to remember a few things when looking at these numbers, including:
According to IMA’s most recent report, 85% of respondents who do not hold a CMA intend to earn the credentials in the near future. This is no surprise, given that CMAs make about 118% more in median total compensation than non-CMAs Additionally, professionals who hold both a CMA and CPA make more than professionals who hold only one certification.
About 60% of all CMAs report having received a raise within the last year. In the Americas, this percentage was highest, at 67%, and it was lowest in the Middle East and Africa, at about 49%. Globally, the median annual raise for CMAs has increased.
This past year, CMAs worldwide received about 84% of their total compensation via their base salary.
The remainder of their compensation came in the form of bonuses, profit sharing, overtime, and other means. About 63% of CMAs who responded to IMA’s 2019 Global Salary Survey reported receiving a bonus in 2018, while 13% received profit sharing, another 13% received overtime pay, and 26% received no additional payment.
In 2018, the salary gap between women’s and men’s compensation improved worldwide, and it should be noted that globally, the salary gap is nearly nonexistent. In the prior year, women’s base salaries and total compensation were both only 90% of men’s on average.
This is good news particularly for younger CMAs, because it shows that men and women who are beginning their careers are off to a level start. The gap in salaries is greater, however, among older CMAs, but it is not as wide as in previous years.
CMAs’ satisfaction with their role has increased since last year, and quite significantly. In 2018, 77% of CMAs reported some level of satisfaction, compared to only 58% the year before. Asia’s increase was the greatest overall. It should be noted that this increase in satisfaction occurred despite the fact that less than half of all respondents said that their salary was competitive.
In 2018, CMAs worked an average of 44.2 hours per week, nearly a whole hour less on average than in 2017. In the United States, work hours tend to be longest, coming in at around 46.1 hours on average. In China, CMAs work the shortest weeks on average (~42.3 hours), while also reporting the greatest amount of overtime pay.
In 2018, 78% of CMAs agreed that the CMA designation boosts their ability to move across all areas of the business, and more than 72% agreed that the CMA supports their job security in the Digital Age. The latter factor is growing in importance, as more and more workplace tasks are becoming automated or are performed by robots and other artificial intelligence.
This year more than three-fourths of CMAs (76%) agreed that the certification provides career opportunities. One respondent to IMA’s survey said, “The CMA certification has given an immense boost in my confidence level and the ability to make decisions. I was promoted from the position of an accountant to financial analyst in seven months and from a financial analyst to finance manager in another seven months.”
As in the past, career advancement was cited as the number one benefit of the CMA (among those who are pursuing the credential). From IMA’s survey responses, a financial reporting manager working in Qatar said, “I am pursuing CMA certification. I feel this is the perfect finance and accounting course to be part of modern business management and strategic partner of any organization.”
The CMA certification is more valuable than ever, and the sooner you decide to get it, the sooner you can begin earning more. Let’s look at what exactly makes it a desirable designation.
The smart route to earning your CMA, of course, is to use the best CMA review! Gleim CMA has been helping candidates pass for over 35 years, and our course has trained more CMAs than any other. When you get Gleim, you get everything you need to pass on the first try with confidence. Before you begin, though, you’ll want to know everything about the CMA exam, and you can find it all in our comprehensive (and free!) CMA Exam Guide.
*Each year, IMA surveys its members about their salaries. There are a few things you should know to properly understand the results of this survey: