Worldwide, Certified Management Accountants (CMAs) make $59,750 annually on average. The average CMA base salary in the Americas is $105,000. This is about $30,000 higher than the average salary for an accountant, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor.
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.
Certified Management Accountants specialize in managerial accounting. They provide the “why” behind the numbers, manage project proposals, and advise on the potential for future profits.
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Becoming a CMA advances your career by opening up new, upper-level positions. After all, making cost-minded decisions is a valuable asset in any industry.
Each year, Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) conducts a global salary survey to discover trends in compensation and other useful information for members. 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.
We’ve combed through the 2020 survey results and compiled the most important data for you to know.
The 2020 IMA Global Salary Survey collected data from over 4,000 IMA members in 80 different countries. This year, 47.6% of the responses come from China, 28.1% from the United States, 4% from the United Arab Emirates, and the remaining 20.3% were split among the remaining 77 countries.
The figure below from IMA represents the median income for countries with at least 1% of survey responses.
Across respondents, all sizes of organizations were represented equally. Respondents from organizations with 99 or fewer employees represent 24.2%, respondents from companies with 100 to 499 employees make up 25.7%, 27.3% are employed with organizations with 500 to 4,999 people, and 22.7% work for companies with 5,000 or more employees.
This reporting shows that CMAs are valued for their expertise in any size organization and at every level. Over 70% of respondents agree that achieving the CMA provides them with career opportunities.
CMAs ages 20-29 who also hold senior management positions reported earning 100% to 107% more than their uncertified peers in median salary and total compensation, respectively. This shows that even for younger accountants, the CMA is a worthy investment that not only increases earnings but provides opportunities for advancement. In fact, of the respondents who hold top management or senior management positions, a majority are CMAs.
CMAs are also more likely to hold specific prestigious positions such as CFO, Controller, Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, and Senior Financial Analyst. Over 60% of the respondents who held these positions were CMAs.
In the 2020 IMA Salary Report, 50% of all respondents were women. This is up by 10% compared to the 2019 report, leading to larger variations in the wage gap reported. The Americas remained mostly unchanged with a total salary gap of 86%. The Middle East/Africa/India region (MEAI) had the highest increase at 22%. However, Europe and Asia increased only slightly by 7% and 3%, respectively.
The good news is that younger accountants are continuing to start their careers on relatively equal footing regardless of gender, while the older age groups still show the highest disparities in pay. This is especially true in the MEAI region, where the total compensation for women was actually 62% higher than men in the 20-29 age group, while those ages 40-49 made 59% less than men.
With the recent spike of entry-level women CMAs, we can expect the gender wage gap to slowly decrease as they rise within their respective organizations.
Graph from IMA
Over the length of their careers, people holding only a CMA certification earn approximately 36% higher than the median income, those holding only a CPA certification earn 29% higher than the median income, and those holding both certifications earn 55% higher than the median income.
To learn more about combining a CMA and CPA certification, visit our accounting certifications resource page.
Graph from IMA
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Becoming a CMA not only offers great salary benefits, but also improves other aspects of your life and career. Do not underestimate the importance of these factors—your career is about more than how much you make.
The smartest route to earning your CMA, of course, is to use the best CMA review! Gleim CMA has been helping candidates pass for nearly 40 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.