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IMA Annual Salary Survey Reveals Increase in Average Compensation for Management Accountants
June 05, 2012
Accountants’ average total compensation held steady in 2011, increasing 0.9 percent from $128,486 in 2010 to $129,591, according to IMA’s 23rd Annual Salary Survey, appearing in the June 2012 edition of Strategic Finance magazine. The survey contains a wealth of salary data broken down by compensation and degrees, organization structure, industry, household income, geography, and management level.
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Salary Increases in 2011
More respondents reported a salary increase in 2011 than in 2010, and the average amount of the increase received was greater. This year saw four percent more IMA members with a raise: 70 percent vs. 66 percent in 2010. The average amount for those receiving an increase was $6,135, which is better than the roughly $5,700 received during each of the last three years.
Benefits of Certification
The latest survey found that those with a credential such as IMA’s Certified Management Accountant (CMA®) or the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) enjoy significantly higher salaries, particularly in the 19-29 age group. Highlights include:
Average total compensation for those with a certification is $139,338, which is $33,411 more than for those without certification ($105,927)
Average total compensation increased by $3,643 from 2010 ($135,695) for certified respondents while decreasing by $3,011 (2.8 percent) for those who aren’t certified
Certified individuals who are 19-29 earn $15,696 more in salary and $20,612 more in total compensation than their noncertified peers
Accountants can also utilize the salary calculator featured on page 47 of the survey to benchmark their earnings against peers. The calculator provides accountants with an earnings estimate based on management level, number of years in the field and whether one holds any professional credentials.
Accountants in Northeast Highest Paid in U.S.
Accountants in the Northeast have the highest average salary in the 2011 survey, overtaking the Mid-Atlantic region, which had been the top for the two previous years. The Northeast region is also the only region where accountants’ salaries increased more than one percent – and it grew an amazing 21 percent in 2011.
See Table 11 on page 42 for a breakdown of average salaries in each region and state.
Outlook for the Future
Last year’s survey noted that the economic recovery was incomplete and that we couldn’t predict salary trajectories in the near- and long-term. That same observation seems appropriate this year, as the results remain mixed across the many categories.
Some bright areas include an increase in the number of members who individually reported getting a raise, an increase in the number of younger members who are certified, and the ongoing consistency that salaries increase with experience, certification and graduate degrees. Despite turmoil in the U.S. economy and around the world, the basic recipe seems to remain the same for accountants to position themselves for future salary gains.