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Around the World, CMA Certification Pays

IMA’s Global Salary Survey reveals some great news: professionals with the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification earn 62% more in median salary and 67% more in median total compensation than non-CMAs. That’s an increase from last year’s report, which found CMAs earned 45% more in median salary.

“The results of the survey suggest those who earn the CMA certification continue to reap the benefits of it,” said Kip Krumwiede, CMA, CPA, Ph.D., director of research at IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants). “Employers are willing to pay more for those with skills like risk management, strategic planning, and decision analysis that CMAs bring to an organization.”

This is especially true for young accountants. CMAs in their 30s earn a 71% higher base salary and 74% more in total compensation when compared to their noncertified peers.

Based on responses from nearly 2,500 respondents across 62 countries, the survey also finds the CMA enables growth and flexibility in one’s career path. For example, more than 80% of finance professionals believe the CMA creates career opportunities and strengthens their ability to move across all areas of the business. Further, 75% of the respondents currently pursuing the CMA cite “career advancement” as the primary reason.

U.S. Results
U.S. respondents with CMA certification have a 47% higher median total compensation than those without any certification, compared to 28% in 2016. The U.S. respondents also show higher confidence that their CMA certification will create better career opportunities than the overall global respondents.

Respondents in the U.S. also describe being more satisfied with their jobs, reporting a 64% satisfaction rate compared to 58% globally. In particular, women tend to be more satisfied with their jobs and salaries than men, despite a persistent wage gap.

Gender Pay Gap
In the last year, the global gender pay gap improved slightly, especially among mid–level professionals. The gap in median total compensation for those in their 30s and 40s improved the most of any age group, increasing from 84% to 95% and from 87% to 91% of men’s salaries, respectively.

“Each year we hope to see some improvement in the pay gap between men and women,” Krumwiede said. “It improved modestly from last year, now sitting at 90% in both median base salary and in total compensation. This marks the second year in a row that we have seen the global gender wage gap decrease.”

The Middle East/Africa is the only region that includes age groups where women’s median compensation salaries exceed that of men’s. Women in their 20s earn 131% compared to men, while the median compensation for women in their 40s is 137% of that of their male counterparts.

The Global Salary Survey, authored by Shannon Charles, CPA, is the cover story of this month’s edition of Strategic Finance, the award-winning flagship publication of IMA. The global and U.S. data is available on IMA’s website – www.imanet.org/salary_survey – where additional regional reports will soon be available.