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CMA Certified Professionals Earn 62 Percent More, According to IMA’s Global Salary Survey

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Marc Gerrone
(201) 474-1502

Taylor Fenske
Stern Strategy Group
(908) 325-3866

Montvale, N.J., March 1, 2018 – This year’s Global Salary Survey from IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) reveals that finance professionals with the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification earn 62 percent more in median salary and 67 percent more in median total compensation than non-CMAs. That is an increase from last year’s report, which found CMAs earned 45 percent 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. “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 have a 71 percent higher base salary, and a 74 percent more in total compensation when compared to their non-certified 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 percent of finance professionals believe the CMA creates career opportunities and strengthens their ability to move across all areas of the business. Further, 75 percent of the respondents currently pursuing the CMA cite “career advancement” as the primary reason.

U.S. respondents with CMA certification have a 47 percent higher median total compensation than those without any certification, compared to 28 percent 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 percent satisfaction rate compared to 58 percent 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 percent and from 87 to 91 percent 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 percent 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 percent compared to men, while the median compensation for women in their 40s is 137 percent 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 – – where additional regional reports are forthcoming.

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA®, named 2017 Professional Body of the Year by The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of about 100,000 members in 140 countries and 300 professional and student chapters Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Middle East/India. For more information about IMA, please visit
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