CMAs in the Americas Earn 32% More Than Non-CMAs, According to IMA?s 2020 Global Salary Survey

Giuseppe Barone
(201) 474-1681

Taylor Fenske
Stern Strategy Group
(908) 325-3866

Montvale, N.J., March 2, 2020 CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) professionals in the Americas earn 31% more in median salary and 32% more in median total compensation than non-CMAs, according to the IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) 2020 Global Salary Survey released today. The results of the survey were featured in cover story of the March issue of IMA’s Strategic Finance magazine.

Respondents from the U.S. reported the highest median salary and total compensation figures, earning $100,000 and $107,817, respectively. Accounting for all respondents across the globe, CMAs earn 60% more in median base salary and 63% more in median total compensation than non-CMAs.

“We have always known that the CMA provides versatility, security, and career advancement in the management accounting profession, and the results of this year’s survey are very encouraging,” said Kip Krumwiede, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, director of research at IMA. “To know that CMAs are experiencing the benefits of the certification is especially significant as the role of a management accountant has shifted considerably over the past few years.”

The survey includes responses from 4,253 IMA members across 80 different countries, with an even split between female and male respondents. The survey shows widespread agreement regarding the benefits of having a CMA certification, as more than 80% of respondents from the U.S. concur that the CMA creates additional career opportunities and gives them more confidence to perform their jobs at a high level. Further, more than 70% of respondents agree that the CMA strengthens their job security in the digital age and strengthens their ability to move across all areas of the business.

Certified Professionals in the U.S. Earn More

U.S. respondents that hold the CMA, CPA, or both certifications earn a higher median total compensation compared to those holding neither the CMA nor the CPA. Those holding strictly the CMA earn 36% higher median total compensation, while those holding only the CPA earn 29% higher median total compensation. For those who hold both certifications, median total compensation is 55% higher, an increase that is consistent across all age groups.

Better career opportunities

The survey results show that over 60% of CMAs feel the certification prepares them for a management-level position. Further, the majority of those respondents in top management and senior management are CMAs (62% and 61%, respectively). More specifically, the following job titles were more likely to be filled by CMAs than non-CMAs: CFO (67%), controller (59%), director of financial planning and analysis (63%), and senior financial analyst (66%). It is therefore not surprising that more than 90% of all CMAs said they would recommend the CMA to a friend.

“We are happy to see that with the shifting landscape of the management accountant profession, there are still high levels of satisfaction among accounting and finance professionals,” Krumwiede said. “Given that the CMA is correlated with certain qualities, like higher total compensation and greater advancement within a company, it’s understandable that CMAs would recommend the certification to their colleagues.”

IMA’s Global Salary Survey was authored by Shannon Charles, CPA, and includes only respondents who indicated that they were either full-time employees or self-employed. The global and U.S. data is available on IMA’s survey website where additional regional reports are forthcoming. 

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA®, named the 2017 and 2018 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) and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) programs, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 125,000 members in 150 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