IMA?s 2021 Global Salary Survey Finds CMAs Weathering the Pandemic, Median Compensation 58% More Than Non-CMAs

Giuseppe Barone
(201) 474-1681

Taylor Fenske
Stern Strategy Group
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Montvale, N.J., March 1, 2021IMA's® (Institute of Management Accountants) 2021 Global Salary Survey released today shows that globally, CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) professionals’ total median compensation is 58% higher than non-CMAs. The results of the survey were featured in the cover story of the March issue of IMA’s Strategic Finance magazine.

Globally, the difference in median total compensation between CMAs and non-CMAs is $29,000, which corresponds to median total compensation. The difference in median compensation varies greatly by region. Respondents from the Americas region revealed that CMAs earn 22% more in median salary and 25% more in median total compensation than non-CMAs. These respondents reported the highest median salary and total compensation figures, earning $103,000 and $115,000, respectively, compared to other regions.

CMAs were slightly less likely to have experienced a salary cut than non-CMAs (35% vs. 38%) across all regions. Less likely to have a salary decrease were those who strongly agreed their job impacts the strategic direction of the company, those who reported their total compensation package being very competitive with that of their peers, and those who said they love their job.

“We have always known the CMA certification has a positive impact on compensation and job security,” said Kip Krumwiede, Ph.D., CMA, CSCA, CPA, director of research at IMA. “This year is especially encouraging as CMA holders have been generally better off in maintaining both their jobs and compensation levels during the pandemic than those without the CMA.”

CMAs Less Impacted by COVID-19

Comparing the impact of COVID-19 on CMAs versus non-CMAs, CMAs were more likely to say their job had not been impacted by COVID-19 than non-CMAs (33% vs. 21%), and less likely to be making a career change due to COVID-19 (9% vs. 21%). 

Better Career Opportunities

Those holding CMAs are more likely to hold upper management job titles compared to non-CMAs, including directors (73%), CFOs (72%), and finance managers (66%). With CMAs becoming leaders in their companies, 85% of all respondents said the CMA gives them more confidence to perform their jobs at a high level and strengthens their ability to move across all areas of the business.

IMA's Global Salary Survey was authored by Shannon Charles, Ph.D., CPA, and Krumwiede. It includes responses from 3,085 IMA members across 79 countries, with 44% female and 55% male (and 1% preferring not to disclose) respondents. 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® 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. Twice named Professional Body of the Year by The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin, 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