If you’re studying accounting or early in your career, you’re probably wondering where things will lead in 10 years. If you earn CPA certification, you’ll likely have jobs preparing and reporting data for audits, taxes, and financial statements.

But what if you want to interpret that data and recommend strategies? Or be a decision-maker? That’s when CMA certification can prove helpful and lucrative. Let’s explore what you can do with CMA certification… 

What You Can Do With CMA Certification

Everyone — including us — will tell you CMA certification leads to better job opportunities, but what exactly are these “better” opportunities?

The truth is, landing a job and moving up within a company is significantly easier with a CMA.

That’s because a CMA shows that you not only have knowledge about financial planning, cost management, and internal controls, but that you also know how to use that knowledge to support strategic decisions regarding corporate finance, risk management, and investments.

Some jobs require a CMA for advancement, but a lot of employers prefer a CMA for entry-level and mid-level positions,  too. Earning your CMA will help if any of the following positions interest you.

Financial Analyst

Avg. Annual Salary: $55,100

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These are your investment gurus. Where to invest? When to sell? Financial analysts analyze financial information and often specialize in knowing when to buy or sell investments.

While it is possible to land a job as an entry level or  junior financial analyst with only an undergraduate accounting degree, this is a very competitive industry. CMA certification is absolutely preferred to start and almost always required to advance.

Successful financial analysts with a CMA are more likely to be considered for advanced positions like portfolio manager, investment partner, or financial consultant.

Financial Planner

Avg. Annual Salary: $50,128

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Financial planners or financial advisers help clients manage their money. They work for insurance or finance companies to advise retail clients on how to plan for retirement, save for college, or make investments, and otherwise financially plan for the future.

Having CMA certification shows that you have knowledge and skills arounddeveloping financial strategies. It definitely helps when trying to get a job as a financial planner and move up in the industry.

Cost Accountant

Avg. Annual Salary: $50,899

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How do businesses cut costs while increasing profits? Why, with Cost accountants, of course.

Cost accountants analyze a business’s production costs to find ways to minimize financial waste and maximize profit.

CMA certification will make you a desirable job candidate because cost accounting is a type of management accounting. Advanced positions in this area that could require a CMA include senior cost accountant and financial controller (oh, look what’s next!).

Corporate Controller

Avg. Annual Salary: $74,032

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A corporate controller is also commonly known as the chief accounting officer. This position reports to the chief financial officer (or CFO) and is responsible for transforming data into information in the form of financial reports, income statements, and future earnings estimates.

A CMA is preferred for this position because the corporate controller often oversees other accountants, such as the accounting manager, cost accounting manager, and payroll manager.

This type of management position benefits from the knowledge provided from earning CMA certificaition.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Avg. Annual Salary: $117,840

Find CFO Jobs … but chances are you’re a little green for these gigs.

One big thing you can do with CMA certification is (eventually) become a CFO.

A CFO oversees financial reporting, company investments, financial forecasting, and makes the final call regarding major business decisions. It’s often a step just below or to the right of CEO of a company.

In order to reach high-level management positions in accounting, you must have a CMA or MBA –a CPA is often considered a plus, too.

Upper-management opportunities for corporate accountants include CFO, vice president of finance, and sometimes even CEO. But regardless of the job title, the skills and knowledge provided by earning your CMA are crucial for being a successful executive-level manager.

What Else Can You Do With CMA Certification?

Other positions that would benefit from having a CMA include a systems analyst, management consultant, business analyst, and many others.

After reviewing these potential career paths, it’s clear that earning CMA certification can help almost any accountant’s career. It give you the financial management knowledge essential for a variety of key jobs as well as the ability to move up the corporate ladder.