What is the potential salary boost from earning your CMA? To help answer this, we looked at the IMA’s 2020 Global Salary Survey of over 4,000 CMAs from 80 countries to see how age, experience level, and location can influence how much you can earn once you get your CMA certification. With CMA salaries increasing, there is no better time to discover how passing the CMA exam could change your career trajectory. Read on to see what your CMA salary could be based on your age, location, industry, experience level, and other factors.
The United States of America and Canada, also known as the Americas, has some of the highest salaries of anywhere in the world for CMAs. According to the IMA’s 2020 Global Salary Survey, in those countries, CMAs can make approximately $30,000 more versus their non-CMA counterparts, with CMAs making an estimated $115,000 and non-CMAs making only around $87,000. A 32% increase! That’s money you could be missing out on by putting off getting your CMA certification.
Plus, as a CMA, you don’t just start with a higher salary, you keep getting higher salaries. In the Americas, 67% of CMAs received a raise of roughly 4.4% within the last year, showing that while other industries are tightening budgets, those with their CMA demonstrate strong earnings power and are in high demand.
In addition, the IMA study reported that those with a CMA earn 36% more than those who don’t have a CMA certification, while those with a CPA earn 29% more than those without one—showing the strong earnings power that your CMA could give you. There is no better time to get your CMA. We do note that the CPA and CMA are excellent complementary certificates as those holding both a CMA and a CPA certification earn 55% more tha n those without them.
Overall, now is great time to start down the path to get your CMA so you can expand your earnings power, position yourself for new opportunities and promotions, and future proof your career with strong accounting and finance capabilities. Read on to see how factors like age, education level, location, and more affect salaries of CMAs.
Looking at the breakdown of age, gender, and degree level from the IMA’s 2020 U.S. Salary Survey can help calibrate what you could expect from earning your CMA.
The table below illustrates the U.S. Demographic Data for 2018 and 2019.
Just as different demographics earn different amounts, salaries also vary by geographical region. Below is a breakdown from the IMA of the median total compensation for different regions for those with their CMA.
|West Coast Region||$109,000|
Additionally, as with almost any field, your level of education can determine how much you earn—with higher degrees and certifications paying out more over time. These degrees can mean earning thousands more over your lifetime. See the table below to see how your level of education could impact your earning potential.
|Base Salary ($)||Total Compensation ($)|
|Master’s Degree||10 6,735||117,800|
Whether you get a CMA or CPA certification—or both—according to IMA’s U.S. survey, compensation continues to increase when an individual holds a CMA, CPA, or both. Those holding both earn roughly 76% more than those holding neither certification, showing how employers value and are willing to compensate those who seek out these certifications.
However, as the table below highlights, those with CMAs tend to make more than those with CPAs only—sometimes earning over $16,000 more.
|Age Range||No CMA nor CPA ($)||CMA only ($)||CPA only ($)||Both CMA and CPA ($)|
|50 and Older||106,000||133,660||129,816||145,000|
“Employers are looking for either a CPA or CMA certification for higher-level positions, so having the CMA has given me the opportunity to reach for opportunities that help me grow as a professional.”
— A CFO in Missouri
“From the moment I started studying, I was gaining usable knowledge, skills, and abilities in my daily work. It also provided me with insight into what matters to decision makers. It resulted in a substantial raise and opened up multiple job offers. It also differentiates me as a leader in business, a partner in strategy, and a trusted advisor.”
— A plant controller in Idaho
Pay differences can also arise between genders and based on candidates’ ages. According to IMA’s survey, in the US and Canada, a gender pay gap exists such that women reported earning only about 86% of what their male counterparts do.
When it comes to age, salaries for CMA increased with age. The table below indicates average compensation by age and gender.
Table: Compensation by Gender and Age
|Age Range||Men’s Total Compensation ($)||Women’s Total Compensation ($)|
|50 and Older||144,750||110,000|
As with other criteria, the industry you work in once obtaining your CMA certification can also determine how much your salary could be. For example, those working as CMAs in the information technology field made more than CMAs in other industries in 2019—averaging $116,250 in median total compensation, according to IMA’s U.S. survey.
|Industry||Total Compensation ($)|
|Finance, insurance, Real Estate||113,500|
|Wholesale and Retail Trade||110,000|
|Transportation, Communications, Utility Services||106,969|
According to IMA’s research, the median salary for CMAs increases as the number of years of experience increases—with the largest increase being seen for those with around 11 to 15 years of experience. However, when it comes to adding in additional compensation, salaries reach their peak levels for those with 16 to 20 years of experience.
|Years in Field||Base Salary ($)||Total Compensation ($)|
|31 and Older||130,000||141,023|
As you can see, there are many factors that impact what you can earn with a CMA certification. Read on for salary information for other areas of the world.
While the Americas have a drastic pay difference for those with CMA certifications versus those without, Asia’s salary numbers are slightly more moderate, with CMAs earning only about $7,000 more than those who do not have their CMA, according to IMA’s Global survey. However, as with the Americas, this is also almost an additional 32% salary increase, which can add up significantly over time, since CMAs earn about $29,000 a year and non-CMAs earn closer to $22,000. Falling right in line with those numbers is China, whose median compensation is $25,000.
In the IMA’s 2020 China Salary Survey, the Asia region had the highest percentage of female respondents. However, gender pay gap issues exist in the Asia sector as well, with women earning anywhere from 69-80% of what men do. Age also affects that statistic, with older women aged 40-49 earning less than younger women. The sooner you can get a jumpstart on your CMA, the more time you have for the CMA to help boost your future earnings and career outlook.
Take a look at the table below to see how total compensation differs for those in China based on age.
Source: IMA’s 2020 China Salary Survey
Additionally in the Asia region, the average total compensation for 2019 was $36,812, meaning that those with CMA certification earned about 26% more in total compensation compared to those without a degree, showing how valued these skills are in this market. In China specifically, as seen in the table below, compensation is significantly higher for those who hold CMAs versus those who do not, showing once again that CMAs are outpacing those without certifications.
Source: IMA’s 2020 China Salary Survey
Education level also plays a role in CMA salaries in the Asia region, with those with higher degrees also earning more than their counterparts. For instance, those in China with higher degrees earn much more than those without advanced degrees—sometimes up to double what those without a baccalaureate degree make. Thus, education level can become a huge factor in how much you can make, so it’s optimal to get advanced degrees in order to gain the highest salary boosts.
Source: IMA’s 2020 China Salary Survey
As in the Americas, the Asia region CMA salaries vary greatly based on what industry the individual is employed in, with those in the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate category earning the most in total median compensation. The numbers below from China outline what different industries in that region pay and highlight the varying amounts that can be made depending on where your interest lies.
Source: IMA’s 2020 China Salary Survey
As with other regions around the world, the IMA Global Survey found that CMAs in Europe make more money than those without CMA certifications—coming in second only to the amounts made in the Americas. According to the Global survey, CMAs in Europe make roughly $84,000 compared to the estimated $60,000 that non-CMAs pull in each year, making this a valuable certification to obtain in order to advance through the ranks.
Europe also has the highest percentage of compensation coming from base salary (92%), where additional compensation, such as bonuses and overtime, may not be as prevalent.
Similar to other regions, women in Europe earn roughly around 80% of what male CMA counterpoints make. However, that number goes down after the age of 29. Thus, it’s better to get your CMA certification as early as you can to ensure the highest possible salary.
In Europe, CMAs earn a median salary that is 32% higher compared to non-CMAs. Based on these results, employers continue to place a high value on the set of skills represented by the CMA certification.
One of the highest percentage of respondents receiving raises was in Europe (57%).
As with all other regions, the IMA Global survey noted that CMAs in the Middle East, Africa, and India also earn more than non-CMA certified colleagues, with CMAs earning around $36,000 and non-CMAs earning closer to $19,000. Of all the regions, this one has the largest percentage gap between the two groups in terms of pay. However, that salary can also vary largely based on country, so below is a breakdown of average median compensation for CMAs in each of the following countries:
|Countries||CMA Salary ($)|
CMAs in this region earn more than non-CMAs when it comes to median compensation levels—with CMAs earning thousands more than those without the certification—sometimes more than double what non-CMAs are making. See the table below to see just how much more you could earn with your CMA.
|Compensation by CMA Designation|
|Salary ($)||Total Compensation ($)||Salary ($)||Total Compensation ($)|
As with other regions, gender and age also play a role here. According to IMA’s 2020 Middle East/Africa/India Salary Survey, unlike all other regions, for women 20-29 in the Middle East, Africa, and India, women actually earn more than their male counterparts. However, that does not stay true for any other age group, with women earning less than men—usually less than the roughly 80% women in other regions make compared to their male counterparts.
|Mean CMA Salary by Age and Gender Range|
|Mean Salary ($)||Mean Salary ($)|
|50 or older||118,551||*|
Education continues to play a role in this region too. Nearly 100% of survey respondents in this region held a baccalaureate degree, and those with advanced degrees earned nearly 54% more than those without them. Thus, education level can have a massive impact on potential compensation and is a factor to consider with moving forward in your career.
|CMA Salary by Education|
|Mean Salary ($)||Mean Total Compensation ($)|
Additionally, the role you take on also impacts how much you could earn. Read on for details.
Anywhere you live in the world, besides coming with a higher salary, getting a CMA certification has other benefits too. For instance, the IMA survey found that 90% of CMAs stated getting the certification gave them more confidence to perform their job at a high level. Additionally, over 50% of CMAs across all regions said that getting their CMA certification created career opportunities for them and strengthened their ability to move across all areas of their business.
Moreover, CMAs around the world are satisfied with their job, with 74% of Americas respondents, 79% of Asia respondents, 74% of European respondents, and 75% of Middle East/Africa/India respondents reporting loving their job.
|My job impacts the strategic direction of the company.||73%||77%||77%||72%|
|I have appropriate information systems to do my job effectively||81%||76%||76%||81%|
|My total compensation package is competitive with that of my peers.||58%||65%||68%||53%|
|I love my job.||78%||71%||74%||73%|
More than this, roughly 80% of CMAs agreed that getting the certification opened career opportunities, strengthened their ability to move across all areas of the business, and gave them confidence to perform their job at a high level—not to mention they would recommend getting a CMA to a friend. And it’s not hard to see why when there are so many benefits—both monetary and non-monetary—that come with getting your CMA certification.
“Average” U.S. Salary Calculator
Use this easy chart to calculate what your salary might be.
|Advanced Degree? Yes Add $13,691|
|CMA Designation? Yes Add $19,031|
|CPA Designation? Yes Add $12,812|
|Estimated Salary Level|
Source: IMA’s 2020 U.S. Salary Survey
“[The] CMA certification allowed me to perform financial analytics at a higher level in my current position and made me qualify for higher-level jobs in the industry.”
— A senior government accountant in Virginia
“The CMA certification helps me be recognized for work quality and confidence. It also helps me stand out for job opportunities.”
— A controller in Wisconsin
There are a variety of industries you can work in once you get your CMA certification. The CMAs surveyed tend to work in the manufacturing industry (23.7%), finance (12.5%), and in wholesale and retail trade (8.7%), showing the wide range of possible careers for those holding a CMA certification. But those are just a few of many options.
Furthermore, when it comes to top management roles, the following jobs 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%). And while your salary will vary on the region, number of years experience, and other factors, it’s well worth it to get into these industries once you have your CMA certification because of the salary and benefits they bring with them.
Overall, getting your CMA certification can vastly increase your salary and comes with many additional benefits. So don’t wait to start your journey to CMA certification. Higher salaries, top management roles, and job satisfaction are just around the corner.
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