Certified Management Accountant Salary in the USA

certified management accountant salary

Ever wonder what the average CMA salary in the USA is?

If you’re interested in furthering your career in finance and accounting then it’s completely understandable that you would want to know your earning potential.

If you live and work in the United States, I bet you wonder what your annual Certified Management Accountant salary could be.

Read on to learn all the details from the latest 2019 USA CMA Salary Survey.

IMA’s Certified Management Accountant Salary Survey

This year marks the fifth annual Certified Management Accountant salary survey provided by the IMA. In addition to breaking down information by region, they also offer a global salary survey (check that out here!).

For the purposes of this post we will be talking about the USA specific data only.

The IMA sent this survey to 22,453 IMA members located in the United States and received 1,638 usable responses.

Half of these usable respondents hold the CMA certification and it was found that they earn 31% more than those without the certification. Of the non-CMA respondents, 75% plan to pursue the CMA credential, showing just how influential others view this designation.

Similar to the last 2 years, 2019 saw a decline in overall salary and compensation. Compared to 2018, the median base salary decreased by 6.8% and median total compensation decreased by 9.7%.

But let’s talk numbers…

CMA Salary Compensation in the USA

Last year the overall median base salary in the U.S.was $94,000, and the overall median total compensation was $102,000, both of which represent decreases from the prior year ($100,850 and $113,000, respectively).

As of 2019, those numbers have dropped again slightly. This may be a result of the strained international relationships causing us to live in a period of uncertainty.

CMA vs CPA vs Non-Certified Professionals

It really pays to hold the CMA certification. It was found that respondents holding a CMA certification report a 31% higher median total compensation than those holding neither certification. Respondents holding only a CPA earn only 22% higher median total compensation than their non-certified peers.

Credit: https://www.imanet.org/

While it’s incredibly clear that having some certification is better than none, respondents were asked how the CMA certification impacted their career. We learned that 83% of those holding the CMA believe that their certification creates career opportunities, and that 76% feel it has strengthened their ability to move across all areas of the business.

So if you ever had any question over whether or not earning your CMA was worth it, the overwhelming majority believe it absolutely is worth your time!

Certified Management Accountant Salary by Industry

Your CMA Accounting salary is partly dependent upon the industry in which you work, but keep in mind that the following numbers are not represented equally.

CMAs with the highest median base salary were found in the manufacturing industry and made $100,000. Their median total compensation was $112,500. From the data collected it appears that these individuals receive more bonuses, profit sharing and/or overtime than other industries.


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As found in other years, CMAs working in the agricultural industry tend to earn the lowest median base salary and total compensation, bring in $84,500 and $87,000 respectively.

To get a visual on what you could earn by industry, below is a graph of CMA salary in the USA for other industries:

Credit: https://www.imanet.org/

CMA Salary in the USA by Region

In 2018, we saw a decrease in median base salary across all regions, however some states within the regions that experienced overall increases in compensation.

For example, in the Midwest region, Iowa experienced an increase in median base salary of 25% and an increase in median total compensation of 14%, and Missouri had increases of 22% and 14%, respectively.

To get a better idea of the kind of money you’d be earning as a full time CMA, let’s take a look at the average salary by region and state:

Credit: https://www.imanet.org/

Additional CMA Salary Compensation

It is pretty common for full time workers to earn additional compensation via profit sharing, bonuses or overtime.

The overall average of additional compensation decreased significantly last year; by 33%, in fact.

In 2017, the average additional compensation was $26,597, but for 2018 it was only $17,933. Clearly employers are looking for ways to reduce overall costs and lower the chance for earning additional compensation.

Gender Pay Differences

I am happy to report that the gender pay gap globally is virtually non-existent. Unfortunately, there is still a notable salary gap between women and men in the United States.

Last year women earned 88% median base salary and 85% median total compensation to that of their male counterparts. This is less than the gender pay gap we saw in 2017 so at least we are on the right track.

Here’s a more in depth look at the gender pay differences as it relates to age:

Credit: https://www.imanet.org/

The biggest take away from these numbers is that women tend to experience the largest pay gap when they are in higher management positions. These women earn a median base salary and total compensation that is only 74% of their male peers, which represents the largest pay gap by far.

Credit: https://www.imanet.org/

It’s true that there have been some interesting and impactful changes to Certified Management Accountant salaries both globally and directly in the United States. With the current wave of political change, we are seeing overall declines in compensation, but that doesn’t mean earning your CMA is not worth it.

In fact, it is well worth it because job satisfaction is high, not to mention more and more CMAs feel it has given them he ability to move between industries with ease.

If you are looking for a career that will allow you to continue learning and grow across industries then the CMA is right for you. It sure was for me. He CMA designation completely changed my life.

To learn more about this exciting career move, pop your questions in the comment below or check out how CMA Exam Academy can help you prepare for the CMA exam.

As always, thanks for reading.

certified management accountant salary


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  1. Pingback: Global Certified Management Accountant Salary - CMA Exam Academy

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