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IMA Salary Survey Affirms CMA as the Gold Standard Certification with Significant Earning Power

posted Jul 8, 2011, 5:27 PM by NC SDIMA   [ updated Jul 8, 2011, 5:35 PM ]
Montvale, N.J., June 16, 2011IMA®, the world’s leading and largest association focused exclusively on advancing the global management accounting profession, has published its 22nd Annual Salary Survey in the June 2011 issue of Strategic Finance magazine.

The survey findings reveal that accountants holding professional certification have greater earning power than those with no certification. In particular, the survey affirms the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) as the gold standard for management accountants with significant earning power. Major survey findings include:

  • The average total compensation for those holding the CMA certification is $131,395; 21 percent more than those without a certification  ($108,938). 

  • Overall, average salaries in 2010 increased slightly from $105,850 to $109,265—a 3.1 percent increase. Average total compensation increased $5,129 from $123,357 to $128,486—a 4.2 percent increase. 

  • Younger professionals, in the 19 to 29 age group, benefit from obtaining professional certifications, with CMAs earning 14 percent more than their noncertified peers. 

“Once again, IMA’s Salary Survey confirms the resiliency of the accounting profession in the face of challenging economic times,” said Jeff Thomson, CMA, IMA president and CEO. “As importantly, in addition to great career opportunities as the organization’s trusted business advisor, CMAs continue to see salary increases due to their certified competency in management accounting.”


IMA’s 22nd Annual Salary Survey was mailed to a random sample of 5,201 IMA members in early December 2010. The sample was designed to represent the IMA membership in the United States geographically. 


According to Mr. Thomson, IMA’s Middle East regional Salary Survey conducted last year indicated that CMAs earn one and one-half times more than noncertified professionals.


“We are pleased that accounting and finance professionals, from the U.S. and around the world, who have studied and tested to become CMAs command a significant salary premium for their competencies in financial planning and analysis, risk management and internal controls, and other value-adding areas of decision support,” added Dennis Whitney, CMA, CFM, IMA senior vice president of certification.


IMA’s 22nd Annual Salary Survey was conducted by David L. Schroeder, associate professor of information and decision sciences at Valparaiso University; Lee Schiffel, assistant professor of accounting at Valparaiso University; and Ken Smith, a senior lecturer in the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.


About IMA®

IMA®, the association for accountants and financial professionals in business, provides a forum for research, practice development, education, knowledge sharing, and advocacy of the highest ethical and best business practices.  With a network of more than 60,000 professionals, IMA provides best-in-class certification, the Certified Management Accountant (CMA®), for critical internal financial management responsibilities, including planning, budgeting, business reporting, decision analysis, and risk management. For more information about IMA, please visit www.imanet.org.