The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation is granted by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and is the only globally recognized internal audit certification. Held by more than 160,000 professionals, this designation certifies the recipient’s knowledge and expertise in carrying out internal audits anywhere in the world.

Is CIA a good career path?

Earning this designation is a valuable accomplishment for any auditor, and it offers an income-boosting advantage in the workplace. In fact, professionals with this certification may see a median salary increase of $38,000 annually. Becoming a Certified Internal Auditor can help advance your knowledge, career opportunities and salary within the auditing world.

CIA job outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of auditing and accounting careers will add 139,900 jobs by 2026. 

Common CIA careers

Internal Audit Specialists

Internal audit specialists help protect a company and hold onto additional profit through finding and eliminating waste and fraud. This role involves the identification and rollout of systematic policies to evaluate and improve risk management, control and governance processes. The CIA certification is not required for this role, but it can advance career prospects and highlight your experience level.

Audit Manager

Audit managers are responsible for maintaining internal compliance, conducting risk assessments and creating plans to monitor annual auditing reports. While the CIA certification is not directly required for this role, larger companies often look for this designation when recruiting.  

Staff Internal Auditor

Staff internal auditors work in the full audit cycle, including risk management and financial processes to ensure compliance with industry and federal regulations. 

Senior Internal Auditor

Senior internal auditor job roles typically require at least two years of experience post-graduation and play a large role in the financial audit process. As a non-entry-level position, this role typically involves coaching and mentoring responsibilities alongside the standard analytic job duties.

Compliance Auditor

Compliance auditors work specifically in ensuring that a company is adhering to relevant federal and state regulations. This role manages compliance risk in order to protect the business, and it benefits from meticulous attention to detail and focused problem-solving skills.

Common CIA salary ranges in the United States

PositionLow-end salaryAverage salaryHigh-end salary
Internal Audit Specialist$64,500$82,250$96,800
Audit Manager$109,000$125,000$145,000
Staff Internal Auditor$53,000$58,000$64,000
Senior Auditor$77,000$86,000$94,000
Compliance Auditor$47,000$54,000$62,000

Salary information provided by and Glassdoor.

CIA vs. CPA salary

Certified Internal Auditors are internationally recognized, while CPA is a domestic designation. Certified Public Accountants (CPA) are also trained in auditing. Despite those differences, CIA salaries are similar to those of CPAs, with a median income of $60,000 for both. Salaries vary depending on geography and job title.