Considering becoming a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), but curious about the salary prospects? Take a look at our Certified Management Accountant Salary Guide to learn more.

What is a Certified Management Accountant?

The CMA certification is the leading advanced professional certification designed specifically for accounting and financial management professionals in business. This is a common certification for management accountants, crucial figures in the status and success of a company. Often CMAs’ work involves cost accounting, financial planning and management. 

Who may earn the CMA?

Education and experience requirements

Certified Management Accountants are required to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or have a professional accounting certification. In addition, they must have at least two years work experience. Additionally, candidates must have an active membership in the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

CMA exam requirements

CMA candidates must successfully complete both parts of the CMA exam:

  • Part 1 – Financial Reporting, Planning and Performance
  • Part 2 – Strategic Financial Management

Common CMA salary ranges in the United States

Certified Management Accountant levelSalary
Entry level$80,000
Mid level$81,000–$114,000

CMA vs. CPA salary

The certified management accountant credential is often juxtaposed with the certified public accountant (CPA) credential. While either credential can provide a career boost, the CMA and the CPA licenses are vastly different. The CMA exam is focused on higher-level decision-making skills specifically in corporate finance and managerial accounting, whereas the CPA exam requires a broader knowledge of many accounting and finance topics. The CPA credential is often earned before the CMA credential, because the CPA license requires only one year of work experience in accounting, rather than the two years working specifically in management accounting or financial management required for the CMA.

Some professionals choose to gain both the CPA and the CMA, affording them greater career opportunities and a higher salary range. According to IMA, professionals with both the CMA and CPA earn a median of 50% more than non-credentialed professionals in the same industry.