CMA Certification: Certified Management Accountant Benefits & Career Options

by Jennifer Smith, CPA, JD, CDEI | Oct 08, 2020
CMA Certification Career Options

CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) is a world-recognized financial accounting and strategic management certification, with a focus on planning, analysis, control, and decision support. The CMA certification is awarded by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA), a division of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). As a global designation, the CMA certification is recognized in over 140 countries.

The CMA is a valuable certification adding management skills to financial accounting proficiency. Certified Management Accountants gain both intrinsic and extrinsic benefits in terms of increased salary and improved job opportunities, as well as a sense of professionalism and confidence.

What Are the Career Options for CMAs?

CMAs (Certified Management Accountants) have a wide range of career options, and professionals with CMA certifications are necessary in both public and private companies and organizations, including government agencies.

Given the desired nature of their abilities and expertise, CMAs are in demand in a variety of industries. These industries can include finance, manufacturing, insurance, real estate, communications, medical and health services, educational services, government services, and more.

A CMA’s unique qualifications allow them to specialize in a number of different positions within these industries. There are numerous roles CMAs can specialize in, including (but certainly not limited to):

  • Financial reporting
  • Cost management
  • Performance management
  • Profitability analysis
  • Investment decisions
  • Internal controls
  • Financial reporting
  • Planning and budgeting

Eventually, CMAs may move into executive positions like controller, vice president of finance, chief financial officer, or chief executive officer

What Are the Benefits of a CMA Certification?

There are numerous professional benefits to being a Certified Management Accountant. The CMA certification positions CMAs for more opportunities within their organizations, and it helps professionals acquire new skills, including strategic insight. When comparing individuals with a CMA certification with those without a CMA certification, CMAs typically advance higher, faster.

As listed above, CMAs have a large amount of potential career opportunities. If you’re pursuing your education and still aren’t sure what career is right for you, a CMA certification may be the right choice since CMAs have a vast amount of career choices in a large number of fields. Along with that, CMAs are also seen as having greater credibility as strategic advisors and accounting professionals, and for this reason CMAs also make good consultants.

CMA Salary

Of course, another benefit of having a CMA certification is a higher salary. According to surveys from the Institute of Management Accountants, CMAs’ salaries are 31% greater than their non-certified peers in the U.S. and 61% greater globally. The IMA also published these highlights from their survey:

  • Globally, the median total compensation is 63% higher for CMAs over non-CMAs.
  • CMAs of all ages earn more than non-CMAs. Those aged 20-29 receive a median salary 33-34% greater than their non-CMA peers.
  • 77% of survey respondents agree that the CMA strengthens their job security and 82% believe it strengthens their ability to move across all areas of the business.

CMA Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

The CMA certification helps professionals and their organizations become more competitive, and it positions CMAs for more opportunities within their organization. The CMA helps professionals do this by passing the rigorous two-part CMA exam as well as having the required work experience in addition to Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements to be fulfill each year. Having these requirements in place challenges CMAs to keep up with the latest developments in the accounting and finance fields and have the tools they need to advance to the next level in their organizations.

WebCE is approved by the Institute of Management Accountants to offer continuing professional education courses for CMA (Certified Management Accountant) certification holders. Our CMA CPE catalog includes a variety of course topics to help you update your knowledge and skills throughout your career. 

CMA CPE Catalog CMA CPE Requirements