Earning a CPA or CMA Earns You More

There’s nothing easy about the CPA exam. It requires hours of study – 400 minimum is recommended – and even then, the passing rate for all four parts hovers right around the 50% mark.

calculator accounting - blog.jpg

Having the Certified Public Accounting credential does open the door to a wider range of accounting jobs, but even so, it’s not a prerequisite. So the temptation can be great to bypass the investment of both time and money.

Now, a study by the Institute of Management Accountants, shows that the effort put into earning a CPA or the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation – or both – pays off handsomely.

“Consistently, holding some type of certification has a positive impact on compensation,” the IMA found.

How big an impact? Big, according to a survey the IMA conducted. For young accountants under 30 the median pay is $65,500. Add a CMA certification and median pay jumps to $80,000. The CPA bump is nearly identical at $79,925. For those holding both a CPA and a CMA, median pay came in at $97,250.

With more experience, the dollar differential is even more substantial. Median pay for a mid-career accountant without either a CMA or CPA is $101,500. With both, median pay jumps to $156,250.

“Overall, respondents holding only the CMA or the CPA earned 127% and 182% higher median additional compensation, respectively, above base salary compared to those holding neither certification,” the report notes.

CPA and CMA differential chart.png

“For all age groups, holding the CMA, the CPA or both certifications has an incremental, positive effect on median total compensation. This indicates that employers value employees for having the CMA, CPA, or both and are willing to compensate employees for holding these certifications.”

The report provides a rich array of other data about pay, including a section on gender pay differences. Comparing median base pay and total comp by gender and age, the report found women accountants of all ages earn 84% of what their male counterparts earn.

The differences are wider among older accountants, but the gender gap exists among even the youngest are groups. Women 20-29 years old earn a median total compensation that is 91% of the men in that age group.

Looking at it region by region, the IMA found women in the Northeast do better financially than the men. They earn 118% of what men earn in base pay and 105% in total comp.

Women though might want to avoid the Plains states. There the gender gap is the widest with women earning a mere 70% of what men are paid.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Leadership + Management Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto

Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend

Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving
General Interest Green Key News Leadership + Management Worklife

Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving

Green Key Unlocked: Behavioral Interviews in IT
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Behavioral Interviews in IT

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Stu Leifer
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Stu Leifer

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sam Jaberi
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sam Jaberi

Preparing for Different Types of Interviews
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Preparing for Different Types of Interviews

Benefits of Working Hybrid
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Benefits of Working Hybrid

Green Key Unlocked: How to Succeed in Desktop Support
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: How to Succeed in Desktop Support

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Andrew List
Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Andrew List

How to Improve Sleep Hygiene (For a Better Work-Life Balance)
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Worklife

How to Improve Sleep Hygiene (For a Better Work-Life Balance)

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Karlina Cordero
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Karlina Cordero

How to Ask for a Raise
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Ask for a Raise

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brittany Kinsella
General Interest Green Key News Leadership + Management Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brittany Kinsella

Green Key Unlocked: Why Green Key?
Accounting + Finance Architecture + Engineering Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Human Resources Information Technology Leadership + Management Legal Support Marketing Technology Pharma Professional Support Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Why Green Key?

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Samantha Leveille
Architecture + Engineering General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Samantha Leveille

How to Answer Salary Expectations
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Answer Salary Expectations

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sean Coyne
Architecture + Engineering General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sean Coyne

Questions to Ask During a Job Interview
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Questions to Ask During a Job Interview

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Angela Singh
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Angela Singh

Latest Blog Posts
View All Posts
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto

Anthony has been with Green Key for over eight years and has played an integral role in the success of...
Read More
Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend

Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend

This coming weekend may call for hearty food, crazy sales, and some quality down time to unwind. But while you're...
Read More
Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving

Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving approaches, we'd like to take the time to thank our amazing Green Key community! This includes all of...
Read More