The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) salary totally compensates for CMA exam fees and the amount of money you’ll spend on the CMA certification. But, getting the CMA still requires you to make a significant financial investment. Therefore, you should consider the CMA exams fees so you can budget properly. So, let’s analyze the fees you must pay to become a CMA.
Becoming a CMA is a potential pathway to a great new career, or an opportunity to move up in your existing career. People who work in this profession and get their CMA certification will automatically earn more than those who do not. While it does require a monetary and time investment, the investment definitely pays for itself. That said, most people will still want to know what kind of fees they are looking at before they get into it.
I am going to cover all the potential CMA fees and the breakdown of them, as well as tell you some ways to save on them in order to keep your costs down. The first thing to look at is the base CMA fees. At the start of your CMA journey, you must pay 3 CMA exam fees. Please note that all amounts are in U.S. dollars.
You will be required to have a membership with the IMA. The IMA membership is an annual fee you must pay while you are pursuing the CMA. Then, once you earn the CMA designation, you must continue to pay the IMA membership fee to keep your CMA certification active.
The price of IMA membership varies depending on your professional status. For example, if you’re already a working professional, you would select the Professional Membership. Full-time faculty members at accredited institutions would qualify for Academic Memberships. And individuals enrolled in 6 or more credit hours of classes at a college or university should choose to become Student Members.
Therefore, you must select the membership type that is most relevant to you. The membership you choose will determine the pricing. Thankfully, they are not all that high (in comparison to other accounting membership fees). The Professional Membership option is the most expensive. In contrast, if you’re still a student, you will get a reduced rate.
Don’t let the cost of membership fees get you down because there are many benefits to your membership. Additionally, we also provide you with CMA discount codes to help you save even more on nearly all the CMA fees.
After paying your membership fee, you’ll also be required to pay a CMA entrance fee. The IMA membership does not include entrance into the CMA program, which is the route to becoming a CMA in the U.S. So, by paying the CMA entrance fee, you’ll be eligible to pursue the CMA certification.
Unlike the IMA membership fee, the CMA entrance fee is a one-time fee you’ll pay when you’re ready to become CMA certified. The CMA entrance fee ranges from $188 to $250 and also depends on the membership type. While the CMA entrance fee is required, it also provides you with benefits outside of entrance into the CMA program. In short, you’re not just paying a fee for the sake of paying a fee.
For Professional Members, the CMA entrance fee is $250. But Academic and Student members can pay a discounted price of just $188. A Student Member can enjoy this discount for up to 6 years as long as they continue to take at least 6 credit hours per semester.
The CMA entrance fee covers the following features and services:
Finally, there are CMA fees for taking the exam itself, as there are with other accounting exams and certifications. This is the fee you need to pay in order to sit for the exam. Consequently, once you pay the CMA examination fee, you’ll be able to register and reserve your spot.
Also, you must pay the CMA examination fee for each part of the CMA exam you take. The CMA exam has 2 parts, so you must pay the CMA examination fee at least twice. However, if you fail an exam part, you must pay this fee again. This is all the more reason why people try to pass on the first attempt.
The CMA examination fee is the same for both exam parts. Furthermore, the price of this fee also varies per membership type.
Clearly, being a Student or Academic member allows you to take the least expensive path to become a CMA. However, if you are a professional accountant, you are most likely making more money than a student, so it’s easier for your salary to offset these costs. When you look at it this way, you can see that it is just another investment into the career path you choose. There are costs involved in every profession, but getting certified as a CMA is going to help you make more money now and in the future.
|1. IMA Membership ||$39||$135|
|2. CMA Entrance||$188||$188||$250|
|3. Exam Registration|
1. The student discount is for current students only (defined as those who have taken at least 6 credit hours of courses in the past semester). Graduated students do not qualify.
2. There is an extra one-time $15 application fee for first-time registration.
Now that you know the basics, are there any other fees or exam costs you need to be aware of? There may be some “hidden” CMA exam costs and this is definitely something you want to know about in advance so you can prepare as much as possible.
After you pay the IMA’s CMA fees, you’ll need to account for a few other CMA expenses in order to pass the CMA exam.
The IMA does not supply study materials to candidates who enter the CMA program. So, your CMA exam preparation options include anything from free secondhand notes to expensive coaching classes. I generally recommend something in between — self-study review courses. These courses offer some of the best products from nationally renowned instructors, the flexibility of studying at home, and generally lower prices. The prices of the most popular CMA review courses range from about $600 to $1,800. However, you can actually save hundreds on your course by checking out my CMA discounts and promo codes.
If you’re lucky enough to have a Prometric testing center located within driving distance of your home, this cost is minimal. But there are candidates who must travel to a faraway city or even another country to sit for the exam. The farther you travel, the more you usually have to pay for airfare, additional transportation, accommodations, and food. So, if you’re in this situation, remember to take this cost into account. The good news is that the exam is offered all over the world, as there are nearly 200 CMA exam locations available.
As long as you would like your CMA certification to remain active, you must continue to pay for the annual IMA membership. Therefore, this fee will continue to be part of your CMA certification maintenance costs.
You also must meet the annual CMA CPE requirements. The IMA requires CMAs to earn 30 hours of continuing education (CPE) credits per year. To fulfill these requirements, you must pay for continuing education courses every year, which you can add to your CMA fees list as well.
Therefore, keeping your CMA certification active will cost you a few hundred dollars every 12 months. Consequently, you’ll need to have an active CMA certificate in order to hold yourself out as a CMA.
Now, if you’re looking for a way to save on the CMA exam fees and related costs, you’ve come to the right place. I realize how important the CMA is to professionals. Also, I know that saving money is a top concern for a lot of CMA candidates. This site is dedicated to helping you save money on the CMA exam and learn how to prepare for and pass the exam (hopefully on the first try).
I’ve already explained some of the ways you can save, like being a student or using the discount codes on this site. In addition, I highly recommend you follow our advice for study and review courses, so you can prepare with the best materials available. This greatly increases your chances of passing on the first try, thereby reducing your exam fees.
So, now that you know the basics about CMA fees, how do they measure up against other accounting certifications? We can take a look at some of the other popular accounting exams and their fees to get an idea of how the CMA compares.
The cost of taking the CMA exam falls somewhere between the costs of the CPA and CIA exams. And, the CMA exam costs fall well short of CFA exam expenses.
|Exam Fees Only||Exam Fee + Review Course|
Therefore, if money is one of many factors influencing your decision of which accounting certification to pursue, you can see that the CMA doesn’t ask as much of you financially as other accounting certifications. However, the accounting certification that will help you best meet your career goals is the one you should pursue, no matter the cost. Remember, the costs are always going to be worth it if they get you to your career goal.
One of the best ways to visualize how the CMA fees are an investment rather than a penalty is to look at the ways they will pay off throughout your career. The return on investment from this certification is more than reasonable when you see how much money you can make in this career.
Each year, the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) conducts a global salary survey to discover trends in compensation and other useful information for members. Data from the IMA 2019 Global Salary Survey shows that the average Certified Management Accountant (CMA) base salary in the Americas is $101,178. Therefore, your first-year salary can definitely cover the money you must expend to become a CMA.
To help you further visualize how much you must pay to become a CMA, I’ve created this video walk-through of the different layers of CMA fees.
Any way you look at it, CMA exam fees can be a bit pricey. However, you must remember 2 things as you’re pursuing the CMA. First, the CMA certification is more affordable than other qualifications like the CPA. And second, if you are pursuing a professional career in accounting and financial management, the certification will soon pay for itself and benefit you for a lifetime.
So, if you’re ready to move on with the CMA certification process, learn how to study for and pass the CMA exam in the most efficient manner by signing up for my e-course. It’s completely FREE and tells you how to pass the CMA exam on your first attempt. You can learn more about the e-course or sign up directly below.
I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites.
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