The CMA certification is designed to be an advanced-level credential for accountants and financial professionals across business.
The curriculum puts emphasis on costing, as well as budgeting and planning methodologies that are commonly applied in manufacturing companies. Because of this, it is commonly believed that CMA is more valued in the manufacturing sector.
Is this really the case?
Readers ask this question from time to time. I decide to take a closer look today.
IMA runs an annual salary survey with details on compensation and job nature of its members. This report is a fair representation of the general IMA member profile in the US.
The following is the percentage of US IMA members by industry. The breakdown is relatively stable across different periods:
|Industry||% of Total (2013-2015)
||% of Total (2018)|
|Finance, Insurance, Real Estate||10%||9%|
|Wholesale and Retail Trade||7%||6%|
|Transportation, Communications, Utility Services||6%||4%|
|Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries||1%||1%|
Manufacturing is indeed the most popular among IMA members in the US. If we group the industries into broader categories, we get a different picture:
In fact, services represent 45-46% — almost half and definitely more than the manufacturing sector. Even if we exclude accounting and finance, the service sector represents 33-34%. This is considerably more than I thought.
While anecdotal evidence shows that CMA title is more favored in manufacturing companies, the fact that there are so many IMA members working in the service industries speaks for itself.
At the very least, there are enough people in service industries who find CMA worthy to keep, or worthy of pursuing.
Unfortunately the non-US survey results from the IMA is less detailed. I hope to provide this information by country or at least by region in the near future.
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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