How to Become a CMA: in Simple Steps

The world has advanced and come to an age where subjects like economics and finance have gained a lot of importance. Everyone earns money, but not many can take care of their financial decisions. Who helps with these decisions, then? 

CMAs are people who study and train to become learned enough to help with such issues and offer financially sound advice. They can be of help to certain individuals or even companies and earn up to $73,334 per year. ?

The article, which has been attached below, has all of the questions people might have in their minds when trying to become a CMA. They have been answered and explained thoroughly. ?

Who is a CMA? 

The term CMA is the abbreviation for Certified Management Accountant. CMAs are globally recognized and financially smart professionals whose skills lie in their expertise in accounting. They use these skills to help people and companies with decisions that require strategic financial planning. ?

To get the certification required to become a CMA, you have to first pass a tough two-part exam. This exam is not going to be easy, but you will be able to clear it with proper knowledge. More requirements involve learning certain financial and professional skills to prove that you have what it takes to become a good CMA. ?

Earning the certification is worth the hard work as it is proof of your knowledge about planning finances, analyzing numbers, making smart decisions, and being super ethical.

You will find a lot of different groups all around the world who are actively pursuing this career because they know matters related to money are not to be taken as a joke. ?

How much can a CMA earn?

Someone who takes care of others’ money should be paid adequately as well, no? ?

CMAs are known to earn quite well. In a survey where the salaries of other professionals from finance, such as CPAs (Chartered Public Accountants) and CFAs (Chartered Finance Analysts) along with CMAs, were compared, it was found that CMAs earn the most. 

If we talk about hourly wages for CMAs, they earn up to $31.49 per hour as of July 2023. As for your yearly salary, the average base pay a CMA can expect to get in the year 2023 is $73,334 per year. This is the actual amount you will be paid directly by your employee. 

You will also earn more through the additional pay you might or might not get. This additional wage looks like tips, commissions, and bonuses. 

The data that has been provided in this section is up-to-date, and I have used statistically proven reports to make sure everything is legit. ?

How to Become a CMA? (Tips)

When you venture into the process and the steps to finish a goal, there will be a lot of enticing things that will come for you but will be of no real benefit. You must stay on track. Do not focus on other stuff. 

Now, how would you know what to do and what not to do? I have compiled a list of all the necessary steps below. ⬇️

Finish your foundational education

Studying diligently from the very beginning would ensure that you build up a good base for your training and, later on, your job. While in school, make sure that you pick up courses that are going to be a good base for your bachelor’s and your master’s program later on.

Some of the subjects that you can choose are mathematics, accounting, economics, etc. ?Try to get enrolled in a proper bachelor’s program so that you can get the necessary information regarding financial studies. You will be able to find a lot of programs in colleges across the

United States that will offer good enough training programs as well as good teaching plans. Ensure that you study diligently so that you can understand everything that is being taught. ?

After you are done with your bachelor’s, it will be time to do a master’s course as well so that you have a specialization in the subject that you are studying. ?‍?

Join the IMA

The IMS stands for the Institute of Management Accountants. This organization is made to help aspirants achieve their goal of becoming a CMA.

If you want to become a CMA, you will have to join the Institute of Management Accountants. This will allow you to use the resources of the IMA, which includes a CMA certificate program as well. ✒️

Enroll in the IMA program 

After enrolling in the IMA, the next step for you to complete is to enroll in the CMA certification program it offers. This certificate program will help you become a proper working professional. You can join the program by using the IMA website. 

Your should have all of the documents containing your degrees and all of your experience, and you should be ready to submit them. ?

The course is going to be a difficult one, which means that you should also be prepared to study a lot to pass the exams that will come after it. The fee for the CMA certification program is going to be $210 for student members and $280 for professional members. ?

Experience is required

For almost every working gig, you need to have experience before applying for the job. 

To become a CMA and perform well in the IMA, you need to have adequate experience. The most basic requirement that these programs ask for is at least two years of work experience in any management accounting or financial management gig. The one condition along with this requirement is that this should not be done more than seven years ago. ⌚

Pass your exams

As soon as you enroll in the CMA program, you become eligible to take the CMA exams. These happen only at specific times of The year, and you can find all of the details on the website of the CMA. 

It’s up to you to decide when you want to take the exam, and as soon as you do that, you will be able to pay the fee and then attempt it. ✍️

The exam is divided into two parts. The first part will cover topics like analytics, financial planning, and performance. You have to do this part to the best of your abilities. The second part will cover topics like strategic financial management.

 The same thing about both of these courses is that each of them includes a hundred multiple-choice questions and then two essay questions.

You will get your exam results, most probably after six weeks from your test date. ?

Maintain your certification

Getting your certification is not the last step of this list. This is because after getting your certification, you will have to maintain it as well. ?

To maintain your certificate, you must complete 30 hours of education yearly. Two of those hours are going to be dedicated to studying ethics. 

How do you complete these 30 hours? The places where you can find resources for this education include options such as courses at schools, extracurricular courses, online sources, self-study programs, and more such programs that you will be able to find in associations or some other organizations.

One more condition for maintaining your certificate is that you should pay the annual IMA membership fees as well as the certification fees. ?

Top CMA Courses in the United States

Online resources are a delight, and they help a lot in learning extra skills. Most of the people who go for learning through courses on online platforms end up saving a lot of time and effort that might have been wasted elsewhere. ✔️

Financial Markets

Coursera is a well-known online platform that is a distributor of educational content. It actively contributes to the learning process of a lot of students in a vast range of subjects. You will find this course on Coursera only. Your teacher is going to be Rober Shiller, who is a sterling professor of economics. He works as a professor at Yale University.

The course has been divided into seven weeks of content. You will find that your resources are divided into this weekly schedule. It would take you about 33 hours in total to finish this course. But fear not, as this course allows you to finish it at your own pace without any hurry. ?‍?

The course covers topics such as behavioral finance, stocks, bonds, mortgage crisis, regulation, non-profits, and corporations. 

Business and Financial Modeling Specialization

One more course that is provided by Coursera is present on this list, and it is this one here. This course will be taught to you by six instructors, and you can complete this one at your own pace as well.

 Your instructors are going to be Don Huesman, Richard Waterman, Sergei Savin, Robert W. Holthausen, Senthil Veeraraghavan, and lastly, Richard Lambert. All of them are working professionals at the University of Pennsylvania. ?‍?

This course is divided into five sub-courses, which together make this sort of a specialization program. The topics include:

  • Wharton Business and Financial Modeling Capstone
  • Introduction to Spreadsheets and Models
  • Fundamentals of Quantitative Modeling
  • Decision-Making and Scenarios
  • Modeling Risk and Realities

Certified Management Accountant – Part 1

We will talk about one more source now – Laimoon. We will talk about the two bestsellers as of now. The first one is this one. 

It is a six-day course and is distributed by LEORON Professional Development Institute. This institute is an active distributor of educational content in Asia, Europe, and Africa. So, if you are a reader from any of these places, maybe you will find more resources provided by this institute in your area. ?

The course helps aspirants understand core concepts related to finance and economic studies. Students are sure to learn properly with the training schedule this course has. ?

Prepare for CMA Part 1

The second bestselling course provided by Laimoon is this one. These two were the highest-rated courses on the platform, but this online platform has some more courses that are worth giving a shot at if you want to establish yourself as a good CMA. ?

The distributor for this course is another educational institute called eduCBA. This distributor is active in 40+ countries and promises excellent results after students opt to study using it. 

This course is all about preparation for the CMA exams and helps them in a way that they can pass their exams. The course will go on for 30 hours in total. The topics covered include making Statements of Cash flows, financial reports, Income Statements, Balance Sheets, and more. ?

Diploma in Certified Associate in Project Management 

The last course on this list is provided by the last source we talked about this time. Alison Courses is a website that offers certification programs and very helpful diploma programs, especially for people who want to get more credit using such credible courses. ?

This course is to be done to get a diploma for becoming a Certified Associate in Project Management. CMAs are people who have to learn extra skills such as management and planning to work for bigger MNCs. This course is just the thing for teaching them. 

It has content divided into four modules and has a total duration of six to seven hours. ⌚

Top CMA Schools in the World

Becoming a CMA directly after getting a degree is not possible, and we have discussed this earlier. However, getting a degree is nonetheless important. What program to take, then? It is recommended that you get an undergraduate degree in Accounting.

Here is a list of the top schools offering a degree in accounting as of now. ✔️

Villanova University

Villanova University offers an undergraduate degree in which you can measure, or you can minor in accounting. 

While a major in accounting is what I would recommend for you if you are trying to become a CMA, getting a minor is also beneficial. You can minor in accounting while doing majors in any course, such as finance management, business, or even economics. 

You can visit the university website for more details. ?️

 The Villanova School of Business has accounting programs that promise a good teaching plan that will help students understand core concepts easily. Not to mention, they also promise that upon the completion of their accounting programs, students are sure to get full-time placement. ?

University of Virginia

You will find an accounting program that you can major in at the University of Virginia, which is located in Charlottesville, VA, USA. The university has a separate school for subjects like finance et cetera, which is called the McIntire School of Commerce. 

In the school, you will find an accounting program that covers topics such as federal taxation, advanced financial accounting, taxes, intermediate accounting, introductory auditing, global commerce markets, and business strategies. ?

Northwestern University

Similar to the University of Virginia, Northwestern University also has a separate school for courses like these, which is known as the Kellogg School of Management. This school offers an accounting major program that is very well-reputed. ?

You can visit the website of Kellogg’s School of Management to understand more about the program that they are providing.

They have explained each of the programs and the credits that they have provided up till now in a very elaborate manner on the website to make it easy for the applicants to understand. ?

University of Wisconsin

The Wisconsin School of Business, which operates under the University of Wisconsin, offers accounting major programs as well. They offer not just an undergraduate program but also a master’s program as well as a Ph.D. in accounting so that the students can specialize in this field. ?

The school is also very active when it comes to academic research in accounting and has published a lot of journals as well as articles that are available for viewing on the site of the school. 

They offer resources for the students who make it into the college, and these include the library, the student services, and the resource seminars that are held regularly. ?

Baylor University

Baylor University operates the Hankamer School of Business. The school offers both an undergraduate degree as well as a postgraduate degree for the students who want to apply to this college. Adding to all of this is the fact that they offer student resources in the form of scholarships. ⛵

They have a very active student community, and the faculty is very cooperative, too. They highly encourage all sorts of activities, seminars, and other such things that might take place in the school. 

They regularly release articles that are written by the student community there, which helps us understand more about the college and the business school, as well as what the programs and environment there look like. ➕

University of Florida

The University of Florida offers a bachelor’s program in accounting, which is a four-year degree program. The school promises that after taking their course, students will be able to understand the core lessons and the foundational concepts of accounting as well as business. 

This course is provided by the Warrington College of Business, which is operated by the University of Florida. The course has 120 credits for you to complete. ?

Where to find CMA opportunities online?

You will find employment opportunities on a bunch of sites on the net. You just need to know which one to use and how to use it properly. Here is a compilation of the most helpful ones on the net as of now. 


This platform, CMA CGM, is also a fully-fledged company that works towards the improvement of financial planning and management strategies all over the world. It is globally recognized as a big group of very talented CMAs who offer their services to clients who want their help.?

It offers other job opportunities related to this field, too, but is primarily for the sake of CMAs only. 


Looking for the perfect job used to be a real struggle, right? Sending countless emails and contacting various HRs, only to face disappointment when the job didn’t match your skills or offer reasonable pay. These are legit problems every one of us has faced at some point in time.

So, I understand the struggles of finding job opportunities without the help of online job-hunting platforms. Let’s talk about Indeed, shall we? ?

This is a leading website specially designed to find your dream job with the help of special features called filters. 

Using this site, you can find the job of your dreams efficiently and quickly and then focus on the ones that suit your job preference the most. ?


LinkedIn is yet another website on the net that’ll help you get exciting career opportunities. But it is also special and quite different in comparison to other job sites. It doesn’t just help in matching your skills and experience with the dream of your job. It also helps in making a portfolio of sorts for yourself on the site, which can be viewed by other people. 

It’s convenient, quick, and user-friendly, which helps you find a wide spectrum of full-time, part-time, and remote jobs. ?


Becoming a CMA is not going to be an easy task. Many people shy away from working hard and give up just after looking at the syllabus. Let’s make sure that won’t be the case for you, yeah? 

We have discussed almost everything you need to keep in mind while studying to biome a CMA. So, now what is left are the actions.

And I am sure that you will surely succeed and become a good CMA. ?

Similar Posts:

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment