CMA Salary & Career Prospects – Life after CMA – One of the main motivations for pursuing any difficult course or degree is money. Students across India prepare for many examinations, work hard to get into IITs and IIMs, struggle to score an all India rank (AIR) in the CA, CMA, and CS examinations all to be inundated with the most lucrative job packages when they graduate or complete their education. The situation is no different for CMA aspirants in India. Sure, you may not be studying to become a CMA for money only, but it is nevertheless a worthy factor that can boost your motivation. With skills comes to value, and with value comes money and respect.
We are sure that all those factors are essential components of your career or future for which you are studying hard to crack your CMA examinations. Therefore, to up the ante of your efforts, in this article, we discuss the career prospects you can access if you graduate as a Cost and Management Accountant (CMA) in India. We will also be talking about how much you can take home as a CMA under various conditions (starting your own practice, working for a PSU, joining an MNC, or the Big 4). Whether money is your motivator or not, it always feels good to be paid what you are worth. If you are interested to know more, read on!
CMA Career Prospects
For any aspiring Cost and Management Accountant (CMA) in India, their career choices can be broadly classified into two categories: working for someone else or working for yourself. We shall see each of the two categories in detail below.
Salaried Job Prospects for CMAs
When speaking about salaried jobs, CMAs can nearly get placed in any company because they can fulfill many roles that companies must consider? Some examples are:
- Financial management
- Cost controlling and budgeting
- Production optimization
- Inventory management and scheduling
- Workforce planning and management (primarily for manufacturing concerns)
- Financial analysis and deals valuation
- Corporate taxation affairs
Every company needs to control its costs, and for that, nobody except a Cost and Management Accountant would be best suited. Hence, for this reason, CMAs can work in:
- Public-sector undertakings (PSUs like ONGC)
- Public-sector banks (PSBs like State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, and more)
- Well-funded startups (such as ClearTax, PolicyBazaar, and others; CMAs can fulfill a financial role here perhaps that of a financial analyst or finance manager)
- Government organizations (even government bodies need cost controlling and taxation experts)
- Big 4 (this is a dream for many aspiring CAs, CMAs, and CSs)
- Elite MNCs (such as HUL, though you need to have an AIR for them to even consider your candidacy)
- Tier-1 management consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG, and Bain (you must have an AIR to even be considered for jobs at those companies)
- Tier-2 management consulting firms like ZS Associates, Accenture Strategy, Deloitte, etc. (AIRs preferred, but you have a fair chance without it as long as you are a 1st/2nd attempt CMA)
- Elite IBs like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (AIRs preferred)
- Indian IBs like Kotak Investment Banking, YES Bank Investment Banking division
- Private-sector companies (any company not included in the other categories above)
If you are good at what you do, you can theoretically get into any organization as long as you can prove to them you can add value to their business. However, in the following cases mentioned below, we recommend that you have an all India rank (AIR); Otherwise, you may not even be considered for an interview:
- Tier-1 management consulting firms
- Elite investment banks
- Elite multi-national companies (MNCs)
However, do not study to get into some specific company, but just study to be the very best in your area of interest. Remember that:
Those who do not chase money attract it.
CMA Job Profiles
CMAs can handle a number of job profiles depending on the company they join. Although the list is not exhaustive, some following job roles are:
- Junior Associate, Associate, or Senior Associate
- Investment Analyst or Investment Associate
- Financial Controller
- Finance Manager
- Cost Accountant or Management Accountant
- Financial Analyst
- Taxation Officer
- Chief Financial Officer
- Chief Operations Officer
- Financial Planning Officer
- Inventory Manager
If you are a good cost and management accountant, you will be able to handle any position as long as it is in line with your interests.
CMA Salary Ranges for CMAs
Salaries are decided by the companies and their budgets for various roles. Hence, instead of discussing the salaries by the designations, we shall discuss them by the company where you are hired or selected. Generally, the larger the company, the more budget they have aside for the position. Here you will get all the details regarding CMA Salary.
We have included an indicative table with some figures that can be considered for the CMAs working different profiles at/with different employers. Some of the positions have been left blank as you might notice; This is due to one of the two reasons, including:
- The person will not apply or take up a job at those places because they will have found better jobs elsewhere, or
- The company/employer will not entertain applications from those CMA graduates or pass-outs.
For example, Tier-1 management consulting firms below will not consider any candidate unless they at least have an All India Rank (AIR); Therefore, the first two columns have been left blank for them. Similarly, to be considered at foreign investment banks, you at least need to become a CMA at the first attempt. Disclaimer: We advise you to take those figures with a grain of salt. While those numbers are fairly precise, there are outliers all the time. You could be a second attempt CMA who lands a job at a foreign investment bank for 10+ LPA or it can even be an elite MNC. Exceptions can happen all the time.
Self-Employment Prospects for CMAs
If you wish to practice cost and management as an independent professional, there are plenty of opportunities for that, too. You can start out with a job because you need to still build a clientele. Hence, you need people who know about you first before you can proceed with your self-employment idea. Otherwise, if you have someone in the family who is already a practicing Chartered Accountant or Cost and Management Accountant, that will be even better. You can start out by assisting them in their daily operations and interact with the clients on a daily basis; later, you can start handling clients’ assignments directly. We advise this process/method because while you would certainly be aware of the basic concepts, you would still need to ensure that you have built a relationship with the clients. The most important element of any good CA or CMA is to know how to build long-lasting professional relationships with their clients. Understand this that you will not just be a CMA for a client, but you will also be a close and trusted friend whom they can fall back on whenever they need any advice or help related to their business or company. We cannot really set a number for the figure for your earnings as a practicing CMA because you can literally earn nothing in 1 month and then earn INR 3,00,000 – 4,00,000 in the next. So, it all depends on the number of clients you have and how well you handle their projects. Needless to say, the greater the number of clients you have, the more you will undoubtedly earn.
Another option is to teach CMA to students, which you can opt-in for directly as a CMA graduate as that is all the proof you need to show that you are capable of teaching. CMA Instructors can earn anywhere between INR 30,000 – 1,50,000+ per month if they teach at some reputed institution. You may also consider teaching students directly with the help of platforms like SuperProfs that enable you to create video courses and then share them directly with a lot of students across India. It really depends on what kind of life you seek to lead. But one thing is for certain, if you are a good CMA, you will find lucrative opportunities no matter.
You can watch a few lectures on CMA and see if you would want to consider subscribing to our video series for a better shot at clearing the CMA examination.
- How To Clear The CMA Exam In The First Attempt
- How To Prepare For Fundamentals Of Accounting | CMA Foundation Subject-Wise Tips
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