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The recent IMA Salary Survey provides some interesting insights into the CMA accounting salary trends in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These findings clearly show that the popularity of CMA in KSA is on the rise, and if you are planning to study CMA then this is a perfect time.

The CMA course offered by Institute Of Management Accountants, USA is one of the most well known courses in finance that is available today. IMA has a reach in 140 countries in the world, and the CMA course enjoys varying levels of popularity in these countries.

Over the past few years, the course has gained considerable popularity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is well. There are many students who have enrolled for the CMA course in Riyadh, the capital city, Eastern Province, Makkah, and the other cities in the Kingdom.

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As part of its Annual Salary Survey IMA covered the members in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and have come up with some interesting insights about how the CMA course is gaining popularity there and acceptance among the companies who employ the CMAs and the payscale potential is on the rise..

Let us now look at some interesting details revealed by the survey about the CMA accounting salary in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Respondent profile:

The mean age of the respondents was 37 years and the median experience was of 10 years. 99% of the respondents hold a baccalaureate degree and 27% hold an advanced degree as well. 46% of the respondents are CMA certificate holders.

The gender ratio was as follows:

Table1: Gender Ratio

Gender KSA Global
Male 97% 63%
Female 3% 37%

Salary trends:

The following are some of the salient points which came out of this CMA accounting salary survey:

  • The mean salary for IMA members in the KSA is $51,011, whereas the global average is $65,868
  • The median salary is $35,978.1. Global average is $49,410,
  • The mean total compensation* is $66,791. Global average is $80,812
  • Median total compensation is $50,369, global average is $56,556
  • The median total compensation has grown healthily at a rate of 12%.

*Total compensation includes salary + all other compensation

The reason why the overall compensation numbers are lower than the global average is because the global numbers include the US salary data which tends to be always higher than the rest of the world.

However, when we compare the annual total compensation numbers of KSA with that of the other countries in the Middle East and Africa Region, we can see that the numbers are higher than what the CMAs earn in UAE and Qatar.

Table 2: Salary comparison across countries

Base salary Annual total compensation
Mean Median Mean Median
KSA 51,011 35,978 66,791 50,369
UAE 53,371 39,197 65,075 45,500
Qatar 54,376 36,234 69,310 40,626



Premium in CMA accounting salary

46% of the respondents were members of the IMA. Their responses show that the on an average draw 65% more median salary and 90% more in terms of annual total compensation than the non certified members. This is even higher than the global average premium of 61% drawn by CMAs from around the world. In fact, the numbers have gone up significantly this year as compared to the premium of 11% and 38% shown by last year’s survey.

Table 3: CMA Vs Non-CMA Salary


Base Salary Annual Total Compensation
Mean Median Mean Median
CMAs $60,037 $79,399 $44,940 $69,823
Non-CMAs $43,274 $55,985 $27,183 $36,657


Table 4: CMA Salary Premium

Base Salary Annual Total Compensation
Mean Median Mean Median
This year 39% 42% 65% 90%
Last year 7% 11% 11% 38%

Other benefits of certification

The advantages of doing CMA is not only limited to the salary premium that the respondents have got. There are several other advantages which they are happy about.

  • 90% of the respondents strongly feel that the CMA designation has given them access to better career opportunities.
  • 90% have agreed that the CMA designation has helped them to move across different departments of the company they work for.
  • 88% have sad that they have got some significant advantages and negotiating power while discussing pay packages with prospective employers.

Not surprisingly, 94% of the respondents of the survey who are not yet CMAs already have said that they would definitely want to get themselves certified soon, in order to get access to this benefits that the CMAs receive.

The survey clearly shows that the opportunity and scope of CMA as a qualification is on a rise in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The awareness of students about the qualification and the acceptability of the qualification among the companies is on the rise. if you are living in KSA and planning to go for the CMA certification, then this is a golden time. You can get certified and jump on the bandwagon early before the market becomes too crowded and the competition goes up significantly.