Management Accountant: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become a management accountant. Learn about the degree requirements, necessary skills and salary information to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Managerial Accountancy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Management Accountant?

Management accountants analyze and evaluate corporate performance and play an important role in determining corporate direction. They oversee financial record-keeping for accuracy, compliance and efficiency. They give recommendations for improvement, profit increasing and spending reduction. They can help a business develop and attain goals. The following table provides an overview for this career:

Degree Required Bachelor's degree (minimum)
Education Field of Study Accounting with an emphasis on business & management; management accounting (offered at certain institutions)
Key Skills Computer proficiency, analytical skills, communication skills
Certification Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credential preferred by employers
Job Growth (2014-24) 11% for all accountants and auditors*
Median Salary (2017) $59,492**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **

What Type of Work Do Management Accountants Do?

Management accounting combines strategic business and finance knowledge with traditional accounting. As a management accountant, you'll be employed by a company to plan projects and manage risk as well as analyze and strategize the business's direction. As part of an executive team, you will prepare financial reports and evaluations and advise executives on their implications. Management accountants are also known as industrial, private or cost accountants.

What Type of Education Will I Need?

To be a management accountant, you'll need a minimum of a bachelor's degree. Some colleges offer majors or concentrations specifically in management accounting, or you may take a general major in accounting with courses in business and management. For some senior positions, employers seek candidates with master's degrees in business administration (MBAs).

In addition to education, many employers prefer applicants who hold the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation, which is offered by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). To earn this certification, you must pass a 2-part exam measuring your knowledge in areas such as corporate finance, internal controls, performance management, planning and forecasting, risk management and decision analysis ( To qualify for the exam, you must be an IMA member, hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and have at least two years of continuous professional experience in financial management or management accounting.

What is the Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) foresaw a faster than average job outlook for accountants in the coming years. ( The BLS projected a 11% growth rate for the accounting profession in the 2014-2024 decade. This growth will be due in part to the growing number of businesses as well as evolving financial laws and regulations.

What Can I Expect to Earn?

According to 2017 reports from, most management accountants earned between $34,030 - $88,855 per year. These earnings include bonuses and profit sharing.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Related careers include tax examiners and collectors, personal financial advisors and budget analysts. Tax examiners and collectors make certain that businesses and individuals make their tax payments to the government. Personal financial advisors help others make investment decisions. Budget analysts work for public and private institutions managing their finances. All fields require a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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