CIMA Salaries: What You Can Earn After Passing CIMA

What you Can Earn After Passing CIMA

There are many great benefits to earning a CIMA qualification, but one that most graduates are interested in is their earning potential!

Armed with a qualification, professionals are in the perfect position to demand a higher salary or perks such as bonuses.

So, let’s look at how much a CIMA graduate can earn once they’ve completed their studies to become a management accountant.  

Who are CIMA?

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a professional body that specialises in training individuals in managerial accounting and related subjects.

CIMA ranks as the most prominent managerial accounting organisation worldwide, with over 300,000 members. This comes as no surprise since it's been around for over a century!

CIMA Qualification: Salary & Benefits 

The most crucial question CIMA graduates (or those aspiring to take the CIMA path) ask is:  

“How much will I earn?” 

Being a significant accomplishment in the finance profession, you can’t be blamed for wanting to know how much the qualification is worth.

A CIMA qualification goes a long way to advancing your career along with many other benefits such as:

  • Becoming equipped with financial, accounting awareness and proficiency
  • Attaining recognition not only in the industry, but also on a global scale 
  • Confirmation of your competence in management accounting which translates into being an in-demand employee
  • Social growth and development that will enhance your personal growth

Let’s look at a few key questions that CIMA graduates ask us in relation to salary. 

What can I expect as an annual salary?

As a CIMA graduate, you probably have expectations: a specific range or figure in mind. When you first start out the salary you will probably get is below your expectations. 

As a Chartered Management Accountant, the salary you earn varies depends on several factors such as: 

  • Location
  • Market cap of the firm you work for
  • The industry or field you will work in
  • Working hours and overtime clocked
  • The type of firm 

Various global trends can also affect what you earn such as:

  • The demand for personnel in sectors such as technology and logistics
  • The changing needs of companies e.g. remote working, temporary or interim roles, etc. 
  • Increased demand for financial modeling as organisations want to boost revenue

CIMA Salary Range

CIMA Salary Range

Recent CIMA research revealed that qualified members earn a figure upwards of twice the average annual national earning in the UK. This can be attributed to the additional £7,200 bonus* that comes along with £60,000 in basic salary*.

As a CIMA graduate, you get bargaining power when it comes to the amount you earn. 

However, this doesn’t imply that the qualification automatically guarantees you a big salary. As with any other career, earning power increases as you gain more experience.

In New Zealand, the average annual salary for newly-qualified CIMA members is NZ$40,000 to 46,000.

Further afield the salary in Sri Lanka is 2,200,000 to 2,500,000 Rs while Hong Kong counterparts earn between HK $180,000 to 230,000. In Switzerland, the range is between 60,000 to 80,000 Swiss francs. 

You can also get an insight into how much you can earn as a recently qualified CIMA member in your region and job position through reliable salary insight tools such as AICPA Salary Insights 2019


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Location plays a huge role in salary

Your salary c`an vary depending on location. For example, graduates starting their careers in London firms earn more than their counterparts in Chester or Peterborough. In London, newly-qualified CIMA graduates earn about £50 - 55k per year.

As you advance to a higher position, your salary range climbs to between £46,000 and £129,000 in the UK. While you’re a CIMA student, your bonus is usually 8%. Upon CIMA qualification, this increases to about 10% -  13%.

In the operational stratum, you earn an average of £31,000. A step further to management increases your salary to an average of £37,500. At the strategic level, you pocket an average of £42,500 as per data from 2018 and 2019 (London firms). 


2018 (‘000 £)

2019 (‘000 £)

CIMA Strategic

40 - 45

40 - 45

CIMA Management

35 - 40

35 - 40

CIMA Operational

28 - 34

28 - 34

Salaries break down, as shown in the table below from a Robert Walters survey, depending on the job titles in the UK:



Management Accountant

47 - 55k

Financial Accountant

47 - 60k

Credit Analyst

32- 36k

Assistant Accountant

30 – 40k

Group Accountant

50 - 75k

Financial Analyst

38 - 50k

Remember, many factors affect the salary of a CIMA graduate. You need to display your flexibility to new accounting approaches while demonstrating your management ability.

Most importantly, you should also be able to make critical decisions and strategic plays.

*These figures are from 2016 research. Actual statistics at the moment may vary.

CIMA Career Options

One of the advantages of being a CIMA graduate is the variety of career choices. 

CIMA not only gives you accounting proficiency but also hones skills in other areas such as business management, risk assessment, financial consultancy, operation management, amongst many others.

The qualification potentially opens up different doors in your financial world. You earn straight qualification in managerial accounting as well as other sectors such as banking, insurance, and consultancy, to mention a few.

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Topics: CIMA