How much does CMA certification cost?

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If you're considering becoming a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), one of the first things you want to know is the CMA certification cost. There isn't a flat fee or simple response, so to help you plan the expenses, we're breaking down what you need to know, including the CMA Exam cost, ongoing fees, and even exam prep materials. 

Plus, we'll also provide insights into how you can minimize the price tag and share advice on whether CMA certification is truly worth it.



Live outside the United States and want to become a CMA? Download our FREE eBook, "Choosing an International CMA Certification" 


How much does CMA certification cost? 

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) grants and oversees the CMA certification, and they have a fee structure in place related to membership, entrance to the exam, and sitting for the exam, so let's look at those costs first.

Steps to certificationStudentAcademicProfessional
IMA Membership (annual fee)$49$160$295
Entrance fee to take the CMA Exam $225$225$300
CMA Exam fee (per part/total) $370/$740$370/$740$495/$990
Total costs (assuming no re-takes) $1,014$1,125$1,585

CMA Exam cost #1: IMA membership costs

The first thing you need to do to move toward CMA certification is join the IMA. The membership fee depends on your professional status. 

  • Students: $49
  • Academics: $160
  • Professionals: $295

This fee must be paid annually to maintain membership and is required to not only sit for the CMA Exam, but to maintain certification once it's earned. 

CMA Exam cost #2: Entrance fee

After joining the IMA, you will need to pay the entrance fee to sit for the CMA Exam. This entrance fee provides you with a support package prior to taking the exam, plus reviews for your experience and education prior to receiving your certification. 

  • Students: $225
  • Academics: $225
  • Professionals: $300

After paying the entrance fee, you must pass both sections of the CMA Exam within three years. If not, you'll need to pay the entrance fee a second time. 

CMA Exam cost #3: Sitting for the exam

Finally, the final "must-do" CMA certification cost is paying to sit for the CMA Exam. The exam is a two-part exam, and you must pay a fee to sit for each part. 

  • Students: $370 per part
  • Academics: $370 per part
  • Professionals: $495 per part

If you don't pass a part of the exam and need to re-take it, you will also need to pay the CMA Exam fee for each re-take. 

Is an exam review a needed CMA certification cost? 

The minimum cost, assuming you pass both parts of the CMA Exam on the first try and in the first year of your IMA membership, is between $1,014 and $1,585. But if you want to set yourself up for success and improve your likelihood of passing the first time (thus minimizing your re-take fees and increasing your income potential faster), you'll want to consider a CMA Exam Review to help you prepare. 

The CMA Exam pass rate is only around 45 percent1. This is a difficult exam, and the IMA recommends spending between 150 to 170 hours studying for each part. Having and sticking to a study schedule will only help so much if you don't know what's going to be on the exam though. Knowing what to study, testing your knowledge, and understanding the format of the exam before you sit for it can help you pass the first time. 

Most review courses range between $1,000 and $2,000 and offer varying degrees of support, material, and information. While this may seem like an unnecessary CMA certification cost, investing in a comprehensive CMA Exam review course is essential to getting Exam Day Readysm

How Becker can reduce your CMA certification costs

Becker works directly with the IMA to provide a clear, comprehensive CMA Exam review that covers everything you need to know. We go beyond the textbooks to include the support and guidance you need, no matter what your learning style is. Our review includes: 

  •  "Bite-sized" lecture videos between 10 and 20 minutes so you can focus on one concept at a time
  • LiveOnline virtual classrooms offer the accountability and engagement of a classroom and allow you to ask questions in real time, all from the comfort of home
  • Unlimited academic support so you can ask questions and get the answers and insights you need within 24 hours
  • Success coaches to help guide you through the CMA certification journey, including goal setting, study planning, and course recommendations
  • Adapt2U technology that personalizes your exam review with practice tests that help you focus on areas where you may be struggling
  • Over 4,000 multiple choice questions and 76 essay questions

Our curriculum team continuously updates our content to provide 100 percent coverage of the ICMA Learning Outcomes Statements to make sure you're fully prepared on exam day!

Exam Day Readysm

When CMA candidates purchase Becker's CMA Review Pro and become Exam Day ReadySM, you're eligible for our Pass Guarantee. This means, if you don't pass Part One OR Part Two of the exam, Becker will give you $250 to re-take the exam. 

How do you become Exam Day Readysm? Before you take Part One or Part Two of the exam, you must complete the following:

  • 80 percent of Becker's lectures in each module 
  • Correctly answering 80 percent of multiple-choice questions and essays in the practice section of each module
  • Receiving a score of 50 percent or higher on both Becker Simulated Exams and Mini Exams. 

You only need to complete the list for the part you're taking. So, if you're taking Part One of the CMA Exam, you need to meet the above list for Part One before you test. 

Calculating the cost of failing the CMA Exam

If don't pass both parts of the CMA Exam on the first try, you will have to repay the exam fee for each part you need to retake. You'll also need to wait for the next testing window to sit for the exam, and there are only three testing windows each year.  If you don't pass both parts within three years, you'll need to repay the CMA entrance fee again, too. 

To determine the cost of an average amount of CMA Exam failure, we first need to figure out how many times our average candidate would have to take each part to pass.

Unfortunately, there’s no “it takes most people X tries to pass the CMA Exam” statistic publicly available but we do know the pass rates for both parts are around 45 percent, so if you need to take both parts a second time, you're looking at a minimum of between $740 and $990 more added to the CMA certification cost. 

Just as important, delaying earning your certification delays increasing your earning potential that comes with becoming a Certified Management Accountant.  

Reducing the CMA certification costs

In addition to helping you get Exam Day Readysm where you can get $250 towards re-taking a section of the CMA Exam, Becker also helps you with reduced fees. When you purchase a CMA Exam Review Package, you'll receive a 40% off promotion code for both IMA membership and the entrance fee! 

Is the CMA certification cost worth it?

Even though prepping for the CMA Exam can get expensive, it also opens opportunities to earn that money back—perhaps many times over.

Some of the benefits of earning your CMA certification that we can't necessarily quantify include:

  • Professional advancement.
  • Expanding your knowledge.
  • Prestige and recognition.
  • International acclaim.

On to what may matter the most... how much do CMAs make, and does it stack up against the cost of earning CMA certification? The average salary for CMAs is around $71,000 per year2 - a significant jump over the average accountant salary and close to the average CPA salary. 

And, when you leverage Becker’s top-notch content and expert instructors through our all-in-one CMA review packages, the “is it worth it?” equation gets much simpler.

Get a 14-day free trial of our CMA Exam review

Discover how Becker can help give you the best chance of passing the exam on your first try—minimizing your costs, making the most of your time and accelerating your journey toward management accounting success. Get a free 14-day trial of our CMA Exam review now and get a jump start on your certification!



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