The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) salary totally compensates for the amount of money
you’ll spend on the CMA certification. But, getting the CMA still requires you to make a significant
financial investment. Therefore, you should consider the CMA exams fees so you can budget
properly. So, let’s analyze the fees you must pay to become a CMA.
CMA Exam Fees
At the start of your CMA journey, you must pay 3 CMA exam fees. All amounts are in U.S. dollars.
1. IMA Membership Fee
The IMA membership is an annual fee you must pay while you are pursuing the CMA. Then, once
you earn the CMA, you must continue to pay the IMA membership fee to keep your CMA
certification active.
The price of IMA membership varies depending on your professional status. For example, if you’re
already on a career path as an accountant or financial manager in a business, you would select
Professional membership. Full-time faculty members at accredited institutions would qualify for
Academic membership. And individuals enrolled in 6 or more credit hours of classes at a college or
university would be Student members. Therefore, you must select the membership type most relevant
to you.
IMA Membership Fees
Membership Type Price
Two-Year Student
2. CMA Entrance Fee
IMA membership does not include entrance into the CMA program, which is the route to becoming a
CMA in the U.S. Instead, only by paying the CMA entrance fee can you receive permission to pursue
the CMA certification.
Therefore, the CMA entrance fee is a one-time fee you’ll pay when you’re ready to become CMA
certified. The CMA entrance fee ranges from $188 to $250, depending on membership type.
For Professional members, the CMA entrance fee is $250. But Academic and Student members can
pay a discounted price of just $188. A Student member can enjoy this discount for up to 6 years as
long as they continue to take at least 6 credit hours per semester.
CMA Entrance Fee per IMA Membership Type
Membership Type Price
Two-Year Student
3. CMA Examination Fee
You must pay the CMA examination fee for each part of the CMA exam you take. The CMA exam as
2 parts, so you must pay the CMA examination fee at least twice. However, if you fail an exam part,
you must pay this fee again. The CMA examination fee is the same for both exam parts.
Furthermore, the price of this fee also varies per membership type, as you can see in the table below.
CMA Examination Fee per IMA Membership Type
Membership Type Price
Two-Year Student
CMA Exam Fees Summary
Clearly, being a Student or Academic member allows you to take the cheapest path to the CMA.
However, if you are a professional accountant, you are most likely making more money than a
student, so it’s easier for your salary to offset these costs.
CMA Exam Costs
1. IMA Membership [2]
2. CMA Entrance
3. Exam Registration
Part 1
Part 2
Student [1] Academic
1. The student discount is for current students only (defined as those who have taken at least 6 credit
hours of courses in the past semester). Graduated students do not qualify.
2. There is an extra one-time $15 application fee for first-time registration.
Source: IMA
After you pay the IMA’s CMA fees, you’ll need to account for a few other CMA expenses in order to
pass the CMA exam.
1. CMA Review Courses
The IMA does not supply study materials to candidates who enter the CMA program. So, your CMA
exam preparation options include anything from free secondhand notes to expensive coaching classes.
I generally recommend something in between — self-study review courses. These courses offer some
of the best products from nationally renowned instructors, the flexibility of studying at home, and
generally lower prices. The prices of the most popular CMA review courses range from about $600 to
$1,800. However, you can actually save hundreds on your course by checking out my CMA discounts
and promo codes.
2. Travel and Accommodation
If you’re lucky enough to have a Prometric testing center located within driving distance of your
home, this cost is minimal. But there are candidates who must travel to a faraway city or even another
country to sit for the exam. The farther you travel, the more you usually have to pay for airfare,
additional transportation, accommodations, and food. So, if you’re in this situation, remember to take
this cost into account.
3. Annual Certification Maintenance Payments
As long as you would like your CMA certification to remain active, you must continue to pay for the
annual IMA membership is mandatory. Therefore, this fee will continue to be part of your CMA
certification maintenance costs.
You also must meet the annual CMA CPE requirements. To fulfill these requirements, you must pay
for continuing education courses every year.
Therefore, keeping up with your CMA certification will cost you a few hundred dollars every 12
CMA Exam Fees Compared to Other Accounting Certification Exams
The cost of taking the CMA exam falls somewhere between the costs of the CPA and CIA exams.
And, the CMA exam costs fall well short of CFA exam expenses.
Exam Fees Only Exam Fee + Review Course
~ $1,000
Therefore, if money is one of many factors influencing your decision of which accounting
certification to pursue, you can see that the CMA doesn’t ask as much of you financially as other
accounting certifications. However, whichever accounting certification will help you best meet your
career goals is the one you should pursue, no matter the cost.
CMA Exam Fees Explained in Video Format
To help you further visualize how much you must pay to become a CMA, I’ve created this video
walk-through of the different layers of CMA fees.
The Value of the CMA
Any way you look at it, CMA exam fees can be a bit pricey. However, you must remember 2 things as
you’re pursuing the CMA. First, the CMA certification is more affordable than other qualifications
like the CPA. And second, if you are pursuing a professional career in accounting and financial
management, the certification soon pay for itself and benefit you for a lifetime.
So, if you’re ready to move on with the CMA certification process, learn how to study for and pass
the CMA exam in the most efficient manner by signing up for my e-course. It’s completely FREE and
tells you how to pass the CMA exam on your first attempt. You can learn more about the e-course or
sign up directly below.
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