How to Become US CMA in India and Why It’s a Good Idea?

Many Indians search for information about the CMA certification every year, so I’d like to address them in this article. If you’re interested in earning the US CMA in India, let me walk you through some facts about the certification, the application steps, and tips for passing the exam. 

(If you’re an Indian working in the Middle East, you’ll want to read my page about becoming a CMA in the Middle East.)


Cooperation Between the IMA and ICAI

I know we all like to start out with good news, so I’ve got some. ICAI (previously ICWAI) members can apply for the US CMA membership with a valid ICAI certificate. You can learn more by visiting the IMA’s website. 

The reverse of the agreement also works. Current CMAs can obtain ICAI membership, so long as they completed the CMA program outside of India. As far as I understand, this means you must have physically taken the CMA exam at testing centers outside of India. 

To look further into this matter, read my in-depth discussion of the IMA vs. the ICAI.


Study of IMA Members from India

The IMA Global Salary Survey of 2018 reveals that Indian IMA members make an average annual total compensation of US$28.8K. The median figures are quite a bit lower ($20.9K), demonstrating that a few professionals earn much more and, in the process, pull up the mean figures. 

Compared to members around the world, Indian IMA members work pretty hard, averaging 45.5 hours per week. That number ties with Jordan and comes in second to the United States (46.3). Indian IMA members are also very well educated. All of the 52 Indian respondents have bachelor’s degrees, and 63% have advanced degrees.

We see even more interesting statistics by observing IMA members from Asia (mostly from China and, to a lesser extent, India). Among these members, 48% are CMAs (it’s likely the rest are pursuing the certification). The median age is 34, which ties with the Middle East for the youngest among all IMA members. A high majority have bachelor’s degrees (85%), and about a quarter have advanced degrees (26%).


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