Financial professionals in the Americas and Europe are generally making as much or slightly more than last year, particularly those with certifications, according to a new survey by the Institute of Management Accountants.

The IMA’s annual global salary survey not surprisingly found the most significant increases for people who have the Certified Management Accountant certification. They earn 62 percent more in median salary and 67 percent more in median total compensation than non-CMAs, according to the IMA. That represents an increase from last year’s report, which found CMAs earned 45 percent more in median salary. Four out of five of them expect a pay raise in 2018.

Survey respondents in the U.S. with a CMA certification have a 47 percent higher median total compensation than those without any certification, compared to 28 percent in 2016. Respondents in the U.S. also said they were more satisfied with their jobs, reporting a 64 percent satisfaction rate, compared to 58 percent for respondents around the world. Women tended to be more satisfied than men with their jobs and salaries, despite a persistent wage gap.

CMA salary survey

“The results of the survey suggest those who earn the CMA certification continue to reap the benefits of it,” said IMA director of research Kip Krumwiede in a statement. “Employers are willing to pay more for those with skills like risk management, strategic planning, and decision analysis that CMAs bring to an organization.”

Overall salary and compensation values were down slightly in the U.S. from the previous year, however. The median base salary decreased by 1.1 percent and median total compensation fell 3.8 percent. Some regions of the U.S., though, showed increases in either median base salary or median total compensation, and the Plains region had increases in both. The salary gap remains about the same as in the past for the U.S. For those ages 40 to 49 years old, though, the salary gap for median total compensation decreased by 10 percent. The salary gap for median total compensation is largest in the West region (69 percent) and within top management positions (76 percent).

The IMA polled more than 2,400 respondents from 81 countries for the latest survey. It also found that CMAs in their 30s have 71 percent higher median base salary and 74 percent higher total compensation than non-certified peers, globally. More than 80 percent of finance professionals believe the CMA creates career opportunities and strengthens their ability to move across all areas of the business.

In the past year, the global gender pay gap improved slightly, especially among mid–level professionals. The gap in median total compensation for those in their 30s and 40s improved the most of any age group, increasing from 84 to 95 percent and from 87 to 91 percent of men’s salaries, respectively.

The Middle East/Africa is the only region where women’s median compensation salaries exceeded men’s. Women in their 20s earned 131 percent, compared to men, while the median compensation level for women in their 40s is 137 percent of that of men.

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