IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) has announced the results of its 2019 Middle East Salary Survey. The study surveyed a number of IMA members from across the region particularly members from the UAE, KSA, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Sudan.

The total number of responses in the Middle East more than tripled compared to 2017 (1,485 vs. 443). The survey analyzed how education, certification, and experience, along with other factors, affect compensation.

The average base salaries and average total compensation in 2018 decreased from prior years in the Middle East. However, the results show that CMAs earn a median total compensation that is 140% higher than non-CMAs in the MEA region.

“The importance of IMA’s annual salary survey is to study the continuous marketplace changes in the accounting and finance industry. Every year, the CMA reaffirms its significant impact on people’s careers in the region, highlighting the value it creates in generating new career leads and opportunities,” said Hanadi Khalife, director, MEA and India operations at IMA.

About 26% of the respondents in the MEA region hold the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification. Average salaries for CMAs continue to be higher, with CMAs earning an average salary that is 88% higher than non-CMAs. This is an increase in the difference in compensation between those with and without the CMA compared to 2017.

The results show that the greatest value in holding the CMA is the ability to move across areas of business, as 78% agreed with this statement, and 74% of the respondents agreed that it strengthens their job security in the digital age. When asked how artificial intelligence (AI) would impact their job, 60% of respondents felt confident that they would not be replaced by AI any time soon yet 47% of the respondents felt that AI would greatly impact their organization in the next two years.

“More than half of the respondents this year expressed their confidence that their jobs wouldn’t be replaced by artificial intelligence technologies. This is a positive finding in the study as it shows that new skills will need to be developed that fit in line with new state-of-the-art technologies in the workplace, working hand in hand with human capabilities. The role of the CMA is to enable professionals to elevate their skills and advance their positions into more strategic roles within organizations,” Khalife added.

The salary gap between the compensation received by women and the compensation received by men continues to be an important area of interest. In the MEA region, the report shows that the overall salary gap for median total compensation is 95%. This is an improvement compared to last year when the overall salary gap in the MEA region was 73%.

Respondents holding advanced degrees earn an average salary that is 96% higher compared to those with only baccalaureate degrees, while those in top management positions earn 88% more than those in senior management positions. Job satisfaction increased in the MEA region, where 77.2% of respondents expressed some satisfaction with their job. Despite the fact that average compensation went down and only 38% of the respondents agreed that their compensation package was very competitive with their peers.

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