All about PMP certification

What is PMP certification?

The PMP certification (its acronym stands for Project Management Professional) given by the Project Management Institute is an international accreditation that endorses its owner as a senior project manager, showing companies, clients and colleagues that she/he masters in project management tools and procedures..

According to data provided by the Project Management Institute , there are currently more than 1,000,000 professionals certified with the PMP, being one of most important and recognized certifications in project management worldwide.

If you decide to go for the PMP certification, you should know that it has a duration of 3 years, after which you must renew it if you do not want it to expire. To do so you must collect 60 PDUs during these 3 years. In the following article we explain how to renew it and get the PDUs

Why to obtain the PMP certificate?

The process to achieve the PMP certification is complex and requires a lot of effort, but it carries several benefits that are worth it. That is why the most experienced project managers have it.

Professional development

The main reason for having the PMP certification is certifying your level of knowledge and experience in project management techniques and tools.

For that reason, most of the companies and headhunters looking for project managers request it, especially when it comes to senior positions. Therefore, having the certification will you stand out from the other candidates.

Wage increase

Getting PMP certified costs money, but is it worth it?

Management Institute, PMP holders in US earn 25% more than those who do not.

This information is in line with the studies carried out by Global Knowledge  , CEO Maganize and Forbes magazines . Which place the PMP as the best paid certification in project management, and the fifth best paid certification (the first four correspond to IT).

Self improvement

Beyond the professional and economic aspects, undoubtedly important and for that reason listed first, there are also some personal reasons for having a certification. Having a certification means recognition among your professional colleagues, which will have a favorable impact on your professional self-esteem.

Also your credibility, in relation to project management, will be increased in front of colleagues, management and clients. If an internationally recognized institution such as the Project Management Institute accredits you through its PMP certificate, your comments and points of view will have higher value.

What requirements do you need to get the PMP certification ?

PMI requires that you meet some initial conditions before beginning the process of applying for your PMP certificate. These conditions are slightly different depending on your studies:

  • If you have a bachelor's degree, the requirements for the PMP are 3 years of project management experience and 35 hours of project management training, or holding the CAPM certification.
  • If you have a high school degree, these certification requirements increase. So, you must prove 5 years of experience in project management in the last 8 years, and 35 hours of training in project management, or having the CAPM certification.

In both cases the 35h training must have been carried out by a center recognized by the project management institute . Below we list some recognized centers where you can get this training.

How to apply for pmp certification?

The process to apply for the PMP certification is quite simple, although it takes some time due to the documentation that you must collect and the preparation time. Here are the steps to do.

Step 1: certify that you meet the requirements

The first thing you have to do is apply on the project page management institute to accredit their certification requirements. To do this you can use this link , which will ask you to register with PMI (if you are not already registered) and will allow you to start the process.

To prove that your meet with the requirements, PMI will ask you for some information that it is better to prepare in advance:

  • For the degree, you must have it and the name of the university or high school where you got it
  • For the 35-hour training, they will ask you for the name of the center where you attended it (remember that it must be accredited by the PMI), the name of the course, and their duration until completing the 35 hours.

Many people wonder how to prove their experience when applying for the PMP certificate. It 's quite simple, since you only must fill out a form with the name of the companies where you worked, the projects in which you participated with a brief summary of the result, and your role and responsibility in each case.

The roles and responsibilities must include leading cross-functional teams to deliver projects within schedule, budget, and scope constraints. It does not matter if you were not the person in charge of the project, as long as you had direct responsibility for its execution and compliance.

The project management institute takes 5 to 7 days to review your application, and sporadically asks applicants to send the necessary documentation to prove what was in the application. If this is your case, you will have 90 days to send this documentation.

Step 2: Pay

The PMI does not make it so clear on its page, but yes, once your application has been accepted, you have to go to the checkout and pay for being eligible to take the exam.

The price of the PMP certification depends on whether you are a member of PMI or not. For members the price is US$405, while for the rest it is US$555 (at the moment of writing this website). It worth to said that you will usually recover this money quite quickly when you make a promotion or job change thanks to the new certification.

Step 3: Take the PMP exam

Once the payment and the accreditation process are completed, you have 1 year to take the exam, and it is possible to repeat it 3 times. After this time or three repetitions, you must start over and pay again.

Therefore, before taking the exam we suggest that you prepare it well. Usually the 35-hour training is already focused on you being able to pass it, but it is usually not enough and it is advisable to expand it with practice on exam simulators and preparation guides.

In the following table you can see several exam simulators that will allow you to prepare for the PMP certification in real conditions.

Currently, the Project Management Institute offers you the possibility of taking the exam online or in person at centers located in the main cities. Through its page you can choose and book between the different options and dates available.

Once you have passed the exam, you will receive the title that accredits you as a Professional Project Manager. This title has a duration of 3 years and to renew it you must prove that you have earned 60 PDUs.

Other PMI Certifications

The PMP certification is the best known and most widespread among those offered by the Project Management Institute , but not the only one. There are also accreditations for those professionals who do not yet meet the requirements for the PMP or who want to become certified in specific project management areas.

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

This certification in project management can be seen as the step prior to obtaining the PMP certification , although it is not a requirement for it.

This certification is designed for professionals who are starting out and therefore do not have experience; For this reason, the requirements of this certification do not include it and they are limited to requesting training (22 hours instead of 35 hours) and academic training, a high school diploma being sufficient for this.

If you are hesitating between the PMP or CAPM certification, the basic question is how much experience you have. For the CAPM certification it is not required, and therefore this certification can be very useful at the beginning of the professional career to access a project management position. Once you have the required experience, it is better to focus on getting the much more valued PMP certification .

Program Management Professional ( PgMP )

The PgMP could be seen as the next step to the PMP certification. Unlike this, the PgMP certifies knowledge and experience in the management of programs.

In this case, there are requirements at the level of hours of experience in project management and program management, linked to the level of academic training. There is no need to accredit training in program management, but it is needed to pass the exam.

Portfolio Management Professional ( PfMP )

The next step in the certifications offered by the Project Management Institute would be the certification in portfolio management.

While a program is a group of projects related to each other by a common objective, a portfolio is a group of projects that do not a common objective, but are executed within the same organization with shared resources and common business objectives.

Therefore, this certification focuses on the knowledge and experience at business level, requesting at least 96 months in the last 15 years, as well as an experience in portfolio management of 84 or 48 months depending on the education level.

PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)

This certification is quite new and little known. It focuses on the projects directly linked to the business of the company. For this reason, it certifies the knowledge and experience in defining the requirements, results and objectives of the projects, in relation to the commercial objectives of the organization.

The requirements are very similar to those of the PMP certification, replacing the hours of training and experience in project management with their equivalents in business analysis.

PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)

Within the certifications for specific areas of project management, this is perhaps the best known. With it, the experience and training of its holder in the field of risk management in projects is certified.

To do so, the Project Management Institute requires 24 or 36 months of risk management experience and 30 or 40 hours of training, depending on your educational background. After accrediting these requirements, you must pass an exam of 170 questions.

PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)

This is a certification focused on knowledge and experience in the creation, monitoring and maintenance of project schedules. It could be indicated for professionals dedicated exclusively to this area, professionals who begin managing projects or to demonstrate mastery of this area.

As the previous one, it is required to prove experience (28 or 40 months) and training (30 or 40 hours) in this specific area, according to the level of academic training. Afterwards, you also need to pass an exam.

What is the project manager institute ?

The PMI is an american organization based in Pennsylvania, founded 50 years ago (they celebrated in 2019), and present in more than 125 countries through a network of offices called chapters.

Among its objectives we can highlight: the improvement and development of the project management profession through standards, certifications, communities, resources, tools, academic research, and publications.