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Why Earn a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification?

Why Earn a Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification?

About the PMP® Certification

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is the most recognized and important industry certification for project managers. It doesn’t matter what organization you are currently employed with, PMPs can be found to be leading projects in virtually every industry and every country worldwide. The PMP® certification is truly global.

According to the most current study on project management salaries from the Project Management Institute (PMI)®Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, Thirteenth Edition, survey respondents with a PMP certification reported higher median salaries than those without a PMP certification – 33% higher on average across 21 countries surveyed.

Another PMI® study, Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017-2027, indicates that by 2027, employers will need nearly 88 million individuals (about twice the population of California) in project management roles; the need for experienced, skilled PM’s is growing exponentially.

Other than being a globally acknowledged certification and the potential to significantly increase salaries, the PMP certification also offers benefits such as:

  • Learn predictive, agile and hybrid to determine which approach is best for your project
  • Expand opportunities to manage larger and more complex projects
  • Compete effectively in a dynamic job market
  • Increased visibility to recruiters, human resources, and compensation professionals
  • Security even in economic downturns

For current employers, the benefits of PMP-certified Project Managers far outweigh the cost.

How to get PMP certified

1) Fulfill Eligibility PMP Requirements

Begin by downloading the Project Management Professional (PMP) Handbook from:


This will provide you with the most current prerequisites for the certification. Currently, if you have a bachelor’s degree or global equivalent, you will need 3 years (36 months) of unique, non-overlapping professional project management experience during which at least 4,500 hours (about 6 months) were spent leading and directing the project. In addition, you will need to complete 35 contact hours of formal project management education.

It is a good idea to take a training class that will prepare you for the certification exam. The typical course is 35 hours, which is the required amount to sit the exam; you should plan on about 60-80 hours (about 3 and a half days) of additional study to review the material before you attempt the exam.

2) Complete the PMP Application

There are 3 steps to the application: Education, Experience and Exam options. You will be expected to share details about your role and responsibilities on projects. Be sure to record projects individually regardless of the number of projects you include. The application typically takes a few days to process once you have submitted.

One item to consider is whether you wish to join PMI as a member. The current cost of membership is $149 (USD). Joining as a PMI member will save money on the cost of the exam. The current cost of taking the exam for members is $405 (USD) and for non-members it is $555 (USD). In addition, you will receive access to the following:

  1. PMIstandards+™ which includes digital copies of the PMBOK® Guide, Agile Practice Guide, and Process Groups: A Practice Guide
  2. Webinars and articles
  3. Various PMI publications

Occasionally, an application is randomly selected to be audited. PMI may request copies of your diploma, signatures of supervisors attesting to your experience, copies of certificates, etc. PMI gives you 90 days to respond to their request.

Once submitted, your application remains active for one year from acceptance of the application (if audited this means once you have satisfied the audit requirements and have your application accepted.)

*In some cases, training companies will help you with the application process.

The online application can be found at: http://www.pmi.org/certification/project-management-professional-pmp.aspx

3) Payment

Make payment through PMI’s online certification system. Once you’ve made payment, you’ll be emailed an eligibility number that you’ll use to schedule your test appointment. You will be eligible for one year and you may take the exam up to three times during that year.

4) Schedule the Test Appointment

All PMI exams are offered at approved Pearson VUE Testing Centers worldwide. You can check for locations on Pearson VUE’s website. In-person testing experience is recommended. However, if you are unable to take your exam in a test center, you may also be able to take it from your home or office while being monitored by an online proctor through Pearson VUE. Some restrictions apply.

5) Exam

On the day of the exam, you will need to provide an official identification with a photo that matches exactly with the name you registered under. The exam has 180 questions, and you will have 230 minutes to complete the exam. There are two 10-minute breaks.

The questions on the exam are based on the tasks listed under three performance domains. Below are the domains along with the percentage of questions coming from each of them:

  • People (42%)
  • Process (50%)
  • Business Environment (8%)

While challenging, passing the exam will be extremely gratifying and provide you with an entry into one of the most rewarding careers of your life with unlimited potential.

When you’re ready to get PMP certified, IIL can help.

IIL offers Live Virtual Classes at a variety of times suited for learners around the world, as well as In-Person Classes in major cities across the globe. Check details, dates, and pricing at https://www.iil.com/iils-authorized-pmp-exam-prep-course/.

Register with the code PREPNOW for a $120.00 discount!

Ed Lively brings a wealth of experience to the project management field as a practitioner, presenter, mentor, and author. His multidimensional skills allow him to teach 52 different classes in three core subject areas: negotiation and conflict resolution skills, all aspects of project management and team leadership.

Suggested PMI Publications:
Project Management Professional (PMP)® Handbook
Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey – Thirteenth Edition

Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap | 2017-2027
PMI, PMBOK, and PMP are marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Learn more about IIL’s PMP® Exam Prep Course »

Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent.

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