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Project Management Academy

PMP Certification Requirements

PMP Certification Requirements

Earning Project Management Institute (PMI)'s Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is an important step in your project management career. It is a challenging process, but having a PMP certification can open career opportunities leading to increased earning potential.

PMI manages the PMP certification exam as part of global standards for the profession of project management. PMI produces A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), a global standard for all things project management and a foundation for the PMP certification.

Project Management Academy has everything you need to understand the PMP exam requirements and the process for applying for the PMP Certification so that you can start advancing your career today!

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The Complete PMP Certification Guide

Ultimate Guide to PMP Certification

Get this complete roadmap and successfully navigate the PMP Certification process.

PMP Certification

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The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, offered by the globally recognized Project Management Institute (PMI), serves as a comprehensive validation of your knowledge, skills, and experience in project management. It demonstrates your ability to effectively lead and direct projects, while ensuring adherence to project management best practices, processes, methodologies, and professional ethics upheld by PMI.

To earn your PMP certification, you must:

  • Learn many complex topics that might be outside of your core area of expertise or job experience.
  • Complete the robust PMI application for the PMP certification.
  • Earn a passing score on the PMP exam.

Once you have PMP certification, you will need to earn Professional Development Units (PDUs) each year to maintain your PMP credential.

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PMP Certification Eligibility Requirements

Project Management Institute requires that you meet initial requirements before you are eligible to sit for the PMP certification exam. The PMP certification application requires experience leading projects and a minimum number of professional development units (PDUs). The PMI will review your application. If you fulfill the requirements, PMI will notify you that you can take the PMP certification exam.

The information below provides an overview of the various education levels PMI accepts for PMP certification applications with non-overlapping professional project management experience requirements. For the PMP certification application, all project management experience submitted must have occurred within the last eight years.

PMP Certification Eligibility Requirements

High School Diploma, Associate's Degree, or Global Equivalent

Bachelor's Degree (Four-year Degree) or Global Equivalent

Bachelor's Degree or Post-Graduate Degree from a GAC accredited program (Bachelor's Degree or Master's or Global Equivalent)

How to Get a PMP Certification

PMI administers the PMP certification exam. To apply to take the exam, you must first create a PMI account to use for logging into the PMI website. Next, submit your completed PMP certification exam application with the required documentation on the PMI website. After PMI approves your application, you will receive the information to schedule your exam.

To prepare, review the PMP Exam Content Outline and familiarize yourself with the PMP certification exam format. We offer a number of study materials and practice exams in our PMP Certification Training course to help you get ready.

The application process for the PMP certification exam is as follows:

PMP Certification Exam Application Process
Become a PMI Member to take PMP Certification Exam

Step 1: Register to become a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI)®.

  • It costs $159 to become a member, but it saves you money on exam fees.
  • The standard non-member price to take the exam is $595. The PMI member price for the exam is $425.
Earn Your 35 Contact Hours Through a PMP Training Course

Step 2: Take our PMP Certification Training course to satisfy the required 35 hours of education requirement.

  • Study resources are included in the course to help you prepare for the exam.
  • You will receive a certificate of completion after completing the course which can be used to apply for the exam.
Submit Your Application to Take The PMP Certification Exam

Step 3: Submit your PMP application online.

  • PMI® will review your application and respond within 5 business days.
  • Once your application is approved you will receive an invitation to pay for and schedule the exam.
Schedule Your PMP Certification Exam at Pearson VUE

Step 4: Schedule your exam with Pearson VUE.

  • You have one year to take the exam after your application has been approved.
  • You may take the PMP certification exam up to three (3) times during the eligibility period.
  • To learn more about the testing centers and online testing options, please visit Pearson VUE.
Pass the PMP Certification Exam

Step 5: Take and Pass the PMP Certification Exam

  • The PMP Exam is 180 questions with a 230 minute time limit.
  • The questions are broken down into 3 domains: Process (50%), People (42%), and Business Environment (8%).


What is the fee for the PMP Certification exam?

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The cost to take the PMP certification exam is $554 total ($159 to join PMI and $425 for the exam fees). You can pay for the exam without joining PMI, at a cost of $595. Since joining PMI saves you $21 on exam fees and you also receive PMI member benefits, we recommend becoming a PMI member before applying to take the exam.

How many contact hours do I need to be eligible for a PMP Certification?

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PMI requires 35 contact hours to sit for the PMP exam. Project Management Academy's PMP exam prep course has been approved by PMI to issue the 35 contact hours. Upon completing the required PMI Post-Class Survey (instructions are provided in-class and in your PMA Learning Portal), your 35 hours will also populate in your PMI profile to streamline your application process for the PMP Certification. For extra assurance, we will provide you with a certificate of completion at the end of the course that you can submit to PMI if you get audited.

Can I apply for the exam prior to attending a course?

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You can apply for the PMP exam before attending the course, provided you have already completed the required 35 hours of PM training needed to sit for the exam. Most students wait until the live course is completed, at which time they will have earned the necessary 35 hours to apply for the exam, and that's what we generally advise students to do. However, circumstances sometimes require students to get certified within a short timeframe.

As a word of caution, we generally do not recommend taking the PMP certification exam immediately after completing the course. While it certainly can be done, it requires extra preparation prior to the live course. We recommend allowing yourself at least 1 week of study after the live course to ensure that you are fully prepared.

How many PDUs are required to maintain a PMP Certification?

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PMP certification holders are required to earn a minimum of 60 PDUs over the course of 3 years to meet the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) to maintain your credential.

How much does it cost to renew your PMP Certification?

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For Non-PMI Members, the cost to renew your PMP Certification is $150 per 3 year cycle. For PMI members, the cost is discounted to $60.

What is the average salary of a project manager with a PMP Certification?

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From an annual project manager survey report, PMI collected self-reported data from 32,000 Project Managers across 42 countries. Data showed that those with a PMP® certification earn 22% more than those without it. The PMI states that in the USA., the median salary for Project Managers is $ 116,000.

How can I maintain my PMP Certification?

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Once you have earned the Project Management Professional certification, you must maintain a specific number of PDUs in PMI-determined categories and pay the renewal cycle fee to remain certified. PMI PDU requirements are in the PMI CCR Handbook. Submit your PDU claims via the PMI CCR online portal with the best practice of submitting as soon as possible after completing an activity.

How long does it take to get PMP certification?

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The entire PMP certification process includes the time to complete the application, the 5 business days the PMI uses to review your application, the exam prep work, and taking the exam. Generally speaking, starting the application process to receiving your certification can take about 6 months.

In a survey of 100 PMP certification holders asked how long they studied for their exams, the answers ranged from a week to 6 months! The conclusion was that for most project managers, it takes about 2 months of 2 - 3 hours of daily study to prepare for the PMP certification exam. To plan your PMP certification prep, keep in mind that you will need time to complete your application and you need time to study, before you actually take the exam.