PMP certification is a globally recognized project management credential that allows you to lead projects by deploying project management methodology. Getting this certification demonstrates a solid foundation in project management methodologies, competency and experience in managing projects and associated teams. When project managers are PMP certified, enterprises can complete the projects on-time and accomplish business objectives within the budget.

Not everyone is qualified to take up PMP certification training. Interested candidates must satisfy all the PMP certification requirements defined by Project Management Institute (PMI).

PMP Certification Requirements

PMP aspirants willing to take up project management certification training should possess project management real-life experience and should have received 35 contact hours of formal training.

  1. Project Management Experience

  2. Project management experience is the most important factor to consider as part of PMP qualification. You need to have completed a minimum number of hours to meet PMP certification requirements. Project managers leading and directing projects for 3-5 years would hold this experience.

    So, let us understand what is meant by “leading and directing projects.”

    What is leading and directing a project?
    It means performing the role of a project manager or handling a complete project or part of a project. It is not enough to have worked just as a team member.
  3. Key Considerations in Project Management Prerequisites

  4. The appropriate requirements for taking up the exam are as mentioned below:
    • Primary Degree
    • Four-year degree (bachelor’s or any global equivalent) and three years of project management experience. The project management experience is expected to be of 4,500 hours which is to be spent on directing and leading projects ; 35 hours of project management education from a certified or accredited institution.
    • Secondary Degree
    • If you are not having a four-year degree, you should have a secondary diploma with five years of project management experience. Of the five- year project management experience, 7500 hours should be spent on directing and leading projects; 35 hours should be on project management education from a certified or accredited institution.
  5. 35 Hours of Formal Project Management Education

  6. To be qualified for the PMP certification exam, it is mandatory to have 35 hours of formal project management education. Let us understand the meaning of formal education and contact hours:
    • What is a Contact Hour?
    • One hour of classroom instruction is equal to one contact hour. These contact hours can be gained from online training workshops or classroom course. The 35 contact hours do not expire, they have lifetime validity.
    • What is Formal Education
    • Formal education includes self-learning mode, instructor-led virtual training, or traditional classroom training.

Methods to Gain Required PMP experience

You need to gain PMP experience requirements to gain project management certification. As discussed earlier, you should have 4,500 to 7,500 hours of directing and leading projects based on your requirements. The below-mentioned ideas will help you to overcome shortfalls:
  • Full-time Project Manager

  • If you are a full-time project manager with an opportunity to lead and direct projects, then the process becomes simple. If you do not have sufficient working hours, you can go ahead with the projects that are in the pipeline, and you will gradually gain the number of hours required to take up the exam.
  • Part-time Project Manager

  • It becomes difficult to satisfy the prerequisites, if you are not in the role that provides you an opportunity either to lead or direct projects. Consider managing projects part-time. Though it means taking up an additional assignment, it will let you to collect required hours even if it is at a much slower rate than compared to a full-time project manager.

There are many ways to overcome the obstacles:

Switching Job Roles

Being a full-time project manager will help you collect the required hours at the earliest. It is better to increase the time spent on handling projects by changing your job role. Discuss the matter with your employer and explain that the change will only help your career develop in the right direction. Do not forget to specify your interest in directing and leading projects.

Changing the Company You Work In

If you are not given ample opportunity to handle diverse responsibilities at your current workplace, it may be better to change your employer. Doing so will allow you to earn the required hours to meet PMP eligibility requirement.


Taking up volunteering opportunities will provide you additional benefits and better networking opportunities as well. Keep your eyes open for such opportunities and gain the required hours to take up the PMP exam.


This short Explainer on PMP certification prerequisites and PMP certification eligibility will surely help you to start preparing for PMP certification. Even if you fall short of the PMP requirements, you can start early and try to fulfill both educational requirements and job role experience.
Remember, you can earn the required working hours by changing your job role or company or volunteer with the local PMI chapter.
The project management world is excited to have you into its domain, so find a way that works best for you and get started.

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Arvind Rongala, Director, Invensis Learning
Arvind Rongala, an engineer by education, has deep experience of serving the IT-BPO industry for more than 8 years. With his keen interest in the learning and development sector, Arvind spearheaded the launch of Invensis Learning as the training and certification arm of Invensis Technologies. As the Director of Invensis Learning, and with offices in the US, India, and Australia, he ensured the company became a trusted training partner for many Fortune 1000 clients and gain global recognition in a short span of time. { has featured a story about Arvind about his achievements over the years. } With his expertise in Project Management, IT Service Management, Quality Management, and IT Security Governance, he has been a guest author for various popular digital publications such as Business Insider, Business today, Project Times, Customer Think, Tech Sling, and Businessworld.


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