PMP Certification Steps That Guarantee Success

Becoming a PMP Certified Professional

Are you a project manager aspiring to grow in the same profession? Then, you definitely need the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Your next query will naturally be what are the PMP certification steps or what is the PMP certification procedure. This article will explain all the PMP certification details you are looking for, including PMP certification levels. First, let us understand what PMP is.

PMP Certification: Definition

PMP is an acronym for “Project Management Professional.”

According to the Professional Management Institute (PMI) website, PMP certification is a globally recognized and the most sought-after credential in project management for project managers. PMP certification demonstrates your education, experience, and competency to direct projects. At the last count, there were 833,025 active PMP professionals globally, and their tribe is increasing by leaps and bounds annually.

Reasons to Take Up PMP Certification

If you are one of the thousands who Google, “how to get PMP certification,” it is equally vital for you to understand “why PMP certification?”

Let us take a look at three of the most common reasons why professionals flock to complete the PMP certification steps.

➧ Salary Hike

Once you complete the PMP certification procedure successfully, you will get a decent salary hike. The question is, how much salary can you expect at the start? Most salary surveys linked to project management paint a rosy picture; so let us settle for an optimistic 20 per cent hike for IT professionals with some experience who have cleared the certification course at the Foundation Level.

➧ Project-Oriented Roles

No matter which industry sector you work in, take a look around, and you will see a surge in project management roles and hiring. According to data from PMI, by 2027, employers will need nearly 88 million individuals in project management-oriented positions. China and India will represent more than 75 per cent of the total project management-oriented employment.

So you were right to seek PMP certification details; you can earn credentials of many PMP certification levels to stay a step ahead and also move into diverse industries to keep abreast of technology changes.

➧ Project Management Jobs

There will be plenty of jobs for a certified PMP. The same PMI report says employers will have to fill nearly 2.2 million new project-oriented roles on an annualized basis, through 2027. The demand for PMPs has been on an uptick since 2008 and in the 11 countries analyzed (China, India, US, Brazil, Japan, UK, Germany, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, UAE) newly created positions are expected to spring up in PM-oriented industries.

Undoubtedly the labor statistics cited above has helped to strengthen your resolve to turn into project management certified professional. So let us first take a look at the eligibility criteria you need to meet.

Prerequisites for PMP Certification Procedure

There are two sets of requirements, and you may satisfy either one to begin your PMP certification steps:

➤ Secondary degree (High School Diploma or Associate Degree)
➤ Five years’ experience in the project management domain
➤ 7,500 hours in leading and directing projects
➤ 35 hours of project management education


➤ Four-year degree
➤ Three years’ experience in project management
➤ 4,500 hours in leading and directing the projects
➤ 35 hours of project management education

Prerequisites for PMP Certification Procedure
Source: PMI

Take Mock Tests to Prepare for the Exam

Many websites host mock tests to help candidates prepare for the actual PMP certification exam. It helps you to assess yourself. On completion of taking the mock test, you will know your result then and there; this will help you identify the areas in which you are weak, and you can concentrate your efforts in that direction.

Follow the Revised PMBOK Guide

The PMI provides comprehensive guides called Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) to help students prepare for the various PMP certification levels. A new and revised sixth edition of the PMBOK Guide has been released in 2018 which introduces Agile concepts. The Agile methodology promotes continuous iteration of development and testing throughout the software development lifecycle of a project.

Attend the Certification Training From a Global REP

Registered Education Providers (REPs) are enterprises permitted by PMI to facilitate project management training. If you opt for PMP training from PMI-accredited providers, you will have access to:

  • Readily available study material
  • Best possible
  • Clarity in management terminologies

PMP Certification Steps

Upon meeting the eligibility criteria and under-going the required training, the next step is to apply for the PMP exam. The application is available online and as a printable PDF form on the official website of PMI ( Filling the application form is indeed a time-consuming process as it must include details related to projects handled and those in the pipeline if any.

After the application is submitted, it takes approximately 5-10 days for PMI to assess your application. Once your application is processed, you will receive an email with a request for payment. On successful payment of credential fee, your claim is ready for audit. At this stage, you can choose your examination delivery mode to suit your convenience –it can either be paper or computer-based.

PMP Application Fees Structure

CategoryPMI Member*Non-member
PMI Membership Fees$139N/A
PMP Exam Fees$405$555
PMP Re-take Fees$275$375

*PMI offers paid membership to individuals, students, retirees; members get discounts & freebies

A few select classroom or instructor-led training, whereas others take up online courses. There are different prices for each section. Classroom training varies from $200 to $2,500, whereas online courses are reasonably priced in the range of $500.

How to Get Your PMP Application Audited?

A few applications are selected haphazardly for the audit process by PMI, and the applicant is notified by email. If you do receive such a mail, you have to respond quickly to honor the PMP certification procedure and submit supporting documents mentioned below:

➤ Copies of the four-year degree/ secondary degree course certificate
➤ Signed prints from the project supervisor recorded in the application verification form
➤ Copy of the training certificate for 35 contact hours

Applicants will have 90-days to submit the above-cited documents on being selected for audit; the audit process will extend to another seven days after all the documents are submitted.

On completion of the audit, you will receive an email notification from PMI regarding your exam schedule with instructions and an eligibility ID. Starting from this day, you will have one year to take your exam. Applicants will be allowed a maximum of three attempts to clear the exam during the eligibility period.

Usually, PMI recommends that you schedule the test dates 5-6 weeks in advance, and it has to be done based on your confidence level. Remember, until you pay the credential fees, you cannot check the availability of test centers.

PMP Exam

The four-hour PMP exam can be attempted at the nearest test center, and the exam format includes 200 questions. The question paper structure is broken down into five process groups:

➤ Initiation
➤ Planning
➤ Executing
➤ Monitoring and controlling
➤ Closing

You will get your scores immediately on completion of the exam as it is computer-based. You should prove your proficiency levels in all the five groups with honesty. If the test results reveal, you have scored a pass in all five categories…congratulations! Now you are a certified project management professional. You can use this credential for the next three years.

PMP Renewal

Yes, passing one of the PMP certification levels is just a beginning! Your credentials will be up for review every three years. Hence, it is not just about the PMP certification procedure but also about PMP certification steps to maintain the validity of your hard-earned PMP certification levels. Bear in mind that you need to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) to qualify for renewal of your PMP credentials.

Right Inputs Will Guarantee Output

Thus the PMP certification process will guide you on all the PMP certification steps you need to take, to start your journey to reach different PMP certification levels.

What you need as inputs to complete the PMP certification procedure makes up the first part of this Explainer. Additionally, you also need to use specific tools and techniques to sharpen your skills and prepare for the exam.

Handy Tools to Prepare Better

If you look for the tools and techniques listed below and take their help, you will find it a lot easier to tackle the PMP certification levels.

  • PMP Study Guides: The guide covers all the essential concepts required for exam preparation. The language used in the guide is quite simple and explained in an easily understandable manner. It is a valuable tool for PMP exam aspirants.
  • Exam Simulators: The exam simulators help you face exams in a time-conscious manner and become syllabus-oriented.
  • PMP Formulas: It will help you to learn and review the subject-specific and process-focused formula required for the exam
  • Flashcards: Flashcards are useful in memorizing various concepts, be it traditional or digital
  • Mind Maps: Mind maps will help you store knowledge mentally. It is quite easy to grasp, remember, and reproduce. The intricacy involved in project management can be simplified using mind maps.

With all these PMP certification details at your disposal, a disciplined approach to prepare for the exam will give you the desired output: A pass in the PMP certification exam on the first attempt.

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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.