How Do I Get a PMP Certification in 2021?

Project Management professional (PMP) is one of the most valuable feats for any aspiring or experienced project managers. It is a globally recognized professional designation given by the Project Management institute (PMI). A PMP certified professional has additional proficiency in Project Management skills such as project planning, timeline mapping, budget allocation, stakeholder management, troubleshooting, service delivery, etc.

Project Management professional certification can give a boost to your Project Management career in terms of financial growth as well. The studies show that a PMP certified professional would take home almost double the salary of what a non-certified project manager gets on average. In the United States, the numbers can go up to $106k a year, and in India, the PMP certified professionals can get as much as ₹17 lakhs to ₹40 lakhs per annum.

Why Project Management Certification?

Certification will not only build a structured path for your Project Management career, but it also offers much more. Let's take a look at why you need a Project Management certification in 2021.

  1. Global Recognition: The certification gives you global recognition and automatically puts you in the spotlight for the best Project Management opportunities
  2. Advanced Project Management Skills: You will learn about all the advanced Project Management skills and best practices that will be required to manage projects, even in difficult circumstances
  3. Job Opportunities: The certified professionals have seen a 33% growth in the Project Management-related job roles
  4. Financial Growth: Choose the exam center near you or choose to appear for the PMP certification online
  5. Part of an Ecosystem: There are more than 1 million certified Project Management professionals in the world at present. Getting a Project Management certification makes you a part of the bigger ecosystem with skilled professionals

How To Get a Project Management Certification?

To get a Project Management certification in your professional achievements, you must consider the following:

  1. Educational Requirements: All the certifications require a certain level of educational qualifications to be met in order to write the examination. You must be aware of the PMP certification requirements, i.e, educational qualifications, and learning hours.
  2. Professional Experience Requirements: Some of the advanced level certifications require professional experience in managing projects as eligibility criteria. For example- For PMP certification, you are required to have at least 36 months of experience in leading and directing projects to appear for the examination.
  3. Credibility: The credibility of the certification resonates with the recognition that it gets around the world. It must be a standard among the organization to measure the professional capabilities of the certification holder.
  4. Validity and Maintenance: You must be aware of the validity of the certification. If it does expire, you must know how to maintain the credential. For example - PMP certification is valid for only 3 years, but during the 3 years time, if you get 60 PDUs you will be able to maintain the certification.
  5. Exam Format & Exam Cost: The candidate should be aware of the exam format and the exam cost that would be paid in order to get the certification. For example - the exam cost for the PMP certification exam is 405 USD for members and 555 USD for non-members of the PMI. And the exam format is as follows:
    1. Exam Type: Closed Book
    2. Number of Questions: 180 Questions
    3. Duration: 230 minutes
    4. Result: The results are based on the psychometric analysis

    Note* - Recently in January 2021, there was an update in the exam format, and there are some changes in the PMP exam.

  6. Application Process: You must be thorough with the application process while applying for any certification to avoid iterations and save time. Sometimes, the application process lasts for weeks and you wouldn't want to go through the process again for a silly mistake.
  7. Governing Bodies: While choosing a certification, one must always research the governing bodies. In the case of Project Management certifications like PMP, CAPM, etc are governed by a globally recognized PMI or Project Management Institute.
  8. Training Requirements: Sometimes, as a prerequisite, you will have to go through Project Management training from Authorized Training Partner. For example - PMP certification requires you to have 35 PDUs i.e, Project Management education/training as eligibility criteria.
  9. Monetary Factors: You have to calculate the total cost of the PMP certification that you will have to pay, and you must verify certain factors like training cost, exam cost, learning resources, etc.
  10. Entry-level or Advanced: Last but not the least, you have to decide if you want to go for an entry-level certification or an advanced level certification based on eligibility and professional experience. For example - The entry-level CAPM certification does not require any eligibility requirements, but on the other hand, the PMP certification has certain criteria to be met since it's an advanced level credential.
  11. Maintaining the PMP Certification

    After the successful completion of earning the PMP certification i.e clearing the exam, there is a pressing need to grow professionally in order to retain that designation. Soon after the certification is awarded to the candidate, he/she is required to earn 60 PDUs in a period of 3 years. These PDUs are also divided into giving back and education PDUs where a minimum of 35 education PDUs are required and a maximum of 25 Giving back PDUs are required.

    A PDU or a professional development unit is nothing but a measure to ensure professional development. A candidate can earn the PDUs post completion of certification by course or training, content creation, volunteering, presentations, etc.


    The professionals who have already cleared the certification exam often advise enrolling in an online preparation course provided by Invensis Learning. In addition to that a thorough study of the PMBOK® Guide - Sixth Edition helps as well. Though passing the eligibility criteria can take a lot of time for some candidates, just the PMBOK® Guide - Sixth Edition terminologies and concepts will not suffice. Structured learning ensures better performance on the certification exam.

FAQs on PMP Certification

For how long does the PMP certification stay valid?

The PMP Certification is valid for three years, starting from the day the candidate clears the exam. In this period, the candidate must earn 60 PDUs to maintain the PMP credential after the completion of 3 years.

The PMP Certification Exam cost is USD 405 for members and USD 555 for non-members.

The project management experience is any work that is spent planning and executing projects. This may include any work related to initial planning, time management, execution, budget allocation, risk management, etc.

Job roles that can benefit from the PMP Exam Prep Course include, but are not limited to:

  • Associate Project Managers
  • IT Project Managers
  • Project Coordinators
  • Project Analysts
  • Project Leaders
  • Product Managers
  • Program Managers
  • Project Sponsors
  • Project Team Members

After completing your PMP Exam Prep training, you will gain an in-depth understanding of:

  • Initiating a project
  • Planning project work
  • Developing Project schedules, cost estimates, and budgets
  • Planning project staffing and communication
  • Analyze projects risks
  • Plan and manage project procurement
  • Monitoring and controlling of project work, and more

There are a set of minimum requirements to be met for PMP certification. The prerequisites to take the PMP certification exam are:

Scenario 1

  • Educational Background: Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent)
  • Project Management Experience: 60 months leading and directing projects
  • Project Management Education: 35 hours of project management education or CAPM certification

Scenario 2

  • Educational Background: Four-year degree
  • Project Management Education: 36 months hours leading and directing projects
  • Project Management Education: 35 hours of project management education or CAPM certification

  • Exam Type: Multiple choice, multiple responses, matching, hotspot, etc.
  • No Of Questions: 180 questions per paper, 175 scored
  • Exam duration: 230 Minutes
  • Type: Closed book exam

Result: The passing score is determined through psychometric analysis

The most challenging part is clearing the eligibility criteria for the PMP Certification. Once you have done that, half the job is done. The other half is the examination and maintaining the credential. A structured learning path and dedicated preparation are needed to get PMP certified.

After clearing the necessary eligibility requirements for the PMP Certification, including the 35 hours of training/learning, the application process can be started. Where the audit will take place, and a candidate has to pay the exam fee. This could take anywhere between 5 days to 3 months. In short, getting a PMP certification can take up to 8-10 weeks, including the preparation and PMP Certification training.

The eligibility criteria clearly state that a candidate must have project management experience. So, unfortunately, a candidate cannot get a PMP Certification without experience. But a little relaxation in qualifications is overwhelming. A high school diploma holder can also appear for the certification after completing the other eligibility requirements.

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