How Do I Get PMP® Certified?

Project Management Professional (PMP)® is one of the most valuable feats for any aspiring or experienced project managers. It is an internationally recognized professional designation given by the project management institute. 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 of what a non-certified project manager gets on average. In the United States, the numbers can go up to $106k a year . In India, PMP certified professionals can get as much as 20 percent more than non-certified professionals.

PMP Certification Roadmap

There are as many as 1 million certified project management professionals right now. The kind of professional growth it offers demands dedication and equal skills to earn the designation. By now, it must be pretty clear that PMP certification is not available for everyone. It requires specific prerequisites to be able to even apply for the certification exam. In response to "How Do I Get PMP Certified?", the candidate can follow the PMP certification roadmap as follows:

  1. Confirm that you are eligible: It will need the verification of all the aspects of PMP eligibility requirements
  2. Submit the Application: After fulfilling the eligibility requirements, document the details and submit the application
  3. Pay the Exam Fee: After the review is completed, pay the PMP certification exam fee
  4. Select the Exam Date and Center: Choose the exam center near you or choose to appear for the PMP certification online
  5. Get your PMP certificate: After scoring the passing marks, you will get your PMP certification
  6. Maintain your PMP credential: Maintain the PMP certification credential for the next 3 years

PMP Certification Eligibility Requirements

The prerequisites can be divided into two parts, where either of the two is necessary before a candidate can apply for the certification.

  • You should have a four-year degree
  • There is an experience requirement of 36 months of leading a project
  • 35 hours of project management training/education or (CAPM)® certification

The other set of prerequisites include:

  • A high school diploma or associate degree
  • Experience of 60 months leading a project
  • 35 hours of project management training/education or CAPM certification

After you are confident that you are eligible in any of the above categories, you can move forward with the application process.

PMP Certification Application Process

After the successful evaluation of eligibility, a candidate will apply for the certification on pmi.org, the official website of the project management institute. The application must contain detailed information about the experience in the following format:

  • Employer’s details
  • Role and responsibilities during the employment
  • Duration of the projects
  • Details of the project management training/education including the training hours and course details along with the institutions

After the successful completion of the application, it will be reviewed. After the evaluation is done, the candidate is supposed to submit the examination fee. The examination fee is divided into two parts.

  • Member’s Fee - $405 USD
  • Non-Member’s Fee - $555 USD

When you join PMI, a membership fee can be paid to get the compensation in the certification exam fee. The PMI membership fee stands at $129 and $10 USD joining fee.  And the benefits can be seen in reexamination fees as well, where the member’s price is $275 USD, and for the non-members, the cost is $375 USD.

PMP Certification Exam Details

After the successful completion of the payment for the examination, a candidate can schedule an exam at the nearest testing site. The exam consists of 180 multiple choice questions that are based on 3 domains. The 3 tested domains are:

  • People
  • Process
  • Business Environment

For further information, you can check the PMP exam changes that were implemented on 2nd January 2021. Therefore, it is extremely important to get well versed with the new exam format, since half of the questions will be based on the agile or hybrid approach and the other half on predictive project management approaches.

Maintaining the PMP Certification

After the successful completion of earning the 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.

Conclusion

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

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FAQs on PMP Certification

Who should take up the PMP exam prep course?

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. The PMP Certification training preparation aspect is taken care of by the PMI accredited REPs like Invensis Learning. 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.

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.

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