PMP Certification Requirements in 2021

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is an internationally recognized certification for project managers. A PMP certification demonstrates an individual’s knowledge, preparation, and capabilities needed to lead and steer complex project initiatives. PMP certification is one of the most in-demand Project Management certifications for professionals globally. This PMP certification is provided by the Project Management Institute Inc. As of April 2021 there are more than 1 Million PMP certified professionals worldwide, which validates the popularity of the certification. Now, you might be curious about PMP certification requirements, right?

Are You Qualified/Eligible to Take the PMP Certification Exam?

To apply for the PMP certification exam, you must fulfill the criteria for educational and professional experience. The professional experience is something that will come from your time managing the projects where you have indulged in all the aspects of the Project Management life cycle. Let’s have a look at the various professional and educational requirements needed for the PMP certification.

Key Requirements to be Eligible for the PMP Exam

Since the PMP certification is an advanced level Project Management certification credential from the PMI. The standards are maintained through a rigorous review process and eligibility criteria that consist of 3 components. The educational requirement, professional experience, and a formal Project Management education experience. The criteria maintains a standard among the PMP certified professionals while upholding integrity at the same time. Now, Let’s take a look at the PMP certification eligibility criteria.

Eligibility Requirements 4-year Degree Secondary Degree
Project Management Experience 3 Years (36 Months) 5 Years (60 Months)
Hours Sppent Leading and Directing Projects 4500 Hours 7500 Hours
Project Management Education 35 Contact Hours 35 Contact Hours
  1. Educational Requirements for PMP Exam

    The PMP certification has an eligibility requirement that allows the following scenarios for the educational requirements.

    • Primary Degree - A 4-year degree in IT or engineering or a global equivalent degree.
    • Secondary Degree - An associate degree or a high school diploma, or any global equivalent degree.
    • course-view

      A 4-year degree (bachelor’s or any global equivalent) or any associate degree is required for a candidate to appear for the PMP certification exam. After the educational requirements, the candidate must fulfill the professional experience requirements.

  2. Professional Experience Requirements

    The PMP certification allows the following scenarios for professional experience to appear for the exam.

    • If you have a 4-year degree, you must have an experience of 36 months in leading, and directing projects.
    • If you have an associate degree or a high school diploma, you must have an experience of 60 months in leading, and directing projects.

    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 for the PMP certification requirements. Project managers leading and directing projects for 3-5 years would hold this experience. A minimum of 4500 hours of these 3 years need to be spent on leading and directing projects, and similarly a minimum of 7500 hours of that 5 years need to be spent on leading and directing projects.

    You have to document the professional experience based on “what kind of projects have you worked on”, “where have you worked”, “what was the duration of the project”, etc. These will be required while submitting the application for the PMP certification exam.

    And, last but not least, we have one of the most important requirements for the PMP certification is a formal education of Project Management.

  3. Project Management Education/Training

    The Project Management education/training required to get the PMP certification is the requirement where we have two scenarios.


To be qualified for the PMP certification exam, it is mandatory to have 35 contact 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 courses. 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. The PMI registered ATPs are the training providers that will provide you with the PMP certification training and a certificate of 35 PDUs that will be required for the application process. Invensis Learning provides a 4-day instructor-led PMP certification training along with mock tests, case studies, and webinars for an enriching learning experience. After the training is over, your application is reviewed based on your submissions. Post which you will have to submit the PMP exam fees before you can sit for the exam.

What Should I Do If I Cannot Fulfill PMP Certification Requirements?

Based on which criteria you are falling short on, you can choose your approach. If you are not able to fulfill the eligibility criteria for the project management education/training, then it can be easily met by enrolling for a 35-hour PMP exam prep training from a PMI ATP. The challenging part of meeting eligibility requirements for PMP is endured while showcasing experience in project management.

CAPM certification is the entry-level project management certification provided by PMI. The certification exam tests you on project management fundamentals. However, the questions are more straightforward compared to the PMP certification exam. Maybe you don’t want to wait to complete your project experience to kick off your career in project management. In this situation, we suggest that you begin the certification with CAPM and start your project management journey.

Syllabus of PMP Certification Training

  • Proven leadership skills & techniques
  • How to communicate effectively?
  • How to create an effective project Schedule?
  • Project Risk Management
  • Ability to create an atmosphere of trust
  • Decision making skills
  • Managing conflicts
  • Agile way of project management

Download detailed course syllabus

Download Syllabus

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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