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Roadmap to Success is a series of posts designed to help learners better understand certification pathways, career opportunities associated with those certifications, and next steps beyond certification.

UPDATED: We updated this article August 3, 2017, to reflect relevant changes to the CAPM® certification curriculum.

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification is designed to distinguish project management professionals at the outset of their careers. The CAPM® is the first step toward earning other Project Management Institute certifications, allowing project management professionals to set themselves apart and gain an edge in the competitive IT project management field.

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®

The Project Management Institute’s (PMI)® Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® is globally recognized as a leading certification for new project managers. The CAPM® bridges all industries, but can be of particular use in the IT industry, as IT professionals seek to refine their project management skills. The CAPM® is designed to affirm the fundamental understanding of terminology and processes of effective project management. In addition, the CAPM® is associated with PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)®, a guide that specifically addresses the standard terminology and guidelines for project management. Learners should be prepared with a thorough understanding of the PMBOK® if they expect a successful outcome on their certification exam.

Learners pursuing the CAPM® certification are required to apply for the opportunity to sit for the exam. The application requires learners to meet minimum education qualifications in order to be eligible:

  • A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent) and 1,500 hours of project experience;

OR

  • 23 hours of project management education completed by the date of the exam.

Learners seeking CAPM® certification can earn project management education (in order to qualify for the exam) that is provided by a PMI® Registered Education Provider (REP). CBT Nuggets is a PMI® REP, offering a variety of courses that are pre-approved for PMI® educational credits. Learn more about the options available through CBT Nuggets in the CBT Nuggets Forum.

The CAPM® is made up of one exam, which is covered by CBT Nuggets training:

Exam Details
Time allotted for exam: 3 hours
Number of questions: 150 questions
Passing score: PMI does not publish the passing score for its exams
Question types: Multiple choice
Exam registration: PMI®
*Please note that exam registration requires learners to have an active login and account.
*Online proctoring is available for the CAPM
® certification exam.
Exam cost: $225 (USD) for PMI® members; $300 (USD) for non-members
Exam Content Outline: Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Examination Content Outline
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Handbook (free resources)

Recertification
To maintain the CAPM® certification, learners must retake the exam every five (5) years.

The Next Step
Many learners who pursue their CAPM® certification tend to have an interest in project management-related training and certifications. Therefore, learners often consider the following certifications as options following their CAPM®:

Career Considerations
Simplyhired.com provides a helpful salary guide to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the project management. Depending on professional experience, a project manager can earn on average $85,000. Payscale.com reports a range of salaries for employees holding the CAPM® certification between $41,817 and $121,462 annually. Roles that are common for those holding a CAPM® certification include associate project manager, infrastructure project manager, project manager, IT project manager, and more.

Project Management Institute Certifications
The Project Management Institute (PMI)® offers a variety of certifications related to project management. PMI® is unique in its certification offerings in that there is no formalized hierarchy to the certifications. Learners can choose to pursue any PMI® certification at any time, regardless of their certification portfolio. While no PMI® certification is a prerequisite for subsequent PMI® certifications, each does have strict academic and experiential prerequisites.

 

PMI® Required Formal Education Required Professional Work Experience Required Documented Professional Education
Project Management Professional (PMP)® Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree


Four-year (college/university) degree

7,500 hours leading/directing projects


4,500 hours leading/directing projects

35 hours of Project Management education


35 hours of Project Management education

Program Management Professional (PgMP)® Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree


Four-year (college/university) degree

6,000 hours project management
AND
10,500 hours of Program Management experience


6,000 hours project management
AND
6,000 hours of Program Management experience

N/A


N/A

Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)® Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree


Four-year (college/university) degree

Minimum 8 years of professional business experience
AND
10,500 hours of portfolio management experience


6,000 hours of portfolio management experience

N/A


N/A

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree


N/A

1,500 hours of project experience


N/A

N/A


23 hours of Project Management education

PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)® Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree


Bachelor’s degree (or global equivalent)

7,500 hours of business analysis experience
AND
2,000 hours working on project teams


4,500 hours of business analysis experience
AND
2,000 hours working on project teams

35 contact hours of education in business analysis


35 contact hours of education in business analysis

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® N/A 2,000 hours of general project experience working on teams
AND
1,500 hours working on agile project teams or with agile methodologies
21 contact hours of training in agile practices
PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree


Four-year (college/university) degree

4,500 hours of project risk management experience


3,000 hours of project risk management experience

40 hours of project risk management education


30 hours of project risk management education

PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)® Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree


Four-year (college/university) degree

5,000 hours of project scheduling experience


3,500 hours of project scheduling experience

40 hours of project scheduling education


30 hours of project scheduling education

 

Concluding Thoughts

There is an ever-growing need for skilled project managers, making certifications like the CAPM® highly marketable to prospective employers. The CAPM® is only the beginning! Choosing the project management path for your career will open up tremendous opportunities, both for challenging work and ongoing development and education.

Watch. Learn. Conquer the CAPM®!

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PMI®, CAPM®, PMBOK® Guide and PMP® are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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