Career / Management

Roadmap to Success: PMP

by Karin Klinger
Roadmap to Success: PMP picture: A
Published on December 8, 2015

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 recently updated this article on December 27, 2016, to reflect relevant changes to the PMP® certification curriculum.

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is designed to affirm learners' essential skills for project management and leadership. It is important to understand that the exam is just one piece of the credential process, which requires learners to have earned academic prerequisites, registered education credits from a PMI-approved training partner, as well as several thousand hours of documented, hands-on project management experience.

Project Management Professional (PMP)® The Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is globally recognized as a leading certification for project managers. The PMP® is not unique to the IT industry, but rather, is transferable to any field. The certification is designed to affirm learners' knowledge and skills at initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing projects. In addition, the PMP® is associated with PMI's Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)®, a book addressing the standard terminology and guidelines for project management. A learner's understanding of the standards and concepts, as well as the terms presented in the PMBOK®, is critical to a successful outcome on the certification exam.

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

  • Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree; and

  • 7,500 hours leading/directing projects; and

  • 35 hours of project management education.

Learners seeking PMP® certification must earn project management education 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 on the CBT Nuggets Forum.

Exam Details The following exam details are applicable for the PMP® certification. In addition, PMI® provides the PMI's® Credential examination Format document as information for learners.

Time allotted for exam: 4 hours Number of questions: 200 questions* *Please note that 175 questions will be scored; 25 questions are example questions that may be used in future testing scenarios and will not be counted in your score. Passing score: PMI® does not publish the passing score for its exams Question types: Multiple choice Exam registration: PMI® Exam cost: $405 (USD) for PMI® members; $555 (USD) for non-members Exam resources: (free resources)

  • Project Management Professional (PMP)® Examination Content Outline

  • Project Management Professional (PMP)® Handbook

Recertification PMI® certifications have ongoing, continuing education requirements in order to maintain certifications. The PMP® requires learners to earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years. PDUs can be earned in a variety of ways, including traditional training and education, participation in PMI® organization meetings, presenting on topics relevant to the profession, knowledge sharing, and more. Learn more about PDU opportunities from the PMI® website.

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

  • ITIL® Foundation (made up of one exam: ITIL® Foundation)

  • ITIL® Intermediate Level (made up of a variety of exams, CBT Nuggets currently provides training for two: ITIL® Intermediate Lifecycle: CSI and ITIL® Intermediate Capability: OSA)

  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® (made up of one exam: PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®)

Career Considerations Payscale.com/ provides information that can help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the PMP® certification. Depending on experience, an employee who holds a PMP® certification can earn anywhere between $56,006 and $140,009. Common roles or titles for those who hold a PMP® certification include IT project manager, senior IT project manager, program project manager, and IT program manager.

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.

  • Project Management Professional (PMP)®

  • Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree; and

  • 7,500 hours leading/directing projects; and

  • 35 hours of project management education.

OR

  • Four-year (college/university) degree; and

  • 4,500 hours leading/directing projects; and

  • 35 hours of project management education.

  • Program Management Professional (PgMP)®

  • Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree; and

  • 6,000 hours project management experience; and

  • 10,5000 hours program management experience.

OR

  • Four-year (college/university) degree; and

  • 6,000 hours project management experience; and

  • 6,000 hours program management experience.

  • Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)®

  • Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree; and

  • 10,500 hours portfolio management experience; and

  • 96 months professional business experience.

OR

  • Four-year (college/university) degree; and

  • 6,000 hours portfolio management experience; and

  • 96 months professional business experience.

  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®

  • Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree; and

  • 23 hours project management education without professional work experience.

OR

  • 1,500 hours of project experience.

  • PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)®

  • Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree; and

  • 7,500 hours business analysis experience; and

  • 2,000 hours working on project teams; and

  • 35 hours of business analysis education.

OR

  • Four-year (college/university) degree; and

  • 4,500 hours business analysis experience; and

  • 2,000 hours working on project teams; and

  • 35 hours of business analysis education.

  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®

  • 1,500 hours working on agile project teams or with agile methodologies; and

  • 2,000 hours working on project teams; and

  • 21 hours of education in agile practices.

  • PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)®

  • Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree; and

  • 4,500 hours project risk management experience; and

  • 40 hours project risk management education.

OR

  • Four-year (college/university) degree; and

  • 3,000 hours project risk management experience; and

  • 30 hours project risk management education.

  • PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)®

  • Secondary (high school or equivalent) degree; and

  • 5,000 hours project scheduling experience; and

  • 40 hours project scheduling education.

OR

  • Four-year (college/university) degree; and

  • 3,500 hours project scheduling experience; and

  • 30 hours project scheduling education.

Concluding Thoughts Effective project management is critical to the success of any organization today. Developing a skill set that empowers you to advance your career, specifically in the area of project management, will serve you well now and in the future. Project management gives you the opportunity to demonstrate leadership and expertise that will advance your career in profound ways.

Watch. Learn. Conquer the PMP®!

ITIL® is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited. PMP® and PMBOK® Guide are registered marks of the Project Management Institute.


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