CAPM (Certified Associate of Project Management) is an entry-level project management certification offered by PMI (Project Management Institute), the world’s leading project management certification body. In this article, we will cover the CAPM requirements.
In this guide, we’ll give you an overview of everything you need to pursue the CAPM certification, including the CAPM requirements, exam overview, career prospects, and potential salaries.
One of the biggest advantages of the CAPM certification over the PMP (Project Management Professional) certification is that it targets recent high school or college graduates and junior-level project managers who want to boost their skills.
The CAPM requirements are less strict than those of PMP. Here’s what you need to be eligible to pursue the CAPM certification and take the exam:
The minimum academic prerequisite to be eligible for the CAPM certification is a secondary degree. If you’ve graduated from a regular 9-12 high school in North America, then you already meet that requirement.
Before you apply for the CAPM exam, you need to complete at least 23 hours of project management education.
Once you successfully pass a 23-hour course, you’ll acquire a certificate, which is an official proof of training accredited by PMI. You will need this certificate to apply for your CAPM.
PMI was founded in 1969 by a group of project managers, and since then, the institute has gained a prestigious status in the field of project management. It offers several project management certifications, including CAPM and PMP. PMI is based in Pennsylvania, United States.
Becoming a Certified Associate in Project Management can open up a whole new world of opportunities for you. It’s an excellent way for you to learn new skills and showcase them to your potential employers.
There are numerous advantages and benefits of acquiring the CAPM certification, and we’ll discuss them briefly in the following sections.
The CAPM certification is globally recognized, which means that you can get jobs in almost all parts of the world. And while it’s not as reputable as the PMP certification, it’s still enough to help you get some entry-level project management roles all over the world.
By becoming a certified CAPM, you’ll have the chance to develop your skills and knowledge, which can help you take on bigger roles in your current job, switch jobs, or get new ones. You’ll learn the foundations of project management needed to help you start working with project teams.
The PMP certification is a more advanced certification offered by PMI for experienced project managers. It’s the highest level of certification a project manager can gain throughout their career.
By acquiring the CAPM certification early in your career, you’re basically preparing yourself to pursue the PMP certification once you gain enough experience.
The CAPM certification is based on the PMI PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide, the same textbook on which the PMP certification is based.
The book includes a detailed walkthrough of the ten knowledge areas of project management, which include:
By the end of your CAPM training program, you’ll be aware of all of these knowledge areas. You’ll also be introduced to the five process groups of the project management discipline, which are:
The CAPM exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions that you must complete in 3 hours. There are 15 unscored questions, which PMI uses to prepare future CAPM questions. However, the unscored questions aren’t distinguishable by the test taker.
Moreover, the exam is computer-based, which means that you can take from your home’s comfort anywhere in the world.
PMI doesn’t publish its pass/fail rates, making it a bit tricky to get an exact pass rate. The passing exam score is also unknown, but it’s probably somewhere between 61% and 75%.
Since this is an entry-level certification, the CAPM exam isn’t too hard compared to other more advanced exams like the PMP exam. However, this doesn’t mean that anyone can easily pass it. You still have to prepare very well and make sure that you’ve fully comprehended your study materials to guarantee a passing score.
It’s also a good idea to practice with some mock tests before taking the real CAPM exam, as they’ll help get used to the structure of the exam and identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Here’s a quick overview of the percentage of questions from each chapter:
|Chapter Name||Percentage of Questions||Chapter Name||Percentage of Questions|
|Project Management Processes||15||Project HR Management||8|
|Project Integration Management||12||Project Communication Management||6|
|Project Scope Management||11||Project Risk Management||9|
|Project Time Management||12||Project Procurement Management||7|
|Project Cost Management||7||Project Stakeholder Management||7|
|Project Quality Management||6|
Remember that these percentages aren’t strict. It’s possible that they can be slightly different in your exam. You can use these percentages as a guide for you in your preparation journey.
To maintain your CAPM certification, you must acquire 15 PDUs (Professional Development Units) every 3 years. PDUs can be acquired in numerous ways. For example, if you attend a one-hour lecture by an expert project manager, you’ll gain 1 PDU.
The CAPM exam costs $300 for PMI members and $225 for non-PMI members. You also need to account for project management education costs, but it depends on the training agency/course that you choose. It’s safe to say that you’ll need a minimum of $600 to prepare for the exam.
If you opt for PMI’s training program, the “Project Management Costs” course, it’ll cost you $350 if you’re a PMI member and $400 if you’re not a PMI member.
The demand for CAPM certification varies in different parts of the world. For example, the certification is very popular in North American countries, including the United States and Canada. It’s also quite popular in Asia.
According to payscale.com, the median salary of a Certified Associate of Project Management in the United States is $66,889. Several factors influence a CAPM’s salary, including their experience, background, and other professional skills.
As we’ve mentioned, becoming a certified CAPM can help propel your career to a whole new level. Here are some of the most common jobs and career paths for project management associates:
The CAPM certification qualifies you to be a project manager for short-term projects. You’ll be responsible for cross-function communication and coordinating your team’s efforts to submit the project’s deliverables.
You may or may not be supervised by a senior project manager, depending on the company. The average salary for this job is $40,000.
While this job seems to be unrelated to project management, many business analysts are, in fact, former project managers, and some of them are certified.
A business analyst’s primary responsibilities are to evaluate and analyze data, business metrics, and identify actionable insights. They’re also responsible for communicating complex data and meeting customer demands.
An associate project manager works under a project manager to improve communication with the team. An associate project manager’s main role is to offer support for the project team when the project manager isn’t present.
As the job title implies, an engineering project manager is a professional who leads projects in the broad field of engineering. You must have an engineering background along with your project management education to take on this role.
An engineering project manager is responsible for applying safety regulations, managing budget constraints and proposals, and ensuring conformity.
Operations project managers work under a senior project manager’s supervision and are usually responsible for leading small teams to complete projects.
They’re also responsible for ensuring the quality and proper flow of the project. Moreover, they make sure that the project’s plan moves smoothly and within the allowed time frame of each stage.
Now that you’re aware of CAPM requirements, you can start preparing right now and get certified. The CAPM certification is suitable for all career levels, even if you’re a recent graduate with little to no experience.
Whether you want to kickstart a career in project management or enhance your existing project management knowledge, the CAPM certification will benefit you.
Moreover, the certification can be quite helpful for new managers as it’ll help them lead their subordinates more efficiently.