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What Is PMP Certification?

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The Project Manager Professional (PMP) Certification is a popular credential that helps PM professionals get ahead in their careers AND earn more!

If you’ve been a Project Manager for a while or even looked into it, you’ve probably heard PMP referred to a lot or seen it behind the names of people on their business cards. 

But maybe you didn’t know exactly what it means or if there is even an advantage to it. Here we will cover all questions that you may have.


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What does PMP stand for?

PMP stands for Project Management Professional and it is a registered legal certification that is offered to members of the Project Management Institute (PMI) who have completed the PMP Certification.

What is PMP Certification?

The certification is simply an exam process that you undertake through the Project Management Institute to validate your expertise as a Project Management Professional (in the same way that the CPA process validates accountants).  

To obtain the certification, you must complete an examination through the PMI (more on that later). The PMP certification is recognized worldwide. It is highly regarded by professionals in the industry as it takes considerable knowledge, skill and commitment to achieve.

It’s also a qualification that needs to be actively maintained, as it must be renewed every 3 years and also requires a certain amount of Professional Development Units to be completed each year to maintain certification.

Once you have it, you can display “PMP” after your name in your CV or marketing materials so that people will know they are working with a certified professional. 

Is PMP Certification useful?

PMP certified managers reportedly lead and direct 80% of high-performing projects. Projects with PMP Managers also perform better with over 35% PMP certified project managers demonstrating high-value project performance. This means that with PMP Certification, you position yourself for the best jobs and also get the chance to develop your skills to higher and higher degrees.

The PMP Certification is recognised and respected internationally. This means HR departments are more likely to shortlist PMP candidates first to save themselves time – which helps get you employed!

And lastly, it is a certified recognition of your skills as a project manager that professional abilities. The process of certification itself will help to develop your skills further and provide you with a structure for managing projects that you may not have had before. All of this helps to open the door to many more career opportunities and increases your potential for a promotion or to gain a new client.

These advantages certainly make it worthwhile and will help further both your career and lifestyle.

Does PMP Certification increase salary?

Yes, many PMP certification holders get paid more! According to According to the Project Management Institute’s Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey—Eleventh Edition (2020): 

  • Of the project managers surveyed, 82% have PMP certification. 
  • PMP Certified respondents reportedly earn 22% higher median salaries on average than those without PMP certification.
  • In the USA, project managers who are certified earn an average annualised salary of $120,000 – compared to just $95,000 for PMP certified managers.
  • PMP Certified respondents also reported that their total compensation increased over time. People that maintained their certification for 5-10 years averaged $126,000 in salary and people who held it for more than 10 years averaged $134,342 in salary.

Is the PMP exam hard?

In short – yes, it is considered difficult.  Firstly, you need a minimum of 35 hours of formal project management education to even apply for PMP certification. 

When you do the exam, you’ll have 4 hours to answer 200 multiple choice questions, with only a 10 minute break after 2 hours.

In the past, the passing score for the PMP test has been previously reported at 61%. However this data was last published in 2005 and no new information has been presented since, but it is worth keeping in mind.

Fortunately the exam can be done at home, which is helpful at this time with Covid.

How long should I prepare for the PMP Exam?

You should allow 2 months to prepare for this, to ensure yourself the best chance passing. And you may want to (or need to) enroll in a PMP training course or pay for other study materials to gain the requisite 35 hours of formal education in preparation for the PMP exam. 

Are there Eligibility Requirements that need to meet?

Yes there are, and if you have been in the role for a while then you likely will have attained the required hours. However this table details what you need:

Eligibility RequirementFour-Year Post-secondary DegreeSecondary (or associate) Degree
Years of Project Management Experience3 Years (36 Months)5 Years (60 Months)
Hours of Project Management Education35 Hours35 Hours

What is the Project Management Institute?

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the governing body behind the PMP Certification. 

With over 3 million PMI members worldwide, the PMP connects you with a global community of over 1 million active PMP certification holders.

When you become a member of PMA, you become a part of a peer group of highly qualified professionals. And you have the opportunity to network at events that the PMA hosts for members in major cities globally, connecting you with people that can help you on your journey.

PMI members and certified PMP holders can enrol in workshops at these events and earn the required Professional Development Units (PDUs), which are an essential part of keeping the PMP certification valid.

So is PMP certification worth it?

Absolutely! And I hope you have realised that for yourself through reading this post. 

However only you can determine if this is the right time for you.  It really depends on where you are at in your career and if you are ready to go to the next level. 

But if you have the means to make PMP certification happen and meet the requirements, go for it. Learning is always valuable and the structure and disciplines it provides will serve your career no matter what.

So how do I get certified?

Simply register for this free class now to find out the exact steps to get your PMP Certification!

Or go ahead get certified in 6 weeks with our Complete PMP Certification Course – click here to learn more!