What are the PMP Certification Requirements?

  • 11 September, 2020

One of the most effective ways to demonstrate credibility in almost any career field is to obtain a professional certification. The field of project management is no exception and the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential does just that. Around the world, project managers with the PMP designation are recognized and sought-out for their high level of project management knowledge, skills, and abilities.

The requirements for earning the PMP represent a competency framework that encompasses an applicant's past, present, and future. The Project Management Institute (PMI) requires a combination of general knowledge and experience, joined with specialized knowledge and experience, all obtained in the last eight years. PMI understands that at the point where theory meets practice is the moment that the highest levels of competence and readiness occur. To that end, PMI requires applicants to demonstrate the following:

  1. A four-year degree (bachelor's or the global equivalent); along with at least three years of project management experience of which 4,500 hours must be leading projects. In addition, PMI requires 30 hours of project management training.
  2. For non-degree holders, a secondary diploma (high school or the global equivalent); along with at least five years of project management experience of which 7,500 hours must be leading projects. In addition, PMI requires 35 hours of project management training.

Applicants who successfully meet the required background requirements will receive an email notification with an eligibility identification number shortly after they apply. The eligibility ID allows the applicant to move from the past to the present.

Within one year of receiving the identification number, PMI requires all applicants to schedule and take the PMP examination. The purpose of the examination is to ensure that everyone awarded the PMP credential has achieved, by observation, an acceptable standard of project management knowledge, skills, and abilities. Just as an applicant's self-reported education and experience are reliable indicators of competency and readiness, the examination is an equally reliable method of measuring it. Passing the exam means PMP holders have the demonstrated competency to lead and manage projects of all sizes and types.

Are the requirements for the PMP challenging? Yes. Are they achievable? Absolutely. As of this writing, PMI reports that one million project managers in over 200 countries hold the PMP credential. These one million men and women share two things in common: Not only have they met the requirements to earn the certification, but they also have the professional credibility that goes along with it.

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