The PMP stands for Project Management Professional, a certification awarded by the Project Management Institute, USA (PMI) to professionals who have passed the PMP certification exam. This is the most desirable and recognized certification in the project management industry, worldwide.
Many employers have this certification as a prerequisite for jobs, and according to some surveys, PMP holders have, on average 20% higher salaries than their counterparts do. As this certification is growing in importance, more and more professionals are opting for to take the exam.
Therefore, you need to understand the PMP eligibility criteria, to know if you can apply for the PMP exam or not.
In this blog post, I will explain the PMP eligibility requirements so you will know if you are qualified for this exam or not.
PMP Exam Eligibility Criteria
To apply for the PMP exam, you have to fulfill three eligibility requirements mandated by PMI:
Let us discuss each of these requirements in detail.
PMP Eligibility Requirement #1 – Education
A project manager must be educated. You must have the ability to read and prepare a report, make plans, and understand new concepts to make well-informed decisions.
You should be either a bachelor’s degree holder (or global equivalent) or a secondary degree holder (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent). This can be in any discipline.
PMP Eligibility Requirement #2 – Experience
The project manager is an authoritative position; you have to be accountable for your actions. You must understand your responsibility and accountability, and you must have managerial and leadership skills.
These qualities are necessary to complete the project with minimal obstruction.
If you are a degree holder, you should have at least 4,500 hours (about three years) of experience in leading and directing projects, and 7,500 hours (about five years) for a diploma holder.
Please note that project management experience should be non-overlapping, unique, and earned in the last eight consecutive years.
Moreover, you should have this experience in all domains of a project such as initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, and closing. If you are lacking experience in any process group, you will not be able to apply for the PMP certification exam.
PMP Eligibility Requirement #3 – Training
This is the last eligibility condition. You must attend 35 contact hours of formal project management training. This training can be obtained from either a PMI Registered Education Provider (REP) or non-REPs.
Please note: If you are an active CAPM certification holder, your project management training requirement is waived.
In PMP training, the provider will teach you about project management concepts, tools, and techniques. This training should be aligned with the latest version of the PMBOK Guide and the PMP Exam Content Outline.
Training providers use different mediums: online, live classes, hybrid, and virtual live classes. Among all, online training programs are much cheaper than live classes.
Although you may be working in project management, the field is so vast that you may not understand all the tools and techniques. You might only be aware of techniques used in your locality or organization.
Project management training will provide you with theoretical knowledge of all the tools and techniques so that you can apply them to your projects.
If you are looking for a training program that can help you prepare for the PMP exam with minimal effort while providing you with a 35 contact hours training certification, you can join my PMP Training Program.
So, these are the three eligibility criteria for the PMP exam.
I have received many questions regarding the PMP eligibility requirements. Although I have clarified them here, there are a few other queries that need to be addressed separately.
#1: I am Not a Project Manager. Can I Apply for the Exam?
Most professionals working in project management do not hold the title, so they can be confused about their eligibility.
Please note that the PMI says that “you should have experience in leading and directing projects.”
This means the tasks, knowledge, and skills specified in the PMP Exam Content Outline. If you are not a project manager but are working in the field and have experience as mentioned above, you are eligible to apply for the PMP exam.
I have gotten some queries from people who are not in project management and want to know if they can apply for the exam.
Project management experience is mandatory to apply for the PMP exam. If you have not worked on projects, you cannot apply for the exam.
#2: Only Registered Education Providers (REPs) Can Provide the 35 Contact Hours Training.
This is incorrect.
Many professionals do not know that there are many other ways to earn 35 contact hours. In fact, there are five other ways. The methods are as follows:
A. PMI Registered Education Providers (REPs).
B. PMI chapters.
C. Employer/company-sponsored programs.
D. Training companies or consultants (e.g., training schools).
E. Distance-learning companies, including an end-of-course assessment.
F. University/college academic and continuing education programs.
The following do not satisfy the educational requirements:
- PMI chapter meetings
- Self-directed learning (e.g., reading books, watching instructional videos or sessions with coaches or mentors).
If you attend training from a non-approved provider and PMI selects you for an audit, you may have to prove that the content of your training was aligned with the PMBOK Guide.
However, if your training provider is a REP, you only have to show your training certificate; their courses have already been reviewed and approved by the PMI.
So, you can get your training from any provider regardless of whether they are PMI approved. Although it is not necessary, I suggest you get your 35 contact hours training from any well renowned training program, who is PMI approved REP.
The other advantage of a PMI approved training programs is that the material is reviewed by the PMI, which assures you of the quality of the product.
#3: The PMP Certificate is Only for IT Professionals.
I have also received some queries from visitors who wondered whether this certification can be obtained by someone working outside of the IT industry.
The PMP certificate is industry independent and the project management principles provided in the PMBOK Guide apply to all industries. You are eligible to apply for the PMP exam if you are in project management.
#4: I am a Diploma Holder; Can I Apply for the PMP Exam?
Yes, of course.
#5: What if I am Not Eligible to Apply for the PMP Exam?
If you are a diploma or a degree holder but do not have project experience, you can apply for the CAPM exam. CAPM is a certification for entry-level professionals.
This certification does not require any project management experience.
Once you attain enough experience, you can then apply for the PMP exam.
#6: I am a CAPM. Can I Apply for the PMP Exam?
If you have the minimum project management experience, you can directly apply for the PMP exam. The PMI has relaxed the training requirements for active CAPM certification holders who want to apply for the PMP exam.
The PMP certification is for professionals who are working in project management and want to enhance their skills and become more employable. If you are in project management and want to excel in your career, you should apply for it. However, if you are not involved in this field and want this certification; you should first earn some experience, and then you should apply for it.
This is the second part of a series of five posts. The other blog posts are as follows:
- What is the PMP Certification Exam?
- What are the PMP Eligibility Criteria? (You are here)
- What is the PMP Exam Application Process?
- How Expensive is the PMP Certification?
- What is the PMP Examination Structure?
You can also find all the necessary information about the PMP certification exam in the PMP Handbook available for free on PMI’s website.