Eligibility Requirements for the CAPM Certification Exam

If you are interested in applying for the CAPM certification, you should understand the CAPM requirements. Knowing the CAPM eligibility requirements is the first step towards becoming a CAPM.

However, before we discuss the CAPM eligibility criteria, let us first understand the CAPM certification.

CAPM stands for “Certified Associate in Project Management”. This is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in the USA to professionals interested in project management but who have little or no project management experience.

PMI is a global body that awards many project management certifications, and the CAPM certification is one among many.

However, having experience is beneficial, which I will explain in the next section.

CAPM Requirements

capm requirements

You have to fulfill two eligibility requirements to apply for the CAPM certification exam:

  1. Education
  2. Training

CAPM Requirement #1 – Education

You must hold a secondary diploma (often a high school diploma) or any global equivalent to be eligible for the CAPM exam.

CAPM Requirement #2 – Training

You have to attend a formal 23 contact hours training program in project management.

Should I Attend a PMP Training Instead of CAPM Training?

I used to recommend that CAPM aspirants attend PMP training instead of CAPM training because if they apply for the PMP exam in the future, they won’t have to attend another training for the PMP exam. (Please note that the contact hours never expire.)

Now things are different.

PMI waived the 35 contact hours requirements for active CAPM holders in April 2019. Therefore, even if the PMP is your goal after the CAPM exam, choose a CAPM training program instead of a PMP training program.

If you are looking for a CAPM training program, I recommend you join the CAPM Prepcast online training program to save time and money. This is an affordable CAPM training program developed by world-famous training expert  Cornelius Fichtner.

FAQ on CAPM Eligibility Requirements

Now we can discuss some frequently asked questions about the CAPM requirements.

#1.  I don’t have project management experience. Can I apply for the CAPM exam?

Yes, you can.

The CAPM exam is for professionals who do not have project management experience. If you have a high school diploma, you can apply for the CAPM exam after getting 23 formal contact hours of CAPM training in project management. 

#2. Can only Registered Education Providers (REPs) or Authorized Training Providers (ATP) Provide the CAPM Training?

No, this is not correct.

You can attend the training through seven methods. These methods are:

A. PMI Registered Education Providers (REPs)
B. PMI Authorized Training Partners (ATPs)
C. PMI chapters
D. Employer/company-sponsored programs
E. Training companies or consultants (e.g., training schools)
F. Distance-learning companies, including an end-of-course assessment
G. 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)

#3. Can I apply for the PMP exam after passing the CAPM exam?

If you are an active CAPM, you get only one concession: you don’t have to attend any training.

Now, if you have the required project management experience, you can apply for the PMP exam.

#4. When will my CAPM training expire?

Please note that your CAPM training never expires. Once you complete the training and earn contact hours, you can apply for the CAPM exam at any time in your life.


The CAPM requirements are more lenient than the PMP requirements. If you are a diploma holder, you are only required to attend the CAPM training, and then you can apply for the CAPM certification exam. 

Do you fulfill the CAPM requirements? If you do, please share your plan for the CAPM exam through the comments section. I recommend you visit www.pmi.org for updated information. Download the latest version of the CAPM Handbook and read it.