cost of pmp certification

Today we will talk about the cost of the PMP certification. 

This is the most widely recognized certification in project management and earning it is a lengthy process. The exam and your preparation for it are not cheap.

The process can cost you thousands of dollars if you don’t plan well. 

Many aspirants do not realize that the PMP exam fee is not the total cost.  

I often receive emails from PMP aspirants asking about the certification’s price. 

I always respond but it is difficult to provide all the information in one email. So I am writing this blog post to go over the total cost of getting the PMP certification so you can be financially prepared.

The Cost of the PMP Certification

The total you will spend depends on your circumstances and choices. However, I can give you a general idea of the cost of each step.

You can divide the PMP certification cost into five stages:

  1. Training
  2. Books
  3. Practice Questions
  4. Exam Cost
  5. Other Costs

The Cost of PMP Training

You must earn 35 contact hours of formal education in project management to apply for the PMP exam. This is mandatory unless you are an active CAPM holder.

It is possible that some on-the-job training or college education can help you get a few contact hours. However, you will need to attend a PMP training program to fulfill this PMP eligibility requirement.  

I recommend you join an online program.

Online training programs are affordable; you can join from anywhere and can complete the course at your pace. 

If you do not plan, this step can be considerably expensive. Training programs are between hundreds and thousands of dollars depending on the provider.

The price ranges are as follows:

  • Online training programs generally start at 150 USD.
  • Live virtual classes vary between 500 to 1,000 USD.
  • Classroom programs starting at 1,000 USD.

If you have not attended a PMP training yet, I recommend you join the following online training program to earn your contact hours:

PM Sprout PMP Training Program

The Cost of PMP Exam Preparation Books

I recommend you study at least three books during your PMP exam prep. The first should be the PMBOK Guide, and the other two can be any reputable exam references. The cost of the two other books is between 80 USD to 220 USD.

If you are a PMI member, you can download the PMBOK Guide for free. Otherwise, you will pay around 60 USD.

Many people use one reference and the PMBOK Guide, but I suggest two books to get multiple perspectives.

I have seen many professionals pass the exam without studying the PMBOK Guide; don’t do this. Although you may initially find the PMBOK Guide tedious, it becomes more enjoyable the more you understand it.

The Cost of PMP Exam Sample Practice Questions

You have to answer 180 questions in 230 minutes. You must practice PMP exam sample questions to build stamina.

There are several reputable PMP exam simulators with and practice question providers.

The cost of these simulators varies between 149 USD (PM-Exam Simulator) to 299 USD (Rita Fast Track).

These practice tests have more than 2,100 sample questions. You can subscribe to any of them.

The Cost of the PMP Exam

The cost of the PMP exam is 405 USD for PMI members and 555 USD for everyone else.

PMI MembershipMembership FeeExam FeeTotal Cost
No0555 USD555 USD
Yes139 USD405 USD544 USD

If you become a PMI member before applying for the PMP exam, you can save 11 USD, and you can download the PMBOK Guide for free. There, I recommend you join. 

If you fail the test on your first attempt, you can take it two more times within a year. The re-attempt fee for PMI members is 275 USD, and it is 375 USD for non-members. 

There are many more benefits of PMI membership once you join it.

Other PMP Certification Costs

The other costs include optional materials for the PMP exam preparation, such as PMP Formula Guide (5.99 USD), PMP Exam Preparation Tool (49.99 USD).

This part is optional, so I won’t add it to the PMP certification costs.

These calculations do not include travel, lodging, food, or other costs incurred by selecting a classroom training program outside your immediate area. You can avoid these costs easily by opting for online training programs.

The Total Cost for the PMP Certification

Let’s summarize the total cost for the PMP exam preparation.

S. No.ItemMinimum CostMaximum Cost
1Training150 USD>1000 USD
2Books80 USD220 USD
3Practice Questions139 USD299 USD
4Exam Fee405 USD555 USD
5PMI Membership139 USD
 Total Cost913 USD>2,074 USD

So, if you want to become a PMP, be ready to spend at least 913 USD.

The Cost of PMP Certification Renewal

Before completing this blog post, I would like to discuss the cost of renewing the PMP certification.

Your credential is valid for three years, and you must renew it before its expiry. The PMP credential renewal fee for PMI members is 60 USD and 150 USD for non-members.

You will have to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) during the three years and report them to the PMI. After doing so, your credential will be renewed.

The cost of these PDUs can vary from free to thousands of dollars.

Though, you can earn all these PDUs for free after login into projectmanagement.com and watching free webinars, which are automatically reported to the PMI.

Summary

The PMP certification is not cheap but it is worthwhile. The calculations given here are for you to make an informed decision. Costs can vary from person to person and depending on what country you live in. For instance, if you live in India, you can attend live classroom training for less than 500 USD and find cheaper versions of the books. However, for US citizens, the same may cost you thousands of dollars.

Have you attempted the PMP exam? What was the total cost for you? Please share it through the comments section.