What Is PMP Certification?

The PMP certification exam often requires training and preparation even for the most experienced project managers.

PMP certification is a popular credential many project managers add to their professional name. 

If you’re a project manager looking to grow your career, you’ve probably heard these 3 letters thrown around in every conversation you’ve had about certification. But maybe you’ve never known what PMP stands for or whether the certification is even worth it.

Let’s dive into the details so you know what PMP certification is, who should apply, and how to get certified.  

What does PMP stand for?

PMP stands for Project Management Professional. Offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), this credential is recognized across the globe as a professional standard in the project management industry. 

As the leading project management organization in the industry, PMI provides project management training, tools, and networking opportunities to over 500,000 members worldwide.

Why get PMP-certified?

One big question looms large in a lot of project manager minds: Is PMP certification worth it? Let’s start by breaking down the benefits of PMP certification. 

PMP certification benefits

In fact, the numbers prove having a PMP certification can boost your earning potential. According to PMI’s Project Management Salary Survey (2018)

PMP certification considerations

There’s no doubt being PMP-certified comes with some pretty sweet professional advantages. But it’s important to take the whole picture into consideration before deciding if PMP certification is right for you. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

The bottom line: Is PMP certification worth it?

Only you can determine if PMP certification is right for you. It really depends on the organization you work for and the value and structure they place on project management. 

Here’s how we look at it: If you have the means to make PMP certification happen, go for it! Learning is learning, and it can only help you grow in your professional career. Just make sure you keep an open mind and stay flexible enough to adapt to the project situation at hand. 

Listen to episode 14 of our podcast to hear one PM’s take on how PMP certification fits into the larger project management education picture.

How to get PMP-certified

The process for getting PMP-certified is pretty straightforward. Simply follow these 6 steps to get your PMP certification. 

  1. Register for a PMI membership. You must be a PMI member to apply for the PMP certification. PMI membership costs $129/year with a one-time $10 application fee.
  2. Take a PMP course. You’ll need 35 hours of project management education to be eligible for the PMP certification. Take your pick of PMP course options to rack up the required PDUs. 
  3. Apply online for the PMP certification. Be prepared to show you’re a real-life project manager who has on-the-job project management experience leading and directing a cross-functional team. You’ll also need to prove you’ve met the requirements for formal project management education. 
  4. Schedule your PMP exam. Once your application is approved, PMI will send you instructions for scheduling your test. You’ll have 1 year to take the exam before your eligibility expires.
  5. Study for the PMP exam. Hit the books by studying A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). PMI also offers other resources to help you prepare for the test, including a PMP exam content outline, sample questions, and study courses.
  6. Take (and pass) the PMP exam. Now it’s time to put your hard work to the test! If you don’t pass the first time, don’t worry. You can take the PMP exam up to 3 times within a single year to earn your certification. 
  7. Continue learning to maintain your PMP certification. Getting your PMP certification isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it process. You’ll need to earn 60 PDUs every 3 years to keep your PMP certification in good standing. 

PMP eligibility

If you’re just starting out as a project manager, you’re not quite ready to get PMP-certified. You’ll need project management experience under your belt to meet PMP certification eligibility requirements.

So who can take the PMP exam? Any experienced project manager who meets these 3 criteria is eligible to take the PMP exam: 

Put project management into practice with TeamGantt

Want to get some hands-on project management experience under your belt? Take TeamGantt for a spin. Trying it is totally free—no strings attached!

Finish projects on time and budget without breaking a sweat. Or track all your important PMP certification tasks so nothing falls through the cracks. Any way you slice it, TeamGantt makes managing projects a breeze. 

Give TeamGantt a free try today, and see for yourself!


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