Project Management Certification

hero-project-management-certificationOne of the best ways to bolster your marketability and advancement potential as a project manager is to obtain project management certification. One of the most respected and globally recognized organizations for project management training is the Project Management Institute (PMI), the leading membership association for the project management profession, which offers five credential tiers of certification for project managers.

Get Prepped for Certification

If you already have the documented work and education hours required to be eligible for a specific credential, you may begin the application process. If you still need to meet requirements in education or experience, follow PMI’s specifications for accruing and documenting the hours that you earn.

PMI provides straightforward instructions for recording the project management time that you’ve accrued. A wide range of project management training is eligible to satisfy PMI’s educational requirements (e.g., online courses and company-sponsored programs, to name just two). A number of online and classroom institutions are accredited by the PMI (called Registered Educational Providers). These schools offer project management training and degrees that are pre-approved by the PMI to satisfy the organization’s eligibility requirements for project management certification.

Where to Take Your Exam

Once you have met the education and experience requirements and are prepared to take your specific credential exam for project management certification, you must attend an in-person, multi-hour exam at a PMI-approved testing location. You can apply and submit payment online to take or retake exams.

Project Management Certification: Which One Is for Me?

PMI offers the following credentials. The certifications are listed in ascending order according to required education and experience.

CAPM – Certified Associate in Project Management

Job role: Contribute to a project team as a subject expert, liaison, coordinator or team member.

Eligibility requirements:

  • High school diploma (or global equivalent) and 1,500 hours experience on a project management team

OR

  • 23 hours of formal project management education (available online)

PMI-SP – PMI Scheduling Professional

Job role: Maintain and develop project schedules

Eligibility requirements:

  • High school diploma (or global equivalent), 5,000 hours project scheduling experience, 40 hours project scheduling education

OR

  • Bachelor’s degree (or global equivalent), 3,500 hours project scheduling experience, 30 hours project scheduling education

PMI-RMP – PMI Risk Management Professional

Job role: Identify and assess risk, mitigate threats, opportunity capitalization

Eligibility requirements:

  • High school diploma (or global equivalent), 4,500 hours project risk management experience, 40 hours project risk management education

OR

  • Bachelor’s degree (or global equivalent), 3,500 hours project scheduling experience, 30 hours project scheduling education

PMP – Project Management Professional

Job role: Lead and direct project teams

Eligibility requirements:

  • High school diploma (or global equivalent), 5 years project management experience, 35 hours project management education

OR

  • Bachelor’s degree (or global equivalent), 3 years project management experience, 35 hours project management education

PgMP – Program Management Professional

Job role: Defines and oversees projects and resources to achieve an organizational objective

Eligibility requirements:

  • High school diploma (or global equivalent), 4 years project management experience, 7 years program management experience

OR

  • Bachelor’s degree (or global equivalent), 4 years project management experience, 4 years program management experience

Consider an Advanced Degree

Getting your certification is a great way to build your skill set, but you may want to look into an advanced degree as another way to climb up the project management ladder. With an advanced degree, you’ll take courses that will teach you practices like cost estimation and forecasting, risk management, Agile project management methodologies, quality and process improvement, and program management, just to name a few.

If you’re interested in expanding your skills and competitiveness as a project manager, consider either a certification or degree program to set you on the path forward.

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