The PMP certification is one of the biggest challenges faced by project managers in their career. It is the gold standard for project management professionals, and there are more than 750,000 certified project managers worldwide. To maintain certification, project managers must continue to meet professional development requirements.
Although it can be a lot of work, there’s a significant benefit for becoming certified. On average, certified project managers make $112,000 a year and report a 23% higher median salary than those without a certification. As project managers can be eligible to take the exam as early as 3 years into their career, being certified can have a significant advantage on lifetime earnings.
Often the biggest barrier to getting certified is understanding the process and the steps involved to get the PMP certification. With two out of five test takers failing their first attempt at the exam, it’s super important to be prepared before taking the test. Here are the five key steps to becoming a certified project manager:
Step 1: Fulfill Eligibility Criteria
There are two ways you can become eligible to take the PMP certification exam. First, if you have a four-year degree, you will need to also have 3 years of project management experience, 4500 hours leading/directing projects, and 35 contact hours of formal education. If you have a secondary degree, you must have 5 years of project management experience, 7500 hours leading/directing projects, and 35 contact hours of formal education.
Step 2: Complete Application
Allow yourself time to complete the application as you must provide documentation that you have met the eligibility requirements. Thankfully, there are several online resources available to help you document your previous experience.
Step 3: Review Your Application
Once the PMI (Project Management Institute) receives your application, it will take about five to ten days for them to review your application to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements. The PMI does randomly audit applications so if you do not hear back from them within two weeks, you may be part of the randomly selected applications that will be audited to confirm your education and experience.
Step 4: Pay & Schedule Your Exam
Once your application is approved, you will receive an eligibility number that will allow you to pay and schedule your exam. If you are a PMI member, the exam will cost $405. For non-members, the exam will cost $555.
Step 5: Prepare for the Exam
According to the PMI, test takers spend more than 35 hours preparing for the exam. Thankfully, the PMI offers several resources including their must-read book, The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), which will help in preparing for the exam.
For a comprehensive guide on these five steps with useful free resources, please visit https://hive.com/pmp-certification/