Project Management Professional (PMP) is a globally valid certification. There is a high requirement for project management positions and PMP certification is one of the distinguishing key factors to be able to get project management jobs. Therefore most of the project management aspirants consider PMP as a must-have credential in their resume. But this prominent feature comes after a serious effort as well as the cost is associated with it. In this article, we are going to highlight significant factors that contribute to the PMP certification cost.
One of the critical aspects of PMP certification for the aspirants is PMP certification cost. While calculating PMP cost, some candidates only think of the cost of the PMP exam and the cost of PMP training. These are no doubt the basic aspects but also other aspects exist for PMP certification cost. In this article, we will highlight the different aspects of the PMP certification cost. These aspects will help you get the idea of how many financial resources should you plan for your PMP certification cost.
Project Management Certification
Project management is a globally demanded field. Hence, there is an interesting growth opportunity for individuals who like to pursue their careers in the field of project management. The organizations need to grow and this growth is mostly based on the skills of the project teams. Therefore the hiring of a team requires the human resource departments, agencies, and consultants to look more vigilantly for the best-fit candidates. Organizations look for candidates who have the skills in-line with their current as well as future requirements. So if a candidate has these abilities, they are more likely to be called upon and picked up on high priority.
Benefits of PMP Certification
You may expect a hike of at least 20% in your project manager salary after obtaining your PMP Certification. This is one of the very attractive benefits of PMP. Furthermore, another benefit of PMP is that it is not a domain-specific certification. The project managers within various industries get more salaries as compared to non-PMP individuals within these industries. You can check the median PMP salary by industry, experience, location, etc. For instance, in the USA, if you are working in the pharmacy sector you may earn around $125,000, whereas in Canada you may get up to $115,000 if you work in the mining industry. Also, for the IT sector, PMP has consistently been the highest-paid certification. Last but not least, the trend shows that salaries for PMP owners will continue to increase even more in the future.
Besides the salary advancements, PMP certification increases job security as even with the lesser jobs in the market, companies would be more keen to hire and keep the PMP certified project managers.
PMP Certification Requirements
Students, fresh hires and professionals who want to pursue their career in project management, are very much interested to know the various aspects of PMP certification cost. So that they can plan their resources required to prepare for the PMP Exam, then take on the PMP certification path as the PMP credentials will help them showcase their abilities, experience. Obtaining the PMP certification also recognizes your efforts and consistency you have put in to obtain the credentials.
Are you interested to be well informed on the critical aspects of the PMP certification cost? Then, you should have the first question in mind and that should be what are the PMP requirements. Then there is a series of questions, you must be interested to know. Like how these PMP requirements can be fulfilled? How much PMP certification cost can be associated with each of these PMP requirements?
It is true that PMP certification offers a lot of benefits to its holders. But first, you must be well prepared before taking in the PMP Exam. Therefore, knowing what it takes to prepare for the exam, in other words, the PMP certification requirements, is the first step towards the PMP certification. When you know the criteria of PMP certification, you’ll be able to systematically prepare and achieve your target. The PMP certification requirements and their eligibility criteria are given in the below table.:
|Non Graduates||5 years/7500 hours||35 hours|
|Graduates||3 years/4500 hours||35 hours|
In this section we will give you more details about these PMP requirements:
Education has a critical role in PMP prerequisites. To be able to take the PMP Exam, you must have a high school diploma or associate’s degree or global equivalent. As it will reduce the work experience requirement, if you hold a graduation degree it is a big advantage for you.
Based on your education level, the experience requirement varies.
- In case you have a bachelor’s degree, the required experience is 3 years (36 months). In other words, you can say that work experience of 4,500 hours is required to fulfill the criteria of experience by the candidates. So if you plan to sit in the PMP Exam you must have at least 4,500 hours of experience provided you have a bachelor’s degree.
- In case you have a high school diploma or associate’s degree or global equivalent the required experience is 5 years (60 months). In other words, you can say that work experience of 7,000 hours is required to fulfill the criteria of experience by the candidates. So you must have experience of at least 7,000 hours if you are planning to sit in the PMP Exam provided you have an associate’s degree or equivalent.
The experience requirement of 4,500 hours within 3 years can be interpreted as 1500 hours/year or 125 hours/month on average for the required time period.
But don’t forget that you do not really need to work in a project manager position during this time period. You can work on these projects in various roles. If you are working on the project in any capacity, you should be able to claim these hours depending on the different phases of the project that you have been working on.
PMP training is a must-have PMP certification requirement. In other words, the PMP training requirement is a must to sit in the PMP Exam. You must have 35 contact hours of PMP training according to PMI criteria. That means you must get formal PMP training. Even though on first look the PMP training requirement may seem to be one of the simplest PMP certification requirements to fulfill, it really is a make or break game changer.
PMP Certification Cost
As we have already discussed the PMP certification requirements, now it is time to consider the PMP certification cost factors now. There are mainly 5 aspects of PMP certification cost. We have discussed education, experience, and training requirement in the previous section. On top of these PMP certification cost factors, one must consider factors like preparation and registration as well. The PMP certification cost includes both tangible and non-tangible factors. For instance, the time of preparation for the PMP exam is a PMP certification cost that usually remains hidden. But you have to spend your time and energy to mark your achievement.
#1 PMP Certification Cost – PMP Training Cost
It is important to note that the PMP training requirement is a must to sit in the PMP Exam. You must have 35 contact hours of PMP preparation according to PMI guidelines. So you must get formal PMP training. Even though on first look the PMP training requirement may seem to be one of the simplest PMP certification requirements, it really is a make or break game changer.
The PMP training is not only a point of consideration due to the fact that PMI has set it as a requirement. As a matter of fact, it also brings several benefits to the candidates. Like PMP training offers guidance through experienced trainers. The candidates get the opportunity to interact with other candidates as well. In addition to this, they get a more clear road map and by following this roadmap they get preparation materials.
The PMP certification cost varies with the location and the format of the training
The cost of the PMP training varies based on location as well as the training format. For instance, let’s say that you are looking for trainings in Toronto. You will have multiple options for PMP training providers in Toronto. The cost of PMP classroom training will range from $800 to $2,495 whereas virtual trainings will be within the range of $1,695 to $1,895.
Likewise, if you are looking for training in Melbourne, you will find many options. The cost of Melbourne classroom courses starts at AUD 1,800+ GST and can be up to AUD 6,500.
In case you are looking for PMP trainings in Chicago, again there are multiple PMP training providers there. The cost of classroom training ranges from $845 to $1895 and the cost of the trainings with the virtual format is within the range of $699 to $1305.
Please note that the prices are subject to change as per the training providers within your country and regions. Also, the training format choice is a key driver of the PMP certification cost factor.
We recommend you to look for Project Management Education options as this will help you reduce your PMP certification cost. This format also provides flexibility for PMP candidates. You can only get an online PMP training for as little as $67 a month, among the various online training options.
How can I secure my PMP certification cost for a better return on investment in PMP training?
As a matter of fact, the PMP Exam is not a simple one. It is more likely that if the candidates are not well prepared, they will have a greater tendency to fail the PMP Exam. You can find various training providers that provide PMP training programs. Also, naturally, there is a PMP certification cost associated with the PMP training that you will pay to the provider.
Now it is time to ask the most important question: What should you look for the PMP training and which PMP training format is better for you? You will find many established training providers who have global recognition in the PMP training field. Even though having multiple options to choose from is a good thing, when you are evaluating them you should consider their certain aspects. We will explore some of these aspects that you have to consider when choosing a PMP training provider. These aspects include:
Fulfill PMI Requirements
One of the main objectives of acquiring formal PMP training is the requirement set by PMI to sit in the PMP exam. You must have 35 PDUs to fulfill this requirement. Therefore you must ensure that the training you are opting gets you 35 PDUs. So this section of the PMP certification cost is guaranteed as a secure investment.
Recognition of Training Providers
It is not enough that the training provider fulfills the PMI criterial. The next thing you should look for is the recognition of the training provider. You should review whether the training provider has a proven record to train the aspirants in a way that they have acquired the PMP credentials. Many training providers display their success rates based on PMP achievement as compared to their total number of students in the PMP programs. This will help you to ensure the stability of the training program where you are going to invest your PMP certification cost.
One very interesting factor is that there are many training providers who provide trainings in several formats. These training formats are designed to help the aspirants to reach trainings from local as well as global training providers. These formats also enable the training providers to broaden their horizons.
You can look for the following training formats and make a choice according to your priorities to fulfill PMP certification requirements. These formats include:
- In-person Classroom Training
- In-person Virtual Classroom Training
- E-learning Online
You can choose the training format that suits you as per your availability and requirement. These trainings prepare you for the PMP certification exam. Considering that the aspirants are professionals and must be busy in their jobs, finding time to attend the training could be a bit difficult for them. Whereas there are some other cases when the candidates have the flexibility to adjust their schedules or they are willing to attend the classroom trainings. These types of candidates might choose in-person classroom training as their best option.
There are also some situations when candidates look for in-person trainings but they are not willing to travel to attend the class. If you are one of these candidates, the Virtual Classroom training option can be ideal for you. Another possible situation is where the candidates look for both location and time flexibility. For such candidates, the self-paced, online e-learning format is more suitable.
These formats have different costs and duration. Usually, the classroom trainings are for 4 full days. Some training providers offer weekdays as well as weekend trainings. So the overall span varies depending on the type of schedule you choose for the training.
The e-learning online training format is the most economical and most flexible method of training.
PMP Exam topic full coverage and additional training material
The next thing you need to check is whether the PMP training is in line with the PMBok topics. You can also check whether the training provider gives additional material along with the training. The most important aspect is to check whether the training provider offers quizzes, mock-up exams, practice tests. All of these materials are helpful to assess your current position in regards to the PMP certification. The practice material helps you to identify the gaps and strengths. So you can practice more to cover the identified gaps and reinforce your strength.
Some training providers also offer full simulations that are helpful to feel the actual online paper environment and you can practice more closely with the real exam. So you can assess your time management, focus and level of accuracy through these practice programs.
These factors can help you choose the training with a better return on investment.
Recommendation of cost-effective PMP Training program
The online PMP training programs are very good options to get PMP certification training. Today you have a great number of online PMP courses on the web. This is because the majority of the PMP aspirants are willing to get an online PMP training. What benefits will you get when you opt for an online PMP certification course? Firstly as this is an online program you won’t have to be present in an actual classroom. This is really ideal for full-time working professionals. Furthermore, these online courses cost a lot less than regular classroom programs, in other words, their prices vary between 200 USD and 500 USD. That means if you choose an online training format you can significantly reduce your PMP certification cost.
#2 PMP Cost – PMP Exam Fee
This aspect of PMP certification cost is the fee that you pay to attend the PMP exam. This fee varies by your PMI membership status and also the type of examination you take. There is centre based type of exam and also paper-based type according to your geographic location. Below you can see the associated fees with the PMP exam for members and non-members of PMI.
|PMP Examination||PMI Member Examination Fees(USD)||Non-PMI Member Examination Fees(USD)|
|PMP Exam – First Time||$405||$555|
|PMP Re-attempt Examination||$275||$375|
You can only benefit from the PMI membership rate if your PMP membership is in good standing at the time you submit payment for the exam. If you apply to be a PMI member right before you apply for the exam, make sure you receive confirmation of your PMI membership before you pay for the exam.
It is important to note that if your membership has not been completely processed before you pay for the certification exam, you will be charged with the non-member fee. If you obtain PMI membership after you submit payment, PMI will not refund the difference. Therefore to be able to reduce your PMP certification cost you need to ensure that your membership process is completed prior to the application submission.
Is PMI Membership helpful in decreasing PMP certification cost?
PMI membership is a yearly membership. You should renew your membership after one year. The start of one year is effective from the date when your registration for membership is approved. The continuity of the membership depends on your own choice, so you can be a PMI member as long as you want if you renew it yearly.
The PMI membership factor in the PMP certification cost is subject to your membership status at the time of your registration for the examination. However, PMI membership comes with its own cost. There’s a membership fee of $129 and a joining fee of $10.
But also, this cost is less then what you can save at the time of the PMP exam application because being a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) can drop your exam fee, from $555 to $405. If you re-take the exam then fees also drop from $375 to $275. Thus, your PMP certification cost is also reduced if you are a PMI member.
To avail the benefit of PMI membership in the PMP exam fees you must be an active member at the time of registration for the examination. If you have applied for membership in the PMI, you would need to ensure your membership in the PMI is accepted and enabled.
It is your choice whether you would like to be a PMI member or you would like to spend extra on the PMP exam fee. We suggest you become a member of PMI prior to registering for the PMP Exam as it brings several other benefits for one year. Also, you do not have to spend extra PMP certification cost compared to non-members.
When you process and complete your application online, PMI will share with you a notification to request the payment. This requires you to go back into the online certification system to complete the required steps. You will select your examination delivery method and PMI will provide you different ways to submit the payment. You can pay through credit card online or you can send postal mail to PMI. But the online payment will enable PMI to process your payment more quickly,
You can also mail a check, money order, credit card information or wire payment information to PMI. Payment is required to be issued with your application if you submit it via postal mail.
You can request a language other than English for your examination at no extra cost. You can also request test accommodations for your examination without any extra cost.
#3 PMP Certification Cost – Preparation Time
Most of the time, when they think about the PMP certification cost, people only consider the money they will be spending on PMP study materials and PMP exam fees. However, there will be a significant amount of time you will need to study and get ready for the PMP exam. Hence, this should also be included in the PMP certification cost.
Once you complete the PMP training and earn 35 contact hours to fulfill the PMP criteria you are in the phase of self-study. You can also opt to study the material prior to the PMP training to get the basic concepts in line with your experience. This PMP exam preparation time is the intangible PMP certification cost that you need to invest in terms of time and effort.
Time: A Hidden PMP certification Cost
Average PMP preparation takes around 6 months. So you can also consider this time as a part of the PMP certification cost. Usually, individuals have to lay down a study roadmap in which they study and practice the exam to identify the areas for improvement. To complete this roadmap is the real key to achieve the PMP milestone. But you have to adjust your life priorities to prepare for the PMP Exam. This non-tangible PMP certification cost is the time you spend out of your busy schedule on weekdays and probably on weekends.
The PMP course providers may also suggest a PMP preparation roadmap that you can follow after you complete your course. The duration of this will depend on how much time you can spare for your PMP Exam training. This may vary from 4 to 6 months according to your daily and weekly efforts. You must especially consider this when you are buying the online course. Because you can fully boost your roadmap once you purchase the online PMP course and hence the pace of the course study will depend on you.
Please consider the mere fact that it is not only the time you spent, but it also includes the quality of the input which requires your consistent focus to achieve success. So this PMP certification cost may be non-tangible but the effort you spend is the savior of the remaining PMP certification cost. So be on the mark, get set and go with this phase of high demanding PMP certification cost investment.
#4 PMP Cost – PMP Study Material Costs
PMP training, hence the PMP certification cost, doesn’t only include the PMP study material you can get. You can get additional materials such as PMP Prep Books, PMP practice exams, PMP exam simulators, and PMP flashcards. You have lot of options available in the market to choose such additional training materials offered to prepare for the PMP Exam. There are certain benefits of these materials.
In addition to the PMI membership benefits in terms of cost reduction in the PMP Exam fee, there are also other benefits of being a PMI member. You will get these following benefits when you become a PMI member:
- You will have free access to download standards, guides and other valuable material relevant to project management. This also includes the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). The entire content is available on PMI’s website pmi.org.
- Variety of templates that help project managers
- Access to webinars and events
- Discounted prices for exam and re-exam fees
- Discounted prices in renewal fees
The PMBOK is a foundation document to prepare for the PMP examination.
You can also seek other resources that are helpful to prepare for the PMP Exam. Many training providers provide such material that you can buy for the sake of preparation. Flashcards are one of the preparation tools. These can be one of your best tools as they are very handy to keep with you for your PMP exam preparation.
With PMP flashcards, you can study in smaller chunks to reinforce what you have prepared during your study program. The flashcards are just short notes or main points. So one can even prepare their own flashcards like processes, knowledge areas, formulae, and many more. After that, you can review them and recall the concepts in a very short time. So they are a good way to improve your memory.–
Many well-known education providers have prepared flashcards which are available in different qualities and numbers. For instance, RMC Hot Topics Flashcards for Passing the PMP and CAPM Exams (Spiral-bound) are available for prices ranging from $19.00 $ to $50.00. Likewise, you can find Flashcards (Test Prep) by Crowe, Andy (2013) ranging from $54.00 to $989.90. These prices are based on whether these are used cards or new cards. So the flashcards might be considered another aspect to add in the PMP certification cost.
PMP Exam Simulator
PMP exam simulators are very effective tools that bring benefits to students. When they practice their exam sessions through PMP Exam Simulators, the PMP aspirants get a real feeler of the PMP Exam. You can practice your time management through these PMP Exam Simulators. In addition to this, with the simulators, you get used to the PMP Exam environment. So you gain a lot more confidence. Furthermore, you learn effective test-taking strategies. You can assess your focus and attention time.
Furthermore, each simulator will help you practice for the real exam. So you can identify your areas of weakness where you can put more focus and cover the gaps. This will help you to manage the most critical aspect first, so your learning will be prioritized towards the most value-adding aspects.
Many training providers also offer the Exam Simulators as an individual product.
For example, Master of Project Academy offers a PMP Exam Simulator consisting of 7 simulation exams or a total of 1400 PMP exam questions. After completing each exam, the results will be immediately seen with a detailed explanation of all questions and rationales. The Lifetime Access Plan is priced at $145, and the Monthly Plan is at $45 per month and can be canceled at any time.
Likewise, RMC offers the PM Exam Simulator. This Exam Simulator provides you an “insider’s view” of the actual PMP Exam. You can practice 1,600+ sample PMP Exam questions that are developed based on the current exam specifications. You get 90-day access. The cost of the Exam simulator is $139.00.
Thus, you should include the price of simulated exams in the PMP certification cost as they are very helpful for your preparation for the real exam.
#5 PMP Re-Certification Cost
Once you obtained PMP certification, you must earn 60 PMP PDU hours every three years to retain your PMP certification. You will spend time attending PMP PDU activities to retain your PMP certification. After you earn PDUs, you will pay the recertification fee to PMI in every three years. Hence even after you get your certification, there is some PMP certification cost you will be paying.
|PMI Member||Non-PMI Member|
|PMP Certification renewal fee||$60||$150|
Here the re-certification cost depends on your PMI membership status. If you are a member of PMI then you need to pay a fee of $60 to PMI. In case you are not a member then you have to pay $150 for the PMP certification renewal fee. So once again PMI membership reduces your PMP certification cost.
Summary: PMP Certification Cost
In this article, we have shared the critical factors associated with the PMP certification cost. These aspects help you get an idea about how much will you roughly spare for your PMP certification cost. Also, there are some non-tangible aspects of PMP certification cost, such as your preparation period in which you spend your time and effort by prioritizing your activities within your busy schedule. But this effort is usually not included in the PMP certification cost calculation.
The PMP certification cost can be calculated based on these cost factors:
1- Cost of PMI membership – $139 (Membership Fee of $129 and a joining fee of $10)
2- Cost of PMP exam application – $405 (Provided your PMI membership status is active at the time of application)
3- Cost of PMP training
The cost of the training is subject to your choice of PMP training format. We have elaborated on different training formats. so you can choose as per your budget. You can choose classroom training, virtual online training, and e-learning (online training).
If you want to reduce your total PMP certification cost, we recommend you choosing online PMP training options. They also provide flexibility for PMP candidates. These courses with the online format cost significantly less than regular classroom courses. Among the various online PMP programs, you can even find a good quality online PMP training only for as low as $67 per month!
4- Cost of supporting material
There are some supporting materials you should buy for the preparation of your PMP Exam.
- Flashcards – Their cost varies from almost $19.00 to $989,00 but this depends on the variety of the cards you choose, so this aspect of PMP certification cost is pretty much optional.
- Exam Simulator – This PMP certification cost also depends on your choice from where you acquire the exam simulator for your practice sessions. For instance, Master of Project Academy offers Lifetime Access Plan priced at $145. Whereas the Monthly Plan is at $45 per month and can be canceled at any time. Likewise, you can get the RMC Exam simulator with 90-day access. The cost of this exam simulator is $139.00.
5- Cost of PMP Certification Renewal
The cost of PMP certification renewal is $60 (Provided your PMI membership status is active at the time of application for the PMP renewal). This PMP certification cost is applicable after every three years of you being PMP certified.
6- Re-attempt Examination cost
This PMP certification cost is only applicable if the candidate does not qualify in the first attempt of the PMP Exam and they want to re-attempt to obtain the PMP certification.
The cost of re-taking the PMP exam is $275 (Provided your PMI membership status is active at the time of application)
We hope the article is helpful for you to get the overall idea of PMP certification cost as this figure will play an important role in your plan to pursue your PMP certification.