You can find PMP® certified professionals working across all industries while deploying numerous methodologies in various locations. According to the PMI’s Earning Power Salary Survey, PMP® certified professionals earn 20% higher salary on average than the non-certified counterparts. It’s not only the PMP® certified professionals who reap the benefits of PMP certification but even the employers also get benefitted by it. Organisations can complete their projects on time, optimizing the utilization of budget and meeting original goals when they employ more than one-third of their project managers who are PMP® certified.
Project Management Professional (PMP®) is an internationally recognized professional certification offered by the Project Management Institute PMI. In the year 2018, PMI had more than 830,000 active PMP® certified individuals and 286 chartered chapters across 210 countries and territories across the globe. PMP® certified professionals are employed by various governments, commercials, and other organisations in order to improve the success rate of projects in all the areas of knowledge, by applying a standardized and evolving set of project management principles as contained in the PMBOK® Guide.
Why should you get PMP® certified?
As a widely recognized Project Management Certification, PMP® certification gives you a worldwide recognition of your knowledge of Project Management. PMP® certification demonstrates the proof of your professional achievement. This also gives you a great understanding of the knowledge areas and processes involved in PMBOK® and equips you to improve the ways of managing the projects. Further, getting a project management professional certification increases your marketability while applying for new project manager jobs. It also paves your path to growth.
PMP® certification helps to increase customer confidence at the same time as they are assured about hiring and working with a professional who is knowledgeable and experienced about project management. This certification is acknowledged and valued globally across all industry verticals and companies like Pfizer, TCS, Infosys, Sun Microsystems, American Express, HSBC, Keane, Dell Perot Systems, ABB, Cap Gemini, Citigroup, SAP, CGI, Cisco Systems, Intel, Motorola, IBM, Hewlett Packard, EDS, GE, Siemens, Accenture, Ericsson, KPMG, Alcatel/Lucent, and the list goes on.
PMP® certification requirements
Choose a PMP® course to begin your PMP® certification journey or attend the workshops conducted by PMI to prepare yourself for the PMP® certification exam. In order to sit for the PMP® exam, you need to get all your project management information together and submit the PMP® exam application to PMI. But before beginning your application process, you need to fulfill the eligibility requirements set by PMI for PMP® certification.
The prerequisites can be divided into two sections based on your educational qualification. You need to fulfill the following requirements if you have a bachelor’s degree or global equivalent:
- Unique non-overlapping professional project management experience of a minimum of three years or 36 months
- 4,500 hours spent on leading and directing projects
- 35 contact hours of formal project management education.
If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you can also sit for the PMP® certification exam by having a high school diploma/associate’s degree or global equivalent. However, you need to fulfill the following requirements to meet the prerequisites:
- Non-overlapping professional project management experience of a minimum of five years or 60 months
- 7,500 hours spent on leading and directing projects
- 35 contact hours of formal project management education.
Steps to gain your PMP® credential
PMP® certification involves a complex process including payment of fees and getting PMI membership. Further, you need to meet some prerequisites in order to be eligible to sit for the PMP® certification. The following steps will surely help you to complete your PMP® certification journey:
Step 1: Get a PMI membership
Although optional, there are numerous benefits that you can reap by becoming a member of the Project Management Institute PMI. One of the major benefits of becoming a PMI member is that you can bring down your PMP® exam fee to $405, whereas, as a non-member, you need to pay $555 for the same. You can become a PMI member by paying an amount of just $139.
Step 2: Meet 35 contact hours requirement
You can take up a training course with any of the PMI approved R.E.P.s in order to fulfill the 35 contact hours required to sit for the PMP® exam.
Step 3: Submit your PMP® application online
Begin your PMP® certification journey by beginning your PMP® application process. The following process is involved in your application procedure:
- Meet the prerequisites set by PMI and report the same to begin your application process.
- PMI will take 3 to 5 working days to review your application and respond.
- You will receive an invitation to pay once your application is approved.
Step 4: Schedule your exam with the Prometric
A Prometric exam center is where you need to take your PMP® certification exam. You just need to log into the Prometric website to schedule your appointment for the exam. Taking your PMP® exams with Prometric include the following factors:
- Once your application is approved, you have one year to take the exam.
- You can take the exam up to three times during the eligibility period.
- You can find more information about the testing centers by visiting the Prometric.
Step 5: Take and pass the PMP® certification exam
Finally, the day has come for you to sit for the PMP® certification exam. The PMP® exam question consists of 200 questions which you need to complete within 4 hours. The questions can be broken down into 5 processes, namely:
- Initiation - 13%
- Planning - 24%
- Executing - 31%
- Monitoring and controlling - 25%
- Closing - 7%
Why should you go for a PMI membership?
Get access to all the knowledge, networks, and resources which can help you improve your work and move ahead in the career path of project management by becoming a PMI member.
Having a PMI membership will make you be recognized as:
- A professional who is serious about professional and personal development.
- A professional with enthusiasm for good practices in project management.
- A professional who is dedicated to practicing your profession in an ethical manner.
The above-mentioned factors will not only give you an edge in the job market but will also give you importance among your employer, colleagues, and stakeholders. You can become a PMI member by paying a registration fee of $129 and a joining fee of $10 which allows you to reap its numerous benefits through insightful publications such as PM Network®, exclusive online resources, and getting access to communities of like-minded peers. As a PMI member, you will receive discounts on the cost of PMP® exam, educational and networking events, and professional development courses. Further, you can also buy books, papers, and other items at special prices which are exclusively offered to the PMI members.
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Maintaining your PMP® credentials
Your PMP® certification journey does not end with earning your certification credential. The PMP® certification is valid for only three years. You need to maintain your certification credentials by earning 60 PDUs under the following categories:
- Giving back to the profession.
You need to earn a minimum of 35 PDUs under the education category and 25 PDUs under the giving back to the profession category. You can gain 1 PDU for every hour that you spend in learning and by giving back to the profession. The PDUs need to be aligned with the PMI Talent Triangle™, which includes:
- Technical project management
- Business/Strategic management.
You need to earn a minimum of 8 PDUs under each component of the PMI Talent Triangle™ and the other 11 PDUs can be earned under any component of the triangle.
Ways to earn 35 PDUs under ‘Education’ category
You can opt for one from one of the following options to earn the required PDUs under the ‘Education’ category:
1. Course or Training
You can attend online or physical classroom training or online e-learning training from a Registered Education Provider (REP) to earn the required PDUs. You can also attend the seminars and education events conducted by the local PMI chapters.
2. Organisation Meetings
This includes networking events conducted by PMI chapters. You can earn your required PDUs by attending professional meetings with learning sessions. However, you cannot report more than 2 PDUs for each meeting.
3. Online or digital media
Another way to earn the required PDUs is by attending recorded webinars, online training, podcasts, videos, and recorded training that allow you to learn at your own convenience.
Earn the required PDUs in order to meet the requirements for maintaining your PMP® certification credentials by reading books, white papers, articles, blogs.
5. Informal Learning
You can also earn the required PDUs to maintain your PMP® credentials by discussing with experts, mentors within the organisation or other professional bodies.
Ways to earn 25 PDUs under ‘Giving back to the profession’ category
In the other category, you need to contribute to the profession in order to earn the required PDUs to maintain your PMP® credential. You can choose from the following activities for the same:
1. Working as a practitioner
You can apply your knowledge to projects as a PMP® to earn the required PDUs in order to maintain your PMP® credential.
2. Create Content
You can maintain your PDUs by writing articles, white papers, blogs, and develop content for webinars on project management.
Maintain your PMP® credentials by creating and delivering presentations on talent triangle in seminars and conferences conducted in network events or in your organisation.
4. Share knowledge
Use your experience to teach, coach, and mentor others to enhance their knowledge to maintain your PMP® credentials.
You can also earn the required PDUs in order to maintain your PMP® credentials by offering your services free of cost to help the growth of the project management profession. Volunteer through PMI chapter activities by registering on the PMI’s Volunteer Relationship Management System (VRMS).
Report your PDUs
You need to report your earned PDUs in order to renew your PMP® credential. The Report PDUs link helps you to fill in the relevant information in the CCRS. You need to enter the Provider name and ID, Activity ID and name, dates of the activity and the number of PDUs claimed under the three components of the talent triangle. You will get the update on the number of PDUs approved, rejected, and claimed once you submit the above-mentioned information.
PMP® certification is the most popular and highly acknowledged project management certification across all industries as well as the globe. Apart from being one of the toughest certification processes in the world, you also need to follow a strict procedure to maintain your credentials. This blog will surely help you to earn the required PDUs in order to maintain your credentials. You can also become a PMI member in order to avail various discounts to continue your PMP® certification journey.