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PMP Certification Exam Eligibility - A Complete Checklist

05th Sep, 2023
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PMP Certification Exam Eligibility - A Complete Checklist

Doesn’t this question sound familiar? Your quest for PMP® certification begins with this question and it is also an important piece of information for every PMP® aspirant. The Project Management Professional (PMP)® is the most important certification for project managers across all industries. It is a truly global certification that allows you to lead projects almost in every country. Further, it enables you to work in any industry by deploying any methodology in any location.

But before you begin your PMP® journey you need to meet certain education and experience requirements to meet the standards set by PMI in order to appear for your PMP® exam. The experience requirement shows your soft skills to sit for the PMP® exam and the educational requirements show that you have enough theoretical background to manage a project. However, your experience requirement for PMP® changes depending on the educational requirement which you satisfy. 

This blog will answer all your queries about the eligibility requirement for PMP certification course.

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The Eligibility Requirements for PMP®

A salary survey conducted by the Project Management Institute (PMI) shows that PMP® certified project managers tend to earn more compared to their non-certified counterparts. PMP® certification warrants a certain level of knowledge in the project management area. The reason that companies and organizations give high credit to PMP® certification compared to other certificates in the industry is because PMI has a very strict application and audit process for relevant education and experience requirements that one needs to be PMP® certified.

As the employer has high regard for the certification, once you show a PMP® certification in your resume he or she will that you have met the strict PMP® certification requirements which proves a certain level of practice and knowledge on project management. It is not easy for someone to sit and pass the PMP® certification exam.

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PMP eligibility requirements

If you are wondering where can you check for these requirements then you will find all the criteria set by PMI for taking the PMP®  exam in the PMP® Credential Handbook. You can download the free version of this handbook from PMI's Website. It will help you to know everything about PMP® certification, who is eligible to apply, and how to go about applying. The eligibility requirements for taking the exam are as follows:

  • You should hold a bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent with at least three years of project management experience. The three years of experience is expected to be comprised of 4,500 hours which you have spent directing and leading projects and 35 hours of project management education.
  • In case, you don’t have a four-year degree, you need to have a secondary diploma (high school or global equivalent) with at least project management experience of 5 years. The five years of experience should comprise of 7,500 hours which you have spent directing and leading projects and project management education of around 5 hours.

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Need more clarity on the eligibility criteria? Then the following chart will surely help you to clarify your doubts.

Eligibility Requirement

Four-year degree or global equivalent

Secondary degree or global equivalent

Years of Project Management Experience

3 Years (36 months)

5 Years (60 months)

Hours Leading & Directing Projects

4,500 Hours

7,500 Hours

Hours of Project Management Education

35 Hours

35 Hours

Education Requirement for PMP

You need to match one of the eligibility requirements which is required for you to appear for your PMP® certification exam. But it is also important for you to complete 35 hours of Project Management Education in order to fulfill the eligibility requirement to sit for the PMP® exam.

You must be wondering how can you earn the 35 hours of Project Management education requirement. You can enroll in PMP certification training to earn the same. This training also helps you to prepare for your PMP® exam and get proper support from the experts to clear your PMP® exam in one shot.

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Acceptable Experiences to be Eligible for the PMP® Exam

The experiences mentioned by you in your application should cover all the five processes mentioned in the PMBOK® Guide. But you should keep in mind that it is not necessary for all of these processes to be in one single project. You can find a full list of acceptable tasks, knowledge, and skills in PMI’s PMP Certification Eligibility.

A few of the tasks that you might be performing and which would be acceptable are as follows:

  • You should define the high-level scope of the project based on the requirements of business and compliance to meet the customer project expectations.
  • Obtain approval to execute the project by presenting the project plan to the key stakeholders (if required).
  • Achieve the project deliverable within the schedule and budget by executing the tasks as defined in the project plan.
  • Get feedback from the stakeholders by communicating the project status to ensure that the business needs are aligned to the project alignment.
  • Work with the customer and the sponsor to obtain final acceptance of the project deliverable to confirm that project deliverables and scope were met.

Ways to Gather the Required Experience

Full time Project Manager vs part time Project Manager

You need to meet the PMP® experience required to be eligible in order to gain PMP® certification. But how can you gather enough experience? As discussed, you need to earn experience of 4,500 to 7,500 hours of directing and leading projects depending on your educational qualification.

The following ideas can help you to overcome this obstacle:

1. As Full-time Project Managers

If you are working as a Project Manager or in a similar position that gives you a full-time opportunity to lead and direct projects, then it’s easy. If you don’t have enough hours then you can go ahead with what you are doing and with time you will gather the required number of hours. 

2. If you are not a full-time Project Manager

Don’t have enough hours to meet the required experience eligibility? It even gets trickier when you are not in a role that gives you an opportunity to direct or lead projects. If you are not managing projects at all or managing projects part-time, you are collecting hours of experience at a slower rate compared to a full-time project manager. You can increase the rate in the following ways:

  • By changing your role

You can increase the amount of time spent on managing projects using the most effective solution, i.e. by changing your role. You can go for a wider discussion about your career development with your employer by stating clearly that you would like to provide more value to your employer by directing and leading projects.

If you get an opportunity to become a full-time project manager then you are on your way to collect the required hours as soon as possible.

  • By changing your company

In case you are not getting an opportunity to shift to a different kind of responsibility in your current company then you should change the company you are working for. You might find a suitable opportunity to negotiate better terms and conditions than you are having in your current company. This will surely allow you to speed up the process of earning the required hours of experience in order to meet the PMI eligibility requirement.

  • Volunteering

You can always check for volunteering opportunities with your local PMI chapter which would also expose you to additional benefits. This will also provide you with more and better networking opportunities at the same time. You can earn the required experience hours through volunteering.

Is PMI Membership Mandatory for me to get PMP®  certified?

PMI Membership

This is another question that you tend to ask while beginning your PMP® journey. You don’t have to be a PMI member in order to appear for your PMP® certification exam. But there are surely a few benefits that you can reap from your PMI membership. The benefits are as follows:

  • As a PMI member, you can receive a significant discount on your PMP® exam application fee. Once you become a PMI member, you will realize that the cost of membership is comparatively lesser than the discounts which you get.
  • You get access to a free PDF copy of the PMBOK Guide as a PMI member which is an important resource to prepare and pass your exam.
  • Moreover, many local PMI chapters offer discounts on their PMP® exam preparation workshops to PMI members.

PMP® certification cost

PMP Certification Cost
Apart from the above-mentioned information about the eligibility requirements, there are certain costs related to the PMP® exam. We can divide the cost of PMP® certification into the cost of PMP® certification training and the PMP® exam fee. But there is another hidden cost related to it which you should be aware of. This is the cost of the time that you will spend while studying for the PMP® certification exam. Let’s try to understand these costs in detail.

1. Cost of 35 hours of Project Management Training

You are expected to meet certain eligibility criteria before appearing for the PMP Certification exam. Apart from other eligibilities, it is necessary for you to attend at least 35 hours of project management course. So, the major question which arises here is how much these certification courses cost.

The cost of PMP® certification training varies based on the type of training which you are willing to take. Mostly, you need to make a choice between PMP® certification classroom training and online PMP® certification training. Also, the cost of your training depends on the country you are located. Usually, the cost of PMP® certification training ranges between $500 to $2,000.  

The following chart will give you a clear idea about the cost of PMP® certification classroom training across other countries:

CountriesPrice of classroom training
America, Canada, Australia$1,500
South America (Brazil, Chile, etc.)$600
China, India$500
European Countries$1,200
Arabian Countries$2,000

2. Exam Preparation Time

As a busy professional, the time you spend on your project management education might cost you your precious leisure time. But you can save your time by opting for a self-paced online PMP certification training cost. 

For instance, you can plan to spend 5 to 6 hours a week studying in order to pass your PMP® exam. The duration of your training will certainly depend on your dedication, professional experiences, and your background in project management.  

3. PMP®  Exam Fee

Once you are done with your 35 hours of project management education, you need to take your PMP® exam at a Prometric test center. You need to schedule your exam date in the nearest Prometric test center after PMI accepts your application. The PMP® certification exam fee can be brought down by becoming a PMI member.

You can also get a free copy of PMBOK® by becoming a PMI member. Other than that, there are numerous other benefits that you can reap from your PMI membership.

To sum up, the cost of PMP® certification depends on the course you decide to take. Your total PMP® certification cost will be nearly $750 if you choose to get your project management education through an online course. You can also continue preparing with a PMP® certification classroom training by spending around $1,700 including the exam fee.

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This blog will surely help you to understand the eligibility requirements to sit for your PMP® certification exam and the ways to attain them.  By enrolling in one of the top PMP bootcamps, you can enhance your knowledge and skills in project management, ensuring that you are well-equipped to pass the certification exam with flying colors. This information will help you to prepare to begin your PMP® certification journey by fulfilling the required educational qualification and work experience. Further, the PMP® certification cost is a really essential piece of information when you plan to begin your PMP® certification journey.

Earn the required experience hours by changing your role or volunteering with your local PMI chapter. Wish you all the best for your PMP® journey!


Kevin D.Davis

Blog Author

Kevin D. Davis is a seasoned and results-driven Program/Project Management Professional with a Master's Certificate in Advanced Project Management. With expertise in leading multi-million dollar projects, strategic planning, and sales operations, Kevin excels in maximizing solutions and building business cases. He possesses a deep understanding of methodologies such as PMBOK, Lean Six Sigma, and TQM to achieve business/technology alignment. With over 100 instructional training sessions and extensive experience as a PMP Exam Prep Instructor at KnowledgeHut, Kevin has a proven track record in project management training and consulting. His expertise has helped in driving successful project outcomes and fostering organizational growth.

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