Back To CourseProject Management Training
10 chapters | 96 lessons
Laury has taught in professional adult education settings for over 10 years and is currently working on a PhD in Organizational Psychology.
Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is the gold standard of certifications for project managers. It is obtained through the Project Management Institute, and it tells employers and peers that you have the experience, formal specialized training, and demonstrated knowledge to successfully act to a high standard in the role of project manager. It is proof that you can take on the challenging projects with on time and on budget results.
PMP certification requires a process that begins with several thousand hours of practical experience, includes formal specialized training in project management processes, and ends in a certification exam.
There is no substitute for experience, and PMP is globally recognized as validation of your experience. To count for PMP certification, experience must be in leading and directing projects in unique and non-overlapping projects. Additionally, the experience hours need to be spent in each of the five PMI process groups:
You can't count the same hours in a single project for two processes, even if activities in both processes were completed in those hours. You have to break up the hours between the two applicable process groups.
For example, if you have a project that requires new internet service to a building, you would have to find out what companies are available in your area, compare internet packages, select a company, and schedule a time for the company to come install the internet equipment. You've covered activities in both the initiating and planning processes.
However, if you spent 3 hours on the phone doing all of this, you couldn't count all 3 hours in both the initiating and the planning processes. You would have to break up the hours between the two phases according to how much time you spent accomplishing activities in each process. If you spent an hour researching the available companies in your area, you would count 1 hour to the initiating process and the remaining 2 hours to the planning process.
The number of hours you'll need depend on your level of education. If you have a high school diploma, associate's degree, or a global equivalent, you'll need to have 7,500 hours of unique project management experience. If you have a bachelor's degree or a global equivalent, you'll need 4,500 hours of unique project management experience.
The number of hours isn't the only factor; the experience must be gained over at least a 36 month time frame for those with a bachelor's degree. If you have a high school diploma, associate's degree, or equivalent, the experience must be gained over a 60 month time frame. Obtaining all the required hours in less time can be done, but it won't suffice. You must have the required number of experience hours spread over the minimum number of months to obtain a PMP certification.
Because the required number of hours is significant and take a minimum of 3 years to accumulate, many PMP certified project managers recommend recording your experience hours as they are gained. Something as simple as a spreadsheet will work, as long as it contains all the needed information. To record hours, you need to note the following:
It is possible to have multiple entries for the same project; remember that you need to break up the hours by process group. If you led a project from inception to completion, you would have 5 entries for that particular project to note the hours you spent in each process group.
In addition to experience, PMP certification requires 35 hours of formal specialized project management training. Often referred to as 'contact hours,' this specialized training must be in the area of project management.
It can be obtained in different formats, such as face to face or online learning environments and through attendance in courses, workshops or training sessions. However, the specialized training cannot be self-directed learning. So, reading a book on project integration management would not count, but the same material covered by an instructor would be considered formal training.
This requirement is the same regardless of your level of education or number of experience hours; it is 35 hours for everybody.
Once you meet the experience and formal education requirements, you will need to submit an application and payment to PMI. Both the application and the payment can be submitted electronically on the PMI website, but postal mail applications will also be accepted.
Once the application and payment have been processed by PMI, you will receive an email notification that you are eligible to take the certification exam. The email will provide an authorization code you'll need to schedule the exam.
Once you receive the authorization code from PMI, you can schedule the certification exam with an authorized testing center. The exam is almost exclusively computer based, with very few exceptions to allow paper based testing. Regardless of format, the test is scheduled for 4 hours.
The exam has 200 questions; 25 are future test questions and will not count in your final score. The questions cover all 5 process groups with the execution process group having a large share of the questions.
The PMP certification exam doesn't have an official passing score. There is no magic number of questions to get right in order to pass because the score is based on the difficulty of the set of exam questions you answer. In other words, if you draw an easier set of questions, you will need a higher score to pass.
If you don't pass the PMP certification exam on the first try, you may take it up to 3 times during the one year period of exam eligibility. If you don't pass it on the 3rd try, or if the one year date passes, you must submit a new application and start the process over.
Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is the gold standard of project management that validates experience and education for project managers across the globe. The process to obtain PMP certification is:
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Already a member? Log InBack
Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Back To CourseProject Management Training
10 chapters | 96 lessons