How to Get PMP Certification Requirements & Eligibility

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
The PMP (Project Management Professional) credential is an internationally recognized certification option for project managers. Learn about PMP application prerequisites and get information on what is required to earn and maintain this certification.

PMP Certification Prerequisites and Requirements

To be eligible for PMP certification, an applicant must have a specified amount of work experience, based upon their level of education.

General Education Project Management Education Required Experience
High school diploma or associate degree 35 hours 5 years, with 7,500 hours of project leadership
Bachelor's degree 35 hours 3 years, with 4,500 hours of project leadership

After candidates demonstrate their eligibility for certification, they have one year to pass the PMP certification exam. PMP exams can be scheduled online ( Certification candidates who do not pass the test on their first attempt may retake it twice within the one-year window.

PMP Exam At a Glance

The PMP certification exam is four hours long and includes 200 multiple-choice questions covering the principles of project management. See the table below for an outline of exam content along with a sampling of coursework available on to help you brush up on key concepts.

Content Domain Exam Prep Resource
Project Initiation Strategic Management in Business, Initiating a Project
Planning Planning a Project, Project Cost Planning & Performance
Execution Executing a Project, Creating Contracts with Vendors
Monitoring and Controlling Monitoring and Controlling a Project, Tools for Project Planning and Management
Closing Closing a Project

Certification Renewal

Project managers with PMP certification must renew their credentials every three years. Renewal requires that project managers demonstrate ongoing professional development by completing such opportunities as:

  • In-person or online training courses
  • Professional presentations
  • Volunteer work
  • Writing articles, books or blogs

Benefits of PMP Certification

PMP certification is recognized by employers in various fields around the world and may help project managers earn higher salaries. In a 2015 survey published by the Project Management Institute, PMP-certified project managers were paid approximately 20% more than non-certified professionals.

Learn More About Certification

PMP certification is overseen by the Project Management Institute, an international professional organization for project, program and portfolio managers. To learn more about PMI and similar organizations, and explore certification options, check out's chapter on Project Management Organizations & Certifications.

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