Things to Know About the True Cost of PMP Certification

Becoming a certified PMP is no easy task — and no cheap task. When people think of the cost of PMP certification, they often think of the exam fee, which is hefty in itself. However, that’s only one portion of the full cost of PMP certification. There are many other costs that aspiring PMPs and businesses too often don’t take into consideration.

The Exam Fee

As previously stated, the PMP exam fee is nothing to sneeze at. The exam can be taken as a computer-based test (CBT) or paper-based test (PBT), but the fee is the same. $555. You may take the PMP exam 3 times in total if you don’t pass the first time, but subsequent attempts have a cost of their own: $375 per re-examination.

You can save some money on testing by becoming a PMI member, but that comes with its own costs.

PMI Membership

Becoming a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) can drop your exam fee from $555 to $405. Re-examination attempt fees are also dropped from $375 to $275. However, PMI membership comes at a cost, as well. There’s a membership fee of $129 and a joining fee of $10. This brings your costs back up to $544, not so far from the original $555.

However, PMI members can download the PMBOK handbook for free, whereas those without membership will have to pay upwards of $50 on Amazon.

Training Costs

But let’s back up. Before taking the PMP exam, you’ll first have to complete about 35 hours of training. There are a few ways to do this. Some choose a classroom or instructor-led setting, while others take online courses. There’s also a variety of prices here. Classroom training itself vastly varies, from as little as $200 to as much as $2,500. Instructor-led courses range from about one to two thousand. Online courses are the most affordable, rarely costing more than $500.

Additional Study

The PMBOK is one thing. You may also want to invest in additional study guides and resources. These books will help you focus on what’s important for the PMP exam, and what you’ll need to carry with you into your career. They, too, come at a cost, ranging from $40-100. In addition, there are practice tests available that can strengthen your chances of knowing what to expect from your PMP exam and how to best pass it. These also vary in cost, from about $60-100.

Besides all this, consider your study supplies. This could be flashcards, guides, highlighters, notes…or a software program that offers all the same results. These will be among the most affordable elements of your total cost, but they are a component and one that shouldn’t be forgotten when budgeting for your PMP certification.


Passed the PMP exam and got your PMP certification? Great! But that’s not where the expenses end. You also have to have your credentials renewed every three years, and without renewed credentials, your passed PMP exam won’t get you very far. So every three years, you’ll have to pay a $150 renewal fee in order to stay current.

Once again, a PMI membership can reduce the cost here from $150 every three years to $60 every three years. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the annual membership fee for PMI memberships is $129, while credential renewal is only paid every three years.

Professional Development Units

In order to maintain your certification, you also have to attend 60 professional development units (PDU) every three years. A PDU amounts to about one hour, whether at a lecture at a PMI conference, in a classroom, or using an online training program. The more affordable options are podcasts, webinars, and the like, which can range from about $25-100 per PDU. All told, you could pay about $3,000 per year in order to maintain your PMP certification.

None of this is to say that a PMP certification isn’t worth it. While there is some discussion of whether or not a PMP certification is right for everyone, there’s no denying that it can give you a boost on the job market, and ensure that you’re paid competitively. A PMP certification easily makes you a desirable candidate to businesses in need of project managers. PMI membership, for its costs, also offers invaluable resources that set PMPs up for success. Rather, in conclusion, you should know the full cost of the endeavor for a PMP certification before you move forward. This way, you can budget properly and won’t be surprised.


Christine is an assistant for EdWel Programs, a leading provider for PMP Exam Prep and risk management training since 2002.

5 Crucial Concepts to Obtain Your PMP

When studying for the PMP exam, the PMBOK Guide may seem daunting. Unfortunately, there’s no cheat sheet or shortcut around it. If you want to know what parts of the PMBOK Guide are crucial to your exam, the answer is every section. However, if you want an elaboration on some of the most crucial concepts to understand before going into your PMP exam, you’ve come to the right place. Study these concepts meticulously before taking your PMP exam, and you’ll stand a good chance of passing on the first try.

Input, Tools, Technology, and Outputs (ITTO)

As a PMP, this is your process and your resources. It’s no wonder that ITTO takes up the bulk of the questions in the PMP exam…and that it can cause a hefty sense of intimidation. Simply put, ITTO is the process from which you turn your knowledge, technology, and tools into a finished project. Input is your plan for the project. Your budget, time constraints, your deadlines, and the skills you and your team bring to the project. Your tools and technology are the resources you use to execute this project: a good project management team, efficient technology, project tracking, etc. The output is the end goal for the project: how should the finished project look?

Integration Management

Integration management is the ability to manage each step in a project as one, unified project. It is the most essential part of your job as a PMP. It requires big picture vision and the ability to multitask and delegate deftly. Poor integration management will lead to sloppy, painful projects and more frequent project failure. Most importantly in the integration management world is change management.

Most projects will bring about at least one major change to an enterprise. That’s the point of starting a project. But it can be difficult to adjust to these changes, unless you’re skilled at change management. With change management, you apply your resources and knowledge to the organization in which you work in order to bring about successful, smooth change that improves the way that organization does business.

Quality Management

In the midst of a project, it’s the job of everyone on the team to ensure the quality before putting it out there in the world. However, the bulk of quality planning and control falls under the purview of the project manager. If quality is below par, it’s the project manager who will be held responsible. A big part of quality management is making sure your team is fully aware of the standards of quality to be expected in your project. Training the team to do quality checks and using prevention over inspection is just part of quality management. As this is a crucial part of a PMP’s career, it will be a crucial part of the test and should be studied thoroughly.

Cost Management

Nothing makes stakeholders lose confidence in a project like losing money. A project manager has to focus on the whole project, but stakeholders are focused on that bottom line. Thus cost management is crucial to PMPs and it’s crucial to the PMP exam. The ability to forecast costs of a project, create an appropriate budget, and stick to that budget or adjust it in the most discerning way possible, may be your most important skill as a PMP. Pay close attention to the cost management resources and tips in the PMBOK and carry them with you not just to the PMP exam but into your new career.

Human Resources

Sure, you’re not taking this exam to become a human resources manager, but you still need to have a strong understanding of how human resources works. Why? Because of conflict resolution. Interpersonal conflicts can get in the way of your team’s efficiency and diligence and can cause setbacks to your project. It’s also important to know how to network successfully as a PMP, especially if you’re a newly certified PMP without a long resume.

To fully prepare for the PMP exam, it’s important to read the PMBOK thoroughly. The PMBOK glossary will help acquaint you with the terminology you need to ace the PMP exam and may clarify points in the PMBOK. The RITA exercises will help you put this new information into context and try your practical knowledge of it, giving you a fuller understanding when it comes to test time. By the time you take the exam, you should not only have read about these concepts but should fully understand them.


An In-depth Look into PMP Certification and why it Matters?

A publication from Project Management Institution alludes to a study by Economist Intelligence Report shows that at least 80% of global executives and professionals believe that having project management as a core competency helps them to remain competitive during recession.

In another report by McKinsey, nearly 60% of senior executives reveal that a strong project management discipline is one of the top-three priorities for their companies in the future.

The relentless need for efficient and streamlined project management isn’t surprising. Companies of all sizes, across industries, have been steadily embracing project management. Efficient project management helps control their budgets, get work done efficiently, streamline business processes with scientific granularity, reduce risks, and enhance their success rates.

Project managers with established credibility – such as experience, and PMP certification – lend themselves invaluable to organizations looking to succeed with projects they take up. They help reduce the incidence of failed projects and lead business processes with confidence. That brings us to the certification process itself.

Let’s do a deep dive into PMP certification and why it matters:

PMP certification gets you prepped up

The whole world of business now grows one project at a time.

Project managers with professional certification such as PMP certification are introduced to the challenging world of managing projects locally and globally. The pathway to gain PMP certification is a first look for managers looking to gain competency in project management. PMP, for instance, is a PMI certification that’s globally recognized, in-demand, and highly-valued.

According to PMI Project Management Salary survey, a PMP certification is one of those deal making trump cards leading to faster growth and better salaries.

The PMI certification course demands intellect, experience, education, and competency. It helps project managers take on real-world problems hands on.

PMI takes a lot and hence gives a lot

To apply for a PMP certification, you’ll need a secondary degree such as a high school diploma or an associate’s degree. A global equivalent of such a degree also holds valid.

Further, you’ll need at least 5 years of project management experience racking up 7,500 hours of leading and directing projects to success. You’ll also need at least 35 hours of pure project management education.

Alternatively, a 4-year bachelor’s degree with 4,500 hours of real experience on managing projects along with the mandatory 35 years of project management education.

The Project Management Institute also publishes a PMP Handbook that you’d do well to download and refer to.

Application for the PMP certification exam is also subjected to an audit that you’ll agree as a condition. You receive PMP credentials after passing the examination but the certification itself isn’t a one-time shot, though. Successful PMP certificate benefactors have to earn 60 PDUs (professional Development Units) every three years as a part of PMI’s continuing certification requirements program.

PMP is just one certification. If you want to attain more than PMP certification such as a PgMP credential, you very well do so if you are eligible.

With PMP You Become an Insider, Jargon and all

Armed with a PMP certification, you get to take on clients directly. You’ll be able to manage teams with clarity, focus, and with workflows designed to fetch results.

Achieving a PMP certificate is also testimony to the fact that you’d pick up jargon that resonates well with other project managers, colleagues, and senior executives.

For a change, everyone stays on the same page and talks the same language. You’d still be able to manage projects without a certification but it’s just that a PMP certificate gives you a lot more credibility when you start taking initiative, engage in communication, and lead projects.

It’s a certification that lets people take notice. Give you the ear when you speak, follow when you give instructions, and respect your decisions.

PMP is a cash maker

We noted earlier in a post on PMP certificate that by the end of 2011, there are about 466,000 registered, PMP certified project managers.  There’s a reason so many aspiring managers work towards PHP certification: it makes money.

An Anderson economic group report reveals that an average of about 1.2 million project management positions will surface each year, all the way through 2016, owing to a shift in demographics in countries like the U.S and Europe and also due to a spurt in overall growth in projects globally.

Further, a Computer World Survey lists Project management at number two and also cites that 40% of recruiters plan to hire for Project Management Skill in the next 12 months.  Leadership and execution, of course, are of primary importance apart from background, experience, education, and certification.

PMP gets you the edge

It’s the trust economy we are in and qualifications and credentials such as certification courses are in big demand because they are trust tools.

While these courses and certifications certainly teach you a lot and take you deep into the subject along with practical application, they are designed to give you an edge. All things being equal, a PMP certificate helps you to score against a non-PMP. If you wish to get into consulting, it’s almost a pre-requisite when you go looking for clients or to win their trust to have you manage their projects for them.

If it’s not mandatory for the job you are applying to or for the company you are working with, PMP is a matter of choice.

In education and credibility, we believe. From that standpoint, a PMP certification can be a jewel in the crown; a feather in your camp; and a reason that you succeed in your career

Do you have PMP certification? Do you aspire to achieve one? What do you think about the apparent benefits of a PMP certification and how do you think it enhances your career? Please share your thoughts with us.