Posted on August 23, 2013 · Posted in Leadership, PMP, Project Management

Successful project managers must simultaneously strive to manage the four basic elements pertaining to any project: scope, money, time, and quality. All these four elements are correlated and should be managed effectively to guarantee the success of your project. The real question business owners should ask themselves is: when should they assign a PMP certified manager to their project? At times, it is excessive to demand that your project manager be PMP certified. However, in other cases it may wise to insist on it. Where do you draw the line? How do you decide that your project requires a PMP certified project manager?

A PMP designation is not an indication of how successful a prospective project manager will be in executing your project. Having PMP certification simply means the individual has the proper training and experience required to sit the exam, and then proceeded to answer 61% of the exam questions correctly!

A lot of employers place a great deal of value in PMP certification when looking for project managers. For many organizations, it is a straight forward screening mechanism used by the HR department. However, such an approach may be counterproductive and may end up screening out project managers with relevant experience in handling similar projects, leaving the organization with a less experienced yet well trained PMP certified project manager. This raises the question: when does relevant experience trump PMP certification in the selection of project managers? Well, that’s a discussion for another day. Today, however, we discuss the importance of obtaining PMP certification and its impact to your career as a project manager.

For project management consultants, professional certification has become almost a necessity. In addition to great interpersonal, organizational, communication, and problem-solving skills, it is worthwhile for both freelancers and consultants to invest in becoming PMI accredited. Becoming a PMP certified project manager offers four important benefits to your career:

1. Increases Your Billing Rate
Both education and experience determine your billing rate as a project manager. Adding a PMP certification to your credentials will increase the dollar value of your service. Why? There is currently an increased interest by both mid-sized and large corporations in hiring PMP certified project managers. More and more companies are willing to pay big bucks for higher levels of expertise, and a pay rise or a jump to a new job may cover the cost of obtaining your PMP certification in just a few months.

2. Brings In New Clients
In 2011, the number of registered PMP certified project managers stood at 466,000. Over the years, these numbers have continued to rise and so have the number of organizations who recognize the value of hiring PMP certified project managers. Sometimes, PMP certification for a project manager could be the difference between getting hired or not; it could tilt the scale in your favor when your potential client is deciding whether to hire you over another freelancer or consultant. As a project manager, it also broadens your prospective employer list to include those that automatically filter candidates using PMP certification as a selection criterion.

3. Provides International Recognition
Working with international companies and organizations who have a strong global presence will get your skills noticed on a global platform. PMP certification is an ISO certified credential, meaning that it is recognized and endorsed in more than 85 countries. ISO certification is considered an important benchmark; hence global organizations are now finding it beneficial to hire PMP certified project managers because they can reference the ISO certification.

4. Builds Credibility
Obtaining a PMP certification requires that you strictly meet the specific and stringent guidelines that gauge your education, experience, and professional knowledge. In addition to meeting these qualifications, you are required to have at least five years of experience in a project management position before sitting for the exam. You should have accumulated at least 4,500 hours managing and leading projects. PMP certified professionals must agree to abide by the strict industry-accepted code of ethics. So, becoming PMP certified is no simple task; however, the designation represents a high degree of experience and professionalism which almost instantaneously boosts your credibility as a project manager.

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