PMP® Certification

PMI® Membership

While this page does not necessarily address membership in PMI, it seems appropriate to include at least an overview. Membership is not a prerequisite to certification, but the cost of the exam is reduced for PMI members by more than the annual membership fee of $119. So at least joining for one year makes financial sense. Members may also join one or more local chapters, which usually cost another $25 to $30 per annum. Then there are specific interest groups (SIGs) that one may join as well, focusing on particular industries. You may link here to the PMI membership page.

Certification Prerequisites

There are education, experience and training prerequisites as summarized below. Download and read the PMI Credential Handbook (a pdf file), the next article listed on the Students' Materials index page, for more complete information. There is a link to the Acrobat Reader at the bottom of this page.

Experience prerequisite

Leading & directing tasks
Total project participation
High school diploma
7,500 hours (43.3 months)
60 months
Bachelor degree
4,500 hours (26 months)
36 months

The complete statement for the prerequisite headed 'Leading and directing' is "in a position leading and directing project tasks", and it must have occurred within the last 8 years. It must include some experience in the five process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling & Closing. Obviously, nobody kept a record of time spent in these process groups and likely never knew they existed. That need not be an issue; you will make your best estimates.

The total project management experience requirement, which includes the 'leading & directing' time, must comply with the PMI definition of project management. That includes nearly every person on a project team.

“The application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements.”
Training prerequisite

Whatever their education level, all applicants must have 35 contact hours explicit training in the project management knowledge areas set forth in the PMBOK® Guide. TheCourse is 56 hours in length.

The Application

PMI members must pay $405 to take the exam, and non-members must pay $555. There is another set of fees for reexamination. Our advise: Don't take the exam until you are confident you will pass it.

When you are ready, complete your application on line at the PMI web site. You will complete a form spelling out your education and experience. If that information is already organized, the entire process will take an hour or so.

Within a few days, assuming you have satisfied PMI as to the prerequisites, you will receive a PMI eligibility letter, via e-mail if you applied on line, good for one year. The letter will provide instructions for contacting Prometrics to schedule the exam. Prometrics administers numerous exams for numerous companies, and they can be a month behind, depending on which office you call. Sometimes there are two offices at the same location; if you see that on their list, call them both for the best schedule.

The Examination

The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions, of which 25 are survey questions that do not contribute to the score. You will have four hours to complete the exam, allowing you 1.2 minutes each. It is done on a computer, and you will know your score as soon as you finish. The passing score is 107 questions answered correctly, which is about 61% of 175.

Continuing Education Requirements

To maintain your certification, you must earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) each three years. An additional handbook describes the particulars of the process. Lets leave that for another day.

If you need . . .