PMI offers CAPM as an entry level project management credential. Considering this, CAPM certification cost seems to be very high.
It is true that CAPM credential entails many benefits. But does it offer enough value to justify the high expenses?
To answer that, you need to know how much money is involved in passing the CAPM credential test. I have written this post to describe various components of CAPM cost including training price and exam fee.
9 Components Of CAPM Certification Cost
How would you respond to this question – is it beneficial to get professional certifications?
You would say certifications are very important for the career growth. You would add that one should start early and keep on upgrading oneself.
Very true! But some of these certifications are expensive. CAPM certification, like many other professional credentials, is very expensive.
Let us look at 9 different things that you need to budget for in order to pass the CAPM test.
I. CAPM Exam Fee
The CAPM examination process starts with the exam application. After you fill the application form, PMI reviews it for completeness. You will get an approval if your application is complete. You will be required to pay the exam fee after your application is approved.
The exam fee is different for PMI members and non-members. PMI members get a discount.
The exam fee for members and non-members is USD 225 and USD 300 respectively. However, the aspirants have to pay USD 129 for one year membership.
Many aspirants ask if there is any other benefit of taking membership apart from getting USD 75 discount on the exam fee. Yes, there are many benefits. The test aspirants get access to free or discounted study material.
Note: You can read my detailed article to understand the advantages of PMI membership.
II. Re-examination Fee If The Candidate Fails In The Exam
An aspirant gets 3 attempts in one year to pass the CAPM exam. The 1 year period starts from the date of exam application approval. The fee for the first attempt is mentioned in the #1 above.
The fee for remaining two re-examination attempts is less than the fee for the first try. And, just like the exam fee, re-examination fee is different for PMI members and non-members. The re-examination fee for members and non-members is USD 150 and USD 200 respectively.
III. CAPM Re-certification Fee
CAPM certificate is valid for a period of 5 years. The credential status expires at the end of 5th year. If you want to retain your credential, there are two options for you. The first one is take the exam before the certification expiry, which is explained in the following paras. The second option is to take the exam again after the certification expiry, which is explained in the next point.
You can take the CAPM exam again in the 5th year to keep your credential alive. At the end of 4th year, you will have 12 months to take the re-examination. You will need to pass the exam within this period to become re-certified.
The fee for certification renewal exam is different for members and non-members. It is USD 150 and USD 200 respectively.
IV. CAPM Certification Renewal Fee
If you fail to renew your certification within a period of 5 years, you have to start the CAPM exam process afresh. After the 5th year (certification expiry), you will have to reapply for the exam. You will get a new certificate after you pass the exam.
Just like the #1 above, the exam fee for members and non-members is USD 225 and USD 300 respectively.
V. Price of The PMBOK Guide
If you are a PMI member, you can freely download an electronic copy of the PMBOK Guide. But you cannot print this copy.
VI. Cost Of A Reference Book
A good CAPM reference book will cost you about USD 50. You can check the price at amazon.com.
VII. Training Price
You may or may not need 23 contact hours of formal education to sit for the CAPM exam. But I would recommend you to take a formal training since it is a tough exam. An online training is the best and cheapest way to attain 23 contact hours. A good CAPM training can cost you between USD 150-250. For more information you can check my review and comparison of top CAPM training courses.
VIII. Practice Test / Simulator Expenses
CAPM is a difficult exam. You would need to do lot of practice questions to pass the exam in your first try. You can easily find free mock tests on the Internet but it is always better to go for reliable paid sources. A good exam simulator can cost you between USD 50-100. For more information you can check my review and comparison of top CAPM simulators.
IX. Money Required For Other Study Material
Overall Expenses For Taking The CAPM Certification Exam
The cost of certification can vary from person to person. It depends on the country of your residence, the type of training that you take, what all study aids that you buy, and a host of other factors. You can refer to the following table to see an indicative CAPM certification cost.
The cost of passing the CAPM exam is high. You may need to invest about USD 850 to pass the exam in your first try. The expenditure can increase if you do not pass the exam in first attempt. However, if you are contemplating a career in project management, you should invest in CAPM. There are many advantages of attaining CAPM.
Over To You
Do you think CAPM will help you pursuing a career in project management? What is your opinion about the overall expenditure? Do you think it is very high?
Please leave a comment.