The overall cost of doing CAPM certification is about $510-860 Out of this, the bulk of the money will go towards the payment of exam fee, membership fee, and training fee.
You will need to spend $225 and $139 for expenses towards exam fee and membership fee respectively. A good 23 contact hours training will cost you about $250.
CAPM is a costly exam but the benefits of attaining the CAPM credential are worth the high expenditure.
Let us look at various components of CAPM cost that you should budget for in order to pursue the credential exam.
9 Components Of CAPM Certification Cost
I. CAPM Exam Fee
The exam fee is different for PMI members and non-members. PMI members get a discount on the exam fee. 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.
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 need to pay the exam fee after your application is approved.
The table below shows the total examination fee expenses in USD.
|Will you take PMI Membership?||No||Yes|
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 of becoming a PMI member.
Members get access to free or discounted study material. You can read my detailed article to understand the advantages of PMI membership.
The table below shows the PMI member and non-member fee in different countries.
|PMI Member Status||US Dollars||Euros||BRL||INR|
II. Training Price
23 contact hours of formal project management education is mandatory to apply for the CAPM exam. An online training is the best and cheapest way to attain these hours. A good CAPM training can cost you between USD 150-250.
I would suggest you to invest in a good course as it is the most important ingredient of the CAPM exam prep. You can check my article on review and comparison of top CAPM training courses to find a good course.
III. 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.
I am not too fond of studying from a electronic book. I like to study from a proper book. If you are like me then you can buy a proper book from Amazon. It will cost you about $40.
IV. Cost of a Reference Book
A good CAPM reference book will cost you about USD 50. It will act as a companion book to the PMBOK Guide and can enhance your chances of passing the exam quickly.
You can invest in anyone of the following books:
You can click on the above links to check their respective prices on amazon.
V. 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.
VI. Money Required for Other Study Material
In order to do foolproof preparation, you may want to buy extra study material. You can invest in a:
These may cost you between USD 5-20.
VII. Re-examination Fee If The Candidate Fails In The Exam
Just like the exam fee, re-examination fee is also different for PMI members and non-members. The re-examination fee for members and non-members is USD 150 and USD 200 respectively.
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 mentioned in the previous para.
You can look at the table below to know the re-examination fee in the different countries.
|PMI Member Status||US Dollars||Euros||BRL||INR|
VIII. CAPM Renewal Fee
CAPM certificate is valid for a period of 5 years. The credential status expires at the end of 5th year.
You can choose one of the two options to retain your credential. In both the options, you will have to retake the credential test. The two options are:
- Take the exam just before the expiry of certification. You can take the CAPM exam in the 5th year to keep your credential alive. You will get 12 months to take the re-examination after the start of 4th year. You will need to pass the exam within this period to become re-certified.
- The second option is to take the exam again after the certification has expired, which is explained in the next point.
If you decide to retake the exam before the end of 5 years, it is considered as certification renewal by PMI. The fee for certification renewal is different for members and non-members. It is USD 150 and USD 200 respectively.
|Membership Status||Credential Renewal Fee|
IX. CAPM Certification Recertification Fee
If you fail to renew your certification within a period of 5 years then you will have to start the CAPM exam process afresh. After the 5th year (certification expiry), you will have to reapply and retake 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.
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.
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.
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.