CAPM Requirements To Gain Eligibility For The Certification Exam

capm requirements

What are CAPM requirements? What are the eligibility criteria to appear in the CAPM certification exam?

You might be looking to get the CAPM Certification but you may not know where to start the journey. In this post, you will find the CAPM certification requirements that are mandated by the PMI. You will find out about the minimum educational background, project experience, and training contact hours.

About CAPM Certification

CAPM credential is designed as an entry level project management certification. It is beneficial for professionals who are working projects and want to take on project management role. The exam is based on the PMBOK Guide.

CAPM Requirements For The Certification Exam

There are two eligibility requirements for the credential test. These are:

I. Educational Qualification & Background

You should have high school diploma or global equivalent.

II. Project Experience Or Project Management Education

PMI has put this requirement in place to ensure that aspirants have good understanding of fundamentals of project management. You can fulfill this requirement in one of the following ways:

  1. If you have 1500 hours of professional experience on a project team, you can apply for the exam.
  2. If you do not have the requisite professional experience, you can enroll into a 23 contact hours of formal project management education course.

Let me understand PMI’s terminology before we go ahead.

PMI’s Definition Of CAPM Eligibility

What is a Project?

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.


If you have a professional experience of 1500 hours working in a project(a), you can fulfill this requirement. The type of project, industry, your role in the project etc. does not matter.

23 Hours Of Formal Project Management Education

What is Contact Hour?

One hour of Classroom instruction equals one contact hour.

PMI’s CAPM Handbook

So if you attend an 8 hour long session with breaks in-between, then you can claim (8 hours minus break time) as contact hours. The contact hours can be accrued only from a formal education.

What is Formal Education?

A formal education could include a traditional classroom training, an instructor led online training, or a self-learning online training. Self-study is not counted towards the contact hours. The education may include content on Knowledge Areas (KA) as defined in the PMBOK Guide. These KA include Project Scope, Project Time, Project Cost, Project Quality, Project HR, Project Communications, Project Risk, Project Procurement, Project Stakeholder, and Project Integration Management.

23 Contact Hours Of Formal Education

CAPM is a difficult and expensive exam. Some aspirants fail the exam due to inadequate preparation. I would recommend you to take a training course even if you have 1500 hours of project experience. This would mean extra expense but it will increase the chances of your success.

You can also attend 35 hours PMP training to fulfill this need. This will turn out to be more expensive but it will give more in-depth knowledge of the PMBOK Guide.

You can get the requisite hours by attending training in any one of the following formats:

  1. Boot camps – These are conducted in physical classroom. They provide the best learning experience and student support. Even though boot camps seem to very expensive, they are worth the investment.
  2. Instructor led online training – These are conducted in a virtual classroom over the Internet. They are not as expensive as boot camps. They provide decent learning experience while you can enjoy the comfort of your home.
  3. Self-learning online training – These are conducted through online recorded videos. Since there is no instructor, they are the least expensive. You can look at my article on CAPM online training reviews to make your choice.

I would recommend you to look at a classroom or live online workshop only if your organization is sponsoring the training. Although classroom programs provide better learning orientation and student support, they are generally very expensive. An online program is more than sufficient to crack entry level CAPM test.

Over To You

The prerequisites to CAPM certification are easy. But, the exam is difficult. When are you thinking of taking the exam? What training are you planning to take?

Please leave a comment.

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Praveen Malik, PMP

​Praveen Malik ​is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 23+ years of experience. He is a leading Project Management Instructor, Coach and ​Advisor. He ​has successfully trained thousands of aspirants for the PM certification exams.

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