PMP (Project Management Professional) is one of the costliest professional exams. The PMP certification can cost anywhere between $750 to $3000.
The major amount of money is spent on the exam fee and training expenses. The former is paid to the PMI (Project Management Institute) and costs $555 whereas the latter can cost anywhere between $200 and $2500.
Apart from the exam fee and PMP certification training expenses, there are other sundry costs. In total, there are nine different cost components for attaining and maintaining the PMP credential. I have written this article to explain these components. You must price in all the components to estimate the expenditure and prepare a budget for yourself.
You can look at the following video to understand how much it costs to do PMP certification.
PMP Certification Cost: Exam Fee & Other Expenses
1. PMP Exam Fee
The standard PMP exam fee for PMI non-members is $555 but it reduces to $405 if you become a PMI member. The fee has to be paid only after your PMP application is approved.
If you want to become a PMI member, you will have to pay an additional amount of $139. Thereafter, total expenditure towards PMP certification fees will come out to be $544.
Either way (whether you take the membership or not), PMP certification fee will be approximately $550.
You can look at the following table to understand the total examination related expenses in USD.
|Will you take PMI Membership?
I would suggest you to become a PMI member as there are many benefits of PMI membership. The main advantage is that you can download a free digital copy of the PMBOK Guide (see #3 below) by becoming a member.
The following table provides member and non-member fee in different currencies.
|PMI Member Status
Note: You can refer to Credential Handbook for more information on how the exam is conducted.
2. PMP Training Fee
The training fee is the most expensive component of the certification cost. A good training can cost anywhere between $200 to $2500. However, if you want, you can limit your outgo to about $200 by enrolling into a PMP online training course.
There are two mandatory requirements for appearing the PMP certification exam viz. 35 contact hours of formal project management education and 36 or 60 months of project management experience. There are many different ways to fulfill the training requirement. You should check my other article on PMP exam prerequisites to find out the different options.
You can complete 35 hours requirement by taking any project management training course and not necessarily a PMP facilitation course. In fact, if you already have the mandatory education hours from your college education or from your company’s training programs, you can get away without spending any money.
However, I would suggest you to join a formal facilitation course for doing a proper PMP exam prep. It will help you to reduce the chances of failing in the exam.
PMP aspirants can take training in one of the following modes:
- Classroom program – Depending on your geography and the training provider, a classroom training can cost anywhere from $200 to $2500.
- Instructor led online course – A good PMP online boot camp can range between $200 to $2000.
- Self-Learning online course – A good PMP online prep course can range between $200 to $500.
There are obvious pros and cons of each type of PMP certification course. You can download my free exam prep guide to understand which type of program is best for you.
3. The PMBOK Guide
The PMBOK Guide (A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge) is the primary reference book for the PMP certification exam. It will cost you $0 if you become a PMI member. After becoming a member, you can download it free of cost from PMI’s website. PMBOK Guide is a registered mark owned by PMI.
If you are comfortable studying from a digital book then I will not suggest you to spend any money for this. However, if you like the feel of a physical book in your hands then you should order a physical copy of the Guide.
The Guide is not too expensive considering the overall costs. You can buy paperback version of the PMPBOK Guide from Amazon for about $40.
4. Other Reference Books And Study Guides
In addition to the PMBOK Guide, you should invest in a good reference book, which will cost you anywhere between $40 to $100.
I have written an article for comparing top PMP books. You should read this article and choose a good book for yourself.
A good book is not cost you too much money but it will boost your chances of passing the exam in your first attempt.
5. PMP Practice Exam
PMP is one of the most difficult professional exams and you should invest in good PMP exam simulator to pass it successfully. If a practice exam simulator is included in your PMP certification training course then you do not need to buy it separately.
A good PMP practice test simulator would cost you between $60 to $250. You can look at my post on review and comparison of the top PMP practice tests to find the best one that suits your needs.
6. Other Study Material
The PMP exam failure rate is very high. You can buy additional study material in order to lighten your study.
Additional study material is not as expensive as some of the items that are listed in the previous sections but it is must for the PMP exam preparation. You can set aside a budget of approximately $50-100 for it.
7. PMP Reexamination Fee
After your application is approved, you are allowed a maximum of 3 attempts at the PMP exam. In an unfortunate circumstance, if you are not able to pass the exam in the first attempt, you can go for 2 additional attempts to crack the exam. You have to pay reexamination fee each time you sit for the PMP examination.
The cost of reexamination for PMI members is $275 whereas for non-members it is $375. It is shown in the table below.
|PMI Member Status
8. PMP Renewal Fee
PMI has some continuing education requirements. You have to renew your credential after every three years. PMI members have to pay $60 whereas non-members have to pay $150 to renew the PMI certification.
|Credential Renewal Fee
9. Exam Cancellation Charges
The final component of the PMP exam is cancellation charges. You will have to pay this only if you decide to cancel the exam after scheduling it.
|Entire exam fee is forfeited (can’t reschedule or cancel)
The Total Cost Of PMP Certification?
The total cost of PMP certification would vary from person to person. It depends on the country of your residence, type of training you opt for, study aids that you buy, and a few other factors.
You would need at least $750 to pass the PMP exam. You can refer to the following table to see two such examples.
Note: I have not considered cost of re-exam, cancellation, and renewals in the above table.
PMP is a coveted project management certification. At first glance, $750 may seem to be a large sum of money. However, if you have decided to pursue PMP then you should not delay and start your preparation immediately.
You should not postpone your preparation as you would potentially lose a large sum of money by delaying it. PMP certification is well worth the time and cost investment. PMP has a lot of advantages in the job market – it can make you a better project manager and help you in earning a higher salary.
Good luck on becoming PMP certified!
Over To You
What is your take on the the cost involved in pursuing PMP certification?
Do you think this project management certificate is worth the money. Or, do you think it is excessively priced?
Do you think it is worth to pursue this credential?
I would welcome your comments.