7 Things That They Don’t Tell You About The PMP Certification Cost

pmp certification cost

PMI’s PMP certification is a costly affair. PMP Exam fee is only one component of the total PMP Certification Cost. In addition to the fee, there are 7 other components that you will have to budget for. Out of these, training expense could be the major expenditure. In this article, I have explained how much money is required for gaining & maintaining the PMP Certificate.

PMP Exam Fee

PMP exam is one of the costliest exam. Normally exam is held as a Computer Based Test (CBT). But you can also opt for a Paper Based Test (PBT) under special circumstances. The fee for both CBT and PBT is $555.

If you take PMI membership, the the fee will reduce to $405. However, for becoming the member, you have to pay additional money – $129 as the membership fee and $10 as the one time joining fee.

You can refer to the following figure to understand the fee structure completely.

pmp exam fee

Either way (whether you take the membership or not), you will have to shell out approximately $550 for appearing in the exam. But by taking the membership, you can download PMBOK Guide for free.

After your application is approved, you are allowed to take exam 3 times within the one year eligibility period should you not pass the exam in the first attempt. The above figure is only for the first attempt at the exam. You have to pay extra for the subsequent attempts. The cost of re-examination is explained in the section below.

7 Heads For PMP Certification Cost Over And Above The Exam Fee

1. Training Fee

The aspirants have to take 35 contact hours of formal project management education before applying for the exam. If you have already fulfilled this requirement, then you can save on this expenditure. Otherwise, you can take training in one of the following modes:

  • Classroom program
  • Instructor led online course
  • Self-Learning online course

2. PMBOK Guide

The digital copy of guide is free for the members. But if you are not comfortable studying from a digital book, you can order a physical book from Amazon. You will have to spend approximately $40 for this.

3. Reference Books And Study Guides

In addition to the PMBOK guide, you should invest in a good reference book. A good PMP study guide can boost your chances of success. It can cost you anywhere from $40 to $100.

4. Practice Tests

There are many free mock tests available on the Internet. But if you want to clear the exam in first attempt,  you should invest in a good practice exam for PMP. The practice tests can range from $60 to $300.

5. Other Study Material

You might want to buy additional study material like formula guide, ITTO guide, flash cards, cheat sheet etc. These are not as expensive as other item, but you should budget approximately $100 for these things.

6. Re-examination Fee

As explained above, exam fee does not cover re-examination attempts. 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 extra for each additional attempt. PMI members have to pay $275 whereas non-members have to pay $375 as the re-exam fee.

pmp re-exam fee

7. Credential Renewal Fee

After every three years, you have to renew your the credential. PMI members have to pay $60 whereas non-members have to pay $150 as the renewal fee.

pmp renewal fee

Final Thoughts

The cost of PMP certification can vary from person to person. It will depend on your country of residence, the type of training that will you opt for, what all study aids that you buy, and a few other factors. You can refer to the following table to see two examples of the PMP certification cost. I believe, you should budget for at least $500 extra over and above the exam fee. PMP certification is well worth the cost.

pmp total cost

Note: I have not considered cost of re-exam and renewals in the above table.

Good luck!

Over To You

What is your take on the PMP Certification Cost? Do you think it is beyond your budget? Do you think it is worth to pursue this credential?

Please leave a comment.

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Advantages & Value of PMP
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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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Collin Smith Reply

Good breakdown on what people can expect!

kushal K Shah Reply

The exam is definitely overpriced. The PMI membership is defintely helpful however they should defintely make it a little less expensive affair.

I have spent close to about 60,000 INR(includes training,exams, online study material bought from flip kart)

    Praveen Malik, PMP Reply

    Hi Kushal, Good point. They can definitely make little less expensive. As per the last PMI annual report (2016), they were sitting on the assets worth $459 m. Being a non-profit organization, they can do many things with ths cash. They should at least make the membership cheaper and give out PMBOK Guide free of cost. BR.

      kushal K Shah Reply

      Yes sir. They charge a bomb but do not provide hard copy of the book. I was trying to read PMBOK6 now that I have passed the exam and it is very ugly with watermarks on each and every page making it difficult to read.

      BTW, you can include audit too. If you are one of the (un)lucky people who gets picked up for random audit you need to spend behind postal charges. PMI doesnot favor paper pencil test however wants people to send audit material in form of hardcopy which is truly anachronistic today.

      I wanted to inform you that I used India post to send the audit material to USA and it was dispatched in 9 days(inclusive of weekends), I sent it from Thane, Maharashtra and the cost was way too cheaper than what the UPS and bluedart quoted. You can save some bucks for your current and future students in case they get audited 🙂

        Praveen Malik, PMP Reply

        Good points. I think watermark and non-printable was not required.
        BR, Praveen.

Pelim Reply

Thanks for sharing this informative blog post about pmp certificate cost. Great piece of content, thanks!

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