PMP Certification Cost: Exam Fee & Other Expenses [2021]

I have written this article to explain various components of the PMP certification cost. It will help you in estimating your expenditure and preparing a budget for yourself.

The total cost of PMP certification can range from about $750 to $3000. Now, this is a very wide range but, if you want, you can limit your expenses towards the lower end of the range. Out of the total amount, the major portion of the money is spent on the credential exam fee and training expenditure.

The PMP exam fee is $555. It is charged by the PMI and has not changed for more than two decades. Other than that, you can control your expenditures on the other things. that will help you in passing the credential test.

There are nine different cost components for attaining and maintaining the PMP credential. Let us look at them in detail.

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.

However, the discount is not as big as it seems. In order to become a PMI member, you will have to pay additional joining and membership fee of $10 and $129 respectively. In the end, you will have to shell out $544 for taking the exam.

Either way (whether you take the membership or not), you will have to shell out approximately $550 for appearing in the exam.

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 fee for a member and non-member in different currencies.

PMI Member StatusUS DollarsEurosBRLINR
Member$405€340R$1,967₹23,459
Non member$555€465R$3,370₹42,863

You can look at the following table to understand the total examination related expenses in USD.

Are you taking Membership?NoYes
Membership Fee$0$129
Joining Fee$0$10
Exam Fee$555$405
Total$555$544

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 doing an PMP online training course.

A 35 contact hours of formal project management training is mandatory for taking the PMP certification exam. You can complete this mandatory requirement by taking any project management course. It does not necessarily have to be a PMP facilitation course.

There are many different ways to fulfill this requirement. You should check my other article on PMP exam prerequisites to find out the different options

You may already have the mandatory education hours from your college education or from your company’s training programs. If that is the case then you don’t need to spend an extra dime on a training course. However, I would suggest you to take a formal PMP facilitation course in order to reduce your chances of failing in the exam.

You can take a PMP 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 training program. You can download my free exam prep guide to understand which type of prgram is best for you.


3. The PMBOK Guide

The PMBOK Guide is the main reference book for the PMP exam. It is published by PMI and costs between $40-$50.

You can buy the PMPBOK Guide as a paperback or Kindle version from the Amazon.

If you want, you can save this cost by downloading a digitial copy of the Guide from pmi.org. PMI gives free access to the guide to its members (see #3 below).

If you are a PMI member and you are comfortable studying from a digital book then I would suggest you to not spend any money for this. However, many people like the feel of a physical book in their hands. If you are not comfortable studying from a digital book then you should order a physical copy of the book.

4. Other Reference Books And Study Guides

In addition to the PMBOK Guide, you should invest in a good reference book. It can cost you anywhere from $40 to $100.

I would strongly suggest you to buy a good PMP book as it can boost your chances of success in the exam.

5. PMP Practice Tests

PMP is one of the most difficult professional exams and you should invest in good practice tests to pass it successfully.

There are many free mock tests available on the Internet. However, you would need full length paid tests to pass the exam in your first try.

You would need to invest between $60 and $300 to buy good mock tests for doing practice.

You can look at my post on 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 should buy additional study material to increase your chances of passing the test.

The other study material is not as expensive as the items listed above. You can set aside a budget of approximately $50-100 for additional studey material.

If you want you can invest in my ITTO learning tools bundle and Mathematics Quiz. They will help you in your studies.

Or, you can start your preparation by downloading free PMP ITTO chart and free PMP formulas sheet.


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. Each time. you have to pay reexamination fee.

The cost of reexamination for PMI members is $275 whereas for non-members it is $375. It is shown in the table below.

Exam Administration TypePMI Member StatusUS DollarsEurosBRLINR
Reexamination CBTmember$275€230R$1,670₹15,929
Reexamination CBTnon member$375€315R$2,277₹28,961

8. PMP Renewal Fee

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

Membership StatusCredential Renewal Fee
Non member$150
Member$60

9. Exam Cancellation Charges

Cancellation WithinCancellation Charge
30 Days$70
48 hoursEntire 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.

total cost of pmp certification

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

Final Thoughts

Now, $750 is a large sum of money but if you have decided to pursue PMP then you should 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. In addition, PMP has a lot of advantages in the job market.

Good luck!

Over To You

What is your take on the the cost involved in pursuing PMP certification? Do you think it is beyond your budget? Do you think it is worth to pursue this credential?

I would welcome your comments.

16 thoughts on “PMP Certification Cost: Exam Fee & Other Expenses [2021]”

  1. 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)

    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.

      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 🙂

        Reply
  2. I am really enjoying reading your well-written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  3. I gave up PMP certification because of the cost. PMI is a money making industry. I feel sorry for the people taken in by this.

    Reply
    • Hi Jim, Maintaining PMP certification costs next to nothing. Only getting it is expensive. Why did you surrender your PMP certificate?

      Best, Praveen.

      Reply

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