PMP Certification Cost: Exam Fee And Other Expenses

The total PMP Certification Cost includes many expenses besides the PMP Exam fee and training cost.

You would know that PMI’s PMP certification costs a lot of money and you may want to estimate your total investment. You would be looking for answers to the following questions.

What are the various cost components and how much do you need to spend on them? What is the fee for the credential test? How much expenditure is involved in the exam prep? How much money do you need to maintain the certification?

In this article, I have explained how much money do you need to attain and maintain the PMP certification. It will help you in estimating your expenses and preparing the budget. If you are not careful, your total investment may go through the roof.

PMP Certification Cost: Exam Fee & Other Expenses

1. PMP Exam Fee

The standard exam fee for taking the PMP credential test is $555. But, you can avail a small discount by becoming a PMI member.

The exam fee reduces to $405 if you become a PMI member. However, you will have to pay additional membership & joining fee of $129 and $10 respectively to become a member. in order to avail discounted test cost.

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

There are many benefits by becoming a PMI member. You can download a free digital copy of the PMBOK Guide by becoming a member.

The exam fee is paid only after you receive application approval from the PMI.

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

pmp exam fee

Note: Most people apply for the Computer Based Test (CBT). But you can also opt for the Paper Based Test (PBT) under special circumstances. The fee for both CBT and PBT is $555.

2. PMP Training Fee

The training fee is the most expensive component of the certification cost. The 35 contact hours of formal education is mandatory for taking the credential test.

You can complete this mandatory requirement from any project management training. It does not necessarily be a 35 hours PMP facilitation course.

You might already have the mandatory education hours from your college education or from your company’s training programs. If you already have the requisite hours 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 instructor led online course can range between $200 to $2000.
  • Self-Learning online course – A good self-learning course can range between $200 to $500.

There are obvious pros and cons of each type of training. You can download my free exam prep guide to understand these.

3. The PMBOK Guide

PMI gives free access to a digital copy of the PMBOK guide to its members. If you are a PMI member and you are comfortable studying for a digital book, you don’t need to spend anything on this.

But, many people like the feel of a physical book in their hands. If you are not comfortable studying from a digital book, you can order a paperpback copy of the book from the Amazon. You will have to spend approximately $40 for this.

4. Other 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 in the exam. It would cost you anywhere from $40 to $100.

5. PMP Practice Tests

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

You can look at my post on comparison of the top PMP practice tests to find the best one to suit your needs.. The price of a good practice test ranges between $60 and $300.

6. Other Study Materials

The PMP exam failure rate is very high. You should buy additional study material to increase your chances of passing the test.

The additional study material can include ITTO and formulas learning tools. You can start by downloading ITTO process chart and formulas cheat sheet free of cost.

The other study material is not as expensive as other items but they are essential for your success in the exam. You can set aside a budget of approximately $100 for these things.

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 re-examination is shown in the table below. PMI members have to pay $275 whereas non-members have to pay $375 for the re-exam.

pmp re-exam fee

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.

pmp renewal fee

The Total Cost For PMP Certification?

The total cost of PMP certification would vary from person to person.

The cost depends on the country of your residence, type of training you opt for, 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 over and above the exam fee.

pmp total cost

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

If you have decided to pursue PMP, the you should start your preparation immediately. You are potentially losing money by delaying it. PMP certification is well worth the time and cost investment. It gives you a number 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 And Other Expenses”

  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)

    • 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.

      • 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 🙂

  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.

  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.

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

      Best, Praveen.


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