2 Requirements To Gain Eligibility For PMP Certification Exam

One needs to satisfy 2 key PMP certification requirements in order to be qualify for the credential exam. In this post, I have discussed PMP certification eligibility criteria and described these requirements in detail.

PMP certification is one of the most popular and prestigious credential in the world. You might have heard a lot of things about it. But, you are not sure where to start.

The first step towards passing the exam is to determine if you meet PMI’s eligibility criteria for appearing in the exam or not. PMI needs some project management experience and 35 contact hours of formal education. By the end of this post you would what does it mean and do you qualify for the exam or not.

pmp certification requirements eligibility

PMP Certification Requirements

PMP Certification Requirements

There are two mandatory requirements to apply for the PMP exam. These are:

I. Project Management Experience

You need a minimum number of hours of Project Management (PM) Experience in order to meet the certification requirements. PMI says that you should have gained this experience by leading and directing the projects. It simply means that you should have either worked as a project manager or were part of the project management team – essentially it means that you should have either managed a complete project or part of a project. It is not enough to work just as a project team member.

As per the PMI, you need:

  • 4500 hours of PM experience if you have four years of degree course (bachelor’s degree or equivalent).
  • 7500 hours of PM experience if you have secondary degree (high school diploma or equivalent).

PMI’s terminology can be quite confusing. Let’s understand its requirement in detail.

What is a Project?

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


In order to meet the PMP requirement, you should have worked in one or more project(s). The type, nature and size of projects have no significance on your eligibility. They could be technology oriented or non-technical; or they could be big or small. They could be from any industry or business domain.

What is Project Management?

The PMBOK Guide’s definition of project management is very broad and somewhat confusing. It does not serve our purpose. But PMI has created a list of various tasks that it construes as project management tasks. This list is available in PMP Exam Content Outline. You should read it to understand the various tasks involved in project management. The tasks are divided into 5 performance domains (Process Groups).

In order to meet the PMP requirement, you should have performed a part of these tasks in your project(s).

What is Leading and Directing a Project?

It means that you should have performed the role of a project manager and managed a complete project or part of a project. Essentially, it means that you should have done some of the PM tasks that are listed in PMP Exam Content Outline.

Key Takeaways

  • You should have worked either 4500 hours or 7500 hours of PM experience.
  • You cannot count entire working duration of a project towards 4500/7500 hours. You can count only those hours that were used to perform PM tasks.
  • You could have worked in multiple projects to accrue this experience.
  • You should have experience of all 5 performance domains (or Process Groups). However, this experience is not needed in a single project.

II. 35 Contact Hours of Formal Project Management Education

You should have 35 contact hours of formal project management education in order to apply for the exam.

What is Contact Hour?

One hour of Classroom instruction equals one contact hour.

PMI’s PMP Handbook

So if you attend an 9 hour long session with breaks in-between, then you can claim (9 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 virtual training, or a self-learning virtual training. Self-study is not counted towards the contact hours.

Your education may include training on the 10 Knowledge Areas (KA) as defined in the PMBOK Guide. These KA include Project Scope, Project Time, Project Cost, Project Quality, Project Resource, Project Communications, Project Risk, Project Procurement, Project Stakeholder, and Project Integration Management.

Key Takeaways

  • You should have a formal PM education of 35 contact hours or more.
  • You can utilize the hours accrued through multiple training programs that totals up to 35 hours.
  • You could use PM education from your college programs.
  • The 35 hours of PM education are valid for lifetime.

PMP Certification Eligibility

Now that you we have understood the basic prerequisites, you might be wondering if you are eligible or not. You just have to worry about the first requirement i.e. project management experience. Once you determine that you have the requisite experience, you can join any recognized formal training program to complete the second requirement. You can find good options for training here and here.

Are you eligible for the certification? If yes, then you should start preparing for the exam immediately. It would give big boost to your career.

Over To You

What is your take on the eligibility criteria? Is it easy to achieve?

Or, are you still confused about if you are eligible of not?

Please leave a comment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I have worked in Industry X. Can I use my projects for PMP eligibility?

Yes. The type and industrial domain does not matter.

I have N years of experience. Am I eligible for the exam?

The answer could be ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Total number of years of experience does not matter. You need to have relevant PM experience.

My designation is not Project Manager? Can I apply for the exam?

You designation or title in an organization is of no significance. You need to have relevant PM experience.

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Praveen Malik, PMP

Praveen Malik, PMP is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 23+ years of experience. He is a leading Project Management Instructor and Consultant. He regularly conducts Project Management workshops in India & abroad.

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Subrat Reply

Hi Sir,

I am working as a technical lead in a software company. I have more than 8 years of experience.From last 4 years i am working as a lead. I am completely managing a project. Do i need to provide work experience document for this.

Thanks in advance.


    Praveen Malik, PMP Reply

    Hi Subrat, You do not need to provide any documentary evidence at the time of filling the application. However, PMI may ask you for documentary proof at the time of audit – https://www.pmbypm.com/pmi-pmp-audit-process/

    BR, Praveen.

Manish Reply

Hi prabin,

I’m currently working as a project manager in a data collection firm from last 2 years. Am i eligible for pmp or capm?

    Praveen Malik, PMP Reply

    Manish, Only you would know about your work and experience. Just read the definition of Project and Project Management in the article. You can also download free PMP guide that explains the requirements in a bit more detail – https://www.pmbypm.com/how-to-get-pmp-certification/

    BR, Praveen.

gvasu Reply

Hello sir,

I had 6 years of experience in R&D in biopharma industry. Can i apply for project management certification? If yes, could you please let me know the best PMP certification offering institute in bangalore through online and offline?

Thanks and Regards,

Mukul Chandra Reply

Hi prabin,

I have done MCA. Currently I am working as designation of AM(Assistant Manager – IT) but am leading software project from last two year. Previous my designation is as SSE(Senior Software Engineer) but am leading software project from 3 year. I would like to know below :

1. Am I eligible for PMP as am leading IT-Software Project(But Designation is not project manager).

2. As MCA is 3 year course then how much project management exp required, 4500 Hr or 7500 Hr.


Mukul Chandra

Praveen Malik, PMP Reply

Hi Mukul, You would be eligible as long as you have 4500 hours of PM experience.

BR, Praveen.

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