2 Mandatory Requirements To Gain Eligibility for The PMP Certification

I have written this post to discuss about PMP certification eligibility criteria. PMI has mandated 2 key pmp certification requirements to appear for the exam viz. minimum project management experience and 35 contact hours of formal project management education. I have described these in detail in this article.

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 the PMI’s eligibility criteria for appearing in the exam or not. By the end of this post you will know the answer.


pmp certification requirements eligibility

PMP Certification Requirements


PMP Certification Requirements

There are two compulsory requirements to qualify for appearing in the PMP exam. These are:

I. Project Management (PM) Experience

PMI specifies that you should have experience of leading and directing the projects. It simply means that you should have worked as a project manager or were part of the project management team. It is not enough to work just as a project team member.

If you have taken a four years of degree course (bachelor’s degree or equivalent), then you need 4500 hours of PM experience. Otherwise if you have a secondary degree (high school diploma or equivalent), then you need 7500 hours of PM experience.

Let’s understand PMI jargon in detail.

What is a Project?

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


To meet the PMP requirement, you should have worked in one or more project. It does not matter which type of project or what kind of industry. The size of the project also has no significance. They could be from any industry or any business domain; they could be big or small; or they could be technology oriented or non-technical.

What is Leading and Directing a Project?

It means that you should have worked in the role of a project manager. You should have managed a complete project or part of a project.

Essentially, it means that you should have some authority to take project related decisions. E.g., you might have managed vendor(s), project team, or client.

What is Project Management?

It is the application of knowledge and skills as defined in the PMBOK Guide. The complete description of tasks involved in project management is available in PMI’s Exam Content Outline. It defines 42 tasks across 5 different performance domains (Process Groups). You should have performed a portion of these tasks in your project(s).

Note: You should have experience of all 5 performance domains. However, this experience is not needed in a single project. Also, the entire working duration of a project cannot be counted towards 4500/7500 hours. You can use only that part of the project wherein you performed the listed tasks.


II. 35 Contact Hours of Formal Project Management Education

PMI specifies that you should have taken 35 hours of formal project management education.

What is Contact Hour?

One hour of Classroom instruction equals one contact hour.

PMI’s PMP Handbook

So if you attend an 8 hour long session with breaks in-between, then you can claim (8 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. The education may include content on Knowledge Areas (KA) as defined in the PMBOK Guide. These KA include Project Scope, Project Time, Project Cost, Project Quality, Project HR, Project Communications, Project Risk, Project Procurement, Project Stakeholder, and Project Integration Management.


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 and your second requirement will be completed. 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 should help you in 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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Praveen Malik, PMP is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 20+ 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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