You need to satisfy 2 key PMP certification requirements in order to qualify for the credential exam. In this post, I have discussed PMP certification eligibility criteria and described these prerequisites 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. PMI needs two things – project management experience and 35 contact hours of formal education. By the end of this post you would what it means and whether you qualify for the exam or not.
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 PMP certification requirements. You should have gained this experience by leading and directing 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 or part of a project(s). 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 done a 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.
The tasks are divided into 5 performance domains (Process Groups). You should go through this list to check if you have done some of these tasks while managing projects(s). You should have experience in all five process groups across all your project management experience. However, on a single project, you do not need to have experience in all five groups.
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.
PMP Experience Requirement – Key Takeaways
- You should have PM Experience of either 4500 hours or 7500 hours depending on your educational qualification.
- You cannot count entire working duration of a project towards 4500/7500 hours. Rather, you can count only those hours that were spent for performing the PM tasks.
- You add up hours from multiple projects.
- You should have experience of all 5 performance domains (or Process Groups). However, this experience is not needed in a single project.
To meet PMP certification eligibility, you should have 4500/7500 of PM Experience as defined by the tasks listed in the Exam Content Outline.
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.
So if you attend an 9 hour long session with breaks in-between, then you can claim (9 hours minus the break time) as contact hours. The contact hours can be accrued only from a formal education.
What is Formal Education?
Your education may include training on the 10 Knowledge Areas (KA) as defined in the PMBOK Guide. These KA include Integration, Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, Resource, Communications, Risk, Procurement, and Stakeholder Management.
PMP Hours Requirements – Key Takeaways
- You should have a formal PM education of 35 contact hours or more.
- You can utilize the hours accrued from multiple training programs that total up to 35 hours.
- You could use educational hours from your college programs.
- The 35 hours of PM education are valid for lifetime.
To meet PMP certification eligibility, you need 35 contact hours of formal project management education.
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 a few 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 give a 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.