2 PMP Certification Requirements – Do You Meet PMI’s Eligibility Criteria?

pmp certification requirements

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.​

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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 the 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 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.

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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.

Related Articles

Everything You Wanted To Know About PMP Audit

PMP Online Training For 35 Contact Hours

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can. The type of projects or industry does not matter. Your projects should conform to the PMI’s definition of a project.

As per PMI, “a project is a temporary endeavor to create a unique product, service or result”. In simple words, it means that you are creating something new in a specified period of time.

Yes. Absolutely. Projects happen in all kind of industries. You can look at my article on value of doing PMP. I have shared a link to Global PMP salary survey in that article. It provides statistical evidence of salary advantage of doing PMP across different industries. You should read the report to check the salary benefit of doing PMP in your country and for your industry.

You might be eligible for the exam. Total number of years of experience does not matter. You need to have experience of managing projects. It means that you should have contributed at least 4500/7500 hours in managing projects or part of projects.

Yes. You can apply for the exam if you have minimum (4500/7500 hours) PM experience. You designation or title in an organization has no significance.

It means that you should have a position of responsibility in the project. e.g you might be managing a small team, taking decisions related to schedule, cost, or risk, involved in client engagement, managing vendor(s) etc. You can refer to exam content outline for a complete list of project management tasks.

No. Simply working in projects as a team member is not enough. You should have position of responsibility in your projects.

Yes. Even if you have not managed a full project, as long as you have 4500 hours of the project management experience, you can apply for the exam.

No. You should have project management experience. Working in operations or managing them is not considered as project management.

Yes. As long as you have 4500/7500 hours of the project management experience, you can apply for the exam.

Yes. You can use an previous training’s contact hours to apply for the exam.

Yes. You can use hours from your educational degree program.

Yes. The contact hours from a REP are pre-approved for the exam. But you can take a PM training form anyone.

PMI verifies the information only if your application is audited. You will have to provide experience certificate(s) from your organization or manager that confirms your role in the documented projects. You can also be asked to provide a copy of your training certificate.

Free PMP Exam Prep Guide

Do you want to become PMP in 50 days? Why don't you start by downloading my free guide? I will give step-by-step guidance and help you in achieving your goal.

Praveen Malik, PMP

​Praveen Malik ​is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 23+ years of experience. He is a leading Project Management Instructor, Coach and ​Advisor. He ​has successfully trained thousands of aspirants for the PM certification exams.

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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.

pradeep Reply

Hello Praveen ji,

I m having more than 12 year experience in operation and maintenance in telecom (infra and utility maintenance), where I m taking care of network operation with a team of 50+ team member. I M willing to pursue career in any other industry. Am I eligible for PMP certification. And after certification how it would help me for my career growth.

    Praveen Malik, PMP Reply

    Hi Pradeep, Please check the Frequently asked Questions in the article.

    BR, Praveen.

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