1. What is the PMP credential?
The Project Management Professional (PMP®) is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers granted by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). It is global in nature and recognized around the world. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) is published in 11 different languages, and the PMP Exam is given at locations in many countries. The PMP credential signifies that you have achieved a defined level of expertise in project management, speak the global language of project management, and can reasonably be relied on to deliver successful project outcomes.
2. What are the benefits of becoming a PMP?
⇒ Increased competitive edge - Employers are increasingly seeking PMPs to run their projects. If you search on any internet job board using the term "PMP", you should see 15,000-plus open jobs returned
⇒ Increased opportunities - Because the PMP is not industry-specific, having the credential may open doors for you to move beyond your current industry or career track
⇒ Increased earnings - The average salary of PMPs across all industries and geographical locations in the United States is around $110,000 with PMPs earning 20% more than their non-certified peers
⇒ Easier military transition - For those transitioning out of the military, it may seem difficult to translate your military experience into an effective value statement for civilian employers to understand. Obtaining the PMP credential immediately creates some level of civilian job credibility and resume recognition because employers know what it means. And, because your military leadership experience is so closely aligned with the project management skill-set, the PMP is a great fit.
3. What is required to become a PMP?
PMI requires 3 things to become a PMP:
⇒Demonstrated project management experience (see #4 for details)
⇒35 hours of project management education (see #5 below for details)
⇒Passing score on the PMP Exam (see #6 below for details)
4. What are the experience requirements to become a PMP?
PMI requires that you submit an application documenting enough non-overlapping months of leading & directing project tasks, based on your education level as shown in the table below. The specific project tasks related to managing projects can be found in the PMP Exam Content Outline. All of your experience must come from within the last 8 years and been performed for a professional organization such as a company, the military, the government, or non-profit organizations.
Below is an example of how project experience non-overlapping months are calculated for the PMP Application:
Initially, the above requirements may seem daunting to meet; but, most people have significantly more project management experience than they think. The key is to understand exactly what constitutes project management experience because it is quite broadly defined. PMI defines a project as "any temporary endeavor to achieve a unique outcome (product, service, or result). Basically, a project creates something that did not exist prior to the project, such as building a house, improving a process, or upgrading an IT system. This project definition creates a box so large that the PM-ProLearn staff can help you find many endeavors in your background experience that you may have overlooked by showing how you have performed many of the tasks listed in the PMP Exam Content Outline. We encourage you to contact us with your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are currently in the military or are a Veteran, a good assumption is that any military member in the ranks of E6/CW2/03 or above will be able to meet the requirements based on your military leadership of accomplishing missions. At PM-ProLearn, we like to say that Mission Accomplishment = Project Management!
When you enroll in one our PMP training options, you will be given immediate access to our "Start Here" content, with videos, detailed documentation, and application assistance tools that walk you through completing the PMP application step-by-step. Our instructors also cover this in detail during the first few hours of live instruction with lecture and practical group exercises. We also review your PMP application for you prior to submitting it to PMI, so that we are confident you will be approved.
Here are some examples of what can be claimed as a project on the PMP application:
5. How do I obtain the required 35 hours of project management education?
There are actually many ways you can obtain the 35 hours or PM education, such as completing training from a PMP trainer, like PM-ProLearn; but, this is not the only way. Any formal training you have received related to project management can be used to fill the requirement, such as college courses or other certification training, like Lean/Six Sigma or military leadership training. If it had anything to do with something a PMP should know, then you can use it. Areas that may fit are leadership, management, statistics, accounting, quality, risk, contracting or procurement, DAWIA, acquisitions, and business strategy.
Although you can meet the education requirement with something other than targeted PMP Exam prep training, you will not be prepared to pass the PMP Exam unless you are specifically trained and you study the detailed content covered by the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®). PM-ProLearn offers some of the best-value PMP training options available.
6. What is the PMP Exam like?
The PMP Exam is a 180 question timed test with a limit of 4 hours. It is multiple choice and usually delivered at a computerized testing center operated by PearsonVUE or online through OnVUE. The exam tests your knowledge of project management and your ability to apply it to real-world project scenarios. You will be graded in different Performance Domains: People, Process, and Business Environment. You will be assessed as Above Target, Target, Below Target, or Needs Improvement in each of the 3 Performance Domains. The minimum passing score % for the PMP Exam is not published by PMI; but, we know from experience, that you are ready if you consistently score 75% or better on PM-ProLearn practice quizzes, and our full-length practice exam.
It is a very difficult test, and most people will not pass it without the help of professional and expert PMP Exam prep training and extensive study.
7. How long does it take to become a PMP?
That's a very tough question because it varies based on each student's level of past academic knowledge, project experience, time & environment available to study, aptitude, reading comprehension, memory, and motivation. Because it is a difficult test, you should be prepared to devote the needed time and effort to achieve success. We have seen it done in as little at 10 days from start to finish, but the average is a few months. Keep in mind that anything worth having is worth working for!
In general, you should plan for:
⇒ 5 days to prepare your PMP application
⇒ 5 days for PMI to approve your application
⇒ 25% chance of your application being randomly selected for PMI audit, which may add up to 90 days for final approval
⇒ Several hours of self-study pre-work prior to attending a PMP Boot Camp
⇒ 35 hours of live PMP Boot Camp training, usually delivered over 4 or 5 days
⇒ Several weeks of post-class self-study and review
We always recommend that you plan to take your PMP Exam somewhere between 2-8 weeks after completion of training to take full advantage of your recent learning experience and our robust MSOLS study content.
8. How long is the PMP credential good for and do I ever have to retest?
Your PMP certification is good for life, as long as you maintain it by completing PMI's professional development requirements and pay the re-certification fee. Their professional development requirements consist of obtaining 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years. 1 PDU is roughly equal to 1-hour of training, mentoring, or a host of other ways you can earn PDUs. All PDUs obtained must fall into the three spectrums of the PMI Talent Triangle shown below:
You can read more about PMI's PDU requirements here
If you maintain the required PDUs and pay your re-certification fee, you never have to take the PMP Exam again! But...let any of that lapse, and you will be studying again to retake a new version of the PMP Exam!
9. How much does it cost to become a PMP?
The actual cost to become a PMP will vary depending on what methods you choose to use as you prepare. On the low end, it could cost you $50 for a self-study book, and on the high-end up to $3,000 for some PMP training providers. The cost of the actual exam is set by PMI and is currently $555 for non-members of PMI or $405 for members. Membership costs $139, so it makes sense to join PMI...you save $11 on the cost of the exam, plus you get all the great PMI member benefits. It's important to note that you are not required to become a member of PMI in order to become a PMP; the two are independent of each other aside from the member discount. If you do not pass the PMP Exam on your first try, there is a retest of fee of $375 for non-members or $275 for members.
For your comparison, PM-ProLearn charges $1,959 (Military & Veterans paying out of pocket get a 30% discount) when you enroll in a PMP Boot Camp, which includes:
⇒PMP Exam Fee - Yes, we pay your $555 exam fee as part of your enrollment
⇒PMP 1st Retest Fee - We are so confident in our training system that we will pay your $375 retest fee if you fail the first time
⇒35 hours of Instructor-Led Training - Expert instructors lead you through an interactive course with military & civilian project examples that covers everything you need to know to pass the PMP Exam with flexibility to attend in-person, virtually, or combination-hybrid
⇒1-Year Access to the PMP study system & live instructor help
⇒PMP Application review & support - We make sure your application is ready for submission to PMI
⇒1-Year Free Re-attendance - Reattend any future course in-person, virtually, or combination-hybrid as many times as you want at no cost
10. What is the PMP application process?
The PMI process for considering your PMP application is shown in the image below. Once approved, you may take the PMP Exam up to 3 times within 1 year. If you don't get approved on the first submission, don't sweat it; you can rework it and resubmit your application. More than likely, we can help you tweak your application and get it resubmitted and approved. If you are selected for random audit (we see about 25% of applications pulled for audit), just let us know so we can support you. During the audit process, PMI will ask for someone who can attest to the work you claimed for each project on your application to complete an affidavit. If you were honest on your original application, an audit should be mostly administrative in nature.
11. What if I don't pass the PMP Exam?
First of all, don't beat yourself up! It's a really hard test, and not everyone passes on the first try. If it were easy, it would not be as valuable in the marketplace. However, PM-ProLearn graduates routinely pass the PMP Exam on their first try with Above Average in most or all of the Performance Domains. For a confidence booster, read what our successful PMPs say about the PM-ProLearn PMP training program. Our system is proven to work, if you follow it, apply yourself, and work hard.
Ok, but what if you are one of those that just don't hit the mark on the first try? You can retake the exam up to 2 more times within your 1 year of PMI-approved eligibility. And, PM-ProLearn will be here to help you with 1-year free reattendance, 1 year access to the MSOLS study content, 1 year instructor support, and individualized attention on your weak areas. And, because we are so confident in our PMP Boot Camp training system, your 1st retest won't even cost you anything, because the PM-ProLearn program includes coverage of your $375 Retest Fee!
12. What should I do if I have more questions?
⇒ CONTACT US! We are the experts and we are here to help!
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