Requirements to become a PMP
I held a webinar yesterday to discuss what it takes to become a Project Management Professional (PMP). It always astonishes me how little people know about this, even including students who walk into my classes. Some of them have done zero homework and are greatly disappointed when they find out that yes, there are pre-requisites. So I thought that I’d just summarize some key information here:
- The current test is based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge Fifth Edition and ONLY that edition.
- With a four-year college diploma, you will need 4500 hours of experience leading and directing (not being a team member) projects. You must show experience going back at least 3 years, no more than 8. You must have 35 contact hours of project management education, which most people get from a PMP Prep course.
- With a high school diploma, you will need 7500 hours of experience leading and directing (not being a team member) projects. You must show experience going back at least 5 years, no more than 8. You must have 35 contact hours of project management education.
- If you are working on, say, 3 projects simultaneously, you can report all the hours. But if they all ran at the same time, you cannot report all the months. You have to pick one. Because 3 projects running simultaneously from Jan 2012 to Dec. 2012 is not three calendar years back. It is one.
- You may be audited. Despite what you hear on random Internet sites, the % of people audited is unknown. If you are audited you must prove three things: Work experience (vouched for by colleague, superior, subordinate), high school or college diploma or transcript, 35 hours PM education.
- If you cannot meet the above requirements, you cannot apply for the PMP. Instead PMI offers a “good entry-level cert” called the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM).” In this case you need 1500 hours of project work or 23 contact hours of education. This test, like the PMP, is very difficult. Whether or not this cert is worth getting is subject to debate. Hiring managers and HR people will not know it. If this is the only alternative you have, best to speak to your superior about whether to pursue it in your environment.
- Passing score for both tests is unknown and unpublished. Some will tell you it’s 61% and yes, that was the last published score 5-6 years ago. If someone challenges that, suggest they call PMI directly. +1-610-356-4600
- Lastly, I urge you to download the PMP or CAPM handbooks which go into even greater detail about refunds, maintaining certification, etc. You can find them as below: (Note: They save in some bizarre file format. Suggest printing or saving to PDF).