How to get 35 contact hours for PMP application
PMP exam application
If you want to grow in your management role and do not have the resources to do an MBA, PMP (Project Management Professional) is a great alternative choice for you. Many project managers have benefited by getting the PMP certification. This certification is recognized worldwide by major companies and government agencies as a standard for project management skills. In order to apply for the PMP exam, PMI (Project Management Institute) dictates many eligibility requirements. One of the requirements is that the appicant should document at least 35 contact hours of formal project management education. In this article, I will list the various avenues you can take to attain sufficient number of contact hours required by the PMI.
If you want to switch your career to project management and do not have time to do an MBA, getting a PMP certifications is a great path to pursue. According to PMI (Project Management Institute), the average base salary for a project manager is about $100,000 in the U.S. Companies are willing to pay good competitive salaries for project management expertise to guarantee the success and to improve the predictability of project outcome. Get the 35 contact hours as soon as possible as it is definitely required to take the PMP exam.
Ways to earn 35 contact hours for PMP exam:
1. It does not matter when you accrued the hours. Document all education hours regardless of when you got the education. Go all the way back to your college years and list all the courses you took related to project management. Did you attend any seminars or evening classes while you were at school? You can count them towards your contact hours.
2. Did you attend any project management related classes at work? Many companies has on-site training on project management concepts like Software Project Planning, Communication skill, Project time estimation and resource allocation and other courses for project managers. List all the courses you have taken.
3. If all the above do not add up to 35 contact hours, you should take formal training on project management right away if you are planning to take the exam this year. Check for classes or seminars offered in your company related to project management and ask your manager if you can enroll in them. Look for PM classes offered in your local community college or local PMI chapter. There are many training companies that offer 2 to 5 day rigorous PMP training classes that usually cost thousands of dollars. Personally, I think it is a overkill to attend those classes that cost way too much. See the next option for a cheaper option to get 35 contact hours required for the PMP exam eligilibility.
I found this to be the one of the cheapest and valuable way to earn the 35 contact hours required for the PMP exam application. If you are short of contact hours or do not have any contact hours at all, check out PMPrepcast. It is an audio CD course that is 35 hours long and has relevant project management training. You can take the classes using your mobile device like iPod, iPhone or any mp3 player.
For the month of February in 2016, a new special is being offered. Use code "Feb16" to get $20 off the The Agile PrepCast product. Regular price is $179.99. With this promotional code, you can get it for $159.99.
You can buy this directly at PMPrepcast(Compensated Affiliate) bundle which includes the PM Prepcast plus the PM simulator for only $206.99 right now (promotional price). Getting it as a bundle is a good value for the money in my opinion as the simulator is a worthwhile companion for PM Prepcast. The PM Simulator can be used to take practice PMP exams before taking the real exam. So, buy it before the offer expires (and of course finish the course and get the certificate) as getting the 35 contact hours of formal education is a requirement to be eligible for the PMP exam. It is wise to get this step completed asap if you are interested in getting the PMP certification. Two weeks after you buy PMPrepcast, you will be eligible to take the exam that you must pass to get the certificate for 35 contact hours. After listening to the material and referencing the PMBOK, you can go to a website (given by PMPrepcast) to take an exam that has 25 questions. If you answer 17 out of these 25 questions correctly, you will be awarded a certificate that you can use to prove that you had 35 contact hours. If you fail, you can take the exam again. It is pretty simple and you will get the certificate if you attentively listen to the video podcast just once. Note that the PMBOK has not changed with the latest changes to the PMP exam. You still need to prepare using the PMBOK guide Fifth edition.
Why PM-Prepcast? Listening and watching to PMPrepcast is a great way to start preparing for the actual PMP exam. PMPrepcast is based on PMBOK latest edition and you will be able to test the waters before actually commiting to obtain the PMP certification in addition to getting the 35 contact hours of formal education.
PMPrepcast preparation Tip: It is extremely valuable to listen to the entire PMPrepcast audio. If you are in a hurry and want to get the certificate soon, you can skip listening to the interview chapters and the applied concepts audio. There will not be any questions from these chapters. While listening to the chapters, take notes as you go along so you do not have to listen the same chapter again.
5. Make sure you have documentation to provide to PMI in case if PMI selects your application for auditing (which is selected at random) for all the contact hours you claim. It is better to show more than 35 contact hours to be on the safer side if you can provide proof.
Good luck and I hope PMP certification helps your career!
PMP Exam Prep Book
The following does not qualify for the education requirements:
1. PMI chapter meetings: If you are member of a local PMI chapter and attend meetings weekly or regular intervals, you cannot count all the hours you were in the meetings as contact hours. If at least one hour of a chapter meeting is spent conducting a learning activity, the hours spent in that activity can be counted towards the education requirement.
2. Self study: Reading books by yourself does not count towards the contact hours. It has to be formal education.
Understand the difference between Contact Hours and PDUs. They are two totally different things. An applicant for the PMP exam requires 35 Contact Hours to be eligible for the exam. A person who already holds the PMP certification requires 60 PDUs every 3 years to keep the certification active. So, if you have not passed the exam, don't collect PDUs. You should be earning Contact Hours. You will have to report a minimum of 35 contact hours when you apply for the PMP exam. You might be required to show proof if your application gets selected for audit (which is totally random).
Project Management links
- PMPrepcast - Cheap way to get 35 contact hours
PMPrepcast is the cheapest and best way to acquire the 35 contact hours required for the PMP application...
- The Project Management Institute
The organization that offers the PMP certification
- Google Groups for PMP Preparation
Great forum to participate when you are preparing for the exam
- How to get PMP certification
Article that lists 10 steps to get the PMP certification