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Is a Project Manager Certification Necessary?

Updated on July 7, 2011

What are the advantages of getting a Project Management Certificate?

A certification, just like any other credentials, demonstrates to potential employers or clients two things:

  • your skills and understanding of your particular industry, whether it be construction, health care or IT, and
  • your dedication to the profession.

Couple those with your experience, you'll be in a much better position in winning a job or a contract. Additionally, some companies require a project management certificate to move up in the organization which almost always lead to higher salary

How much do companies take a project management certificate into account?

While there's no substitute for experience and proven track record, there are firms, especially large construction companies, who require a project management certificate to move up within the organization.

IT Project Management Certification

Video above is a quick demonstration of calculating the crititcal path as part of the PMP exam for project management. Instructor is from a software / IT background.

What is a typical project management salary?

In a 2006 survey by the Project Management Institute (PMI, the same guys who give out the PMP exam and certification), the median project manager salary is $96,000. The survey also indicates that project management salary is supplemented by a bonus upon successful completion of projects. The $96,000 figure includes bonuses.

The survey also confirmed that experience is one of the most important determinants of project management salary; entry-level project managers should expect lower earnings while they are learning the trade.

How long is PMP exam prep course?

Courses are designed to prepare for the certification exam like PMI's PMP certification exam (Project Management Institute's Project Management Professional credential exam). Classes are usually 3-5 days depending on the curriculum provider.

Is a formal course necessary for the PMP exam?

To prepare for the PMP exam, classes are not necessary since you can pass them using a project management professional study guide with self-study books and CD's. However, prep courses are available for online or in-class studying. It really depends on how you learn. Now, to qualify for the exam, the PMI requires the completion of 35 hours of project management education.

Can the PMI exam prep course be taken online?


What is PMP certification? What are the requirements to qualify for the PMP exam?

Per the PMI, with a high school or GED, 5 years project management experience and 35 hours of project management education OR with a bachelor's degree, 3 years project management experience and 35 hours of project management education. The 35 hours of project management education can come from any of the following:

  1. PMI Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s)*
  2. PMI Component organizations*
  3. Employer/company-sponsored programs
  4. Training companies or consultants
  5. Distance-learning companies, including an end-of-course assessment
  6. University/college academic and continuing education programs

* Courses offered by PMI R.E.P.s, PMI Components (chapters, specific interest groups, colleges), or PMI, are pre-approved for contact hours in fulfillment of the educational eligibility requirement.

Addtionally, the applicant must complete the application process, including becoming a member of PMI, and pay the appropriate filing fee.

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    • Michael VO profile image

      Michael VO 

      6 years ago from Warrenton Missouri

      Totally agree, while some people seem to look down at anything that is not a university degree, I think professional certifications have the focus that degrees sometimes lack. I was fortunate enough to be sent to the Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute by my former employer for three certifications in Theory of Constraints.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Yes I think, project management is necessary for a good certificate from it. This is really quiet good to read on.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      nice one great and informative hub

    • profile image


      8 years ago


      I have a question, I'm looking to shift my career and am applying for project coordinator jobs with no experience being a PM - will taking PM classes and later certification benefit me as a project coordinator or is it better to take the training/cert when and if I later become a PM?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent info :)

    • projmanagerplan profile image


      8 years ago

      Great post...PM certificate is really a necessity because it could lead you to better opportunity in your career...

    • projmananagerole profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice one...Answered my question, if PM certificate is really necessary... Thanks.

    • mcjohan25 profile image


      8 years ago

      Great hub in here...Very informative! Great...

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Was searching for "Is Project Management Certificate Necessary?", saw your Project Management hubpage. Great info on Project Management!

    • profile image

      Project Management 

      9 years ago

      PM Certification confirms that an individual has the skills needed to manage a project. Maybe not with respect to the specifics of a certain project within a given type of company in a given environment but it does indicate that more than likely the certified PM can use PM Methodology to adapt and identify the needs necessary to bring in a project on time and within budget.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Project management certification and accreditation is determined by the passing of two exams. The Foundation exam is a multiple-choice test that lasts for up to one hour. The Practitioner test is a bit more complex, mixing in objective testing with multiple-choice questions, and clocking in at approximately three hours.

    • reagu profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks ajcor. Hope the info here helps.

    • ajcor profile image


      9 years ago from NSW. Australia

      looks interesting so will be back!


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