From emerging trends to new technologies and practices, core competencies required, and strategic business knowledge, a PMI course hones and certifies a project manager's skills. Whether you opt for the portfolio management credential PfMP or the associate level CAPM, the Project Management Institute (PMI) provides several project management certifications to level up your career at various stages. 

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What are PMI Certifications?

PMI certifications is a credential issued by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It includes several project management certifications from entry-level to advanced to help early-career professionals promote their career growth and strengthen the expertise of skilled project managers.

The rising demand for project management skills in the job industry has led to millions of people worldwide enrolling in PMI courses. Still, a gap persists between the demand for project management skills and talent availability. According to PMI, the following three reasons are behind the talent gap:

  • An increasing number of jobs requiring project management skills
  • Economic growth in emerging and developing countries demands project professionals
  • The retirement rate from the workforce

The global economy requires 25M new project management professionals by 2030. So, there is ample room for job growth in this sector, and it is the right time to enter the industry with a marked presence. 

Top 10 PMI Certifications

PMI's PMP (Project Management Professional) certifications are among the most popular and well-recognized certifications. There are several other project management certifications at various stages in their careers.

1. Project Management Professional (PMP)

A PMP certificate is a must-have for project management professionals. Getting a certificate includes a challenging exam that analyzes your knowledge and abilities. It is crucial to have a strong preparation. 

Best Suited for:

It is best suited for professionals who have experience managing projects but wish to level up their careers. 

How to Get Certified?

To get certified, you must have:

  • At least 36 months of project lead experience with a four-year bachelor's degree. 
  • 35 hours of project management coursework/training or a CAPM certification.

Or 

  • 60 months of work experience if you have a high-school diploma or an associate degree. 
  • 35 hours of project management coursework/training or a CAPM certification.

Once you find yourself eligible, you can apply to take your exam. It consists of 175 questions. Learning from experts helps you clear the exam on your 1st attempt. You can enroll in Simplilearn's PMP training course and boost your preparation. 

Cost

Non-PMI members: $555 

PMI members: $405 

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2. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

Another highly reputed option for those seeking project management certifications is Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). This certificate is especially for beginners in the project management niche. Possessing CAPM allows you to highlight your knowledge of crucial project management concepts.

Best Suited for:

The CAPM is ideal for project managers who want to prove their expertise, seek opportunities to lead larger projects or add project management skills to resumes.  

How to Get Certified?

The exam has 150 questions that are to be answered in a 3-hour duration. To get certified, you must have

  • At least a secondary degree/associate's degree/ high school diploma
  • 23 hours of project management education 

Once you satisfy the eligibility criteria, you can enroll for the exam. Candidates can use the PMBOK Guide (sixth edition) to learn all the basics of project management. 

Simplify the learning process and boost your exam preparation with CAPM Certification Training Course. This project management certifications offers in-depth knowledge of concepts, lifetime access to content curated by industry experts, simulation test papers, 24x7 learner assistance and more. 

Cost

Non-PMI members: $300

PMI members: $225

3. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

ACP is one of the PMI's fastest-growing certifications that validates a candidate's competency in Agile project management, emphasizing adaptability and short sprints.

Best Suited for:

Project managers with Agile experience who intend to continue using Agile in their organization.

How to Get Certified?

The PMI-ACP exam comprises 100 scored items in problem detection, resolution, and adaptive planning. The prerequisites for taking the exam include:

  • 21 hours of training in Agile.
  • Current PMP/ PgMP certifications or 1 year of general project management experience in the last five years.
  • At least 8 months of Agile experience in the last three years.

Gear up for the exam with the PMI-ACP training and master the skills of an agile professional with knowledge of agile methodologies.

Cost

Non-PMI members: $495

PMI members: $435

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4. Disciplined Agile

PMI extends the following four certifications in Disciplined Agile that require varying levels of experience: 

  • Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant (DAVSC)
  • Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master (DASSM)
  • Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM)
  • Disciplined Agile Coach (DAC)

Best Suited for:

It is ideal for beginners who wish to learn the basics of the agile methodology and seasoned Agile and Scrum users to deepen their skill set.

How to Get Certified

You must possess the following to appear for the exam:

  • 3 years of experience working in an Agile leadership role. 
  • A training program (two to three days) completed with a reputable Disciplined Agile course provider.  

Cost

The cost will vary depending on your Agile course provider. 

5. Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)

PMI-PBA is curated for people with a fundamental knowledge of project management. It ensures that you emerge as a project manager capable of handling all the challenges that are a part of working with stakeholders and managing projects. It is one of the best project management certifications. 

Best Suited for:

Professionals who desire to level up their specialized knowledge of business analysis.

How to Get Certified?

The exam has 200 multiple-choice questions to be finished in four hours. To appear for the exam, you will need at least:

  • A secondary degree– an associate degree/ high school diploma
  • 60 months of business analysis experience
  • 35 hours of education in business analysis

Or 

  • A bachelor's degree
  • 36 hours of business analysis experience
  • 35 hours of education in business analytics

The certification process involves applying, scheduling the exam, and reviewing the handbook. 

Cost

Non-PMI members: $555

PMI members: $405

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6. Program Management Professional (PgMP)

PgMP is for advanced professionals who oversee multiple projects for a program's success and can steer complex tasks across various locations, organizations, and cultures. 

Best Suited for:

Project managers with extensive experience. 

How to Get Certified?

Obtaining the PgMP requires passing a panel review and an exam. The exam consists of 150 questions on developing relationships with stakeholders, comprehending project risks, and more. 

To appear for the exam, you must have

  • 48 months of project management experience (or a PMP)
  • A bachelor's degree and 48 months of program management experience in recent 15 years 

Or 

  • 84 months of program management experience in the last 15 years with a high school diploma/associate degree.
  • 48 months of project management experience (or a PMP)

Ace your exam preparation with PgMP certification training and master PMI's five program management performance domains, including lifecycle management, program strategy alignment, stakeholder engagement, governance, and benefits management.

Cost

Non-PMI members: $1,000 

PMI members: $800 

7. Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)

Prove your competency with PfMP if you have successfully managed an organization's one or multiple portfolios. This is one of the best project management certifications that can help you with your promotion and appraisals. 

Best Suited for:

Individuals with portfolio management careers and those who have advanced to executive or senior level.

How to Get Certified

The process includes a panel review and a multiple-choice exam with 150 questions. You are eligible for the exam only if you possess:

  • 96 months of business experience in the recent 15 years
  • 84 months of experience in portfolio management with a high school diploma/associate degree. 

Or 

  • 96 months of business experience in the recent 15 years
  • 48 months of experience in portfolio management with a bachelor's degree.

Cost

Non-PMI members: $1,000 

PMI members: $800 

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8. PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)

It verifies the risk management skills of advanced professionals. The certificate shows that you are ready to assess and minimize risks for complex projects.

Best Suited for:

Experienced risk management professionals

How to Get Certified?

The exam comprises 150 questions. You qualify for the exam if you have:

  • A high school diploma/associate degree
  • 36 months of experience managing project risk within the last five years
  • 40 hours of project risk management education

Or 

  •  A four-year bachelor's degree
  • 24 months of experience in project risk management within the last five years
  • 30 hours of project risk management education

Enrolling on PMI-RMP Certification Training will help you outperform competitors and master risk management processes. 

Cost

Non-PMI members: $670

PMI members: $520

9. PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)

Strategic scheduling is often crucial for project success. PMI-SP validates your capacity to create optimal schedules for teams for complex projects. 

Best Suited for:

Project managers who wish to deepen their knowledge of scheduling. 

How to Get Certified?

Passing a 150 questions exam is a must to get certified. The prerequisites for the exam are:

  • A high school diploma/ associate degree
  • 40 months of project scheduling experience in the last five years
  • 40 hours of project scheduling coursework

Or 

  • A bachelor's degree
  • 28 months in the last five years of project scheduling experience 
  • 30 hours of education in project scheduling

Cost

Non-PMI members: $670

PMI members: $520

10. PMI Project Management Ready

The PMI Project Management Ready certifications are specially curated for students to introduce them to basic project management concepts and enhance their career with management and organizational skills.

Best Suited for:

Students or beginners who want to gain exposure to project management practices. 

How to Get Certified?

You qualify for this credential if you are someone who

  • Can read at a seventh-grade level
  • Has basic computer skills
  • Is capable of participating in training programs and taking exams

Cost

$120

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How Do I Get a PMI certification?

The process for PMI certifications is rather simple but can be time-consuming if you do not meet the prerequisites for the exam. The steps to get certified are as follows:

  • Step 1: Meet the requirements: Check the PMI certifications requirements for the choosen course. 
  • Step 2: Prepare for the exam: Strong preparation is your key to success. So, you must invest your time and grab the best project management resources available to ace the exam preparation. 
  • Step 3: Apply online: Once you find yourself in good standing to clear the exam, create an account with PMI and fill out your online application for certification. You will have to schedule an exam and pay the fee when you get approved. 
  • Step 4: Take the exam: The exams usually take three to four hours and have mostly multiple-choice, matching, and fill-in-the-blank questions. You may also have a panel review for some advanced programs. 
  • Step 5: Maintain your certifications: Every PMI certification has a three-year validity. To maintain your certification, you must earn a set amount of PDUs (Professional Development Units). It includes the hours spent learning/teaching/volunteering, where 1 PDU translates to 1 hour of your time. 

Other Project Management Certifications 

In addition to PMI certifications, other reputable institutions offer project management certifications to help you outshine the industry and prove your core competencies. 

1. Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)

Scrum Alliance offers CSPO certifications to actively grow your skills and agile career. These certifications comes with Scrum Alliance membership, which provides access to experts' help, practical how-tos, reserved content, and more. 

Best Suited for:

Product owners, business analysts, project managers, team members, and data analysts

How to Get Certified?

Complete a CSPO class (at least 14 hours) that suits your needs. Take advantage of your CSPO membership and perfect your product owner skills. 

The CSPO certification training will help you get certified on your first attempt. The two-day classroom training inculcates the in-demand skills. It strengthens your knowledge of improving product value by delivering product features, leading scrum teams, communicating product ideas, and maximizing project ROI.

Cost: It varies depending on your CSPO class provider. 

2. PRINCE2 Foundation/ Practitioner

PRINCE2 Foundation is one the choicest project management certifications. These globally recognized certifications are highly sought after by top employers. PRINCE2 offers two major certifications: 

  • PRINCE2 Foundation
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner

Best Suited for:

Anybody seeking an opportunity to quickly improve skills and capabilities across key business disciplines and drive strong business performance. 

How to Get Certified?

There are no requirements for the foundation exam. The Practitioner exam requires you to pass the Foundation exam (5th or 6th edition). Alternatively, you can opt for any one of the following:

  • Certified Associate in Project Management
  • Project Management Professional
  • IPMA Level A, B, C, or D.

Cost: The two courses cost:

  • Foundation: $200
  • Practitioner: $340

3. CSM: Certified ScrumMaster

Scrum Alliance offers this opportunity for project managers, encouraging the adoption of Scrum and agile practices and promoting professional development. The certification has been the choice of more than 450,000 people worldwide.

Best Suited for:

Anyone who uses Scrum

How to Get Certified?

To appear for the exam, you will require

Cost: It varies depending on the training provider.

4. PPM: Professional in Project Management

The Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM) provides the PPM course. It is a mid-level certifications comprising various project management modules that train you on developing project schedules, handling crises, and motivating teams to perform best.

Best Suited for:

Project managers who aim to advance their knowledge and career.

How to Get Certified?

You can enroll for the course and take the exam only if you have:  

  • Completed the mandatory e-course 
  • Some project management experience

Cost: $300

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Are Project Management Certifications Worth it?

Professional certifications from the PMI or other institutes shows employers your competency in project management. The certificate speaks on your behalf. Having said that, certifications are not mandatory for your career growth. Still, certifications are closely linked to monetary benefits. For instance, PMP-certified members from the US report an annual salary of $120,000, compared to $95,000 for those without a PMP certification. 

So, get your project management certifications to boost your career, but before that, equip yourself with the knowledge and discipline needed to effectively plan, monitor, execute, and control complex projects in any industry with Simplilearn's project management certifications training programs. 

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.