How much would it cost me to get PMP Certified?



Published on July 23, 2015


PMP®-or Project Management Professional- Certification is among the most popular project management certifications in the world today. Gaining this certification increases one’s marketability in any industry or domain, and increases overall earning potential.

Preparing for PMP® Certification? Take this test to know where you stand!         

This globally recognized certification is offered by PMI® (Project Management Institute), a US-based not-for-profit professional organization for project management. Apart from conducting the examination, reviewing the test results and offering the certification for qualified professionals, PMI® also trains and provides preparatory materials for registered members, at a membership cost.

However, aspirants can choose from a wide range of training providers and don’t have to necessarily enroll as members with the PMI®, if they wish to get trained for the PMP® examination. Also, depending on various factors, including the quality of training and the cost-benefits of getting trained with any given training provider, an aspirant may choose the best-suited mode and training provider for oneself.

Read on to get a brief overview of the cost involved in taking up PMP® Certification Exam, for both, a PMI® member as well as a non-member, and the modes of training that an aspirant can choose from.

The three factors that affect the cost of training

Depending on three factors, the total expenditure for a PMP® Certification varies. The three factors to consider are:

  1. Whether the aspirant would want to enroll as a member with the Project Management Institute (PMI)®;
  2. Whether the aspirant would self-study or take up an instructor-taught PMP® certification training, commonly known as a PMP® Boot Camp, and;
  3. If the aspirant chooses to attend a PMP® Boot Camp, which training provider will be chosen.

NB: PMI® recently announced changes to the PMP® Examination format, for 2015 and beyond. However, the fee structure for the exam remains the same.

With a PMI® membership

A PMI® membership, at US$ 139, offers many advantageous cost-effective benefits to aspirants.

First, the PMP® Exam fee, is US$405 for members and US$555 for non-members. Apart from this, aspirants will need to consider the cost to be spent on PMP® Exam prep courses / books / sample practice exams, etc.

Therefore, enrolling as a member at PMI®, not only saves US$150, but with the membership, one can access many commercially available books on project management and also download a free copy of the PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition, which are essential preparatory materials for the PMP® Certification Exam. Registered PMI® members also get free access to Sample Practice Exams.

After being credited with the PMP® Certification, members can gain the required PMP® PDU (in Category A) free of cost.  PDUs (Professional Development Units) are the hours of training required to maintain a PMI®. Ideally, one hour of planned, structured, and measured learning activities equals one PDU.

The renewal fee for PMI® membership is US$129 per year.


Expenditure to be incurred through self-study

An official training is not a mandate to take the test and therefore, one can also rely on self-study, provided it fulfils the required outcome of clearing the test. The PMI® requirement of 35 hours of formal ‘Project Management Education’ can be met by self-study, if the aspirant has any training related to Project Management, such as an MBA or any college business courses. In such a case, the aspirant wouldn’t require any formal training for the PMP® Certification Exam.

However, cost relating to Exam Prep materials such as books, self-study online courses, flash-cards, videos, etc., have to be met. Comprehensively, the cost of PMP® Exam preparation through self-study may range from $0 to $500.

However, what will often be lacking in a self-study plan will be the discipline and the interaction with a knowledgeable instructor who can guide the aspirant by clarifying difficult concepts, emphasizing important points, providing expert insights on how to navigate the traps of extremely tricky PMP® questions, and the rigor of a targeted, post-class study plan.

In summary, self-study would be an advisable choice only for those with a strong academic background and with a knack for clearing tests of this sort.
Simplilearn’s Online Self Learning package for PMP® Certification begins at a price of $199.

PMP® Training

Expenditure through an instructor-taught boot camp from any training provider

If an aspirant opts to attend an instructor-taught boot camp, there are plenty of training providers to choose from who offer training for PMP® Certification examination. Training through a boot camp is often the suggested choice from qualified PM professionals, as aspiring candidates get to choose from a multitude of training providers and instructors, to ensure qualitative results -that is, passing the PMP® exam in the first attempt. Also, a rigorous training regime provides the much needed discipline that this course demands.

Many training providers often choose instructors on a fast-forward process, that is to say, by doing a brief search on any social media sites or resume sites and appointing them for a training session scheduled a week from the search, which is not a good thing. Training providers of repute understand the difference a good instructor can make to the candidate as well as to themselves, and ensure that they have a pool of exclusive instructors who can be roped-in for their training sessions. Simplilearn has a network of hand-picked tutors who are usually chosen after careful scrutiny, by a body of certified interviewers. The tutors are usually interviewed and are asked to conduct a ‘demo’ session, before they become a part of Simplilearn’s pool of well-qualified instructors.

As previously stated, it is the quality of assistance that a candidate receives from an instructor that makes all the difference by choosing to train in a boot camp. Therefore, if an aspirant chooses to train through a training provider, it is vital that thorough research of the instructor is conducted before enrolling for the classes. One can request the training organization to provide the instructor’s bio and other relevant details before registering for their course.

While doing the research before registering with an appropriate training organization, a candidate could also check with students who took the training from the same training organization, previously.
The price for a PMP® Boot Camp can range from $795 to $3,000. Simplilearn’s Classroom Training for PMP® Training Certification starts at $899.


Making the wise choice

The cost of training and appearing for a PMP® Certification may not be cheap, but, through research, one can always find the right training module that suits one’s budget and training needs. Also, a PMP® certification is a sure shot at improving one’s stake at the job market and an increased compensation. The cost and the time that a candidate incurs is therefore more of an investment, provided the candidate is keen on working towards securing the PMP® credential. 


PMP and PMBOK are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. 

About the Author

Priyadharshini is a knowledge analyst at Simplilearn, specializing in Project Management, IT, Six Sigma, and e-Learning. With a penchant for writing and a passion for professional education & development, she is adept at penning educative articles. She was previously associated with Oxford University Press and Pearson Education, India.


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