How to Become a Certified Project Manager

From building timelines and tracking analytics to managing stakeholders and facilitating teams, the role of a project manager can take many forms. If this fast-paced, dynamic field interests you, you may want to consider becoming a certified project manager. After all, 1.57 million new project management positions will be created each year throughout 2020, according to the Project Management Institute (PMI)

Enroll in our PMP Certification Course today and develop a strong foundation in the principles of project management.

Who is a Certified Project Manager?

A project manager is an individual in charge of planning and executing a project. This person may do any of the following:

  • Develop scopes of work
  • Define project goals
  • Align internal and external teams
  • Build project timelines and dependencies
  • Manage internal and external stakeholder expectations
  • Track key performance indicators (KPIs)

It’s common for people to “fall into” into the role of a  project manager. This usually happens when motivated team members drive deliverables. And have strong communications skills, enabling them to take on project management duties—merely because they are capable of doing so. 

Even if you don't have a project manager title, you might have experience driving and delivering project results within a team. Have you planned a cross-functional corporate event, launched a nationwide or global campaign to raise awareness for a cause, or supported and guided the development of an app or podcast and tracked performance? If you answered yes to any of these questions, or have a similar experience, you could have the skills to become an effective certified project manager. 

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Is Getting Certified Required?

While certification as a project manager can help you stand out in the crowd, it's not a requirement. However, according to results from the PMI Earning Power Salary Survey, those with a PMP certification earned 20% more on average than those who were not certified. Because two-thirds of the project manager workforce act as consultants, you have the option to choose the projects you want as well as the certification level you need to stay competitive. 

How Do I Know Which Certification Is Right for Me?

There are two standard project manager certifications: the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification and the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. As of March 2018, almost 29,000 project managers worldwide have earned CAPM certification, while more than 833,000 project managers hold a PMP certification.

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification is open to all experience levels and is designed to help entry- to mid-level professionals upskill in a field of work. As an applicant, you must have a high-school diploma and at least 1,500 hours of project management experience, or have completed 23 hours of project management coursework before the exam. The exam includes 150 multiple-choice questions you get three hours to complete it.  To remain certified, you must pass the exam every five years.

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is for individuals who have more experience in a project manager role. Applicants must have a four-year degree and at least 4,500 hours of project management experience. This experience includes leading cross-functional teams to deliver projects on time, leveraging available resources, and maintaining a budget. The PMP certification test contains 200 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within four hours. Additionally, all certified individuals must earn at least 60 professional-development credits every three years.

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Is Training Available to Help Me Prepare for Certification Exams?

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, certification can give you the credentials top employers look for when hiring certified project management professionals. 

Simplilearn provides both CAPM Certification Training and PMP Certification Training Course to help learners stay abreast of changes in the industry, better understand new and emerging trends, and gain business development and strategic acumen.

Simplilearn’s CAPM Certification Training provides 11 hours of high-quality learning and two simulation exams. It gives beginners an overview of core project management philosophies and a deeper understanding of the five process groups and ten knowledge areas prescribed by the PMI. PMP Certification Training goes one step further with an advanced 36-hour instructor-led training, as well as seven simulation tests and a series of industry-based case studies and scenarios. 

Do Employers Look for Certification When Selecting Candidates? 

While most employers understand the value of hiring certified project managers, only 32 percent of organizations say they’re satisfied with their current project manager’s maturity on an organizational level. Because of this, almost 80 percent of project management offices offer onsite, classroom-based training. 

PMI’s talent gap report shows that demand over the next ten years for project managers is growing faster than the demand for workers in many other occupations. By 2027, employers will need almost 88 million workers in project management-oriented roles. According to the report, talent shortages could potentially result in nearly $208 billion gross domestic product (GDP) losses in the 11 countries studied.

Do you have the skills required for the role of a project manager? Assess yourself with the PMP Practice Exam Questions.

Get Certified with Simplilearn

The role of a certified project manager can be an exciting one. If you decide to take your career to the next level, Simplilearn is there with CAPM and PMP certification training whenever you're ready!

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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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.