Effective project management is crucial for success in today's fast-paced and competitive business environment. Microsoft Project, a leading project management software, offers robust tools and features to help professionals plan, execute, and monitor projects efficiently. Earning a Microsoft Project Certification not only validates your skills but also enhances your career prospects by demonstrating your expertise in using this powerful tool. This article provides a complete roadmap to help you navigate the process of obtaining Microsoft Project Certification, from understanding the different certification levels to preparing for the exam and leveraging your new credentials for career advancement.

What Is Microsoft Project Certification?

Microsoft Project Certification is a professional credential demonstrating proficiency in using Microsoft Project, a project management software developed by Microsoft. This certification is aimed at project managers, team members, and other professionals who want to validate their skills in planning, executing, and managing projects using Microsoft Project.

Advantages of Microsoft Project Certification

Microsoft Project Certification offers several advantages for professionals and organizations. Here are the key benefits:

For Professionals

Enhanced Career Opportunities

  • Certification can distinguish you from other candidates in the job market.
  • It opens up opportunities for career advancement and higher-paying roles.

Skill Validation

Certification validates your expertise in using Microsoft Project, providing proof of your abilities to employers and clients.

Increased Productivity

Certified professionals are more proficient in using Microsoft Project, leading to more efficient project planning, execution, and monitoring.

Professional Credibility

Certification enhances your professional credibility and demonstrates your commitment to continuous learning and improvement.

Industry Recognition

Microsoft Project Certification is recognized globally, making your skills and knowledge more marketable and respected across various industries.

Networking Opportunities

Joining a community of certified professionals can provide valuable networking opportunities and access to industry best practices.

For Organizations

Improved Project Management

Certified professionals on the team ensure better project planning, resource management, and execution, leading to successful project outcomes.

Consistency in Practices

Certification ensures team members follow standardized project management practices, leading to more consistent and reliable project delivery.

Higher Efficiency and Productivity

Certified professionals can best use Microsoft Project’s features, optimizing project workflows and improving team efficiency.

Competitive Advantage

Organizations with certified project managers are better positioned to win contracts and deliver projects successfully, providing a competitive edge in the market.

Reduced Risk

Certified professionals are trained to identify and mitigate risks effectively, reducing the likelihood of project delays and cost overruns.

Employee Satisfaction and Retention

Supporting employees in obtaining certifications can boost morale, job satisfaction, and retention, demonstrating the organization's investment in their professional development.

Personal Growth and Development


Certification boosts confidence in your project management skills and your ability to handle complex projects.

Knowledge Update

The certification process ensures you stay updated with the latest features and best practices in Microsoft Project.


Certification can be a source of personal pride and recognition within your professional community.

Financial Benefits

Salary Increase

Certified professionals often command higher salaries compared to their non-certified counterparts.

Job Security

With validated skills and recognized credentials, certified professionals are often considered more valuable assets to their organizations, leading to better job security.

Different Levels of Microsoft Project Certification

Microsoft Project Certification typically comes in different levels, catering to various stages of proficiency and professional roles in project management. Here are the common levels of Microsoft Project Certification:

1. Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) in Microsoft Project

Target Audience: Beginners and intermediate users of Microsoft Project.

Skills Covered:

  • Basic project creation and management.
  • Task linking and scheduling.
  • Resource assignment and management.
  • Tracking and reporting progress.

Certification Exam: MOS exam for Microsoft Project (varies by version, e.g., Project 2016, Project 2019).

Benefits: Validates fundamental skills in using Microsoft Project for day-to-day project management tasks.

2. Microsoft Certified: Project Management Professional (PMP) with Microsoft Project

Target Audience: Project managers and professionals aiming to align their skills with PMI standards.

Skills Covered:

  • Integration of Microsoft Project with PMI project management methodologies.
  • Advanced project planning and execution.
  • Risk management and quality control.
  • Budgeting and cost management.

Certification Exam: PMI-PMP combined with specific training on Microsoft Project.

Benefits: Bridges the gap between PMI standards and practical application using Microsoft Project.

3. Microsoft Certified: Microsoft Project Expert

Target Audience: Advanced users and project management professionals seeking deep expertise.

Skills Covered:

  • Advanced project scheduling and planning.
  • Complex resource management and optimization.
  • Customizing and automating project workflows.
  • Detailed project analysis and reporting.

Certification Exam: Advanced Microsoft Project exam (may include specific modules or case studies).

Benefits: Demonstrates proficiency and capability in managing complex projects using Microsoft Project.

4. Microsoft Certified: Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Expert

Target Audience: Enterprise project managers, program managers, and portfolio managers.

Skills Covered:

  • Managing multiple projects and portfolios.
  • Integration with enterprise project management solutions.
  • Advanced reporting and dashboard creation.
  • Enterprise-level resource planning and allocation.

Certification Exam: Specialized exams focusing on EPM solutions and Microsoft Project Server/Online.

Benefits: Equips professionals to handle large-scale projects and programs within an enterprise context.

Certification Path

Training and Preparation

  • Enroll in relevant training programs or courses.
  • Utilize official Microsoft learning resources and practice exams.

Exam Registration

Register for the appropriate certification exam through the official Microsoft certification portal or authorized testing centers.

Exam Completion

Successfully complete the exam, which may include multiple-choice questions, practical tasks, and case studies.

Certification Renewal

Some certifications may require periodic renewal through continued education or additional exams to stay current with new features and industry practices.

How to Get Microsoft Project Certification?

Obtaining Microsoft Project Certification involves choosing the appropriate certification level to prepare for and passing the required exams. Here’s a detailed guide on how to get Microsoft Project Certification:

1. Determine the Appropriate Certification Level

Based on your current skills and career goals, choose the certification that best suits your needs:

  • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) in Microsoft Project: For beginners and intermediate users.
  • Microsoft Certified: Project Management Professional (PMP) with Microsoft Project: For project managers aligning with PMI standards.
  • Microsoft Certified: Microsoft Project Expert: For advanced users and professionals.
  • Microsoft Certified: Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Expert: For enterprise-level project and portfolio managers.

2. Review Exam Requirements and Objectives

Visit the official Microsoft certification page to understand the specific requirements and objectives for the chosen certification:

  • Review the exam skills outline to understand the topics covered.
  • Check for any prerequisites or recommended experience levels.

3. Enroll in Training Programs

Consider enrolling in training programs or courses to help you prepare for the certification exam:

  • Microsoft Official Courses: Offered by Microsoft or authorized training partners.
  • Online Learning Platforms: Websites like LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, Udemy, and others offer courses on Microsoft Project.
  • Books and Study Guides: Use official Microsoft Project books and study guides for comprehensive preparation.

4. Practice Using Microsoft Project

Hands-on experience with Microsoft Project is crucial:

  • Work on real or simulated projects to apply the concepts you’ve learned.
  • Explore various features and tools within Microsoft Project to become proficient.

5. Use Practice Tests and Exam Simulators

Practice tests and exam simulators can help you get familiar with the exam format and identify areas where you need improvement:

  • Official Practice Tests: Available through Microsoft’s official channels.
  • Third-Party Practice Exams: Offered by training providers and online platforms.

6. Register for the Certification Exam

Once you feel prepared, register for the certification exam:

  • Microsoft Certification Dashboard: Create an account or log in to your existing account.
  • Select the Exam: Choose the appropriate certification exam and schedule a date and time.
  • Payment: Pay the exam fee, which varies based on the certification level and region.

7. Take the Exam

On the day of the exam:

  • Ensure you have a reliable internet connection if taking the exam online.
  • Arrive early if taking the exam at a testing center.
  • Bring the necessary identification and follow the exam instructions carefully.

8. Receive Your Certification

After successfully passing the exam:

  • You will receive your certification from Microsoft.
  • You can download and print your certification badge and certificate.

9. Maintain Your Certification

Stay current with updates and renew your certification if necessary:

  • Continuing Education: Participate in ongoing learning to keep your skills current.
  • Certification Renewal: Some certifications may require renewal through additional exams or continued professional development.

Microsoft Project Certification Cost

The cost of obtaining Microsoft Project Certification can vary based on several factors, including the certification level, geographic location, and whether you opt for additional training or study materials. Here’s a breakdown of the potential costs involved:

Certification Exam Fees

1. Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) in Microsoft Project

Exam Fee: Approximately $100 to $150 per exam, depending on your location.

2. Microsoft Certified: Project Management Professional (PMP) with Microsoft Project:

Exam Fee: PMI-PMP exam costs between $405 (PMI members) and $555 (non-members). Additional fees for Microsoft Project-specific training or exams may apply.

3. Microsoft Certified: Microsoft Project Expert:

Exam Fee: Typically around $165 per exam. Prices may vary based on region and currency.

4. Microsoft Certified: Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Expert:

Exam Fee: Similar to the Microsoft Project Expert certification, around $165 per exam. Additional costs may be incurred for specialized EPM exams.

Additional Costs

Training Courses

  • Online Courses: Prices can range from $50 to $500, depending on the provider and depth of the course.
  • Instructor-Led Training: Can be more expensive, ranging from $500 to $2,000 or more, depending on the course duration and provider.

Study Materials

  • Books and Study Guides: Typically range from $30 to $100 per book.
  • Practice Tests: May cost between $20 and $100, depending on the source and number of practice exams included.

Membership Fees

PMI Membership: Optional, but can reduce the cost of the PMP exam. PMI membership costs around $139 annually.

Retake Fees

If you need to retake an exam, the fees are generally the same as the initial exam fee.

Estimated Total Costs

Here’s a potential cost breakdown for each certification level:

1. Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) in Microsoft Project

  • Exam Fee: $100 to $150
  • Training Courses: $50 to $500 (optional)
  • Study Materials: $30 to $100 (optional)
  • Total Estimated Cost: $100 to $750

2. Microsoft Certified: Project Management Professional (PMP) with Microsoft Project:

  • PMP Exam Fee: $405 to $555
  • Microsoft Project Training: $100 to $500
  • Study Materials: $30 to $100 (optional)
  • Total Estimated Cost: $535 to $1,155

3. Microsoft Certified: Microsoft Project Expert:

  • Exam Fee: $165
  • Training Courses: $100 to $500 (optional)
  • Study Materials: $30 to $100 (optional)
  • Total Estimated Cost: $165 to $765

4. Microsoft Certified: Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Expert:

  • Exam Fee: $165
  • Training Courses: $500 to $2,000 (optional)
  • Study Materials: $30 to $100 (optional)
  • Total Estimated Cost: $195 to $2,265
Learn from a course that has been designed to help you ace your PMP exam in the first attempt! Check out our PMP Certification Training Course today!

Career Opportunities With Microsoft Project Certification

Microsoft Project Certification can open up various career opportunities in project management and related fields. Here are some potential career paths and roles that can benefit from this certification:

1. Project Manager

  • Responsibilities: Planning, executing, and closing projects; managing project teams; budgeting and scheduling; risk management.
  • Opportunities: Employers often prefer Certified project managers for their validated skills and knowledge.

2. Project Coordinator

  • Responsibilities: Supporting project managers, maintaining project documentation, coordinating tasks, and ensuring project timelines are met.
  • Opportunities: Entry-level role that can lead to project management positions with experience and additional certifications.

3. Program Manager

  • Responsibilities: Overseeing multiple related projects (a program), ensuring alignment with organizational goals, and managing resources across projects.
  • Opportunities: Higher-level roles often require experience and advanced certifications like Microsoft Project Expert or EPM Expert.

4. Portfolio Manager

  • Responsibilities: Manage a portfolio of projects to ensure they align with strategic objectives, optimize resource allocation, and maximize ROI.
  • Opportunities: Senior-level position in large organizations or enterprises, often requiring extensive experience and advanced certifications.

5. Project Scheduler

  • Responsibilities: Developing and maintaining project schedules, tracking progress, and updating timelines as needed.
  • Opportunities: Specialist role within project teams, crucial for ensuring projects stay on track.

6. Resource Manager

  • Responsibilities: Planning and managing resources (people, equipment, etc.) across multiple projects, optimizing utilization, and balancing workloads.
  • Opportunities: Essential role in organizations with multiple ongoing projects, ensuring efficient use of resources.

7. Project Analyst

  • Responsibilities: Analyzing project data, generating reports, providing insights for decision-making, and identifying areas for improvement.
  • Opportunities: Role focused on data analysis and reporting, often leading to project management positions.

8. Consultant

  • Responsibilities: Providing expertise and advice on project management practices, implementing Microsoft Project solutions, training teams.
  • Opportunities: Often involves working with multiple clients, requiring strong knowledge of Microsoft Project and project management methodologies.

9. IT Project Manager

  • Responsibilities: Managing technology projects, implementing software solutions, coordinating with development teams, and ensuring IT projects meet business goals.
  • Opportunities: Specialized role within the IT sector, often requiring knowledge of both project management and technical skills.

10. Operations Manager

  • Responsibilities: Overseeing daily operations, managing projects related to operational improvements, and ensuring efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Opportunities: Role within operations management where project management skills are essential for driving improvements.

11. Construction Project Manager

  • Responsibilities: Managing construction projects, coordinating with architects, engineers, and contractors, ensuring projects meet safety and quality standards.
  • Opportunities: Specialized role in the construction industry, often requiring knowledge of construction processes and project management.

12. Engineering Project Manager

  • Responsibilities: Managing engineering projects, coordinating with technical teams, and ensuring projects meet specifications and deadlines.
  • Opportunities: Role in engineering firms or departments requiring technical knowledge and project management skills.

Advantages in the Job Market

  • Increased Employability: Certification demonstrates your proficiency with Microsoft Project, making you a more attractive candidate to employers.
  • Higher Salary Potential: Certified professionals often command higher salaries due to their validated skills and expertise.
  • Career Advancement: Certification can help you move up the career ladder, opening doors to higher-level positions.
  • Professional Credibility: Certification enhances your credibility and reputation in project management.

Industries That Value Microsoft Project Certification

  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Finance
  • Manufacturing
  • Telecommunications
  • Consulting
  • Government and Public Sector
  • Education
  • Retail


Achieving Microsoft Project Certification is a strategic step toward advancing your career in project management. This certification validates your expertise in using one of the most powerful project management tools, equipping you with the skills to plan, execute, and manage projects effectively. By following the outlined roadmap—from selecting the appropriate certification level to preparing thoroughly and passing the exams—you can enhance your professional credibility and open up many career opportunities. Whether you are a novice seeking foundational knowledge or an experienced professional aiming to refine your skills, Microsoft Project Certification can significantly boost your employability and career growth in the dynamic field of project management. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a project-specific certification, Simplilearn’s PMP Certification could be your optimal choice.


1. Are Microsoft certifications free?

No, Microsoft certifications are not free. They typically involve an exam fee ranging from $100 to $165 per exam, depending on the certification level and region. Additional costs may include training courses, study materials, and practice exams.

2. How long does it take to prepare for the exam?

Preparation time for Microsoft Project Certification varies based on prior experience and the specific certification level. On average, it can take a few weeks to several months and involves formal training, self-study, and hands-on practice.

3. Can I take the exam online?

Yes, Microsoft certification exams can be taken online. Microsoft offers the option to take exams remotely through online proctoring, allowing you to complete the exam from the comfort of your home or office, provided you have a reliable internet connection and meet the technical requirements.

4. What are the common challenges faced during preparation?

Common challenges include understanding complex project management concepts, gaining proficiency in all Microsoft Project features, managing time effectively while studying, and applying theoretical knowledge to practical scenarios. Additionally, balancing preparation with work or other commitments can be difficult.

5. Is MS Project worth it?

Yes, MS Project is worth it for professionals involved in project management. It offers powerful tools for planning, scheduling, resource management, and tracking project progress. Certification in MS Project enhances your skills, making you more competitive in the job market and improving your ability to manage projects efficiently.

Our Project Management Courses Duration And Fees

Project Management Courses typically range from a few weeks to several months, with fees varying based on program and institution.

Program NameDurationFees
Professional Certificate Program in Project Management

Cohort Starts: 26 Jul, 2024

10 weeks$ 3,000
PMP® Plus7 weeks$ 1,849
PMP® Renewal Pack Bundle: Earn 60 PDUs3 weeks$ 649