Project Management Professional (PMP)

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This is the largest and most well known project management designation with 650,000 people certified worldwide.  Issued by the Project Management Institute (PMI) based in the United States, it gives you the initials “PMP” after your name.

The PMI issues a PMP Handbook which lists all the details.  The short version is below.

Education Requirements

To get PMP certified, you need to have a U.S. high school diploma or global equivalent.  You also need to obtain 35 hours of formal project management education prior to making the application and taking the exam.  This formal education can be obtained from a PMI Registered Education Provider (REP) or from a non-approved vendor if you supply a course overview.

Experience Requirements

Prior to taking the exam to become certified, you must have 60 months (five years) of project management experience during which at least 7,500 hours were spent leading or directing the project(s).  Alternatively, if you hold a 4-year degree, in anything, the requirement goes down to 36 months (three years) and 4,500 hours.

Official Textbook

The Project Management Institute publishes the official textbook and knowledge source for the exam, The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).  It is available at any bookstore or Amazon.


As of February 2016, the cost is US$555 (€465) to write the exam.  This does not include the formal education component (35 hours prior to writing the exam) which can run from a few hundred U.S. dollars for an online course to several thousand for training at a university or college.  There are also many “boot camps” which offer on site training and claim to give you the knowledge to write the exam after several days to one week of intensive training.


The credential maintenance requirements are to obtain 60 Professional Development Units (PDU’s) over each three year period in three categories:  Technical, Leadership, and Business Management.  In general terms, you must complete a 3-4 day course yearly.  The yearly PMI maintenance fee is US$150/year.

Learn More

To learn more, surf the PMI web site and be sure to read the PMP Handbook.

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