Do I need my PMP credentials?

Every day thousands of project managers ask this same simple question, “Do I need to get PMP certified?” The answers are no and yes.

What is PMP certification?

Project Management Professional is a registered trademark of Project Management Institute (PMI). It’s a certification of the skills needed to meet international project management standards.

PMI is a non-profit organization dedicated to standardizing and promoting the field of project management. For years, this organization has worked with professionals around the world to create the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®), a summation of the total knowledge in the field across borders.

How to get PMP certified?

One gets PMP certified after meeting the requirements and passing the exam created by PMI.

As listed on the Project Management Institute website, the prerequisites for the exam are:

  • Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or the global equivalent)
  • 7,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education

OR

  • Four-year degree
  • 4,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education

Do I need to be certified to work as Project Manager?

The short answer is no. You don’t need your PMP Certification to be a project manager. In fact, you need to be a project manager before you can apply for the certification.

Should I get PMP Certified?

Yes!

Why? PMI estimates that there are about 16.5 million project managers* in the world. Of those, only 833,025 PMP Certified individuals*.

Only ½ of 1% of all project managers are PMP Certified, making this one of the most exclusive clubs in the world. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need PMP Certification from PMI.

What does PMP Certification mean to employers?

PMP Certification make it clear that you know what you’re doing. As with many other industries, there are standards that have been documented and are followed by the best in the field. The “Best Practices” are more than simply conveniences or some type of simple guidelines, they are time-tested ways of meeting the highest goals of project management:

  • Meeting scheduled deadlines
  • Keeping costs under control
  • Utilizing the resources available
  • Protecting workers, community, and the environment

To a potential employer, a PMP Certification means that someone else, the Project Management Institute, has tested your skills and found that you know what you’re doing. Other professional fields are required to get licenses and certifications, from massage therapists to doctors. Since many of these fields directly affect consumers, the government licenses or certifies them. In project management, where lives are typically not at stake, the government doesn’t require certification. Nonetheless, many of the world’s largest corporations require PMP Certification for Senior Project Managers.

What does PMP Certification mean to you?

Money and job security. That’s the short answer. Here are the details:

Salary  – The average salary for PMPs versus PMs without certification is 10-22% higher. Global salaries for PMPs is $55,000 to $125,000, according to PMI. Even at the lowest salary, that means that a PMP certified project managers is making $5,500 per year more than their non-certified counterparts.

ROI of PMP Certification – The exam costs $550 if you’re not a PMI member. Even if you spend $2,000 on materials and training classes, you’re likely to make twice your money back on the PMP exam and studying in a single year. If you invest 100 hours studying, consider that you’re being paid about $20 an hour for that time. Since you’re already a project manager working a full-time job, you’re not adding hours at work. And, other than continuing education, you don’t need to this large project ever again. That’s a great return on investment!

More opportunities – As we mentioned above, an increasing number of corporation are requiring that  their project managers be PMP certified. Right now, you can’t even apply for those jobs. With your PMP certification, you’ll be able to apply to work for these companies and get jobs working for many of the world’s largest companies.

Contract work – One of the areas that can open up very quickly with a PMP certification is contract PM jobs. Some larger multinationals have created a certification system internally. They will give people specific credentials that allow them to work as project managers within that company. With PMP Certification, you can market yourself as project manager for hire. Companies that rely on external assurances can use your PMP certification to show that you know you’re doing and will hire you on a job by job basis.

Job Security – Anytime a management team needs to cut staff, they will start with the least qualified people. This means that the project manager with PMP Certification is likely to kept on through rough times whereas those that don’t have a professional certification might find themselves looking for work.

Networking – As a PMP Certified project manager, you’ll have access to all 800,000+ Project Managers. This gives you an international fraternity to belong to that you can leverage at times to help answer questions, find work, and look for assistance as needed.

One of the most important things for a project manager to do is learn the newest techniques and keep up on what new best practices are. Using the PMI network, you can do that be seeing what is going on with PMs around the world. This adds to your value. Being able to use the latest international tools will increase your ability to work across borders and cultures, showing your bosses that you are really on the leading edge of your industry.

You need PMP Certification

PMP Certification is the only internationally recognized project management certification and it’s by far the most difficult to get. That makes it a real feather in your cap and will prove to everyone that you really know your business.

If you’re project manager and you’ve been in the business for a few years, PMP certification is the next logical step in your career evolution. It’s the one thing you need to have to show that you are at the very top of your field.

 

PMP, PMI, Project Management Professional, Project Management Institute, Project Management Body of Knowledge, PMBOK®, and related terms are registered trademarks of Project Management Institute (https://www.pmi.org/.