CAPM or PMP certification?  Firstly, congratulations on having taken the first step of considering a professional certification in project management. Let me try and answer your million dollar question in this blog! Before we delve deeper, here’s a quick introduction.

CAPM and PMP are professional project management certifications offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) serves as the guide for both exams. It’s a standardized collection of terminologies, guidelines and process frameworks, and best practices approved by global industries with project management roles. 

The PMBOK serves as guidance for both PMP and CAPM exam prep. Both exams take 1 to 3 months of preparation time for a full-time working professional. In view of the COVID -19 restrictions, the online proctored test mode is now available for PMP and CAPM certification exams.

Why do CAPM/ PMP Certifications Matter?

The professional project management certification by PMI has helped unify the project managers across industries worldwide under common project communication methods and standard process frameworks. 

PMI’s Earning power- project management salary survey(eleventh edition) reports that certified project managers get higher median salaries by nearly 22% compared to non-certified managers.

According to the project management job growth and talent gap study by PMI, 22 million new project management-oriented roles will be created by 2027. In the next six years, the project management labor force will rise by at least 35%. Currently, there are only around one million PMP certified project managers across the world. The acute talent shortage poses an opportunity for practicing project managers and those aspiring to become a project manager. 

The Deciding Factor in PMP and CAPM Certification

CAPM stands for Certified Associate in Project Management. It’s a beginner level PMI certification that’s best suited for professionals who want to start a project management career.  There’s no prerequisite relevant experience in project management required. CAPM exam prep introduces you to standard terminologies used in project management and understands the process framework. The certification adds value to your resume and offers excellent networking opportunities with the project management community. 

PMP is the Project Management Professional Certification. It’s an advanced level PMP certification for experienced project managers who want to boost their career curve by stepping up their performance. PMP exam prep can introduce you to the best practices and emerging trends in project management. It gives you an edge over your competitors and takes you a step closer to the much-awaited pay hike or promotion. 

The following insights regarding CAPM and PMP certification will help you make an informed choice.

  • Experience

CAPM:  Prior project management experience not required 


36 months of project management experience is mandatory for professionals with a four-year degree.

60 months of experience for professionals with a secondary degree.

24months of experience for professionals with Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education (GAC) accredited Bachelor’s /Master’s degree. 

  • Education

CAPM: 23 Contact Hours of Project Management Training

PMP: 35 Contact Hours of Project Management Training

There are training institutes that offer classroom training that you can take up to acquire the required training contact hours.  The institutes provide two types of training formats: 4-day boot camp training or online training.

Project Management Training Institute (PMTI) offers 4-day boot camps and virtual online classes for PMP exam prep and online virtual classes for CAPM exam prep. PMTI is a Global R.E.P (Registered Education Provider) and ATP (Authorized Training Partner) of Project Management Institute (PMI) 

  • Training Methods

As discussed, the training for PMP and CAPM certifications happens in both in-person boot camps and virtual online classes. The training helps candidates achieve the required contact hours of the training set as a prerequisite by PMI.


You can check out Project Management Training Institute’s (PMTI) online CAPM training customized by expert trainers. The other course materials include the following materials: Course completion certificate for 23 contact hours, Digital copies of classroom training books, PMBOK guide (exam edition), Practice test, CAPM success road map, Memorization Math & Process sheet.


PMTI also offers 4-day PMP boot camps and online PMP training to help get your PMP Certification. In addition to customized training by PMP experts, the following materials are made accessible to students: PMI authorized PMP exam prep book, question banks, classroom training books, course completion certificate for 40 contact hours, video recording of the complete course material, Practice diagnostic tests, PMP application preparation tool, PMP success road map, Memorization math and process sheet, free online courses for acquiring 53 PDUs (Professional Development Unit) to keep your PMP  certification renewed up to 6 years.

  • Exam Fee, Pattern, and Duration 


PMI charges $225 for PMI members and $300 for others as a CAPM exam fee. CAPM certification has 150 MCQ’s with an exam duration of three hours.  


PMI charges$405 for PMI members and $555 for others as PMP exam fee.  

PMI changes the PMP exam pattern as of January 2021.  Questions are focused on three main core areas of project management: Namely, Leadership (42%), Technical/Functional Expertise (50%), and Strategic Business Development (8%). Under the new pattern, PMP certification has 180questions with an exam duration of 230minutes.  The question pattern will include MCQs, multiple responses, matching, hotspot, and a few fill-in-the-blanks questions.

  • Certification Renewal


You should earn 15 PDUs every three years to keep your certification valid. PMI charges a renewal fee of 60$ for its members and 150$ for others.

PDU (Professional Development Unit) is a PMI’s standard for measuring ongoing professional development. CAPM certification renewal required 15 PDUS in 2 categories- Education (9 PDUs) and Giving Back to Profession (6 PDUs). 


You should earn 60 PDUs every three years to renew your PMP certification. PMI charges a renewal fee of 60$ for its members and 150$ for others.

PMP certification renewal requires 35 PDUs in the Education category and 25 PDUs in the Giving Back to Profession Category. For every one hour of contribution, you can earn one PDU.  

Choosing Between CAPM and PMP Certification

We hope this article gave you the insights required to choose which certification suits you the most. Summing up: 

  • CAPM certification is for beginners aspiring to start a career in project management, while PMP is for experienced project managers. 
  • If you have limited project management experience, then CAPM is the way to go. Besides, CAPM  exam prep can add value to your resume and act as a stepping stone for PMP in the future.
  • If you have the prerequisite training experience for PMP, then it is the right choice for you.
  • Project managers with more than 20 months of experience can start PMP exam prep. By the time you are prepared to face the exam, you will have the adequate project management training required for the PMP exam. 

PMTI wishes you the best in your project management journey. We love being a part of the happiness journeys when our students pass their CAPM / PMP certification. So much so that we even have a 100% money-back guarantee if you don’t pass the certifications after PMP and CAPM exam prep through PMTI’s training boot camps.

We are here to help you in any possible way in the PMP journey. We are looking forward to connecting and exchanging ideas around the subject of project management.

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