How to Get a PMP Certification | The Easiest Path

how to get pmp certification

Yad Senapathy, PMP December 20, 2022

A Project Management Professional (PMP) certification can be a valuable asset for practicing project managers. It is recognized as the gold standard in project management and demonstrates to employers and clients that an individual has the required knowledge, skills, and experience to effectively lead and direct projects.

To earn a PMP certification, individuals must meet certain requirements and pass a rigorous exam. Obtaining a PMP certification can be challenging, but its benefits can be well worth the effort.

To tell you more about this certification and how you can get a PMP certification in the easiest way possible, we have shared a detailed guide that will help you get started with this project management certification.

How to Get a PMP Certification

To obtain a PMP certification, you must meet certain requirements and pass the certification exam. Following is the complete step-by-step guide.

Determine Your Eligibility

You must meet certain education and experience requirements for the PMP certification exam. If you have a bachelor's degree, the requirements for PMP certification are as follows:

  1. 36 months leading projects
  2. 35 hours of project management course training

If you don't have a bachelor's degree and have only completed high school or an associate degree, you need to meet the requirements listed below.

  1. 60 months leading projects
  2. 35 hours of project management course training

The project management course training can be waived if you have a CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) certification, another credential offered by Project Management Institute (PMI).

Applying for the Certification

To apply for the PMP certification, you must create an account with the PMI and complete an application. You have to provide detailed information about your education and experience, including the names and dates of the projects you have worked on and your roles in those projects.

If you are audited, you will also need to provide professional references that can verify your project management experience.

After applying, PMI will take around 3 to 5 business days to review all the information. After the approval, you will receive an invitation to pay the exam fee and select the schedule for the exam from PMI.

PMP Exam Cost

The exam fee is $555 for non-PMI members and $405 for PMI members. If you're not a PMI member, you can get a membership by paying $129 a year, with a one-time $10 application fee.

Choose a Study Method

Preparing for the exam can be a challenging and time-consuming process. There are many different study methods available. It all depends on your learning style, the amount of time you have to prepare, and your budget.

Here are some common study methods for the PMP exam:


This involves purchasing a study guide or textbook and studying on your own. This can be a cost-effective option but requires a lot of discipline and motivation.

Online courses

There are many online courses available that offer structured study materials and practice exams. These courses can be a convenient option but can also be expensive.

In-Person Classes

Some people prefer the structure and accountability of an in-person class. Experienced PMP instructors often teach these classes and may include review materials and practice exams.

Apart from these methods, you can also use the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide, a reference of standards and best practices for project management. The PMBOK Guide can be purchased from the PMI or third-party vendors.

Taking the Exam

Once you have completed your studies and are ready to take the exam, you will need to schedule a test date at a testing center near you. The PMP certification exam is a computer-based test that consists of multiple-choice, multiple responses, matching, hotspot, and fill-in-the-blank questions. You have around 230 minutes (3 hours 50 minutes) to answer 180 questions. There are two 10-minutes breaks as well.

All the questions in the exam fall into three domains which are:

  • People (42% of the exam)
  • Process (50% of the exam)
  • Business (8% of the exam)

To help you prepare for the exam, we have listed the main topics covered in the PMP exam.

Project Integration Management

This area covers the processes and activities involved in combining all of the elements of a project into a cohesive whole. It includes project charter development, stakeholder management, and project plan development.

Project Scope Management

This area covers the processes and activities involved in defining and controlling the scope of a project. It includes topics such as scope definition, scope verification, and scope control.

Project Time Management

This area covers the processes and activities involved in planning, estimating, and controlling the duration of a project. It includes topics such as activity definition, activity sequencing, and schedule development.

Project Cost Management

This area covers the processes and activities involved in estimating, budgeting, and controlling the costs of a project. It includes topics such as cost estimation, cost budgeting, and cost control.

Project Quality Management

This area covers the processes and activities involved in ensuring that a project meets the required level of quality. It includes quality planning, quality assurance, and quality control.

Project Resource Management

This area covers the processes and activities involved in acquiring, managing, and using the resources needed to complete a project. It includes topics such as resource planning, resource acquisition, and resource allocation.

Project Communication Management

This area covers the processes and activities involved in communicating with stakeholders during a project. It includes communication planning, information distribution, and performance reporting.

Project Risk Management

This area covers the processes and activities involved in identifying, analyzing, and responding to risks that may impact a project. It includes risk identification, risk analysis, and risk response planning.

Project Procurement Management

This area covers the processes and activities involved in acquiring goods and services from external suppliers. It includes procurement planning, solicitation planning, and contract administration.

Project Stakeholder Management

This area covers the processes and activities involved in engaging with and managing stakeholders' expectations. It includes topics such as stakeholder identification, stakeholder analysis, and stakeholder communication and engagement.

Additionally, with the 2021 PMP exam change, PMI has added significant emphasis on Agile and Hybrid methodologies.

Agile Project Management

This area covers the change-drive project management methodologies of Scrum and other popular philosophies. You will learn about agile events such as sprint planning, sprint, retrospectives, sprint demos and reviews. You will delve into agile roles such as scrum master, product owner, development team. You will explore agile artifacts such as product backlog, sprint backlog, and burnup / burndown charts.

Hybrid Project Management

Many times in real life, neither the traditional nor the agile approach alone is the answer. So, a judicious mix of both traditional and agile methodologies is the right path.

Maintain your Certification

Once you have earned your PMP certification, it is important to maintain it by earning 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years. You can earn PDUs by participating in activities such as attending conferences, taking courses, or volunteering with the PMI.

TIP: When you enroll in PMTI’s PMP certification training, you will get 60 free PDUs to automatically recertify for another 3-year cycle of credentialing.

This PMP certification applies to a wide range of industries. Some examples of industries where PMP certification is commonly sought after include:

Information Technology

The IT industry is known for its fast-paced and constantly evolving nature, and project management skills are essential for success in this field. PMP-certified professionals are often selected to lead IT projects, such as developing software applications, implementing new systems, and integrating technology solutions.


Project management is a critical part of the construction industry, as it involves coordinating various activities, resources, and stakeholders to complete complex projects on time and within budget. PMP-certified professionals are often employed in construction firms to manage projects ranging from constructing new buildings to renovating existing structures.


The manufacturing industry involves the production of goods on a large scale, and project management skills are essential for managing the various processes and resources involved. PMP-certified professionals are often employed in manufacturing firms to lead projects such as developing new products, implementing new production processes, and optimizing supply chain systems.


The healthcare industry is complex and involves many stakeholders and processes, making project management skills essential for success. PMP-certified professionals are often employed in healthcare organizations to lead projects such as implementing new electronic medical record systems, developing new healthcare facilities, and managing clinical research studies.

How Long Does it Take to Get PMP Certification?

The amount of time it takes to get your Project Management Professional (PMP) certification will depend on several factors, including your experience level, the amount of time you have to study, and your study habits.

Generally, it takes most people several weeks or months to prepare for the PMP exam. The Project Management Institute (PMI), the organization that administers the PMP certification, recommends that candidates allow at least three to six months to prepare for the exam.

This will allow you to thoroughly review the exam content and take practice exams to help you become familiar with the exam format.

Why Should You Get a PMP Certification?

Earning a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification can provide numerous benefits to professionals in project management. Here are some reasons why getting a PMP certification may be worth it for you:

Improved Job Prospects

Many employers prefer to hire project managers with a PMP certification, as it demonstrates expertise and dedication to the profession. A PMP certification can help you land a more competitive job and increase your chances of getting hired for project management roles.

Higher Salaries

PMP certification holders tend to earn higher salaries than their non-certified counterparts. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), PMP certification holders earn an average of 20% more than non-certified project managers.

Greater Credibility

A PMP certification shows you have the knowledge and skills to manage projects effectively. It demonstrates to clients and colleagues that you have a strong understanding of project management principles and can be trusted to lead projects to successful completion.

Professional Development

Earning a PMP certification requires a significant time and financial investment, but preparing for the certification exam can also be a valuable opportunity for professional development.

Studying for the PMP exam can help you deepen your understanding of project management principles and best practices and may also expose you to new ideas and approaches to project management.

Global Recognition

The PMP certification is recognized and respected globally, making it an asset for professionals working on international projects or considering career opportunities outside their home country.

Enhance Communication Skills

The PMP certification process emphasizes the importance of effective communication and teamwork in project management. Studying for the PMP exam and earning the certification can help you develop the skills essential for leading successful projects.


To sum it up, getting a PMP certification can be challenging but rewarding. By preparing adequately, you can increase your chances of success and take the next step in your project management career.

yad senapathy
Yad Senapathy, PMP

Yad is not just the leader of the Project Management Training Institute (PMTI). He helped to write significant portions of the project management standards worldwide. He is helping PMI right now in reviewing, directing, and leading the development of the 7th edition of the PMBOK® Guide to incorporate the most monumental changes to project management standards in 35 years. He shares his wisdom with readers via the PMTI blog.

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