Project Management

What is a PMP Certification?

July 18, 2013

Bita Beigishah

For those in the project management profession, the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification by PMI is a must.

To start with, Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, presented by Project Management Institute (PMI), is the most notable certification recognized in the industry of project management. It proves you are serious about your career and are looking to stand out from others in the field.

Who is PMP Certification For?

PMP Certification is for anyone in the field of project management looking to advance their career and increase their skills. It is ideal for, but not limited to Project Managers, Project Leaders, Project Coordinators, Project Analysts, IT Project Managers, and other project team members.

However, there are some requirements you must meet before you are eligible to apply for the exam.


You must have a secondary degree such as a high school diploma, GED or associate’s degree, and at least five years of experience in project management, during which you must have 7,500 hours managing and overseeing projects.


You must have a four-year bachelor’s degree and at least three years of experience in project management, during which you must have 4,500 hours of managing and overseeing projects.

Both options require you to have 35 hours of project management education, which you can receive through classes offered right here at Phoenix TS, both in the classroom and online.

The Certification Process

So let’s say you have met these requirements and now you’re ready to apply. Where do you start?

You must first fill out the online application. Once you begin, you have 90 days to complete the application and submit it. Then the application is reviewed, and within five days you will be asked to send in your payment.

A fraction of applications are randomly selected to undergo an auditing process. If your application is selected, you have 90 days to send in materials such as your diploma, signatures from your project supervisor(s)/manager(s), and/or letters or certificates from your training institute.

After you submit your payment and PMI reviews your application and any possible audit materials, you become eligible to take the PMP Certification exam. Your eligibility lasts for one year, and you can take the exam up to three times within that year. More on the exam itself to follow.

Once you pass the exam, you are certified and will maintain your credentials for three years. During those three years, you are required to earn 60 professional development units (PDUs).

You can gain PDUs in a number of ways, including taking courses at a PMI Registered Education Provider (R. E. P.) such as Phoenix TS.

Once you complete and report the required PDUs you can then renew your certification.

If you have not completed the 60 PDUs within the three allotted years, your certification is suspended and you have a one-year grace period to get everything submitted to maintain your credentials.

Important: your certification will expire and you must reapply and go through this whole process again if you do not meet all the maintenance requirements.

The Exam

The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions, 25 of which are pre-test questions that are not scored. The remaining 175 are what count toward your final score.

All questions are randomly organized throughout the test and are divided into five categories:

  1. Initiation (13%)
  2. Planning (24%)
  3. Executing (30%)
  4. Monitoring and Controlling (25%)
  5. Closing (8%)

The exam is given in the standard CBT (computer-based testing) method, and you are given four hours to complete the exam.

Why PMP Certification?

If you’ve met all these requirements, you clearly have a lot of experience with project management. Your résumé is surely quite extensive, so why go through the process of applying, testing and receiving a certification?

Well there are several benefits to a PMP Certification, one of which is salary increases. Naturally, that is the one everyone is attracted to, but in addition to that, PMP opens the door for career advancement and greater job opportunities.

Project Managers are given priority during the hiring process, and those who take the time to attain PMP Certification gain a serious competitive advantage over their peers. You will also develop a more well-rounded understanding of all the areas of project management and learn a new set of career skills. Overall, the knowledge gained throughout this process simply makes you a more qualified candidate for any project management position.

Plus, you’ll also be able to put an extra title on your resume, which is always exciting.

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