The Business of IT Blog

PMP & Other Project Management Certifications

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5 minute read
Rachel Hornay

Project management is a fast-growing and increasingly desirable profession. With many companies managing a variety of cross-team projects, project managers are crucial to business agility.

With the competitive nature of most industries, staying up to date on your skills is a smart move for any professional. Project managers can earn a project management certification. Like many IT certifications, earning a project management certification can provide you with:

  • Increased authority
  • Improvement in your abilities
  • An opportunity for a higher salary

The Project Management Professional (PMP)®certification is the most prestigious project management certification, but there are others to consider as well.

Let’s take a look.

What is the PMP certification?

Course duration: 3 years
Cost: $400-555

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is a professional designation that project managers can earn with their professional experience.

The PMP certification is the most well-known project management certification. The PMP certification is owned, accredited, and operated by the Project Management Institute (PMI). PMI works constantly work to introduce new developments within the course contents to keep it up-to-date and aligned with the ever-changing requirements of the project management industry.

The purpose of the certification is to establish a standard of project management spanning different industries worldwide. Obtaining a PMP certificate is one of several ways you can prove your strong ability and dedication to a potential or current employer.

Earning a PMP

There are several requirements that you must meet before applying for a PMP certification. Once your application has been accepted and approved, you must pass a lengthy and comprehensive exam.

  • 3 years minimum experience in the project management field
  • 5 years (or an equivalent 7,500 hours) of experience as someone who directed projects in PM-related areas
  • Additional 35+ hours of project management education and a qualified person certification

(Learn about project portfolio management, a related discipline.)

What is the value of a PMP certification?

Though the requirements for earning a PMP are hefty, the salaries that come with it are worthwhile.

According to the annual PMI Project Management Salary Survey and PayScale, professionals with a PMP certification earn an average salary of more than $100,000 per year. Earning your PMP certification credential has tremendous value for you, your career, and your employer.

(Explore other top paying IT certifications.)

Enhance your skills

Suppose you’re looking to shift into a new position entirely or move up the ladder in your company. Starting with a certification that develops your skills is a significant first step.

Obtaining a PMP certification allows you to gain the valuable skills needed to meet your career goals. This credential can be an instant advantage, and the skills can immediately apply the knowledge on the job.

Increase your value, increase your worth

A PMP certification is an excellent way to stand out to your employer and prove that you are highly experienced and dedicated to your profession. After all, PMPs are in high demand with all their knowledge and hands-on experience.

Many large companies will require a PMP certification when hiring a new project manager to their team—especially for business-critical projects. If you’re looking to achieve the best positions in your industry with tangible qualifications, a PMP certification can help you get there.

Stand out from the competition

Continued education is valuable in any industry, but it’s especially vital in a field that has become increasingly competitive. PMP certifications can help you enhance your skills and stay relevant in your specialized profession.

As mentioned before, some businesses require a PMP certification for a role. That means if you are not investing in a PMP certification for yourself, employers can pass your resume over compared to others seeking the same role.

Top Project Management Certifications

Are there other project management certifications?

While a PMP certification is not mandatory to work in the project management field, it is a widely recognized designation that improves credibility and enhances any resume.

But it’s not the only one!

There are many project management certifications to consider with different costs, course durations, and requirements for each certification. Below is a list of other project management certifications to consider.

EC-Counsel: Certified Project Management

Course duration: 3 days
Cost: $199 per exam/attempt

EC-Counsel developed this certification as a benchmark for those who had a knack for managing recovery operations. Individuals with this certification are expected to take on several projects related to:

  • Infrastructure development
  • Managerial obstacles
  • Leadership hurdles

Although this certification is not a high-tier degree, it does serve to work as a solid foundation for anyone looking to get into an occupation that requires hands-on experience.

No prerequisites.

IAPM: Certified Project Manager (CPM)

Cost: $630-$800

The International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) developed this certification when the September 11 terrorist attacks rocked the United States in 2001. At that time, the presiding government body of introduced the Certified Project Manager course because of the unpredictable nature of the disaster at hand.

In the 20 years since, this certification has become globally recognized by project management training institutes.

No prerequisites.

American Academy of Project Management (AAPM): Master Project Manager (MPM)

Cost: $300

This certification is modeled for professionals who aim for greater productivity at their workplace.

The MPM certification helps you earn additional points for IT professionals within the project management field of their businesses. It provides a simple and effective training environment for professionals with a technical background and teaching management skills associated with engineering.


  • Three years of training and project management experience make applicants eligible for waivers who hold a master’s degree with relevant job experience
  • Graduates with less than three years of project management experience are also eligible to appear for this certification

Harvard Extension School: Project Management Certificate (PMC)

Course duration: 1.5 years
Cost: $12,000 (average $2,900 course tuition)

This online certification gives students the technical and business management skills to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and close projects.

This certification leads to a broader understanding of the project management life cycle. Upon completion, you’ll:

  • Fully understand the shifts in management practices over time
  • Be able to apply tactful knowledge of project management impacts strategy and business success

No prerequisites or application process required.

Project management is for every industry

Project management skills are applicable in almost any company setting and can be a great way to leverage your value to an organization. If you meet the requirements for a PMP certification, consider obtaining the PMP to validate your skills and stay competitive in the growing field.

Of course, if you are short on the experience necessary for a PMP, other certifications can help you get there.

Related reading

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About the author

Rachel Hornay

Rachel Hornay is a content strategist living in colorful Colorado. Rachel graduated with an MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. She brings years of experience, working with a diverse portfolio of clients in technology and beyond, crafting content, connecting to everyone.