What is PMP certification?

How do you get it and why do you need it?

If you are looking to become a project manager or have just started out as one, sooner or later you will likely need to have some form of qualification to further your career goals.

One such qualification, and arguably the most important one, is that of Project Management Professional (PMP). This is an internationally recognised professional certificate from the Project Management Institute. 

There are over three-quarters of a million PMP certified people worldwide in over 210 countries and territories worldwide. It is one of the most demanded credentials in project management and validates a professional's education and experience in project management.  

Why do you need PMP certification?

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The certification is acknowledged worldwide and is necessary if you want to work as a project manager around the world. Having certification will help in demonstrating a professional's skills and expertise to potential employers. 

Having PMP certification will also improve your salary. According to the PMI's Project Management Salary Survey published in July 2017, PMP certified professionals earn a mean salary of 63,563 per year in the UK.

Having a PMP certification offering better career advancement and job opportunities. According to the PMI Pulse of the Profession study, when more than one-third of their project managers are PMP-certified, organisations finished more of their projects on time, on budget and meeting original goals.

The certification is also applicable to most industries including IT, telecoms, finance and more.

How do you get PMP certified?

Before you get certified as a Project Management Professional you should check you are eligible. This means holding a Bachelor's degree, 4,500 hours leading and directing projects over 36 months and taking 35 hours of project management training.

If you don't have a degree, but have something such as a high school diploma, associate's degree or the global equivalent, then you will need 7,500 hours of project management experience over 60 months as well as going through the 35-hour project management training. 

Once you meet these criteria, you can then become a member of PMI and fill in the form for taking the examination. With membership, you can download "A Guide to the Project Management Body Of Knowledge", the book on which the entire exam is based.

Before any exam, you will need to have at least 35 hours of education on project management. Without this, you cannot take the exam.

Next, you have to sign up for the PMP exam. This involves filling out the PMP Credential Application and submitting it to the PMI. You can apply online at http://www.pmi.org. Once the application is approved you will receive a letter from the PMI. PMI doesn't carry out the test, this is done by external testing companies. 

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Before the exam, you will need to undertake a lot of studying, as the PMP exam is four hours long. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. Out of 200, only 175 questions are actually scored.

Once you see "Passed" on the screen you will have earned the PMP certification. In order to keep certification active, you will need to collect and claim 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years.

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