The Project Management Professional (PMP) is widely seen by project managers as the "gold standard" credential. Many senior PM roles now require you to be PMP certified.

So if you have been working as a PM for a few years, this guide will show you how you can take the next step.

I'll cover exam costs, degree requirements, experience requirements, and share some study resources, too.

How much is the PMP exam in 2022?

This varies from country to country. I created this table of exam prices for several major countries:

|   Country    | PMP Exam Price |
| USA          | $555           |
| Canada       | $555           |
| Australia    | $719           |
| New Zealand  | $719           |
| UK           | £339           |
| Ireland      | €399           |
| South Africa | R5999          |
| India        | INR 35000      |

What is the total cost of PMP certification?

In terms of money, it's US $555. But keep in mind, passing the PMP exam will also require preparation. Exam prep programs cost between $600 and $1,200.

And then there's the real cost: time. You have to earn a considerable amount of work experience before you are qualified to sit for the exam.

Is a PMP worth getting?

This ultimately depends on your career goals. Do you plan to make Project Management your long term career?

If so, Project Management Institute (PMI) certifications like the PMP may be required for you to continue to get promoted. And getting promoted is probably the surest path to salary increases.

So from where I'm sitting, it seems like an easy decision.

Does PMP certification increase salary?

Yes. In the US, certification is tied to new potential job roles. Here's a table of median wages:

|      Job title      | Annual salary |
| Project Manager I   | $83,000       |
| Project Manager II  | $96,063       |
| Project Manager III | $115,000      |

This information comes straight from the PMI (who oversee PMP certification).

And PMI says that PMPs in Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and New Zealand have experienced even more dramatic salary increases than that.

Who is eligible for PMP? How many years of experience do you need?

In order to sit for the PMP exam, you have to be a Project Manager who meets the following qualifications:

  1. A four-year degree
  2. 36 months worth of experience leading projects
  3. 35 hours worth of taking formal project management training, or earning the CAPM Certification

That's 3 full years of working as a project manager.

But wait – what if you don't have a 4-year degree? Is there is an alternate path.

Can you get PMP without a degree?

Yes. Thankfully, PMI allows people who didn't earn a 4 degree to still get PMP certified. It just requires an extra 2 years worth of project manager experience. (5 years total.)

Here are the exact qualifications:

  1. A high school diploma or an associate’s degree or equivalent. In the US, this would be a GED.
  2. 60 months worth of experience leading projects
  3. 35 hours worth of taking formal project management training, or earning the CAPM Certification

How do I start preparing for PMP?

I recommend you create a study plan, and schedule out exactly what you're planning to learn in what sequence. Be realistic. This is not an easy exam, and you will probably want to over-prepare.

You can review PMI's official PMP Exam Content Outline PDF.

I also recommend reviewing this free PMBOK Exam Tips PDF book. Note that this is from 2014, but it is by far the most comprehensive guide I could find. If you find a better free guide, send it to me and I'll update this.

Finally, take practice exams and review your results periodically. This will help you identify areas you can improve upon.

Is the PMP test hard?

Yes. This is a serious exam that will require serious preparation. Again, you can review its contents through PMI's official PMP Exam Content Outline PDF.

This said, if you have been working as a project manager for the past 3 years (or 5 years if you don't have a 4-year degree), I imagine you'll have plenty of exposure to most of these concepts. So exam prep may be more of a review for you.

Is PMP only for software?

The Software industry is a a massive employer of PMP-certified project managers. But it is far from the only one.

Earning the PMP can help you find project management work in a variety of fields. Major employers include the construction industry, manufacturing, and non-software engineering projects.

Should I get CAPM before PMP?

You do not need the CAPM in order to take the PMP. But if you have the CAPM, it will save you from having to get the 35 hours of formal project management training required to sit for the PMP.

Go forth and actualize your project manager career goals

I hope you've found this helpful. If you want to learn more about programming and technology, try freeCodeCamp's core coding curriculum. It's free.