Global Project Management League

PMP Certification Costs

Your PMP Certification is very beneficial for your future project management career. This will not only help you get a higher salary, but most importantly, give you more expertise in your field. 

Your training will enhance your skills by defining your strengths and addressing your weaknesses, so you can work on the latter. 

Alongside these benefits are the financial costs to achieving your certification. But it’s worth it–your PMP Certification is definitely a good investment.

The PMP Certification cost doesn’t just start and end in the exam fee. There are several components encompassing the PMP exam cost.

Before arriving at the PMP certification cost, you have to know the prerequisites and requirements for the exam first. Just this July 2020, PMI removed the required 4500-7500 hours of leading and directing projects and added a new path for those who have postgraduate degrees.

To qualify for the PMP exam, you have to comply with either of these three paths:

  • 4-year bachelor’s degree
  • 3 years of project management experience
  • 35 hours of project management education

OR

  • Secondary degree or high school diploma
  • 5 years of project management experience
  • 35 hours of project management education

OR

  • Postgraduate degree
  • 2 years of project management experience
  • 35 hours of project management education

There may be no cost incurred in your degree or experience, but there is when it comes to the 35-hour project management education.

Five Components of the PMP Certification Cost

The PMP Certification cost is composed of the 35-hour project management education, PMI Membership Fee (optional), PMP Exam Fee,  exam preparation costs, and the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) cost.

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Project Management Education

This component of the PMP certification cost is the most flexible and negotiable one. The cost depends on the provider and it also goes down significantly  if it’s an online training.

So which project management education option do you have?

PMP Exam Prep - Live Review, In-person Training (“Boot Camp”)

PMP Boot Camps are usually conducted in-person, for three to five days during the week or over consecutive weekends. Taking a live review course is a lot like taking a college course – you show up to a designated time and location  with other PMP candidates, and receive instruction from a professor.While most kinesthetic students are familiar with the advantages of live instruction, please keep in mind the following disadvantages:

  • Live review can be less efficient. These reviews tend to be a full-day review. The average learner cannot retain focus for hours on end.  Depending on your learning style, it may not be an effective form of training if you have difficulties retaining focus for long periods of time. You also need to follow the pace of the entire class, which may be too slow or too fast for you.
  • It can be less flexible than self-study. With a live, in-person PMP training,there is a set schedule you must follow. The set schedule does not account for possible life interruptions. In some cases, review providers may cancel or reschedule the training due to low attendance. Another thing to consider is their money-back, pass guarantee requirements. Most live training providers require you to take the exam four to six weeks after the course to meet their ‘pass guarantee’ requirements.
  • More costly than self-study. To account for expenses such as the classroom space and the instructor’s time, in-person, live review courses can be fairly costly. The average cost of in-person PMP training is $2,000, but it can go up as high as $3,000, not to mention the additional cost of supplemental study tools or travel expenses.

PMP Exam Prep - Instructor-led, Online Training (“Boot Camp”)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can now take your PMP exam preparation online. This PMP online training course will help you obtain the knowledge and tools you need to pass the PMP exam.

This online boot camp is just the same as the in-person training course. The only difference is that you’ll take it online due to social distancing protocols. You will be taught by an instructor in a live classroom setup with all the same exam preparation materials as in-person training.

 You can choose over a variety of online course options that best fits your schedule. The cost of instructor-led online training ranges from $200 – $2000.

PMP Exam Prep - Self-paced, Online Training

If it’s difficult for you to engage in a set schedule that the boot camp style training provides either live or virtual, there are self-paced, online training sessions you can take on your own time and from anywhere as long as you have internet access. 

Self-study, online training provides more flexibility than in-person or instructor-led virtual training. You can set your own pace, study more or less in a day, whatever works best for you.  Compared to the boot camps, self-paced online training is far more cost effective. The cost of self-paced online training ranges from $299 – $995. This also depends on the length of time you have access to the course.

Other ways to fulfill the project management education requirements

In addition to a PMP Exam prep courses outlined above, there are other ways to satisfy the project management eductation requirements that vary in cost. These options include:

  • Employer/company-sponsored programs (no cost to the employee)
  • PMI chapter meetings if at least one hour of a chapter meeting is spent conducting a learning activity (cost depends on PMI membership status)
  • University/college academic and continuing education programs
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PMI Membership

The PMI Membership is optional. Whether you’re a member or not, you can still take the PMP Certification. The only difference is the amount you’ll have to pay for the exam fee.

If you’re a PMI Member, you’ll be entitled for a discount and can save $10. If not, the regular rate will be applied. To be a member, you have to pay the membership fee of $139 for a one year subscription.

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PMP Study Materials

If you’re planning to buy any PMP study guide, that will add up to your PMP exam cost. The cost also varies depending on whether it’s a soft copy or a hard copy. Other components that can cause your cost to fluctuate are the author and the publisher.

Training providers usually include a study guide, PMP exam sample questions, flash cards and mind maps. But if you plan to study by yourself, you’ll have to incur all of these to your costs along with exam simulators if you’re planning to get one.

On average, you might spend around $100 for any preparation resources you’re planning to purchase.

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PMP Exam Fees

The PMP exam fee depends on the type of exam you’re planning to take, whether it’s your first take, reexamination, or continuing certification renewal. As mentioned above, a PMI member will be entitled for a discount, so it’s best to apply for a membership first if you want to trim down your costs. Here’s the breakdown of fees:

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CCR and Renewal Fees

After obtaining your PMP certification, you need to renew your credential every three years. To do this, you have to earn 60 PDUs and apply for the PMP renewal process.

The most convenient way to earn PDUs is by taking online PDU courses and submitting your earned PDUs online through PMI.org profile. Follow these steps to start with the renewal process:

1. Earn 60 PDUs.

2. Fill up the renewal application form.

3. Re-confirm you abide with the PMI Code of Ethics.

4. Pay for the renewal fee.

5. Wait for confirmation email from PMI.

For PMI members, PMP renewal fee is $60 and $150 for non-members. If you earn 60 PDUs earlier, you might not need to wait for three years to complete your PMP certification renewal.

Your PMP exam costs are worth it with all the benefits the certification can give you. You just have to manage your budget well and make informed and cost-effective decisions. Good luck on your PMP Certification journey!