Requirements for PMP Certification: A Comprehensive Overview

In pursuing the PMP certification, one aspect that requires careful consideration is the set of requirements you must meet. The PMP certification requirements are crucial in determining your eligibility for this esteemed project management certification. Primarily, you need to demonstrate substantial work experience in project management to fulfill the Requirements for PMP Certification.

Requirements for PMP Certification: A Comprehensive Overview

In this in-depth blog post, we will dive into the various aspects of the PMP certification requirements and provide you with essential information to navigate this crucial aspect of the PMP certification exam process.

Understanding the Significance of PMP Certification Requirements

The PMP certification is highly regarded worldwide, with a limited number of professionals holding this coveted certification. PMP project managers are in immense demand across a wide variety of industries and organizations. To maintain the credibility and reputation of the PMP certification, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has established stringent requirements. These requirements ensure that only deserving individuals who possess the necessary project management experience qualify for the certification.

Essential Requirements for PMP Certification

To be eligible for the PMP certification, you must have accumulated a specific amount of professional experience in leading and directing projects. Let's break down the requirements for the PMP certification:

1. For individuals with a 4-year bachelor’s degree or higher, the PMP experience requirement is 36 months of managing, leading, and directing projects.

2. If you have less than a 4-year bachelor’s degree, such as a high school diploma or an associate degree, the PMP experience requirements increase to 60 months of managing, leading, and directing projects.

In addition to the project management experience requirements, you must complete a PMP certification training course, which grants you the 35 contact hours necessary for the PMP application process as mandated by PMI.

Determining Your PMP Eligibility

To determine if you meet the PMP certification requirements, carefully reflect on the experience you have gained throughout your career and identify which of those experiences qualify as projects. PMI defines projects as temporary endeavours to achieve specific goals or objectives, often involving a team. Differentiating between project work and regular business activities, known as "business as usual (BAU)," is crucial. Identifying and articulating your project management experience accurately is crucial in meeting the PMP experience requirements and ensuring a successful application.

Demonstrating Your Experience for PMP Certification

To showcase your relevant project management experience, it is essential to draft the application in the recommended project description format provided by PMI. This format requires you to outline the project's objectives, outcomes, roles, responsibilities, and deliverables. Following this required format enables you to demonstrate your experience and fulfill the PMP experience requirement effectively.

The Application Process for PMP Certification

Once you have confirmed that you satisfy the PMP certification requirements, the next step is to complete the PMP application process and become PMP certified. Here are the steps involved:

1. Register on the PMI Website: Create a free account on the PMI website and access the online application for PMP certification.

2. Complete the PMP Application: Fill in the required information, including your project management experience details, academic and project management education, contact hours, and professional background.

3. Review and Submit: Thoroughly review your application for accuracy and completeness before submitting it to PMI.

4. Pay the PMP Exam Fees: Once your PMP application is approved, you must pay the PMP exam fees to proceed.

Volunteer Hours and Side Hustles for PMP Experience

PMI recognizes the value of managing and directing projects within a professional environment. Accepting volunteer work depends on the nature of the projects you have undertaken; if the projects were conducted in a business setting or had a positive societal impact, PMI is likely to accept them. Side hustles can also contribute to meeting the PMP experience requirements if they involve project management roles and utilize project management skills.

The Role of PMI Membership and Exam Costs

Contrary to popular misconception, a PMI membership is not mandatory to apply for the PMP certification. However, being a PMI member offers advantages such as exam fee discounts, access to valuable resources, networking opportunities, and reduced member prices for exams. The PMP exam costs vary based on PMI membership status, with members enjoying a discounted rate.

Meeting PMP Certification Requirements Without Managing All Project Aspects

It is common for project management professionals to work in specific areas rather than covering all aspects of a project. PMI acknowledges this and allows you to consolidate relevant project management experience from diverse projects to meet the PMP experience requirements. You can focus on your specific areas of expertise while demonstrating your project management skills and experience.

The Required Contact Hours for PMP Eligibility

You must complete 35 hours of formal project management training to fulfill the PMP certification requirements. You can obtain this training through various methods, such as classroom-based courses, self-paced courses, or blended learning environments. Enrolling in PMP training courses explicitly covering the PMP exam syllabus is crucial to ensure your eligibility.

Applying for the Exam after Completing the Course

PMI requires you to have completed a project management training course and obtained the 35 contact hours certificate before applying for the PMP certification. You will need to enter the start and end dates of your course when filling out the PMP application. The contact hours certificate provided by your PMP training provider is essential in case of a PMI audit.

Timeframe for Completing the PMP Exam

Upon approval of your PMP application, PMI provides a one-year window to take and complete the PMP examination. Within this one year, you are allowed to sit for the exam a total of three times if needed.

What to Do If You Cannot Meet PMP Certification Requirements?

If you find that you do not meet the project management experience criteria initially, it is recommended to seek additional experience managing projects before reapplying. Alternatively, consider pursuing the CAPM certification if you do not satisfy the PMP experience requirements at this point.

PMP Certification for Non-Project Management Professionals

While the PMP certification primarily targets professionals with project management experience, individuals with at least 3 to 5 years of work experience as team leaders or functional managers can still be eligible. Suppose you can demonstrate leadership, team management, stakeholder engagement, project documentation creation, and significant project-related decision-making. In that case, you can be approved for the PMP certification exam, even without holding a specific project management job.

For a comprehensive PMP certification training and preparation solution, we offer the PMP Blended Programme, which includes personalized coaching, support, exam guidance, and mentorship from a PMP coach. Additionally, it provides over 40 hours of detailed course videos, tailored study plans, assistance with PMP application approval, 35 contact hours, practice exams, and regular classroom training sessions.


Understanding and meeting the requirements for PMP certification is crucial for anyone aspiring to attain this highly recognized credential. By carefully considering and fulfilling the PMP experience requirements, completing the necessary training, and following the application process, you can set yourself on the path to becoming a certified PMP professional.