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Dec

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pmp vs capm

PMP Certification vs. CAPM Certification

The PMP Certification is one of the best project management certifications and is intended for experienced project managers who want to get a formal certification which proves they are serious about their job. To become a Project Management Professional, you need satisfy certain requirements and pass the PMP test. A lot of project managers find that the PMP is the best certification a project manager can have due to its prestige and renown all over the world. The CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) is another project management certification offered by PMI. This certification was introduced a few years after the PMP was offered in 1998 and has become quite popular with project managers as well.  Which one is right for you?

Here’a s quick breakdown:

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

PMI certifies project team members as Certified Associate in Project Management or CAPMs. The certification process requires a candidate to document their work experience and pass an on-line exam. Here is the full requirement for the CAPM:

  • Number of scored questions: 135
  • Number of pretest (unscored) questions: 15
  • Question type: Multiple-choice
  • Time allowed: 3 hours
  • Educational background: Secondary diploma (high school diploma, or global equivalent)
    • Required project management experience: 1500 hours of work on a project team
      • or
    • Project management education:23 hours of formal project management education
  • Exam Fee for CBT: $225 for PMI members and $300 for non-members
  • Maintenance Requirement: Re-exam after 5 years for recertification

The full detailed requirement can be found in the PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) Handbook (PDF)

The requirements for applying for the CAPM Certification are a lot less demanding than those the PMP needs, which is one of the main differences between these two credentials. The price of taking the certification exam is less expensive for the CAPM exam than it is for the PMP exam. The exam for the CAPM is shorter than that of the PMP test in terms of length and time (oh, and it’s also easier). The major difference between the exam questions is that the questions on the CAPM exam are pretty much definitions from the PMBOK Guide. As for the PMP exam questions, those are all situational and will require you to make decisions based on your experience of what the “best” thing to do is. The last difference is that the CAPM is valid for 5 years and then you’ll need to retake the exam or apply for the PMP certification. Once you get that, you will need to earn your PDUs in order to maintain your status as a Project Management Professional.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

PMI certifies project managers who lead and direct project teams as professionals, or PMPs. The certification process requires a candidate to document their work experience and pass an on-line exam. Here is the full requirement for the PMP:

  • Number of scored questions: 175
  • Number of pretest (unscored) questions: 25
  • Question type: Multiple-choice
  • Time allowed: 4 hours
  • Educational background:
    • Category 1: Secondary degree (high school diploma, or global equivalent)
    • Category 2: Four year degree (bachelor’s degree or global equivalent)
  • Required project management experience:
    • Category 1: Minimum 60 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience during which at least 7,500 hours were spent leading and directing the project
    • Category 2: Minimum 36 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience during which at least 4,500 hours were spent leading and directing the project
  • Project management education: 35 hours formal education
  • Exam Fee: $405 for PMI members and $555 for non-members
  • Continuing Requirement: Earn 60 PDUs within 3-year cycle
 

The full detailed requirement can be found in the PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) Handbook (PDF)

The PMP Certification is best suited for project managers who have years of professional experience in project management and want the certification to validate their skills and acquire some new ones along the way. A PMP is not intended for a new project manager or project team member who isn’t fully responsible for leading a project from the beginning to the end. The CAPM Certification on the other hand is for new graduates who would like to start working in a position that requires knowledge of certain project management terminology and would like to demonstrate that they have a clear understanding of the main PM concepts.

Preparation for both exams can be done using books, seminars, websites, or pmp certification bootcamps.

To conclude, the CAPM is a certification which is intended for new graduates or individuals with little project management experience who would like to pursue a higher level project management position in the future. The PMP certification is for project managers who already have experience but would like to gain a competitive edge over others.

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