Project Management Certification: Preparation Tips and Requirements

Project managers play many roles. The position often includes idea development and organization, assembly and direction of the team, and budget management. Sometimes it may include other responsibilities like project fundraising. Project managers must continuously prove their abilities, but it is the certification that helps them to have the opportunity to excel in their career.

When to Certify

Certification takes place when the manager has adequate provable experience in the role. The requirements include 4,500 – 7,500 hours in a project leadership position and 35 hours of education for the position. Candidates for certification that hold a four-year degree need fewer experience hours than high school graduates or those with a two-year degree. The requirement is not that the candidate have prior project management experience, but experience in the role of a team leader.

How to Prepare

Candidates with the hours and other requirements needed to qualify for the exam should sign up for a PMP Exam Preperation Course. The course reviews all the information included on the PMP exam. The 200-question exam includes a broad range of topics that project managers should understand. Experts recommend that candidates enter study groups and begin study sessions as soon as possible. The test is complex and has an estimated first-time pass rate of about 50 percent.

Where to Start

Apply to an institute that offers the PMP exam. Be prepared to prove that all qualifications have been met. Use all the study guides, take the preparation course and seek out supplemental study guides as well. Sign up for the exam as soon as possible, but make certain to leave adequate time to prepare. Most certified project managers recommend at least a couple months of serious study before attempting the exam.

Certification as a project manager enables all job candidates to have global recognition of their understanding of the position. The effort to obtain certification will typically result in a higher salary as well as the potential for more employment opportunities. Certified project managers are also offered more challenging and interesting projects as well. Anyone that wants to advance their career will eventually need to take the certification test.