Time, Effort and Budget Required for Getting and Maintaining the PMP Certification

graphic showing the title of the page: pmp certification cost, time and efforts

When considering whether to pursue the PMP® Certification, the first thing you will need to do is to estimate the PMP® Certification cost, time and efforts required and whether these are within your allowance before diving into your PMP® study. PMP® is a really hard examination that requires a lot of time and efforts. This post will give you some ballpark figures on the cost and amount of time to begin working with.

Input: Time and Effort

The PMP® Certification Exam

Just as any examination, the time and effort required for preparing the PMP® Certification varies widely from PMP® to PMP®. Some can pass it with just 1 week of study while others spend over 6 months to be fully prepared. According to a recent survey of PMP®s, PMP® candidates mostly need to spend at least 2 months for PMP® study. The chart below shows the time (in months) required to prepare for the PMP® certification among the 100 PMP®s surveyed in the study. 32% of them needs 2 months while 23% needs 3 months. Only about 8% needs 1 month or less.

From the same survey, it was found that the average PMP® needs to spend around 3 hours each day on PMP® study. The time also varies a lot. Some needs 4 hours per day while some just need 1-2 hours.

But for the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that it takes 2 months of really hard study with 3 hours each day for successfully passing the PMP® Certification exam.

pmp efforts

Renewing Your PMP® Credential

PMI® requests every PMP® to earn at least 60 PDUs for each 3-year cycle. Each PDU is equivalent to 1 hour of project management education or service. You will need an extra of 60 hours each 3 year to renew your PMP®, plus the administration time for keeping and reporting the PDUs.

Input: Money – The PMP® Certification Cost

The PMP® Certification Exam

The following is an estimation for the normal people without previous project management education. Items for the PMP® Certification cost may include the following:

  1. Signing up for a PMI® membership (US$139)
  2. The PMP® Certification Fee (US$405)
  3. 35 Hours Project Management Education (~US$200, depending on courses)
  4. PMP® Exam Prep Reference Book (~US$100, depending on courses)

The PMP® Certification cost would be around US$1000 here. However, be reminded that the budget would go over US$2000 if you choose a PMP® boot camp and acquire some paid PMP® practice exam.

pmp budget

Renewing Your PMP® Credential

After you have successfully passed the PMP® Certification exam, you will be required to earn at least 60 PDUs per 3-year cycle. There are many ways to earn your PDUs for free,  yet as the PDUs are classified as categories that may have upper limits per cycle, you will at least need to pay for the PMI® membership fee in order to earn enough PDUs. Again for simplicity, let’s assume that you just make use of the PDU opportunities provided by PMI® as a member, you will need to pay US$129 X 3 for each 3-year cycle, i.e. US$ 387.

The Next Step >>

If the PMP® certification cost and time inputs look okay to you, then it time to get to know the various way to get the 35 contact hour for project management education.

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5 Proficient Pass 2nd Try