Is It Worth It to Become a PMP?

Quite a few Project Managers are hesitant to get the PMP certification because they don’t it will add value to their career. Since studying for the PMP and passing the test is usually hard, one has to be sure if the invested efforts are actually worth it. So, is it worth it or not to become a PMP?

To answer this question, we need to examine the following:

  • Salary: The PMP certification has a positive effect on the Project Manager’s salary, as the average salary for PMP certified Project Managers is currently above the $100k mark in the United States (2009 statistics). Thus, PMPs enjoy one of the highest salaries with respect to the necessary education and experience to reach this salary, considering that a Project Manager can pass the PMP exam by studying hard for only a few months.
  • Market Demand: The demand for the PMP is big, and it’s growing every day, and there is no sign that this demand will lessen in time. In fact the demand has actually increased even with the the 2008-2009 recession.
  • Prestige and Recognition: The PMP is still a prestigious certification, with difficult eligibility criteria, a hard test, as well as requiring constant maintenance (e.g. acquiring PDUs). The PMP certification is highly regarded both in the United States and internationally.
  • Increased Project Management Knowledge: This is the last point in this list because, ironically, it is the least important for applicants, and rightly so: Real and solid Project Management knowledge is acquired by experience, and there’s no substitute for that. However, studying for the PMP will often help the applicant learn new Project Management concepts, or understand a few concepts that were a bit ambiguous. Again, it is worthy to stress that this factor is of the least importance, especially for seasoned Project Managers.


There’s no denying, it’s not that easy to become a PMP, but the good news is that it doesn’t take a lot of time (the monetary investment to become a PMP is trivial and is usually paid by the company): a few months of concentrated studies are sufficient for most people to pass the exam. The positive results will be harvested both financially and professionally for many years to come. Is the PMP worth it? Definitely!

© 2009 Project Management Learning – Reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Project Management Learning.

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