A Beginner’s Guide to Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification

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A Beginner’s Guide to Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification


Vaishnavi Shah

Published December 7, 2022

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Most start-ups and enterprises fail because they lack capable project managers. This is because they are responsible for mapping out the entire project, from planning to execution, to ensure success. Unfortunately, most projects are complex and have multi-dimensional aspects. Things can go sideways fast without proper planning, organizing, and monitoring. 

And this is why pursuing a PMP certification helps. 

PMP certification is offered by the world-renowned Project Management Institute (PMI) to help project managers lead projects of high complexity by equipping them with knowledge and experience about the industry’s latest tools, practices, and technologies. 

However, acing the exam is not an easy journey. 

To help you prepare for the certification, we have created a detailed outline of various aspects of the PMP certification, including its career scope and examination details. Let’s dig in. 

Career Path in PMP

The career path in PMP opens many lucrative opportunities for candidates to explore. Before getting into them in-depth, let’s look at some key statistics: 

It is a clear indication that the demand for PMP-certified holders isn’t going to die down any time soon. The demand for certificate holders will continue to rise across industries, such as healthcare, software development, cybersecurity, and more. With the increase in cloud adoption and major investments in digitalization, the complexity of projects is only going to increase. And this will require capable project managers to take over and eliminate financial losses, errors, and miscommunicated information. 

On that note, here is a brief outline of the top roles that PMP holders can pursue: 

  • Project Coordinators

Beginners in the project management field can become project coordinators. It is an entry-level position where you organize and monitor daily tasks and communicate reports to team members and the project manager. The payscale of project coordinators ranges between $66k to $175k based on their experience and skills. 

  • Portfolio Managers

A lucrative career path for PMP holders is portfolio management. The main difference between portfolio and project managers is that the former focuses on managing projects with long-term and strategic objectives. On the hand, the latter manages projects with short-term goals.  A portfolio manager ensures that the company has profitable projects for its portfolio and monitors them to ensure success. The average salary of a portfolio manager can range from $80k to $143k

  • Team Leaders

As a team leader, if you want to expand your career horizons, getting PMP-certified has many benefits. While the average salary for team leaders is $54k, you can grow it considerably with valid credentials and experience. You will understand how to guide, monitor, and lead teams toward success with PMP training. 

  • Assistant Project Managers

Like team leaders, assistant project managers can grow their careers with a PMP certification. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge to handle large projects of great complexity and showcase your leadership qualities. The average salary for an associate project manager is $65k per year in the United States, but you can grow your career by demonstrating your skills and expertise. 

  • Product Managers

They are part of the product development team and oversee the entire product development process, from design to maintenance. They communicate the product vision to the stakeholders and find newer ways to deliver customer value. A PMP certification can help product managers learn about managing people, processes, and technologies to ensure the success of projects, thereby increasing their career prospects. 

What Does a Project Manager Do?

If you are considering becoming a project manager, it makes sense to understand what they do and how diverse their role can be. To help you get the hang of the roles and responsibilities, here are five crucial things to consider:

  • Planning: They define the project scope, including the deliverables, timeline, resource requirements, and KPIs. They also communicate the details to the stakeholders and help them understand the vision. 
  • Budgeting: At the heart of project management is budgeting. Project managers ensure that every project has a realistic budget and is systematically adjusted. Inadequate budgeting is a common reason for project failures. That’s why project managers need to use advanced forecasting techniques. 
  • Managing: Overseeing the team’s progress and eliminating roadblocks is a vital responsibility of project managers. While multiple software programs are available to help them track project progress, managers should ensure a fluent communication flow between cross-functional teams. 
  • Guiding: The role of a project manager is diverse and ever-evolving because they have to deal with people, processes, and technologies. They also act as mentors to help their team stay motivated and grow individually. Using interpersonal skills, they navigate conflicts and ensure every member feels happy and valued. 
  • Reporting: Project managers set time aside to review data and report the deliverables. Many use advanced analytics software and other data-driven tools to understand whether the set expectations are met. After identifying improvement opportunities, they start making changes for better future outcomes. 

How Does PMP Certification Help?

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification from the prestigious Project Management Institute introduces predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches to experienced project managers to help them sharpen their skills and cope with increasingly complex project management challenges. 

 PMP certification can help you: 

  • understand predictive, Agile, and hybrid approaches.
  • effectively lead teams in an ever-changing business environment by strengthening your technical and soft skills.
  • apply technical aspects of project management such as initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing for successful execution. 
  • evaluate the external business environment to mitigate risks and deliver an impact.
  • become up-to-date with emerging trends and technologies to achieve the allocated targets more efficiently.

PMP Certification Requirements

While anyone is free to enroll in PMP training, there are requirements one should fulfill to get their certification. Below, we have broken down all the requirements listed by the world-renowned Project Management Institute.

Work Experience

Having relevant work experience is an essential requirement for PMP aspirants. Candidates with high school diplomas or associate degrees must have five years of experience leading projects. On the other hand, those with bachelor's degrees need three years of project management experience.

Project Management Training

You must complete 35 hours of training through an authorized trainer. You may enroll in in-person or online training, depending on your convenience. While there are many PMP certification training programs available, it is best to get trained by industry experts who will help you prepare for the exam and give you practical exposure through industry-driven case studies and simulations. 

Application Submission

This process involves applying for the examination and submitting the documentation that showcases that you meet the requirements stated by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It takes around five days to know your application status.

How to Get Started?

Now that we have covered what PMP-certified managers do and the criteria for the examination. Here’s a quick overview of how to get started: 

  • Check Whether You Meet the Criteria

The first step you need to take is to check whether you qualify for the exam. It includes verifying your experience with the above-listed criteria. When everything checks, ensure that you have a track of all the projects you have done so far and keep the documents ready for inspection in a PDF format. 

  • Enroll in a Training Program

We have stated above that training is critical for getting your certificate. So ensure that you enroll in an authorized training program. These programs have highly-vetted instructors who help you clear your doubts and explore advanced concepts. It also allows you to connect with other professionals and establish a professional network.   

  • Apply And Give the Examination

After your training, you can apply for the examination on the PMI website and submit the documents. After receiving a confirmation, you can pay the exam fee and take the test. 

  • Keep Refreshing Your Knowledge

Nothing remains static in the business world. That’s why, even after receiving your certification, you should keep refreshing your knowledge and be up-to-date with the latest industry developments. PMI offers insightful reports for professionals that you can easily download from the official site. There are also other project management courses to explore to boost your knowledge. 

The Bottom Line- It is Worth the Effort!

In a high-pressure working environment, there is a heightened need for outstanding project managers who exhibit leadership skills. While getting PMP-certified is worth the effort, it is not an easy-to-crack exam. That’s why you should cover every aspect as thoroughly as possible. It involves studying multiple guides, working on real-world projects, and giving practice exams.  

And if you want, you can enroll in our PMP training program. We are an authorized training partner of PMI, offering an immersive program that emphasizes critical concepts, emerging trends, and practices in project management to help you thrive in the highly competitive market. Check out our training page here for exclusive offers!

Master high-demand skills that will help you stay relevant in the job market!

Get up to 70% off on our SAFe, PMP, and Scrum training programs.

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