If you’ve ever thought about becoming a Project Management Professional and getting Certified – (PMP), you’re certainly feeling: How long does it take to become a PMP?

In case you are having doubts and getting emotional about it, you are in the right place. In this article, we’ve curated information with everything you need to know about becoming a PMP plus the time it takes to do so.

How long does it take to get the PMP certification?

The time required to obtain the PMP certificate varies according to each candidate’s work experience and education.

However, in the first instance, to become a PMP you need between three and five years of work experience. Also, it will depend on whether or not you have a bachelor’s degree.

high school

If you don’t have at least a four-year degree, you must have a minimum of 60 months of work and project management experience before applying for the PMP certification.

However, those 60 months should be included in experience in each of the five project management process groups—planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.

In addition, it is important that you have completed 35 hours of differentiated professional training, also known as “contact hours”.

University education

In contrast, if you have a higher education degree, just 36 months of project management experience is enough to earn certification. However, the “35 contact hours” requirement remains mandatory.

Steps to Earn the PMP Certification

The PMP certification process includes professional career experience, contact hours in the PMP certification course, plus time to prepare and take the exam. The steps you need to obtain the PMP certification are as follows:

Registering for the PMP Course

The best way to meet the 35-hour professional development requirement is to register for a PMP certification course. For this, you need to decide whether you are going to study these hours in person or online.

However, online courses are generally taken with satisfaction, which allows completion of the course from anywhere in the world.

On the other hand, face-to-face courses tend to be more rigid. However, these courses also offer more opportunities to collaborate and interact with instructors and other students.

Application for a diploma

Once you have completed the practical requirements and the PMP certification course, you can register for the exam. To do this, you will need to fill out a PDF form on the Project Management Institute (PMI) website.

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive a response from PMI within three to five days.

Please note that you do not need to submit any documents with your application, but you should be prepared in case you undergo an audit.

PMI will randomly select audit candidates during the application period. If the application is accepted, the applicant must submit the necessary documents for the audits within 90 days.

Planning an audit

Once the application has been approved by PMI, the candidate will receive a unique identification, which must be provided when registering for the exam. PMI recommends that you schedule your audits well in advance of your desired testing date.

However, the PMI certification exam can be taken in person at a testing center or on a computer. The format of the test is the same regardless of where or how it is performed.

That said, it contains 180 multiple-choice questions covering different project management styles and concepts.

The test lasts four hours, with two 10-minute breaks for online candidates. Candidates who take the exam in person are not entitled to breaks.

study and preparation

Everyone learns something at their own pace and in their own way. In that sense, only you can decide how much time you need to spend studying and preparing for the PMP exam.

If you are looking for resources to help you prepare for the PMP exam, one tip is to look for PMI-accredited training partners, corporate-sponsored programs, training schools and universities.

Also try to develop a training plan and consider taking practice exams, such as the PMI-approved paid exam ($99).

PMP Exam Structure

Once you have completed the prerequisites and paid the exam fee ($405 for PMI members, $555 for others), you are ready to take the PMP exam.

However, PMI does not publish the pass rate for the PMP exam. With that, the most reliable way to test is to make sure you get at least 75% on the practical test. This is not a tolerated rule, it should help you pass the exam.

If necessary, retake the PMP certification exam

Once PMI confirms your eligibility to take the exam, you have 1 year to take it. Also, within that same year you can take the exam again up to three times. Currently, the cost of the retest is USD 375, or USD 275 for PMI members.

Certification Support

After passing the PMP exam, you will need to keep your skills and knowledge up to date. This can be done by attending courses in PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program.

Additionally, to maintain your PMP certification, you must renew every three years, during which time you must earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs).

That said, if you don’t have a valid certificate, it will be revoked for one year. However, once the required PDUs have been completed, the PMP certificate can be renewed. PMI members are charged US$60 and non-members US$150.