What is the right Project Management Certification for You?

Q1. What is the difference between the CAPM and the Project Management Professional (PMP)®?

Note: Both credentials are issued through Project Management Institute (PMI)

A: The CAPM recognizes a demonstrated understanding of the fundamental knowledge, processes and terminology as defined in the PMBOK® Guide that are needed for effective project management performance.
It is intended for individuals that participate in project teams or who provide expertise or serve as project sponsors, facilitators, liaisons or coordinators.
To apply for the CAPM, you need:

  • High school diploma, an associate’s degree, or the global equivalent,
  • 23 hours of project management education (without work experience) OR 1500 hours of professional experience on a project team (without project management education)

The PMP® recognizes demonstrated experience, education and competence in leading and directing project teams. If you’re an experienced project manager looking to solidify your skills, stand out to employers and maximize your earning potential, the PMP credential is the right choice for you.

To apply for the PMP, you need to have either:

  • A four-year degree (bachelor’s or the global equivalent) and at least three years of project management experience, with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education


  • A secondary diploma (high school or the global equivalent) with at least five years of project management experience, with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education

Q2. What are the benefits of joining PMI while pursuing the PMI Certification?

A: PMI members have the distinct advantage of being part of the world’s largest project manager member association. PMI members stay on the pulse of what is happening locally, regionally and globally in the project management profession by reading all the industry publications delivered directly to their inbox. PMI members can also access thousands of e-books, articles, white papers, trade publications and more to keep their project skills sharp. As part of a global community of project managers, PMI members can connect with other project professional by getting involved in chapters and communities of practice. Plus, PMI members receive special pricing on exam fees, online purchases, events and professional development opportunities.

Q3. Does PMI offer a discounted membership rate for students?

A: Yes. Individuals who qualify for student membership can receive a discounted rate of US $40 – which means students can also access the same knowledge resources and professional networks as regular members do. PMI student members also receive special pricing on exam fees, online purchases, events and professional development opportunities.

Q4. Does getting the CAPM make sense if I’m already a professional, but want to change to a career in project management?

A: Absolutely! The CAPM is recognized by business professionals around the world as confirmation that your skills have met an exacting professional standard and you are familiar with the processes and terminology for effective project management.



PMI is governed by a 15-member volunteer Board of Directors. Each year PMI members elect five directors to three-year terms. Three directors elected by others on the Board serve one-year terms as officers.

Day-to-day PMI operations are guided by the Executive Management Group and professional staff at the Global Operations Center located near Philadelphia. Learn more about our Board and executives.

What is PMI?

PMI is the world’s largest not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession. Our professional resources and research empower more than 700,000 members, credential holders and volunteers in nearly every country in the world to enhance their careers, improve their organizations’ success and further mature the profession.

PMI’s worldwide advocacy for project management is reinforced by our globally recognized standards and certification program, extensive academic and market research programs, chapters and communities of practice, and professional development opportunities.


We offer seven certifications that recognize knowledge and competency, including the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification held by nearly 650,000 practitioners worldwide. Salaries and career opportunities for credential holders show that employers recognize the value delivered by trained practitioners. Learn more about our upcoming PMP courses.

Global Standards

PMI’s standards for project, program and portfolio management are the most widely recognized standards in the profession — and increasingly the model for project management in business and government.

They are developed and updated by thousands of PMI volunteers with experience in every type of project, and provide a common language for project management around the world.

Chapters and Community

Much of our activity takes place in 280 geographic chapters that are open to PMI members and led by volunteers. Participate to enjoy events, meet new peers, network and share your knowledge and experience.

ProjectManagement.com is PMI’s Knowledge Portal and a place where all project managers can discover more content and participate in a diverse, vibrant, global community.

Training and Education

PMI offers a wide range of professional development opportunities, from our SeminarsWorld® and e-learning courses to PMI global congresses and other events.

You can also turn to more than 1600 Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s) for project management training and continuing development. For those in college, the PMI Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs has recognized nearly 100 degree programs in institutions worldwide.


The PMI Research Program, the most extensive in the field, advances the science, practice and profession of project management. It expands project management’s body of knowledge through research projects, symposiums and surveys, and shares it through publications, research conferences and working sessions.