project management certifications

Consider getting a project management (PM) certification if you wish to become a project manager or develop your career in this industry. Several organizations certify professionals who can demonstrate organizational team techniques and leadership talents. Obtaining certification can improve your employment prospects and earnings potential.
In this post, we define a project management certification and provide a list of 19 certifications to consider pursuing.

What is a Project Management Certification?

Project management certifications are exams that verify a person’s project management knowledge, skills, and practical expertise. In most circumstances, issuing organizations provide a training or education program to help candidates prepare for the test.

Some organizations, such as the Project Management Institute (PMI), will require you to have a bachelor’s degree, months of project management experience, or even another project management certification in order to be admitted to the program.

Completing those training programs and earning a project management certification will help you advance your career in many ways, including staying current in a constantly changing profession, keeping up with the latest technology and practices, and earning better project manager pay.

You’ll need the correct project management tools once you’ve earned your project management certification.

The Benefits of Project Management Certifications

Whether you are a seasoned professional or a newcomer looking to enhance your career, there is a project management certification for you. These certifications serve as stepping stones to help you accomplish better, be better, and acquire opportunities you never imagined possible.
The following are some specific reasons for the necessity of project management certifications in today’s world:

#1. Global Recognition

There are well-known organizations and online portals, such as the Project Management Institute (PMI), that strive to provide ambitious professionals with world-class education and certifications. You become qualified to demonstrate your skills to firms all around the world once you obtain a certification from a reputable institute.

#2. Financial Benefits

Another compelling reason to consider earning a project management certification is the significant pay increase. According to a recent survey, if you are PMP certified, you can expect to earn up to 20% more than a non-certified project manager. This means that a good project management certification might increase your wages by 20%.

#3. More opportunity

A project management certification can help you acquire the trust of those in positions of authority. They aren’t hesitant to hand over a lucrative project to you when you achieve the necessary skill set. Certification also provides you with both knowledge and experience, allowing you to secure project management employment from top companies.

#4. Improved project performance

Certified project management experts outperform those who have no certification at all. A certified project manager understands the processes of initiation, planning, execution, and closing, as well as risk management and the application of best project management practices.

#5. A wise long-term investment

Given that these certifications aren’t as pricey as other specific examinations or courses, you should never underestimate the impact they can have on your career.

For example, you can take the PMP test for $555 or $405 if you are a PMI member. It will not empty your wallet. The passing rate is usually about 60%. To pass the test, you do not need any formal training. The nice part is that trained professionals are safe even during a financial crisis. Taking everything into consideration, it appears to be a wise professional investment.

Top Project Management Certifications

  • Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP)
  • Associate in Project Management (APM)
  • BVOP Certified Project Manager
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
  • Certified Project Director (CPD)
  • Certified Project Management (CPM)
  • Certified Project Manager (CPM-IAPM)
  • Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
  • CompTIA Project+
  • Master Project Manager (MPM)
  • PRINCE2 Foundation/PRINCE2 Practitioner
  • PRINCE2 Agile Foundation/Agile Practitioner
  • Professional in Project Management (PPM)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Program Manager Professional (PgMP)

#1. Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP)

The Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) certification, offered by the PMI, is intended to confirm your understanding of agile principles and competence with agile practices. Scrum, Kanban, Lean, extreme programming (XP), and test-driven development (TDD) are among the subjects covered in the exam. It is intended for those who work on agile teams or in agile organizations, and it focuses on seven major knowledge domains, including agile principles and mindset, value-driven delivery, stakeholder engagement, team performance, adaptive planning, problem detection and resolution, and continuous improvement.

Price: Members pay $435; non-members pay $495.

Qualifications: Candidates must have a secondary degree, 21 contact hours of agile practice training, 12 months of project experience in the last five years, or eight months of agile project experience in the last three years. A current PMP or PgMP certification can satisfy the 12-month experience requirement but is not necessary for the exam.

#2. Associate in Project Management APM

The Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM) Associate in Project Management (APM) certification is an entry-level project management certification that validates your core knowledge of the Project Management Framework. It is designed for persons with little to no project management expertise and comprises an online course that must be completed before taking the certification exam. The course covers subjects such as project management foundations, project management training, and all of the elements of the project management role that you will need to be successful. It is intended for managers and project team members, graduate and undergraduate students, entry-level practitioners, and anybody interested in a career in project management.

Price: $175

Qualifications: GAQM body of knowledge study and e-course required; no formal education or experience required

#3. BVOP Certified Project Manager

Business value-oriented principles (BVOP) is an agile-based paradigm that has gained traction in the United Kingdom. In all project management activities and procedures, BVOP promotes commercial value. The BVOP Certified Project Manager certification is designed for senior practitioners with project management and people management experience. Its emphasis on fostering a people-oriented culture distinguishes it from other project management certification programs.

Senior project managers, agile professionals, product managers and owners, Scrum masters, and business analysts are all eligible for this certification. The BVOP strategy fosters professional collaboration, and certification applicants not only acquire project and product management skills but also how to become more people-focused leaders. The exam comprises questions from the course materials’ project management, program management, and product management sections.

Price: $130

Qualifications: No prior professional project management expertise is necessary; online study guides and preparatory resources are accessible for free.

#4. Certified Associate in Project Management

The Project Management Institute (PMI) administers the Certified Associate in Project Management certification, which is the prerequisite for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification (see below). The CAPM is a stepping stone to the more demanding PMP for people without a college degree, with only minimal project management experience, or those who desire to acquire their PMP certification in stages rather than all at once.

Price: PMI members pay $225; non-members pay $300.

Qualifications: High school graduation, associate degree, or equivalent, and at least 1,500 hours of project management experience or 23 hours of project management coursework are required.

#5. Certified Project Director (CPD)

The GAQM’s Certified Project Director certification is the highest level of project management certification offered by the certifying body. This certification is intended for experienced project managers who are in charge of many, complex projects and programs. The certification focuses on managing, budgeting, and deciding the scope for various projects and project teams, as well as identifying and mitigating interdependent risks in order to successfully deliver projects. The CDP program is only available to persons with extensive project management experience.

Price: $280

Qualifications: Qualified candidates must have a bachelor’s, post-graduate, or global equivalent degree, as well as one of the following certifications: a PPM certification from GAQM, a PMP certification from PMI, a PRINCE2 Practitioner certification from APMG, or a CPM certification from GIAC.

#6. Certified Project Management (CPM)

Following the terrorist events of September 11, 2001, the EC-Council was founded to address concerns about cyberterrorism and national information security. The Certified Project Management certification course from EC-Council is designed for project managers who wish to benchmark their skills via hands-on experience and across numerous management approaches and tools required to successfully manage complex projects efficiently.

The course includes on-demand instructor-led training videos, online CyberQ Labs, a continuing education video subscription, and in-person or online live instructor-led training. The basic package includes a single video course, labs, e-courseware, and the certification exam; the mid-tier package includes the CodeRed continuing education video subscription and live instructor training; and the top-tier package includes an additional certification course, exam insurance, and online exam prep.

Price: $999 for a single video course package, $2,999 for an unlimited video course package, or $3,499 for the entire live-course bundle.

Qualification: There are no prerequisites.

#7. Certified Project Manager (CPM-IAPM)

The International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) offers the Certified Project Manager certification as an entry-level certification for those with a basic understanding of project management. It provides the information required to “theoretically plan, organize, and implement a project effectively,” according to the IAPM. It is intended for those who want to work in project management but do not have any prior expertise.

Project check, project environment, steering committees, core teams, construction of the Phase Model, production of the WBS, cost breakdown and budget, risk analysis, project review, and other topics are covered in the test. The certification covers a variety of hard and soft skills important to the profession of project management. The IAPM offers a Certified Junior Project Manager certification for newcomers and a Certified Senior Project Manager certification for those with substantial experience.

Price: The fee is determined by the candidate’s nationality, as pricing is dependent on the GDP of the candidate’s place of origin; in the United States, the exam costs $514.

Qualifications: There are no prerequisites, although IAPM provides courses through global training partners or recommended material for self-study. Candidates can also take a self-test to assess their understanding.

#8. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Agile approaches are already widely used, therefore it’s no surprise that IT professionals who are particularly prepared to manage projects in agile environments are in high demand. While there are other Scrum master certifications available, the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) from Scrum Alliance is an excellent starting point for project managers interested in becoming Scrum practitioners.

The Scrum Alliance, which provides this accreditation, is a non-profit organization that supports Scrum and agile methods, user groups and learning events, and professional development tools. Worldwide, the organization has about 450,000 certified practitioners.

Price: Price ranges from $995 to $1,395 depending on the training provider.

Qualifications: General Scrum knowledge is required, as is the completion of a two-day CSM training course.

#9. CompTIA Project+ Certification

The CompTIA Project+ certification is an entry-level accreditation for IT workers whose job obligations include managing smaller, less complex projects. Candidates for this certification should be familiar with managing project life cycles, keeping project documentation, managing resources and stakeholders, and ensuring proper communication.

The exam covers the fundamentals of project management, project limitations, communication, and change management, as well as project tools and documentation. IT project coordinators or managers, IT project team members, business analysts, managers, directors, or team leaders are the ideal candidates.

Price: $348

Qualifications: At least 12 months of cumulative project management experience or comparable education is required.

#10. Master Project Manager (M.P.M.)

The Master Project Manager (MPM) was designed by the American Academy of Project Management (AAPM) after the “professional licensure” paradigm was used by numerous professionals such as pilots, engineers, surgeons, and lawyers.

The AAPM concentrates on professional project managers, although it also includes business and technical management specialists. The MPM certification is intended for senior project managers and project directors with a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Price: Application, review, processing, review, initiation, and certification are all $300.

Qualifications: Three years of project management experience and training are required; waivers are granted for individuals with a master’s degree, other appropriate training and experience, the military, or project management teachers.

#11. PRINCE2 Practitioner/PRINCE2 Foundation

Projects in Controlled Environments (PRINCE2) are most known outside the United States, particularly in the United Kingdom and its government institutions. Axelos provides PRINCE2 certifications that focus on directing, managing, and delivering projects throughout all phases, including pre-project, initiation, delivery, and final delivery.

The PRINCE2 Foundation certification is an entry-level credential that tests fundamental project management vocabulary and methodology, whereas the Practitioner certification examines advanced project managers who have already obtained the PRINCE2 Foundation certification.

These certifications are intended for aspiring project managers, project board members, team managers, project assurance professionals, project support professionals, and operational line managers or personnel.

Price: Prices vary depending on the region.
PRINCE2 Foundation: PRINCE2 Foundation course; PRINCE2 Practitioner: PRINCE2 Foundation, Project Management Professional (PMP), CAPM, or an IPMA certification

#12. Agile Practitioner/PRINCE2 Agile Foundation

Axelos’ PRINCE2 Agile Foundation and Practitioner certifications are intended for those who work in agile environments and certify your understanding of PRINCE2 governance requirements, agile principles, and methodologies. The Foundation certification covers the PRINCE2 method’s principles as well as government needs and agile concepts like Scrum, Kanban, Lean Start-up, and Cynefin.

After passing the Foundation exam, you’ll be eligible for the PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner certification, which confirms your ability to apply the core knowledge acquired in the first exam in real-world management scenarios.

Price: Prices vary depending on the region.

Qualifications: There are no prerequisites for the Agile Foundation exam, however, you must pass it to be eligible for the Agile Practitioner certification.

#13. Professional in Project Management (PPM)

The GAQM Professional in Project Management (PPM) is a mid-level project management credential. GAQM project management certifications stress effective resource allocation, clear direction, adaptability to change, good communication, and guarantee of quality deliverables with little risk. The certification includes how to establish project measures, approach project control, and lead project teams, as well as how to plan, execute, control, and finish project schedules.

Project management foundations, project management training, effective planning and scheduling, team building, risk management, crisis management, time management, leadership skills, communication tactics, and knowledge management are all covered. The PPM is intended for intermediate to experienced project managers who are active in risk and crisis management as well as project day-to-day management.

Price: $340

Qualifications: GAQM body of knowledge study and e-course required; no formal education or experience required, although candidates should have at least some project management expertise to pass the exam.

#14. Professional in Project Management (PMP)

The Project Management Professional certification, issued by the PMI, is the gold standard in project management certifications. It is a demanding test that includes absolutely everything you need to establish your knowledge and skill in managing the “triple constraints”: time, cost, and scope.

The certification confirms your project leadership experience and skills, as well as your ability to assist organizations in working more efficiently and effectively. Managing conflict, leading teams, developing effective teams, training and empowering team members and stakeholders, executing projects to deliver business value, assessing and managing risks, engaging stakeholders, planning and managing budgets and resources, and other topics are covered in the test.

Price: $405 for PMI members, $555 for non-members for computer-based examinations; $250 for PMI members, and $400 for non-members for paper-based exams.

Qualifications: Four-year secondary degree plus three years of project management experience, 4,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours project management education or CAPM certification; or high school diploma, five years of project management experience, 7,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours project management education.

#15. Program Management Professional (PgMP)

The PMI’s Program Management Professional (PgMP) certification is intended for program managers who are senior-level practitioners in charge of furthering the organization’s strategic goals.

Candidates for this exam should have substantial expertise in managing many, related projects and negotiating complicated environments across departments, job functions, locations, or cultures in order to align results with company goals. Strategic program management, program life cycles, benefits management, stakeholder management, and governance are among the subjects covered in the exam.

Price: Members pay $800; non-members pay $1,000.

Qualifications: A secondary degree or global equivalent, 48 months of project management experience or a PMP certification, and 84 months of program management experience within the last 15 years are required; those with a four-year degree must have 48 months of project management experience or a PMP certification, as well as 48 months of program management experience within the last 15 years.

How Can You Get Ready for Project Management Certifications?

There are various methods for preparing for Project Management Certifications. Some people prefer to participate in study programs at globally known institutes, while others prefer to learn on their own.

The key to maximizing the benefits of Project Management Certifications is to make an informed selection on obtaining the “right” certification. It can only happen if you have chosen the correct course after considering its market scope, return on investment, and a variety of other job-related possibilities.

PMI exams typically consist of 200 questions. Experts estimate that 25 of the 200 queries are spontaneous. The difficulty curve of the computer-generated PMI Certification exam(s) is defined by these questions.

Furthermore, the vast majority of these certifications are founded on closed-book rules. Some institutes allow students to carry reference materials with them to consult, but PMI strongly discourages this practice.

Where Should You Begin with Project Management Certifications?

Consult with an industry expert to determine which certification will be most valuable to you in the future. Some experts claim that the only reason they pursued ScrumMaster, Agile, or Lean Business certifications was for the sheer thrill of it.

They were able to develop business and positively impact the “means to an end” mentality.
Regardless, project managers are well compensated for their abilities. Their remuneration is readily comparable to that of CEOs and other high-profile business positions.

How Long Does It Take To Obtain Certifications in Project Management?

Obtaining project management certifications might take up to 12 weeks, depending on your level of preparation and the prerequisites of your program.


A manager understands that the greatest approach to keep their abilities sharp is to constantly learn new things. Let us all make a promise right now to educate ourselves and earn the knowledge and credibility that will allow us to ascend the highest of ladders. My advice is to enroll in one of these project management certification courses right now to advance your career!

Best wishes!


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