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Requirements for the PMP exam
By Chrisitan Bisson

Making the decision to apply for the PMP exam can be hard, and not knowing where to start can be a real demotivator sometimes, so I hope this will help you get a head start. Note that depending of your education, the requirements vary:

If you have a secondary degree

Includes high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent.

  • 35 hours of project management education. There are many courses available, and some will not require to physically be in a class.
  • Five years of project management experience. If you manage two projects in parallel for 3 months, it does not count as 6 months;

  • 7,500 hours leading and directing projects;

  • Hours and time are accumulated while you manage projects or parts of them, it doesn’t mean you officially are a project manager where you work.

If you have a four-year degree

Includes bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent.

  • 35 hours of project management education. There are many courses available, and some will not require to physically be in a class. The PM Prep class is a great example where you watch videos, and pass a small exam in order to receive your hours.
  • 3 years of project management experience. If you manage two projects in parallel for 3 months, it does not count as 6 months.

  • 4,500 hours leading and directing projects.

  • Hours and time are accumulated while you manage projects or parts of them, it doesn’t mean you officially are a project manager where you work.

Tips if you are not yet eligible

  • Make a list of all the projects you manage as you go on. Note the hours you spend on each of them separated by a process groups (initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, closing). This will become your best friend while you apply for the exam; and
  • For each project, note who was your superior in case of an audit. It may be especially helpful if you have worked in different places; and

  • Once you have passed your exam, it’s important to know you will have to gather 60 credits per 3 years to keep your certification. You may want to start searching and noting sources of PDU (webinars, books, Seminars, etc); and

  • Visit the PMI’s website for lots of resources, and if you have any specific questions, contact them; they are really helpful!

Christian Bisson is a project manager from Montreal, QC, Canada. His PM experience is concentrated in the Internet world, and he helped deliver over a 100 projects over his PM years. You can read more from Christian on his blog.

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