Am I Eligible to Get PMP Certified?

No one wants to fail an important exam like the PMP®. But perhaps an even worse fate is saying “yes” to intense hours of study while putting other areas of your life on hold…only to realize that you were never eligible to take the PMP in the first place. That’s why confirming your eligibility FIRST is such an important step. See the questions and details below to ensure you are eligible to take the PMP BEFORE you start studying or pursuing a prep course.

What are the requirements for PMP certification?

To confirm your PMP certification eligibility, you’ll want to make sure you meet the following PMP requirements:

A four-year degree
36 months leading projects
35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM® Certification
— OR —
A high school diploma or an associate’s degree (or global equivalent)
60 months leading projects
35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM® Certification

What counts as project management experience?

PMI (The Project Management Institute) defines a project manager as “the person assigned to lead the team that is responsible for achieving the project objectives.” If you performed this role on a project– regardless of whether your official job title was “project manager,” this experience is likely to count.


Your experience also needs to be from the last eight years and in a professional setting. While PMI doesn’t explicitly define what is meant by “professional setting”, they do say that “student projects” and “planning personal events” do not qualify. Some unpaid projects may count if you can provide compelling evidence that it was done in a professional setting. That said, to improve your chances of having your application approved, you may want to avoid listing unpaid or non-traditional projects, as here, “professional setting” seems to be somewhat subjective, with your application hinging on the “yes” of the unique PMI reviewer.

Can I include work I did while self-employed in my PMP application?

Yes. If audited, you may need to have a customer ready to list as a “point of contact” to vouch for your work.

How recent does my project management experience need to be?

Your experience needs to be from the past eight years, though your months of experience do not need to be consecutive.

Do I need to have both Agile and Traditional project management experience?

No, however, be aware that 50% of the exam is over Agile or Hybrid project frameworks. If you don’t have direct Agile experience, you may need to do more work to prepare for the PMP exam, including studying with an authorized training partner.

Do I need to have documentation or references to support my experience?

If you are audited, you will need to have the managers or points of contact you listed on your application verify that the experience you’ve reported is correct and truthful. Your points of contact can send their references electronically. You can update your audit package to reflect a new reference if a reference has not responded.


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