PMP Exam Cost at a glance: Exam Fee, Training and Exam Prep Materials

The cost of PMP Certification does not just include the PMP exam fee. The PMP training and prep materials (books and practice exams) should be considered.

image for PMP Certification Cost, more than PMP Exam Fee

Updated in 2019: Getting PMP® Exam certified is not just about paying the several hundred PMP® Exam fee. This post on PMP® Exam fee will give you an overview of the actual PMP® certification cost involved, including the official PMP® exam fee, study materials and training costs.

You can read more about my PMP® certification journey as well as tips and tricks for the PMP® Exam here.

PMP® Certification Cost Consideration (Note: PMP® Cost is NOT just the PMP® Exam Fee only!)

Getting PMP® certified is certainly not cheap, the PMP® Exam fee (the computer based) alone is US$405 (for PMI members) / US$555 (for non-members) as documented in the PMP® Handbook:

Exam TypeExam Cost
Computer Based Testing (CBT)
– in an exam center or online exam
US$405 (for PMI members at the time of making payment)
US$555 (for non PMI members)
Paper Based Testing (PBT)US$250 (for PMI members at the time of making payment)
US$400 (for non PMI members)

But that’s NOT the only cost you will have to pay: you will need also to pay for PMP® Exam prep courses / books / sample practice exams, etc. The total cost of PMP® Certification can be very expensive and unexpected (that’s my personal feeling after making up my mind to get the PMP® title)!

My plan for getting PMP® certified was on hold when I learnt that the required “35 Contact Hours” might cost me over US$1000 dollars for the face to face lectures (it was much later when I learnt that I could get the “35 Contact Hours” through online courses for the price of under US$200 that I could finally began my own PMP® journey…)

PMP® Exam Costs with Cost Saving Tips

It is hoped that with the following cost-saving tips on PMP®, you would be able to achieve PMP® success without breaking your bank. Links to free PMP® resources are also included.

(Further reading: I got 4 Above Targets and 1 Target in my PMP® Exam, here is my study plan, materials, tips and more.)


Humantarget1. Join PMI as a paid member (US$139)

Joining PMI as a member is a MUST for every Aspirants (thought PMI does not require Aspirants to be PMI members). Read on to understand why.

Joining PMI is not a requirement for the PMP® examination, yet the benefits you get far outweigh the cost for the first year of membership fee. The annual membership fee plus the 1st time registration fee currently is US$139. And you have the option of joining your local PMI Chapters with a fee that is different for different Chapters (note: joining the local chapter is not required — just pay the local chapter fee if you would like to join chapter activities; otherwise, just remove it from your membership fee).

For the PMP® examination fee alone, the saving for being a PMI member (US$150 less) outweighs the first year membership fee!

Being a member, you can download a free copy of the latest edition PMBOK® Guide (and other standards/guides published by PMI) which is a must for the PMP® examination. Plus, after you have been PMP® certified, you will also be able to gain the required PMP® PDU (in education) for FREE through watching the webinars and joining the annual online conferences for members only.

I hate to say this but the PMI membership is a real bargain indeed.

(Note: the renewal fee for PMI membership is US$129 per year. I renew my PMI membership every year since the day of getting PMP® Certified. The PMI membership fee is my only expenditure for getting education PDUs. I can get discounts on my PMP® renewal fee and PMI-ACP® Exam fee. And more.)

Bill2. PMP® Certification Exam Fee (US$405)

The PMP® Exam Fee indicated above (US$405) is the official PMP® Certification exam fee for the computer based examination (CPT) for membership holders at Prometric exam centres or online.

For non-members, the exam fee is US$555. The difference of US$150 is enough to pay the first year of the PMI membership fee. That’s why the PMI Membership is a must!

PMI allows PMP® aspirants to take up to 3 PMP® Exams in the one-year eligibility period, and each exam retake (PMP® re-examination or re-exam) costs an additional PMP® Exam fee of US$275 (for PMI members) / US$375 (for non-members).

PMI has recently announced that the PMP® exam can now be taken online 24/7 from anywhere with a computer and internet connection. Taking the PMP® exam online can save you commute costs and even hotel expenses.

After considering the differential PMP® Exam Fees for members and non-members, joining PMI as a member is a no-brainer for PMP® aspirants!

Book3. Latest Edition of the PMBOK® Guide (Free for PMI Members)

The PMBOK® Guide is the official reference book for the PMP® Exam (yet it is very important for PMP® Aspirant to understand that the PMBOK® Guide is NOT the PMP® Exam syllabus).

Nearly every Aspirants will read the PMBOK® Guide once or more during their PMP® study. The PMBOK® Guide contains content that would not be found on other exam reference books and would appear in the real PMP® exam.

Currently, the PMBOK® Guide is being sold for US$48.78 on Amazon (the kindle version).

Though some PMP®s would say they have never read the PMBOK® Guide and yet they could pass the PMP® exam, you will feel more prepared and confident if you have read the PMBOK® Guide once or more in your preparation for the PMP® exam (I did read it twice which had helped me to pass the PMP® Exam in first attempt with 4 Above Targets).

Good news for PMI members: the PMBOK® Guide can be downloaded FREE from the PMI website. You are also allowed to print a copy of the PMBOK® Guide from the digital copy for your own reference!

Diploma4. Project Management Training Course (up to $1000+) – for the 35 Contact Hours and PMP® Exam preparation

This is the lion’s share of the total PMP® Certification cost.

Some PMP® bootcamps charge you over $1000 for 5-day workshops. But if you are comfortable with distance learning, gaining the required 35 contact hours of project management education ONLINE is far more cheaper than attending face-to-face lectures like PMP® bootcamps.

  • The PM PrepCast™ PMP® Exam prep video course was my choice for online PMP® exam prep which costs a fraction of the PMP® bootcamps (to be exact US$199). The PM PrepCast™ is produced by Cornelius Fichtner, PMP®, CSM. It allows you to download the lessons as video files to your mobile devices or computer. There is not an expiry date for your files. In other words, you own the PMP® training lessons forever. And you can take the PMP® lessons on your mobile devices whenever you go without even the need of an internet connection! It helped me pass the PMP® Exam with 4 proficient and 1 moderately proficient. I would definitely recommend you to consider the PM PrepCast™ for your PMP® exam prep course.
    • You may also consider the PM PrepCast™ and PM Exam Simulator bundle (a.k.a. PM PrepCast™ Elite) which offers you both the PM PrepCast™ Exam Prep video course (a.k.a. PM PrepCast™ Standard) and the PM Exam Simulator (with 1800+ PMP® practice questions) at a discounted price. Click here for more information.
  • Another recommended choice is the GreyCampus online PMP® Exam prep course which is slightly cheaper (US$150) than PM PrepCast™. In addition to the 35 contact hours, it also include 3 PMP® simulated mock exams as well as other study resources (e.g. downloadable lecture powerpoint files, e-Flashcards, etc.). However, you will need to watch the course lectures on your computer or mobile devices that are connected to the internet (i.e. no offline viewing).

The above mentioned PMP® Exam Prep courses will give you the required 35 Contact Hours Certificate for your PMP® application. Plus you will get in-depth introduction and discussion on the PMP® Exam syllabus and subject matters to help you prepared for writing the actual exam. Even if you have already got the 35 Contact Hours from your former education (e.g. University courses), you are highly advised to take these Exam Prep courses if budget allows.

Invoice5. PMP® Exam Prep Reference Book (Free to US$99+)

I purchased also the The PMP® Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try which is specially written to help you pass the exam and only the exam. Unlike other books on the market which contains tons of project management knowledge, this book by Andy Crowe contains all the necessary knowledge helping you preparing for the PMP® exam and no more. It is an easy read.

If you would like just to read an exam prep book, this is my recommendation.

I have already uploaded my PMP® study resources onto this website for fellow Aspirants (for FREE):

  • 47+ PMP® Commonly Confused Terms with Explanations and Examples – these 47+ PMP® term pairs are those that are frequently confused by Aspirants. Just enough details have been included in the explanations with simple daily examples to illustrate their differences and similarities so as to help Aspirants to differentiate between the terms.
  • PMP® Glossary Flashcard from A to Z – an interactive online flashcard including most important PMP® terms/concepts and their explanations. A great way to check your understanding of PMBOK® Guide.
  • PMP® Formulas for PMP® Maths Questions – a consolidated list of all PMP® formulas that are required for the exam with concise explanations on their meanings/applications.
  • PMP® EVM (Earned Value Management) Formulas Explained in Simple Terms – according to survey of Aspirants, one of the most headache problems for them is the EVM questions. This article aims to explain all the EVM formulas in simple terms with examples included to illustrate their application.
  • 20+ PMP® EVM Mock Questions with Explanations – practice makes perfect. After learning all the PMP® EVM formulas, it is highly desirable to tackle some sample questions to test your understanding of the subject matter. These 20+ mock questions with detailed explanations cover all the EVM formulas.

Infodoc6. PMP® Practice Exams / Mock Exam Questions (Free to US$139+)

There are lots of free online PMP® prep exam out there, I found some of the free PMP® sample exam were very useful in helping me pass the PMP® exam (list of FREE quality PMP® sample practice exams). These free exams a of very high quality.

Taking PMP® sample questions is a crucial part of your PMP® preparation as you can understand  your exam readiness through the results of your mock exams. Plus, many mock exams offer very similar computer interface to the real PMP® Exam that gives Aspirants the invaluable practice using the CBT system.

Remember: practice makes perfect, especially the case for trying to pass the PMP® Exam in first try!

Paperdesk7. Miscellaneous

Should your PMP® application get audited, you need to send your audit experience validation forms to your supervisors/previous supervisors and the whole package to PMI. This kind of fees is usually relatively minute.

And you may need to travel to the PMP® Exam centre or live in a hotel room adjacent to the exam centre, etc. These costs vary greatly for different people and are not included in our calculation of the PMP® Certification cost.

DollarbagHow much is the PMP® Certification?

The table below will give you an analogous estimation of the lowest PMP® certification cost:

No.PMP® Certification Cost ItemsCost(US$)
1PMI Membership FeeUS$139
2Project Management Online Training Course for self-study ~US$200
3PMP® Exam FeeUS$405
Total PMP® Certification Cost:~US$744

The combination of these three items is the minimal cost for the PMP® exam success! But it is highly recommended to purchase also mock PMP® exam questions banks / simulators in order to be best prepared. Saving this US$100+ only to have to pay the PMP® re-examination fee (which is twice more expensive) is not a wise move, isn’t it?

Hope you have gotten a better understanding of the PMP® Certification cost.


Wish you PMP® success!

Note: it is tempting to think that taking the Paper Based Testing of PMP® as it is far much cheaper than the Computer Based Testing but you have to fulfil the following conditions before you are allowed a seat at the PBT Centres:

  • you are living at least 300 km from the nearest Prometric centre; OR
  • your employer applies to administer the PMP® exam to their employees in a batch; AND
  • there are at least 10 candidates applying to sit the PMP® Exam at the time and date of your chosen PBT Centre

So for the rest of us, just calculate the PMP® cost with the Computer Based Testing fee.


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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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28 Responses

  1. Davis Truyen says:

    Hi Edward, Thanks for this useful post. When I take the real exam, is it available online or I have to travel to a definite place?

    • Hi Davis,

      As the PMP Exam is one of the more stringent professional exams, candidates will need to go to a definite exam venue/centre to attend the exams either on a computer or on paper.

      Hope this helps!

  2. LadyRocks says:

    Hi Edward, thanks so much for this. Based on your experience, which is a better read; Andy Crowe or Rita Mulcahy?

    I am new in the PM world.

  3. Humphrey says:

    Good day,

    I have had 8 years of professional practice in the building and construction industry as a Project Engineer, and hold MSc in Civil Engineering and Construction Management from the University of Derby, UK.

    Please, can you advise if I would still need the required 35 contact hours or so to apply for the PMP certificate examination. What route would you advise for me to follow?

    I’m a Nigerian and domiciled in my country. Your candid advise would be highly appreciated.

    Kind regards, Humphrey

    • Hi Humphrey,

      Thanks for your comments. It all depends on whether your university education includes topics on project management that has a duration of 35 hours or more. You will have to attach the course descriptions and durations of the courses for your PMP application. PMI will only recognize the duration of study that covers project management only.

      However, even if you have already got the 35 contact hours, it is highly recommended to take a PMP study course for your exam prep. The PM PrepCast is my choice: as it not only gives you the 35 contact hours but also helps you be well prepared to pass the exam.

      Wish you PMP success!

  4. Caroline Pienaar says:

    Good day!

    I am a South African citizen and I would like to pursue a career in project management. I am currently working as a Project Lead (Geologist by trade). I have a Masters degree in Mineral Resource management as my highest level of education however I would like to know if a formal Project management diploma/certificate or degree is required for one to become and practice as a Project Manager and to do the PMP certification. My goal is to do this and live and work abroad so whatever I do needs to be internationally recognized.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you and regards,

    • Hi Caroline,

      Thanks for your message. I would highly recommend you to try the PMP Certification. Being a Project Lead, you may have the required experience and education to register for the PMP Exam. You can prepare for the PMP Exam by taking an online course and/or reading a PMP Exam Book.

      Wish you PMP success!

  5. ADEMOLA SALAU says:

    I want to enrol for pmp but ive already have my 35 hours training with certificate in my country Nigeria.
    I intend to join member of pmp and pay for my exam.
    Kindly direct me what to do because im in usa now.

  6. Davit says:

    Dear Edward,

    Thank you for your informative web-page. I in June, 2016 have obtained a PhD in Project Management and have around 5,000 hours working experience as Project Manager. Please, could you advise me how can I start with the PMP certification and from where can I get the materials and so on. If you do not mind, I would like to send you e-mail with questions to your direct e-mail address, unfortunately I could not find.

    Thank you in advance and best regards,

    • Hi Davit,

      It is great that you have a PhD in Project Management, I am sure you are more qualified than I am in the field of project management. You can begin by taking a look at my detailed account of PMP Exam application and preparation there:

      This is the most complete step-by-step explanation of how to get started and pass the PMP Exam from my own experience.

      If you still have more questions, I am more than happy to answer you in the comments or through my personal email: [email protected]

      Wish you PMP success!

  7. JM says:

    Hi Edward,

    A question regarding the discount on the exam fee – must I pay for the membership before applying for the PMP exam to get the discount or I could pay after I apply for the PMP exam and still get the discount?

    Thanks for the info. in advance!

  8. Manish Relan says:

    Want to go for PMP certification

  9. Sean says:

    Hi Edward,

    Thanks for sharing these valuable information. I noticed that you recommended PM PrepCast Standard (USD 179.99) that does not include Simulator Access (Elite version). Did you take the Standard version yourself? Is it necessary to go for the Elite version? I am currently not working and was hoping to lower my costs as much as possible.

    Many thanks!

    • Actually, I purchased the PM PrepCast Standard for my PMP Exam prep at the early stage of my PMP journey. That’s before I knew that the existence of the bundle (Elite). If I were to buy the Exam Simulator alone, that would cost me much more.

      If you are to purchase PM PrepCast today, I would highly recommend you to buy the Elite version so that you would have to search for other PMP Exam question software later (I did purchase another mock exam package but that’s no good).

  10. Shariful Alam says:

    Hi Edward,

    Your given document and suggestion are useful.

    I need to pass PMP exam within next 2 months.

    Would you be kind to advise me what are the materials / tools will be useful to pass the PMP exam within this timeline.
    I am a senior executive of a Private company. I have gone through your above instruction. Nevertheless, if you have any suggestion for me, do help me.


  11. Margie says:

    Hi Edward – did you have any Project Management experience prior to launching into the training?

    • Hi Margie,
      I did not have all the required experience before taking the project management training. It is advisable to begin your training asap so that you can apply what you have learned in your daily work!

      Wish you PMP success!


  12. Samuel Estabillo says:

    Thanks Edward for this very useful information.

  13. Chamunorwa Tunduhwe says:

    Would like to register for online lessons, register for membership as well as register for PMP certification exams. Please advise