PMP Certification Cost for PMP Exam, 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

Introduction: This is the second part of the preparation for the PMP® Examination Application. This post will give you an overview of the PMP® certification cost including the PMP® exam fee, study materials and training costs. You can read more about my PMP® certification journey here.

Perhaps you are worrying about the fact that the PMP® Exam is adopting a NEW syllabus from 12 Jan 2016?
Rest assured that the PMP® Exam changes are considered to be minor and the level of difficulty is about the same. PMP® aspirants are safe to begin the PMP® Exam prep journey now.
Lessons learned from recent PMP® candidates taking the NEW PMP® Exam 2016 have attested to this.  

PMP® Certification Cost Consideration (PMP® Cost is NOT just about PMP® Exam Fee!)

Getting the PMP® Certification is certainly not cheap, the PMP® Exam fee alone is US$405 (for PMI members) / US$555 (for non-members) and you still need to pay for PMP® Exam prep courses / books / sample practice exams, etc. The total cost of PMP® Certification can be very expensive. Yet with the following cost-saving tips on PMP®, you would be able to achieve PMP® success with deep savings off the PMP® certification costs:


1. Join PMI as a member (US$139)

Joining the 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 (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 PMI member (US$150 less) outweigh the first year membership fee. Being a member, you can also gain access to many commercially available project management books, including several for the preparation of PMP® examination. You can also download a free copy of the PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition which is a must for the PMP® examination. After you have been PMP® certified, you will also be able to gain the required PMP® PDU (in education) for FREE. The PMI membership is a real bargain indeed.

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.


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

The PMP® Exam Fee indicated above (US$405) is the PMP® Certification exam fee for the computer based examination for membership holders. 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).

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


3. PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition (Free)

The PMBOK® Guide is the official reference book for the PMP® Exam (yet the PMBOK® Guide is NOT the PMP® Exam syllabus) that nearly every PMP® Certification 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 reference books and would appear in the real PMP® exam. Currently, the PMBOK® Guide is being sold for US$47.98.

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 if you have read the PMBOK® Guide twice or more in your preparation for the PMP® exam. 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!


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

This is the lion’s share of the 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 in April 2016) 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).


5. PMP® Exam Prep Reference Book (Free – US$99+)

Edwel Programs provides a free reference book (be careful though as it contains quite a number of typos). I purchased also the The PMP® Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try, Fifth Edition 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 an effective exam prep book, this is THE ONE.


6. PMP® Sample Practice Exams / Mock Exam Questions (Free – US$99+)

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) as you can understand  your PMP® 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 PMP® Certification 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!



7. Miscellaneous

Should your 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.


How much is the PMP® Certification?

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

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

The combination of these three items is the minimal cost for the PMP® exam success! Hope you have gotten a better understanding of the PMP® Certification cost.

Ready? Click to begin your PMP® Exam journey……


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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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20 Responses

  1. 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,

    • Edward Chung says:

      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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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,

    • Edward Chung says:

      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:

      Wish you PMP success!

  4. 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!

  5. Manish Relan says:

    Want to go for PMP certification

  6. 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!

    • Edward Chung says:

      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).

  7. 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.


  8. Margie says:

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

    • Edward Chung says:

      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!


  9. Samuel Estabillo says:

    Thanks Edward for this very useful information.

  10. Chamunorwa Tunduhwe says:

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