Only Project Managers are Eligible for the PMP Exam and Certification?


Only Project Managers are Eligible for the PMP Exam and Certification?

Project Management Professional (PMP®) is a prestige certification for practitioners in the project management profession.

Yet, is it true that only project managers are eligible for applying and taking the PMP® Exam? The fact that PMI does not name the certification as Project Manager Professional but Project Management Professional tells us the answer.

PMP® Certification is for People Practising Project Management

As the proverb goes:

your name does not determine your destiny

The same applies to one’s PMP® Certification. PMI does NOT limit only people carrying the job title of “project manager” to apply and get certified. What PMI looks for is the experience of practising project management, i.e. the main job responsibility is project management. In fact, there are many job titles / roles that carry the responsibility of project management yet are named differently, to name but a few:

  • project co-ordinator
  • team manager
  • project consultant
  • supervisor
  • project contributor

All PMI requires is the documented proof that the applicant has at least 4500 hours of project management experience (for bachelor’s degree holders) or 7500 hours of project management experience (for Secondary degree holders, e.g. high school diploma, associate’s degree or the global equivalent).

But it must be noted that the project management experience included in the application must include experience in all the five Project Management Process Groups of 1) Initiating, 2) Planning, 3) Executing, 4) Monitoring and Controlling, and 5) Closing. Many Aspirants have failed the application and/or the PMI audit as they did not include the project management experience including these five process groups. There is no requirement for your responsibility to involve all the five project management process groups for every project yet your experience should cover all these five process groups from different projects (i.e. you can be responsible for monitoring & controlling and closing in one project and Initiating, Planning and Executing in another project.

Besides the working experience in project management, Aspirants would also need to have at least 35 Contact Hours of Project Management education. There is no requirement that the course content must cover the PMBOK® Guide published by PMI (actually any courses with course contents related to project management will do), it would really be helpful if you select a contact hours course as your mean of preparing also for the exam (i.e. you kill two birds with a stone!).

Conclusion: PMP® is NOT ONLY for project managers.

As long as your job carries the responsibility of project management from initiating to closing, you are encouraged to aspire for the Certification. I started out as a website designer and coder and aspired to be a web project manager many years ago. I continued to equip myself with project management knowledge along the way and soon be tasked with project management of different web projects. After gaining the required number of working experience hours in project management, I applied for and passed the exam and be certified.

I would say the journey does not give me the PMP® title only, I have honed my knowledge and matured my skills in project management to deliver more fruitful results for my project with the knowledge of best practices in project management that helps me to perform my duties more effectively and efficiently. It is a very fruitful and useful certification that every professional working in the project management field should consider.

Wish you PMP® success!

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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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