Why every PMP should renew PMI membership?
It is generally advisable to become a PMI member before you apply for any PMI Certifications and continuous renew the PMI membership status to enjoy free PDU opportunities (I get all my PDUs for free for certification renewal by being a PMI member) in only seminars and resources provided by PMI.
After getting PMI Certifications, it is also highly recommended to stay being a PMI member continuously by paying the annual fee of US$129 (plus the local chapter fee if you have joined).
Why Renewing PMI Membership?
I confess that I have thought of a number of ways to reduce expenditure on renewing my PMP and PMI-ACP® Certifications and not renewing the PMI membership is among one of them (You may refer to the section “What if I am on a Tight Budget?” below for my strategy). However, after judging the pros and cons of renewing my PMI membership, I came to the conclusion that I will continue to be a PMI member for an indefinite period. My reasons are laid out as follow.
- The only negative force to prevent me from renewing the PMI membership is certainly the annual fee of US$129 (at the time of writing). None others.
- Certification and Renewal Savings
- PMI provides a member-only fee (which is usually a deep discount from the non-member fees) for certification renewal of PMP, PMI-ACP® and other PMI Certifications (e.g. The certification renewal fee for PMP for members is US$60 while that for non-members is US$150 — a US$90 saving).
- If you are a PMP and would like to also get PMI-ACP® certified, you will also enjoy the member-only fee of US$435 (instead of the usual US$495).
- Free PDU Opportunities
- PMI has joined force with projectmanagement.com to provide the Premium membership for all members (the annual fee for Premium membership at projectmanagement.com is US$249!). There are countless recorded and live webinars on project management knowledge which can gain members Category A PDU for free. Better still, these PDUs would be automatically reported to PMI and applied to your Certifications.
- PMI organizes a number of virtual conferences for members around the year for FREE. Around 10-12 PDUs would be given to members attending the live conferences or watching the recorded webinars for up to 1/2 years after the conferences. By joining all these PMI virtual conferences alone for 3 years will allow PMI Certification holders to earn enough PDU for Certification renewal.
- PMI members will be able to join local chapters and attend chapter events. Make sure to introduce yourself to one of the chapter board members.
- PMI local chapters hold a lot of events for local project managers, you can get to know new people and re-connect with people you already know during the events.
- The valuable networks you have built will assist you to address your project challenges and gain the connections and competitive edge you need to maintain your marketability in today’s volatile job environment.
- Usually a number of volunteering opportunities are provided by the local chapters. Being a member of PMI and the local chapter will allow you to take part in those that interests you.
- Volunteering will also earn certification holders a certain amount of PDU.
- Career Development
- PMI website features a section named “Career Central” which provides fresh and useful career information to keep members abreast of career trends, ideal for those who are looking to excel at the current job or seeking a new opportunity..
What if I am on a Tight Budget?
If you are on a tight budget, you can consider NOT renewing your membership continuously and apply for the membership on a strategic schedule.
For certification holders, you will need to renew their certification (excluding CAPM®) every 3 years. Being a member will allow you to enjoy the member-only fee which is significantly lower than than for non-members and earn PDUs on the PMI website. In theory, you can strategically apply for membership every 3 years and NOT renew the membership afterwards (note: you will have to pay for the US$10 application fee each time). You can renew your certifications and earn all the required PDUs (e.g. 60PDU for PMP holders and 30PDU for PMI-ACP® holders).
In this way, you will only need to pay for the membership fee plus the application fee (currently US$129 + US$10) for every 3 years and save up to US$248 for each re-certification cycle.
The only downside is that your “member since” info on your membership dashboard will show only the latest year you apply for membership (not the earliest year). Frankly, I would not consider this a downside either.