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1) What Types of Project Management Certificates Exist and What are They Called?

With many certificates for project management available, we have listed just a few of them below.

  1. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
    Provided by the Project Management Institute, this certificate is designed for entry level project managers and demonstrates understanding of the fundamental knowledge, terminology, and processes of effective project management.
  2. Comp TIA Project+
    Project managers working in the information technology field will be interested in this certification. It covers the entire project life cycle from initiation and planning through execution, acceptance, support, and closure.
  3. PM for IT
    The Institute for Learning can help you prepare for many project management certifications, along with Microsoft, Prnice2, and Six Sigma. The Project Manager for Information Curriculum offers courses specifically in fundamentals, risk management, and many others.
  4. Master Project Manager (MPM)
    The American Academy of Project Management offers several project manager certifications, including this one. There are options in e-business and international project management.
  5. Certified Professional Constructor (CPC)
    Project managers who are builders will be interested in this certificate. It is awarded by the American Institute of Constructors and can also be awarded for Associate Constructors (AC).
  6. Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM)
    Given out by the Federal Acquisition Institute, this certificate can be awarded in the entry, mid-level, and senior project management levels.
  7. Program Management Professional (PgMP)
    Another certificate from the PMI, it is designed for program managers looking to demonstrate a proven ability to manage complex, multiple projects and align results to organizational goals.
  8. Project Management Professional (PMP)
    Granted by the Project Management Institute, this is one of the most popular project management certificates out there and should be one of the first stops for anyone considering a project management certification.
  9. Project Management Training Courses
    The Learning Tree International has many courses for all kinds of professionals, including project managers. Choose from foundation, advanced skills, and even management courses just for the P.M.
  10. Stanford Certified Project Manager (SCPM)
    Many universities have project management certificates that carry as much prestige as the institute awarding them. Stanford is one such school and this certification provides participants the advanced skills needed to execute business strategies effectively.

Although no certification is needed to become a project manager, many recent graduates as well as established professionals are looking to get certified in order to stand out among other project management candidates. The above project management certificates are just a sampling of what is available and are a good place to begin researching.

2) Where Can I Find Project Management Certification Rankings?

There is no one ranking body for project management certificates. However, one of the best known institutes that grants project management certificates is the Project Management Institute. The PMI is one of the world’s leading not-for-profit membership associations for the profession, with more than half a million members and project management certificate holders in 185 countries. Their most discussed certification is the Project Management Professional or PMP. There are also four other certificates for project managers available including associate, program management, scheduling, and risk management.

Many other institutions and schools also offer project management certificates that are worth a look. Locally, there is the American Academy of Project Management. Those who have three or more years of experience can qualify to earn a Master of Project Manager (MPM) certificate. They also have certificates in e-business, international P.M., as well as other training and certifications for project managers. If looking overseas, there is the International Association of Project and Program Management. They offer a Certified Project Manager (CPM) program that is designed to complement many existing certifications.

If going into a specific area of project management, such as information technology or construction, there are also certifications available. One of the most sought after certifications in information technology is the Comp TIA. With several specialties in this certification, there is one specifically for project managers, along with network, security, and many others. For project managers in construction, one of the many certificates available to them is through the American Institute of Constructors. The Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) gives the holder formal recognition of education and experience.

3) How Expensive is a Project Management Certificate?

Getting a project management certificate can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the institute awarding it. Beginning with one of the most popular, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification costs $555 for non-members of the Project Management Institute. With a qualifying $119 membership, the exam for the PMP certification costs $405. Renewals, retaking exams, and other fees can also be charged by the PMI. The other four project management certifications are also discounted for members but can be taken by non-members.

When getting one from a university, the cost of a project management certificate can be significantly higher. For example, the Advanced Project Management certificate from Stanford University is priced at $2,600 for individual course tuition. Even those who register early can pay $2,340 for the project management certificate. Pricing includes course materials, parking permits, and 30-day access to the online version of each course. Individual complete six courses, including three required courses, and then receive the professional credential of Stanford Certified Project Manager (SCPM).

Project management certificates in specific areas also carry a price tag. The Comp TIA for project managers currently costs $239 to take the 100 question, 90 minute exam. It is recommended for those with one year of managing, directing, or participation in small to medium scale projects. The price of getting a project management certificate from the American Institute of Constructors depends on the level desired. Those applying for the Associate Constructor (AC), or Level 1 Certification, are charged $155. If looking to get the Certified Professional Constructor (CPC), or Level II certification, the cost is $405 for an upgrade from the AC or $535 for those who are not AC certified.

One of the most common questions asked when weighing the cost of a project management certification is if and when becoming certified will pay for itself in increased salary, benefits, career, etc. That is why it is so important to research any and all project management certificates considered. If you know which employer you would like to work for, contact their human resources to see which, if any, project management certifications they require or prefer in new candidates.

4) What Sorts of Careers are Common With a Project Management Certificate?

Those looking to become project managers will find a host of areas in need of their services, and just a few are listed below.

  1. Construction Project Manager
    Building residential, commercial, and other types of construction is the focus of this career.
  2. Information Technology Project Manager
    This P.M. creates, develops, and implements items in information technology such as networks, servers, security, and more.
  3. Software Project Manager
    Write or update new software as part of this project management career.
  4. Office Project Manager
    Lead the staff of an organization as part of this P.M. position.
  5. Architectural Project Manager
    This P.M. coordinates the design and building of a construction project and can often work with construction project managers.
  6. Cost Estimator
    Often a stepping stone to becoming a project manager, researching and deriving the cost of the project is focus of this job.
  7. Program Manager
    Similar to a project manager, this career focuses more on new and ongoing programs in a company or organization.
  8. Senior Project Manager
    At least five to ten years of relevant experience and even a qualifying certificate can be prerequisites for the job.
  9. Chief Executive Officer
    The ultimate project manager, the CEO is in charge of making and implanting all decisions within a company or organization.

And these are just some of the careers available with a project management certificate. Although some employers may require certification, others do not for project managers and will often state their requirements in the job description.

5) How do I Become a Certified Project Manager?

As with any professional career, becoming a certified project manager starts with an education. Using the well-known Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute as an example, a bachelor’s degree is the most common way to get this certification. The degree does not have to be specifically in project management, but the PMI also requires 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.

If you do not have a four year bachelor’s degree, you can also apply for the PMP certification. A high school diploma or equivalent is allowed for project managers who have at least five years of project management experience, with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of approved project management education.

Applicants can choose to become a member of the PMI and take the PMP or other project management certification exam at a reduced price. However, membership is not required to take any exam. Once an application is submitted, materials pertaining to education and experience must be submitted, along with payment. Once accepted, the PMP exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions on items such as initiation, planning, executing, monitoring, and closing the project.

Out of the 200 questions for the PMP test, 25 are considered “pretest” and do not count towards the student’s final score, although the student does not know which questions they are at the time of the exam. Out of the remaining 175 questions, at least 106 must be answered correctly to receive certification, which is a percentage of 61. Students have one year to take the exam from the date of their application and can retake the PMP exam if they fail up to three times during the year.

6) What is the Average Salary of Someone with a Project Management Certificate?

The average salary of someone with a project management certificate can depend on type of certificate, career sought, and many other factors. A quick visit to shows the average yearly wage of those with a Professional Management Professional Certification in various fields. Certified construction project managers had an average annual salary of $81,890. Software project managers with a PMP certification did a little better with median yearly pay of $90,431.

The higher up the career, the better paid certified project managers were. Using the same chart from Payscale, those who began a project management career in information technology had an average salary of $89,000. When moved up to information technology manager, yearly median pay was $97,574. Those who were able to become senior managers in information technology with a PMP certification earned an average of $103,734 per year.

If still wondering if a project management certificate is worth the cost, or want to know which ones pay off the best, click here. Laura Schneider of reprints a survey from ZDNET, which lists the top 15 highest paying certifications in the technology industry. Both the PMP and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) from the Project Management Institute earned the first and second spot on the list. Holders of a PMP certificate made an average salary of $101,695, several times the national average salary. Although thought of as more of an entry level certificate, even those with a CAPM certificate had a comparable average annual salary of $101,103.

Because many project management certificates can have such a large pay off, in addition to certificates in other related fields, they are definitely worth researching into. For example, the blogger at PM Crunch has both an MBA and PMP certification. In this blog entry, he examines in detail the benefits and costs of each with an expert opinion and is a must read.

7) Where Can I Find More Project Management Certificates?

Below are links to even more information on both United States and International project management certificates.

  1. Gold Seal Certification
    This certificate is offered by the Canadian Construction Association to project managers, estimators, superintendents, and even for construction safety.
  2. Prince2
    Provided by the United Kingdom Office of Government Commerce, this is recognized as a world-class international certificate and one of the standard methods for project management.
  3. APM Certification
    The Association for Project Management is another British certification institute and offers introductory, mid-level, and advanced certificates for project managers.
  4. Six Sigma
    Click here to get information on another popular certification from the United Kingdom. A standout feature of the site is the several articles containing expert answers to many project management certification questions concerning the product.
  5. RegPM
    The Registered Project Manager certification is granted through the Australian Institute of Project Management. It can be awarded at three levels as a certified practicing project practitioner, project manager, or project director.
  6. Microsoft Project Management Certification
    This software giant offers loads of certificates including those for the project manager including Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), and others.
  7. Cisco Certification
    Another technology leader, they offer dozens of certificates for information technology professionals that may be required of a project manager. Many certificates are offered at different levels including entry, associate, professional, expert, and architect.
  8. P.E. License
    If engineering is part of your career as a project management, a license can be a requirement. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying offer engineering and related license exams for all 50 states.
  9. AAPM Project Manager Certificate
    The American Academy of Project Management offers several different certificates including the Flagship Master Project Manager Project Management Certification (MPM) and the Certified International Project Manager (CIPM) Certification.
  10. IPMA Project Management Certification
    The International Project Management Association offers four certifications for project managers. You can also use the site to find national certification bodies for project management professionals.

And these are just some of the types of certificates of project management. With each country, state, and even employer having their own requirements concerning certification, both current and future project managers must research and be up to date on them all.