What is the total Cost?

In this post I will be providing a clear breakdown of total PMP Certification cost as well as information on non-monetary costs associated with PMP certification. Knowing the cost involved should help you decide, “Is PMP certification worth it?

PMP Certification Cost Break Down

The direct cost includes your Exam fee. This fee is discounted for PMI members by over $100. However, the annual membership to PMI runs $129 per year so this cost savings is pretty much offset.

Indirect costs for project management training and study materials also factor into the total financial PMP Certification cost.

This chart lays out current average cost for these items. This is current as of September, 2019.

Certification ComponentPMI Member CostPMI Non-member Cost
Exam Fee$405$555
PMI Membership$129 AnnualN/A
PMBoK Guide (Affiliate Link)Free~ $60
4 Day Instructor Led Course$2,600$2,600
Total Cost$3,134$3,215

Financial Cost Summary

The out of pocket expense for PMP certification isn’t insignificant. The bulk of the cost will come from preparation and training. You may be able to find less expensive courses but the average is around $2,600. It’s smart to use your prep training to cover your 35 contact hours required to meet your certification eligibility requirement.

Also, it is worthwhile to find out if your company helps with or even completely reimburses training and exam fees for achieving PMP certification. Many see it as an investment and are willing to pay for employees expenses in becoming certified.

Intangible Costs of PMP Certification

Career Trajectory

You will be spending a lot of time on becoming PMP certified. The most significant amount of time comes from the experience required managing projects. PMI requires between 4,500 and 7,500 hours depending on your level of education to be eligible for the PMP certification.

Spending this much time actively managing projects will have a definite impact on the direction of your career. Is that an impact you are excited about? You should take time to reflect and consider if this is a cost of PMP certification you want to accept.

Training and Study Time

Passing the PMP Certification Exam requires study and practice. In addition to the theory of project management you must be able to demonstrate capability with the tools and processes of project management. It takes time to learn these techniques through study and to be able to apply them through project management exercises.

This time is an opportunity cost. You must be focused, and as such, will need to give up time you could be spending on career, family, friends or leisure. Weigh this cost against the goal of becoming a PMP. Is this cost of PMP certification worth it to you?

PMP Certification Cost Conclusion

Financial and intangible costs to become a PMP should be considered in your decision making process. Have a real understanding of what it will take and what the end result will be and you will be well positioned to make a sound decision.

If you are looking for the next step in your journey I’ve created a PMP certification workflow. It will help you find out where you are and what you need to do next. Use the form below to sign up for my Project Management newsletter and receive my workflow as a free gift.

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