Project Management Institute (PMI): Certification Pathways


PMI certifications tell others that you know what you’re doing, understand the details, and can handle various types of projects. These certification are you available at all stages of your careers, helping you improve and move forward faster.

Everyone has a unique career path. It doesn’t matter if you want to be a project manager or a successful leader, everyone’s career is now more flexible. People often change jobs, work in different fields, and move to new places. Finding success in your job is like following a twisty road to find what you really love doing.


PMI’s Certification Framework

The PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is very well-known and many people want it. But PMI also has other certificates that are good for people at different points in their work life.

The PMI’s Certification Framework offers an exciting journey for you to move forward in your project management career pathway.


ExperiencePMI’s Certifications
0-3 Year
(New To Project)
Project Management ReadyCAPMPMI-ACPDASMDASSM

3+ Years

(Skilled Practitioner)


8+ Years

(Senior Level Practitioner)



Top 7 PMI’s certifications


1.Project Management Professional (PMP)

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is a highly recognized and sought-after credential in project management. There are  1.4 million PMP certification holders worldwide. It is particularly beneficial for professionals who already have some experience in managing projects and are looking to advance their careers.

To obtain the PMP certification, candidates must pass a challenging exam that covers a range of topics, including managing people, conducting processes, and making business decisions. The exam features 180 questions that assess skills in areas such as planning and managing a project’s scope and engaging with stakeholders.

To be eligible for the exam, you need significant project management experience. Those with a bachelor’s degree must have 36 months of experience leading projects, while those with a high-school diploma or associate degree need 60 months. Additionally, candidates must complete 35 hours of project management training or which can be substituted with the CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) certification.

The cost of the exam is $555.00 for non-members of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and $324.00 for PMI members. This certification is ideal for professionals seeking to elevate their project management skills and career prospects.


2. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is an ideal certification for individuals aspiring to manage projects. This increase your responsibilities, or enhance your resume with project management skills. It’s particularly suitable for those at the beginning of their project management journey.

This exam focuses on key areas such as project communication management and project risk management, providing foundational knowledge in project management.

Who it’s for: The CAPM is perfect for beginners in project management who aim to build their experience and skills in this field.

Eligibility criteria: Unlike other certifications that require extensive experience, the CAPM is more accessible. Candidates need a secondary degree (like a high school diploma, associate degree, or equivalent) and must complete 23 hours of project management education before sitting for the exam.

Cost: The exam fee is $300 for non-members of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and $225 for PMI members. This certification is a great starting point for those looking to establish a footing in project management


3.PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) is a certification that acknowledges expertise in Agile project management. This  method focuses on quick, iterative work cycles and flexibility. The exam evaluates candidates on 100 different aspects, including skills in problem detection, resolution, and adaptive planning.

Ideal for: This certification is best suited for project managers who already have some experience with Agile methodologies and plan to continue implementing Agile practices in their teams or organizations.

Eligibility requirements: To qualify for the PMI-ACP, you need 21 hours of Agile-specific training, one year of general project experience within the last five years (this requirement can also be met with a current PMP or PgMP certification), and a minimum of eight months of Agile project experience in the past three years.

Cost: The exam fee is $495 for those who are not members of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and $435 for PMI members. This certification is a great opportunity for project managers seeking to solidify their Agile project management skills.


4.Discipline Agile

The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers a suite of four certifications in Disciplined Agile, catering to various levels of expertise in Agile methodologies. These include the:

  • Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM)
  • Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master (DASSM)
  • Disciplined Agile Coach (DAC)
  • Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant (DAVSC)


These certifications are designed to accommodate both beginners, who can learn the fundamentals of the methodology, and more experienced Agile practitioners seeking to enhance their skills.

Suitable for: These certifications are particularly beneficial for project managers who frequently utilize Agile and Scrum methodologies in their work.

Eligibility: Applicants should have up to three years of experience in Agile environments, particularly in leadership roles. To qualify for each certification, candidates must complete a training program from a recognized Disciplined Agile course provider, which typically lasts between two to three days.

Cost: The price of these certifications varies based on the chosen training partner. This range of certifications offers a comprehensive pathway for project managers to develop and certify their skills in Agile and Scrum practices.


5. Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)

Effective project management often requires a strong grasp of managing business objectives. The PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA) exam, with its 175 scored questions, evaluates competencies in areas like needs assessment, planning, monitoring, and evaluation, focusing on the business analysis aspects of project management.

Ideal for: This certification is especially suitable for professionals looking to enhance their expertise in business analysis.

Eligibility criteria: To be eligible for the PMI-PBA, candidates with a high school diploma or associate degree need 60 months of business experience and 35 hours of business analysis coursework. Those with a bachelor’s degree require 36 months of business experience and the same amount of coursework.

Cost: The exam costs $555 for non-members of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and $405 for PMI members. This certification is a valuable choice for those seeking to deepen their knowledge and skills in business analysis within the project management field.


6. Program Management Professional (PgMP)

The Program Management Professional (PgMP) certification is intended for seasoned professionals skilled in overseeing multiple projects to ensure the success of a program. PgMP certified professionals are adept at handling complex challenges across various organizations, geographical areas, and cultural settings. To earn the PgMP, candidates must clear a panel review and pass a certification exam comprising 150 scored questions, which assess skills like stakeholder relationship development and risk assessment for current or future projects.

Ideal for: This certification is particularly suitable for program managers with extensive experience in managing complex projects.

Qualification criteria: The PgMP is an advanced certification aimed at individuals with a substantial background in program management. The prerequisites are 48 months of project management experience (or holding a PMP certification), plus 48 months of program management experience in the last 15 years for those with a bachelor’s degree, or 84 months for those with a high school diploma or associate degree.

Cost: The PgMP exam fee is $1,000 for non-members of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and $800 for PMI members. This certification is a great fit for experienced program managers looking to formalize their expertise in overseeing large and complex programs.


7. Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)

The Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) certification is an excellent way to validate your expertise if you have experience managing one or several portfolios for an organization. The certification process includes a panel review and a multiple-choice exam, which comprises 150 scored questions on topics like developing a communication strategy and tracking portfolio performance.

Ideal for: This certification is a great fit for individuals who have progressed to executive or senior levels in portfolio management.

Eligibility requirements: To be eligible for the PfMP, you need a total of 96 months of professional business experience within the last 15 years. Additionally, if you have a high school diploma or associate degree, you require 84 months of portfolio management experience. This requirement is reduced to 48 months for those with a bachelor’s degree.

Cost: The PfMP exam fee is $1,000 for individuals who are not members of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and $800 for PMI members. This certification is particularly valuable for seasoned professionals seeking to showcase their proficiency in managing complex portfolios.



Obtaining a professional certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) can demonstrate your expertise in project management to employers and industry peers.

However, whether a PMI certification is right for you largely depends on your specific situation, your field, and your career ambitions. While some employers may favor certified project managers, there are also numerous roles that don’t require such certifications.

There’s evidence suggesting a financial advantage associated with certain PMI certifications. For instance, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is often associated with higher salaries.

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