Investing in a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is money you need to spend to make more money. You may notice that your salary expectations aren’t being fulfilled. Learn about your salary expectations with a PMP and whether the benefits of a PMP outweigh the cost? A budget-oriented project manager understands their personal budget as well as that of the work they’re doing. So, let’s take a minute and find out if it’s just a matter of showing you the money. We’ll cover salary expectations with a PMP.
PMP Salary: Cost vs. Benefits
Going forward with PMP certification is actually a project management task in and of itself. You need to break down the risks and rewards, weigh the pros and cons, determine and budget your time and money. You’ve witnessed your peers become PMP certified, and you’ve discovered that their salaries and marketability have increased. But was it easy for them to achieve their goal? What were the costs? You have the tools so let’s break it down. Is that certification really worth it?
PMI Salary Survey: The Lowdown
An individual that holds a PMP certification can increase their salary by up to 32%, which in any job is an impressive raise. The Project Management Institute (PMI) regularly conducts salary surveys for the project management field to determine what the current salary trends are internationally. Check out the latest PMI salary survey here. The survey will give you a country by country laydown of what salary expectations with a PMP you can expect.
On average the PMP certification will give a newly certified project manager a 22% increase in their salary in the U.S. The United States has the second highest median salaries in the world for PMP holders. Depending on the industry, the median starting salary with a PMP certificate is $116,000 vs. $84,000 for project managers without it. Currently, Switzerland still holds the title of the highest salaries for PMP project managers, around $132,000 and Australia comes in third at roughly $101,000. Even countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines report salaries for PMP holders at 80% over those that haven’t received the certification.
Not only is there usually an increase in salary, over 70% of the survey participants reported at minimum an additional 5% increase in salary and benefits year over year.
Throughout the world, PMP certification is the standard that shows companies that candidates are ready to receive those increases with their knowledge and ethical standards.
PMI Salary Survey: Median Salary by Country
Median PMP Salary
Financial services and Consulting industry
The figures come from the PMI “Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey”. The survey is conducted with over 30,000 project managers, in over 40 countries, and includes a variety of industries. After looking at the information in the survey, no matter where in the world you are, the pros side of your list has an entry. Which takes us to the next question, what will this cost me?
The Steps to Getting Your PMP
After learning about your salary expectations with a PMP, you’re ready to get that salary increase, but have you researched the cost? Do you know the steps you need to take? How close are you to achieving that goal?
First you need to understand the requirements to sit for the certification exam. Before you look any further you need to know how many months of project management go towards certification based on the amount of education you have and how many months you have under your belt. Then you can begin the following steps to a higher salary and better job security:
Step 1: Earn the minimum work experience leading projects (based on your education level)
Step 2: Complete the required 35 hours of project management education required by the PMI
Step 3: Apply through PMI to take the PMP exam
Step 4: Study and prepare for the PMP Exam
Step 5: Take and pass the exam!
Want to complete Steps 2, 3 and 4 in the most efficient and cost effective way? Take a quality PMP Exam Prep course. You’ll earn the required 35 education hours and be prepared to take the exam all at the same time. Many providers will also provide some coaching on how to complete the application process, including how to avoid getting audited. We recommend Brain Sensei’s PMP Exam Prep courses. Their students have a 99.6% first-try pass rate and they offer a 100% pass guarantee. They also provide support for completing your application.
PMI Requirements for the PMP Certification
In order to be qualified for the PMP exam you have to complete the 35 contact hours of Project Management training. This can be achieved by taking one of many available courses. You often have the option of a PMP bootcamp, either in person, or online with a live instructor. The bootcamps usually go for four to five consecutive business days and are able to pack in the entire 35 hours in that week. There are also live virtual and in-person sessions which are more spread out (e.g. 2 nights a week for 5 weeks). These courses, in many instances, are scheduled in the evenings and on weekends so that they interfere less with your current work schedule. The least costly option is to take a self-paced on-line learning course, where you can sign in at your convenience to obtain the contact hours.
At minimum, the cost to complete this prerequisite for PMP certification is around $400 USD. At the top end it can cost over $2,500. You can also check with your company. Some companies provide reimbursement for the courses as well as the exam fees. They understand the benefit to them is as much as it is to you.
That’s the cost for the required training. The next step is deciding on which company to go with and which training to choose
Things to Look for in a PMP Training Course
Making the decision on which course to take requires some additional research. Here’s what we recommend you consider when looking for a quality course:
- What’s the first-try pass rate for students?
- Are any guarantees provided (e.g. 100% pass guarantee or money back guarantee)?
- Does the course include a PMP exam simulator or a large number of realistic practice questions?
- The skill, knowledge, and experience of the instructors or the quality of the material if it’s a self-paced online course.
- Reviews from peers that have taken the course before, making sure to check the bad reviews and the good ones.
- Is the material up-to-date and applicable to the current exam?
- Is there support before, during, and after you take the course?
- If you’re taking a course that isn’t self-paced, is there a penalty for being late or missing a class. Many courses won’t allow you to continue with the rest of the course if you miss one class.
- What additional preparation does the company provide to prepare you for the exam? Are there sample tests or exam simulators that switch up the questions that may be asked?
Once you’ve decided which course is best for your schedule and which company you want to use you can decide if you want to go forward. The key is to continue weighing the costs, time, and money, versus the benefits. Keep those salary expectations with a PMP in mind as you do.
You’re at the final part of the journey.
Depending on where you are in your career, it may have been a while since you sat for an exam, so preparation is key.
- Make sure you have a study guide that works with you not against you. Don’t exceed your limits, take the time to make sure that you adapt the plan as you go forward. Check out the article Choosing and Using a PMP Study Guide | Creating the Best Strategy to Pass the PMP Exam on your 1st Try!.
- Plan-Do-Check-Act- using the PDCA cycle to get ready allows you tohttps://www.google.com/url?q=https://brainsensei.com/choosing-and-using-a-pmp-study-guide-creating-the-best-strategy-to-pass-the-pmp-exam-on-your-1st-try/&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1655929536657942&usg=AOvVaw3HR9eOuQrtVm_WzLmS2XIy see what areas you need to work on. Read the PMBOK, take sample tests, and assess yourself. If necessary, adjust your preparation to ensure you are absorbing the information you need. A good prep course will help you do this.
- Have questions as you study or about the application process, ask your course provider for help! They should have support to help you if you are stuck.
- Generate reminders, outlines, bullet points, whatever helps you to review quickly as the time towards the exam gets closer.
- Remember, this is not Just about a new salary. This is about becoming an ethical, knowledgeable, creative, thinker that deserves to be counted among the best.
Make a checklist of all the items you need to proceed.
What Are The Next Steps?
You’ve made the decision, chosen your PMP exam prep course provider, and taken the course, you are ready to go forward.
- Organize and document your project management experience.
- Visit the PMI website and apply by filling in the information required, including your contact hour program completion certificate.
- If you can, ask someone who has had experience with the PMP application to review it for you (or ask your course provider for tips).
- Then submit the application. There is a fee for the examination, $405 for PMI members and $555 for non-members.
You’ve followed your checklist. You have your ID cards. You are good to go. You’ve got this. After the 3 – 5 years of experience, the 35 hours of project management education, the hours of preparation, you know what’s on the exam and you are ready.
You sit through the exam, you submit it and wait for the swirling circle until you see “CONGRATULATIONS” and voila, PMP success!
The work isn’t done. To keep that PMP certificate and continue increasing your salary, every three years you will need to submit Professional Development Units (PDUs) to PMI for your certificate renewal. There are a number of relatively easy ways to do this. Try not to leave it to the last minute.
PMP Certification: Cost Benefit Analysis
You did it. You now know what your peers are saying when they talk about the issue logs, the waterfall, or the kill point. You see that holding that PMP certificate isn’t just a matter of more money, but it makes you a better project manager. You have more reach and the ability to connect with PMPs internationally. The money you spent:
- PMI membership: $139 USD
- A self-paced PMP exam prep online course: $500 USD
- PMP exam fee: $405 USD ($555 USD for non-members)
- About 35-60 hrs of your time: About $1,365 to $2,340 if you’re earning $80k/yr
Total One-Time Cost: $2,409 to $3,384 depending on how long you prepare
- $16k/yr in additional salary (if you started at $80k)
- A likely 5% ongoing increase in salary…every year
- Better job security
- Higher marketability (easier to get a new/better job)
Total Benefit: $16k/yr ongoing + job security!
The cost-benefit analysis is a no-brainer, netting you, a potential 22% immediate salary increase and ongoing benefits in the years to come. Don’t wait, go get that PMP certification. Want to get there faster, check out the article Prepare for the PMP exam in 10 Days.
Want to advance your career, but not sure what’s better, and MBA or PMP? Check out our article on MBA vs. PMP: Is it better to get an MBA degree or a PMP credential?