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What is PMP and why should you care? 7 min read
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What is PMP?

If you’re asking, you’re probably either working with a project management professional, or you want to be one yourself.

Either way, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll give you a look at what project management professionals do day-to-day, where you can often find them and yes- there’s actually a PMP certification exam!

In this article, you’ll find the answer to that burning question, “what is PMP?” and all your other related queries.

What is PMP?

PMP stands for Project Management Professional. You receive the prestigious title after you complete a certification course given by a recognized body. The certification verifies that you meet standards of essential project management knowledge and criteria.

Commonly, project management professionals earn their titles after completing a PMP certification that’s issued by the Project Management Institute (PMI) — the main accrediting body.

The International Project Management Association (IPMA) is another big one that offers a PMP examination.

PMP certifications verify not only that you passed the exam, but also how many hours of experience you have and what level of expertise or specialty you possess. It’s proof that you have the education, experience, skill, and competency to lead projects successfully.

Name any industry, and there’s a good chance they’re actively seeking highly-qualified project management professionals who are well aware of the latest technologies, tools, and techniques.

There is a high demand for project management professionals who show a commitment to learning new skills that will improve the brand, productivity, and the bottom line of an organization.

Technology is especially important for modern project management professionals to understand, since most major companies leverage software like to help meet their project management needs.

Project management software gives PMP's the edge they need to complete projects on time and within budget.

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What does a PMP do day-to-day?

A certified PMP takes responsibility for planning, organizing, and driving projects important to the organization’s long-term strategy and vision.

They ensure projects are fully staffed, have the proper resources, and that they’re completed on time, within budget, and within scope.

The day-to-day varies based on where they are in the project’s life cycle, which can include initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, controlling, and closing.

Truly great project managers take responsibility for their entire project. Well, everything in their scope anyway. They take extreme ownership of the timeline, budget, and critical path the project takes. It is also important to note that these individuals may also undergo ongoing PMP training to stay updated on industry standards and codes of ethics.

Project managers are like CEOs of a project. They run it like a mini company, using their project management body of knowledge to oversee the budget, resources, and scope.

Where do project management professionals work?

Project management professionals are essential to nearly every industry. The demand varies based on skill, industry, and geographic location.

Still, the need is growing for project management experience in key sectors like manufacturing, oil and gas, IT, software development, aerospace, engineering, research institutes, and non-profit organizations.

Many organizations have in-house project managers that are on staff. Others use them ad-hoc in more of a freelance capacity.

It’s not uncommon to see project managers work 100% remotely these days, either. Especially, with a Work OS like that gives you unfettered oversight into all of your project’s nuances.

Try our project management template!


How do people get their PMP certified?

The most popular certification course for project management professionals is the PMP certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The exam questions will be a combination of multiple-choice, multiple responses, matching, hotspot, and limited fill-in-the-blank.

Part of that popularity is the institution’s 50+ year track record and multinational approach to advancing the standard for project management profession.

The PMP exam prep falls neatly into 5 steps:

Step 1: ensure you qualify to take the PMP exam

There are 2 doors into the PMP exam, and they both require a mix of experience and education:

  1. Possess a bachelor’s degree (4-year degree, have 36 months of experience leading projects, and either have 35 hours of project management training or be CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) certified.
  2. Possess a high school diploma or associate’s degree (2-year degree), have 60 months of experience leading projects, and either have 35 hours of project management training or be CAPM certified.

Step 2: apply to take your exam

Register here to take the exam and learn all the details.

PMI certification exams are administered at approved testing centers and online. The online version requires a computer with reliable internet access, a quiet space, and a webcam so a proctor can monitor you as you take the exam.

Step 3: study for your exam

PMI has PMP certification training resources, books, guides, and other standards available for purchase to help you prepare for the exam. There are also a lot of modern training courses available outside PMI that can help ensure you join the ranks of certified project managers.

Step 4: take the PMP exam

The exam guidelines are easily found in the PMP Certification Handbook, and the exam will likely vary year to year.

But you can expect core content such as:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closing

Step 5: maintain your professional standing 

To keep your professional certification status, you need to meet Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR), which is a fancy way to say they’re going to ensure your knowledge doesn’t get stale.

They do this by requiring Professional Development Units (PDUs) in one-hour blocks of time that either have you completing continuing project management education courses, teaching others, or volunteering.

For the PMP, the current requirement is to earn 60 PDUs every 3 years. You’ll need proof of that when you go to renew.

What does the PMP exam cost?

The PMP certification is $405 for PMI members or $555 for non-members. Exam fees can change, so if you’re planning to take the test soon, it’d be a good idea to double-check the PMI website.

Re-tests are $275 for PMI members and $375 for non-members. Renewals are $60 and $150, respectively.

What other project management certifications and exams are there?

There are dozens of popular certifications, and each one has a distinct specialization and its own unique requirements.

PMI offers the following certifications:

  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
  • Program Management Professional (PgMP)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)
  • PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)
  • PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)
  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
  • PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)

Some popular non-PMI certifications are:

  • Prince2
  • CompTIA Project+
  • Certified ScrumMaster by Scrum Alliance
  • Six Sigma Black Belt Certification (CSSBB) from ASQ
  • Six Sigma Green Belt Certification (CSSGB) from ASQ
  • Associate in Project Management (APM) by GAQM
  • Global Association for Quality Management by GAQM

Project management professionals trust

If you’re looking for a dynamic project management software then look no further than

Some features that PMP’s rave about are:

  • Our beautiful dashboards are highly customizable with several dozen column types, so you can tailor-make processes and visuals that suit your unique project needs.
  • Onboarding feels effortless thanks to our sleek user-interface and simple drag-and-drop navigation features.
  • Transparency is our top priority, and in-app messaging, tagging, and real-time dashboards ensure everyone’s on the same page at all times.
  • 8 different data visualizations, including the option for Kanban boards and Gantt charts so you can visualize data in the way that fits your project best.

But don’t take our word for it. has us at the top of their list, too.

The PMP career field is highly lucrative, and keeps project managers and project management professionals top of mind with every feature.

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