PMP is the most prestigious and well-known certification in project management around the world. There are several ways and resources for PMP certification. However, the most affordable and convenient way to prepare is PMP online certification preparation. Especially, if you are a full-time working professional, it will be tough to find enough time for PMP certification. You can prepare and get your PMP certification 100% online even if you have a busy schedule in your work or daily life!
There are five steps of earning your PMP certification online.
- PMP online certification application
- Online PMP certification study
- Online PMP certification training
- Taking PMP exam
- Online PMP certification renewal
We will go over each step of PMP online certification step-by-step in this post. Before diving into details of PMP online certification, let us go through the fundamentals of what PMP certification is and PMP certification requirements.
What is PMP?
PMP is the acronym for Project Management Professional, and PMP credential is offered by the Project Management Institute, USA. PMP is the most coveted credential for a project manager and recognized all over the world. Being a PMP has many perks but getting there is not easy either.
How can you be PMP Certified?
There are a few prerequisites for applying for the PMP certification:
- If you are having a master’s degree or a 4 year under graduation (10+2+4), you need to have 4500 hours of experience managing projects. If you don’t have this level of education background, you need to have 7500 hours of project experience.
- Plus, you need 35 contact hours of formal project management education
You can read more about PMP certification requirements.
Step #1: Online PMP Certification Application
Once you meet the PMP certification requirements, you can apply to sit for PMP certification. There are three methods for applying PMP certification.
Online PMP Certification Application
This is the most convenient and fastest method for PMP certification application. PMI also recommends to apply for PMP certification through this method. You create your profile through website of PMI (pmi.org) and then submit your education background, project experience, project management education details and other information step-by-step.
PMI reviews your online application in five business days and you will be notified through email whether you are eligible to sit for PMP exam. PMI selects PMP applications randomly and some applications are audited. In this case, you might need to submit evidence documents regarding your PMP application.
You can see our online PMP application steps post for step-by-step online PMP certification application.
Paper PMP Certification Application
In this method, you download the PMP application form from PMI website and fill in your PMP application details on the application form. Then, you should send the paper documents to PMI mail address. Paper PMP application takes at least 20 business days. In case of any missing document or change request, you must have to resend documents via mail.
PMP Certification Application Through Training Provider
Your training provider can apply PMP certification on behalf of you with other PMP candidates in the training program. This method also takes time since there will be lots of PMP candidate forms to be coordinated by the training provider and this will also go through mailing.
Considering all these aspects of three PMP application methods, PMP online certification application is the most convenient and fasted process.
Step #2: Online PMP Certification Study
Second step of getting PMP certification online is, preparing a PMP study guide. You may go for online PMP preparation if you are comfortable with soft copies, videos, online discussions and want to stay connected. There are many websites that provide free PMP resources and paid resources to help you prepare.
Firstly, come up with a PMP study plan, your own project plan for online PMP certification. Estimate the time and cost for the PMP certification. Create a schedule that includes all the activities in your PMP online certification journey. Reading PMBoK, going through the online sessions, taking tests, correcting errors, clarifying concepts, revision etc. These are the activities that will be in your PMP online certification schedule. Take care of the risks and of course, the stakeholders for this project including your family and boss.
There are many online resources and blogs that help the aspirants to smoothly sail through the PMP online certification process. After helping thousands of professionals in more than 180 countries to pass their certification exams, we have prepared a 7-step PMP study plan to crack the PMP exam in your first attempt. Go through this plan and create your own PMP online certification study plan.
Step #3: Online PMP Certification Training
As we have listed above, you must have attended and completed a 35 contact hours PMP certification training in order to be eligible for the PMP exam. There are three options for attending a PMP training. These are:
- Self-paced and 100% Online PMP Certification Training: You can access these PMP online certification courses anytime and from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. The requirements to access the courses are mentioned by the training providers. Most of them are simple enough and don’t need any special installation, etc. The advantage of these PMP online certification courses is you can work on them at any time and from anywhere. You may do more in one day, less. It all depends on you.
- Instructor-led Online PMP Certification Classes: These are similar to physical classroom sessions. The main difference is you are virtually attending them. These are conducted during specific time slots on specific days which you need to sign up and attend.
- PMP Classroom Training Options: You can search for available PMP training providers in your location and find a suitable PMP course that fits your schedule. These are four or five-day intensive programs that will bring you a huge amount of information with an intensive program. Thus, it might be tough to digest this information in a short time.
If you are a full-time working professional, we recommend you to attend an online PMP certification training program. This will help you to complete your training at your pace and avoid commute.
You can check PMP Certification Online Training of Master of Project Academy for further details. This online PMP exam prep training option satisfies the 35 contact hours project management training prerequisite of PMP certification requirements. It covers more than 300 lectures, over 750 practice questions, downloadable handouts, supporting documents, cheat sheets and several other PMP prep materials.
PMP success stories of Master of Project Academy proves the quality of this online PMP certification course. Don Wheeler is one of the several PMP success stories of Master of Project Academy. Don passed the PMP exam successfully with the PMP training from Master of Project Academy and he scored “Above Target” on all five domains of the PMP exam. This is the highest score where a PMP candidate can get from the PMP exam. You can read Don’s PMP success story.
PMP Exam Changes in July 1, 2020
PMI make industry research regularly and adapts the PMP certification exam accordingly based on the changing industry dynamics. For instance, more than 10 years ago, most of the corporate organizations were preferring waterfall project management methodology. However, most of the organizations shifting agile methodologies in recent years.
Based on the changing industry dynamics and what organizations expect from project managers, PMI will be changing PMP exam in 2020 as well. We have prepared a detailed post about what is changing in PMP exam and how you should be prepared for the changes. If you are looking to get your PMP certification, it is better to get it before the next PMP exam changes.
Hint: Do you wonder when you can take the PMP exam? Read more about PMP exam schedule, the next PMP exam date and how you can schedule and more in PMP exam schedule post.
How Should You Choose a PMP online certification course?
When choosing an PMP online certification course, consider following points:
- Expertise of the instructor
- Real world examples provided
- Provision to get your queries/doubts clarified by the instructor
- How long the access is given for you to view the PMP online certification course?
- Reviews of previous PMP exam takers who enrolled in the PMP online certification training.
- Facility to network with other aspirants in the PMP online certification training to discuss and keep you motivated as well as focused (We all are bogged down by project and domestic pressure, so continuity in preparation is the key)
- Facility to check your progress and understanding – Question Bank (what is important is the accuracy and relevance of the sample PMP exam questions. Watch out for questions that are on the earlier versions of PMBoK or before the pattern changed. These can completely demotivate and misguide you)
- Facility to have certain key concepts, formulas. tips and tricks as downloadable handouts (Easy to refer to for a quick bite of knowledge! Time is one of the major constraints for the busy project managers)
- Support from the PMP online certification training provider on application process for PMP online certification
Check out a section from our Online PMP Certification Training
Step #4: Take Your PMP Exam
Unfortunately, this is the only step which you cannot complete at your home 100% online during your PMP certification process. When you submit your PMP application, PMI will review and inform you that your PMP online certification application has been accepted. Then you pay the fee, pick your date and slot in the Pearson VUE center of your choice based on the availability.
The PMP certification exam is of four hours and is computer based. It is not online in the sense you login to a website and take the exam. So, although you might have opted for PMP online certification method, you need to take your PMP certification exam in a Pearson VUE test center.
There are many Pearson VUE test centers across the world, so pick the one that is convenient to you. PMP exam has questions with four options, of which you need to pick one correct answer. The good news is that there are no negative marks for wrong answers.
You can read more about PMP exam structure.
The PMP certification exam is computer based with a tutorial provided to familiarize you with the exam pattern. Once you start the exam, the clock keeps ticking and once you click submit or when the four hours are elapsed the exam gets finished. Hold your breath! You are going to see a message ‘Congratulations’ on the screen once you submit. And, you are a PMP from then on. You can add PMP to your name from that day. Your PMP online certification journey is now over. However, PMP certification is not a get-and-forget certification.
Be sure you renew your PMP certification in the three-year certification cycle to keep your credential in good standing. There is a PMP renewal process for this.
Step #5: Online PMP Certification Renewal
Once you obtained the PMP certification, you must renew your PMP certification in each three years. To do this, you must earn 60 PDUs and then apply for PMP renewal process.
There are more than 10 categories to earn PMP PDUs. However, the most convenient and affordable way to earn PDUs is taking online PDU courses and submitting your earned PDUs online through your PMI.org profile.
PMP PDU Courses Online provides you the PDUs you will need to renew your PMP certification. As Master of Project Academy, we have also 4 different PMP PDU Courses Online. 60 PMP PDU Bundle is the most popular one and covers all 60 PDU needs.
Once you completed the courses, you can claim your earned PDUs as instructed in the PMI PDU Submission post.
As you can see, all you have to do is attending courses, completing them at your own pace and in any place, and then submitting your earned PDUs to PMI. That is why it is the most convenient and affordable way to earn PDUs.
PMP Online Certification is an option that allows you freedom and flexibility to prepare at your suitable time, at your pace and at your place. You can learn through self-paced courses that also allow provide expert help when needed. The PMP online certification training package offered by some of the REPs includes mock tests and tests by Knowledge Area to assess your preparation.
Sunanda Gundavajhala, B.Tech, M.B.A, PMP has over 25 years of project management. She is a consultant, trainer on project management for different sectors and is the recipient of “Recognition of Excellence” award from PMI, USA and Woman Volunteer award from Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI. Sunanda has contributed to the “Practice Standard on Scheduling, PMI”. She has worked as the Liaison officer for PMIEF (Education Foundation) for the Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI.
See our other articles you might be interested in:
PMP Certification Requirements article will help you to understand eligibility requirements to sit for PMP exam. It will be good to know whether you fulfill the PMP eligibility requirements before you start your PMP preparation.
PMP Certification Cost article will help you to see all aspects of PMP certification cost. Check all aspects of PMP certification cost and prepare your budget for getting PMP certification.
How to Get PMP Certification article describes the five major steps you should pass for getting PMP certification.
PMP exam questions article will help you to see sample PMP exam questions. You will see also answers and rationales for these sample PMP exam questions.
PMP certification salary article will help you to see anticipated salary hike after you get the PMP certification!