10 PMI Certifications to Level Up Your Project Management Career

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

From the associate level CAPM to the portfolio management credential PfMP, the Project Management Institute (PMI) offers several certifications for project managers for different stages in their careers.

[Featured Image]A project manager in a black-and-white checked shirt holds a board covered in sticky notes while presenting to a group at a conference table.

What exactly is a PMI certification?

PMI certifications are credentials administered by the professional organisation Project Management Institute (PMI). Ranging from the entry-level to advanced, the broad and the niche, a PMI certification can help early career professionals boost their careers or solidify the expertise of seasoned project managers.

A PMI credential might come in handy as the labour market increasingly demands project management skills. The global economy will need 25 lakh new project management professionals by 2030, according to the PMI [1].

PMI Certifications

The PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is the most popular and widely recognised certification. But PMI offers several other certifications that can be suited for professionals at various stages in their careers.

1. Project Management Professional (PMP)

With over 10 lakh certificate holders around the world, the PMP is one of the most popular and well-recognised certificates in this field. Getting the certification includes a rigorous exam that tests your knowledge of managing people, conducting processes, and making business-minded decisions.

The exam consists of 180 scored questions related to such tasks as planning and managing a project's scope and engaging stakeholders.


  • Good for: Professionals who already have some experience managing projects and want to level up their careers

  • Who qualifies: Requirements to sit for the examination include 36 months of experience leading projects if you have a bachelor’s degree, or 60 months if you have a secondary school certificate or associate degree. You will also need to complete 35 hours of project management training or coursework (this can also be substituted with the CAPM certification—see below).

  • Cost: ₹42,863 for non-PMI members, ₹23,459 for PMI members [2]


2. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

The CAPM is geared toward people who hope to manage projects, take on more responsibility, or add project management skills to their resumes. The CAPM is open to professionals at any stage of their project management careers, making it a solid option for those who are starting out.

The exam covers such learning objectives as project communication management and project risk management.


  • Good for: Beginners to project management who are looking to grow their experience and expertise 

  • Who qualifies: Since the CAPM is for professionals just starting to gain their project management expertise, therefore no significant previous experience is required. You do need a secondary degree (senior school certificate, pre-degree certificate, or pre-university certificate or an equivalent) and are expected to complete 23 hours of project management education before you take the exam.

  • Cost: ₹23,169 for non-PMI members, ₹17,377 for PMI members [3]


3. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

The PMI-ACP certifies your competency in Agile project management, a style of project management that emphasises quick short runs and adaptability. The exam consists of 100 scored items in areas such as problem detection and resolution and adaptive planning.


  • Good for: Project managers who have some Agile experience and intend to continue using Agile in their teams or organisation

  • Who qualifies: Prerequisites include 21 hours of training in Agile, one year of general project experience in the last five years (or a current PMP or PgMP certification), and at least eight months of Agile project experience in the last three years.

  • Cost: ₹38,229 for non-PMI members and ₹25,196 for PMI members [4]


4. Disciplined Agile

PMI offers four certifications in Disciplined Agile: Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM), Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master (DASSM), Disciplined Agile Coach (DAC), and Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant (DAVSC). With varying levels of experience needed, the certifications allow beginners to learn the basics of the methodology and more seasoned Agile users to deepen their skill set.


  • Good for: Project managers who regularly work with Agile and Scrum

  • Who qualifies: Candidates as many as three years of experience working in Agile in a leadership role. Each credential also requires completing a training program from a qualifying Disciplined Agile course provider that will take two to three days.

  • Cost: Varies depending on the training partner selected


5. Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)

Successful project management often means having a good understanding of how to manage business objectives. The PMI-PBA exam consists of 175 scored questions. It will test you in needs assessment, planning, monitoring, evaluation, and other criteria related to the business analysis-related aspects of project management.


  • Good for: Professionals who want to build on their specialised knowledge of business analysis

  • Who qualifies: To qualify, you will need to have 60 months of business experience and 35 contact hours of coursework in business analysis if you have a secondary school degree or associate degree. You also need 36 months of business experience and 35 contact hours of coursework if you have a bachelor’s degree.

  • Cost: ₹42,863.00 for non-PMI members, ₹23,459.00 for PMI members [5]


6. Program Management Professional (PgMP)

The PgMP is designed for professionals who are advanced in their careers and can oversee multiple projects for the success of a program. PgMP holders are expected to be able to steer complex tasks across different organisations, geographic locations, and cultures. Obtaining the PgMP entails successfully passing a panel review and taking a certification exam. The exam consists of 150 scored questions covering such tasks as developing relationships with stakeholders and evaluating new or existing project risks.


  • Good for: Program managers who have several years of experience and have managed complex projects

  • Who qualifies: A relatively advanced certification, the PgMP is geared toward those with several years of program management experience. Prerequisites include 48 months of managing a project (or a PMP) and 48 months of program management experience in the last 15 years if you have a bachelor's degree (84 months in the last 15 years if you have a secondary school or associate degree).

  • Cost: ₹77,230 for non-PMI members, ₹46,338.00 for PMI members [6]


7. Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)

If you have successfully managed one or multiple portfolios for an organisation, the PfMP can be the stamp that will prove your competency. The certification process involves a panel review and a multiple-choice exam. The exam consists of 150 scored questions covering maintaining a communication strategy and monitoring portfolio performance.


  • Good for: Those who have taken their careers into portfolio management and have achieved an executive or senior level

  • Who qualifies: To apply for the PfMP, you will need a minimum of 96 months of professional business experience within the last 15 years, and 84 months of portfolio management experience if you have a secondary school or associate degree. That number drops to 48 months of portfolio management experience if you have a bachelor’s degree.

  • Cost: ₹77,230 for non-PMI members, ₹46,338.00 for PMI members [7]


8. PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)

The PMI-RMP is designed to verify the skills of advanced professionals in risk management. PMI-RMPs will have the credentials to show that they are ready to assess and reduce risk for large or complex projects.

The exam consists of 150 scored questions covering such areas as analysing risk process performance and educating stakeholders in risk principles and processes.


  • Good for: Risk management professionals with several years of experience

  • Who qualifies: If you have a secondary school degree, associate degree, or an equivalent credential, you will need to have 36 months of experience managing project risk in the last five years, plus 40 hours of project risk management education. With a four-year degree, you will at least need 24 months of project risk management experience in the last five years, and 30 hours of project risk management education.

  • Cost: ₹51,744 for non-PMI members, ₹30,120 for PMI members [8]


9. PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)

Good scheduling can be crucial to the success of a project. PMI-SPs will verify your capacity as a professional to create the right kind of schedule for teams and projects in the 21st century—global, virtual, and highly complex.

The exam consists of 150 scored questions covering areas such as estimating activity durations and performing schedule risk analysis.


  • Good for: Project managers who want to deepen and demonstrate their scheduling capacity

  • Who qualifies: You will need some experience handling schedules before you apply to be a PMI-SP. If you have a secondary school degree or associate degree, you will need to have spent 40 months in the last five years project scheduling, with 40 hours of project scheduling coursework. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you will need 28 months of project scheduling experience within the last five years along with 30 hours of education in project scheduling.

  • Cost: ₹51,744 for non-PMI members, ₹30,120 for PMI members [9]


10. PMI Project Management Ready

Designed for students, the PMI Project Management Ready certification is a unique credential that will introduce learners to basic project management concepts. The credential exposes young students to the project management community and enhances their lives with organisational and management skills.

  • Good for: Students and anybody else who wants to gain exposure to the world of project management

  • Who qualifies: Anybody who can read at a seventh-grade level, has basic computer skills, and is capable of participating in training and taking exams can qualify for this credential.

  • Cost: ₹6,000-8,000 depending on package and provider [10]


Are PMI certifications worth it?

Professional certification from the PMI can show employers and other industry insiders your competency in project management. That said, deciding if you can get the skills you need and boost your career from a PMI certification boost depends on your unique situation, industry, and career goals. Though some employers might prefer project managers with certification, there are many opportunities that do not require them.

There is evidence that correlates certain PMI certifications to monetary benefit. The PMP, for example, has been linked to higher incomes—a 2021 PMI survey found that PMP certified members in the 40 countries surveyed reported a 16 percent higher median salary than their non-certified counterparts [11].

How do I get a PMI certification?

1. Meet the requirements. Each PMI certification has a different set of requirements you must meet in order for you to take the test for certification. Before you apply, you will want to make sure you have a record of any applicable project management experience.

2. Apply. Once you think you are well-prepared to qualify for an exam, you can make an account with PMI.org.in and apply for certification. If you're approved, that's when you're required to pay the examination fee and schedule your test.

3. Take the exam. Certification exams generally take three to four hours and include some combination of multiple-choice, multiple-response, matching, hotspot, and fill-in-the-blank questions. Some advanced certifications may have a panel review as part of your certification process.

4. Maintain your certification. Each PMI certification is valid for three years. In that time, you'll need to earn a set amount of PDUs—professional development units—to maintain your certification. PDUs are hours you spend either learning, teaching, or volunteering in your project management certification area (so 30 PDUs will translate to 30 hours of your time). The number of PDUs necessary to keep your certification will depend on the certification.

Get started in project management

Equipping yourself with project management skills can make you a competitive candidate for jobs and a successful leader in the workplace. If you're just starting out in your project management journey, take a look at the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate—the first week is free.

Article sources


Project Management Institute. “Talent Gap 2021 Report, https://www.pmi.org/learning/careers/talent-gap-2021." Accessed August 15, 2022.

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