What Is the CAPM Certification? Requirements and More

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

The CAPM—or Certified Associate in Project Management—certification is designed to help candidates learn the skills necessary for entry-level project management positions. It can be the first stepping stone to a career in the field.

[Featured image] A certified project manager stands with arms crossed in front of a whiteboard.

What is the CAPM certification? 

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification is a credential designed to prepare candidates for entry-level project management positions. It is administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), a leading worldwide organisation in project management. It costs ₹17,377 PMI members to take and ₹23,169 for non-PMI members and can be used as a stepping stone to the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification [1].

CAPM requirements

In order to sit for the CAPM exam, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Secondary school degree, such as a senior school certificate, pre-degree certificate, or pre-university certificate 

  • 23 hours of project management education, completed before the time of the exam

How can I fulfill my 23 hours of project management education?

There are several project management courses you can take, both online and in-person, in order to fulfill this requirement, like the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate. You can also take the Project Management Basics course offered by PMI.

The CAPM requires passing one exam. The exam is priced as follows, as of August 2022:

  • Non-PMI members: ₹23,169

  • PMI members: ₹17,377 [2]

Becoming a PMI member costs ₹9,963 a year, plus a ₹772 application fee [3]. This brings the total of becoming CAPM-certified as a new member to ₹28,112. Membership comes with perks, such as: 

  • Complimentary download of the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide

  • Ready-made project plans, checklists, and templates

  • Networking with your local chapter

  • Webinars and events

  • Cost savings on all PMI certifications

If you are a full-time student in an accredited, degree-granting program, you might approach faculty members teaching project management courses at your school to see if they have bulk purchase agreements with PMI, which may save you further costs.

If you are employed and think the CAPM can be beneficial to your employer, you can consider approaching your manager to see if your organisation will cover exam and training costs.

Is the CAPM worth it?

The CAPM is generally considered an entry-level project management certification. So how do you know it will be worth the effort? Here are a few things to consider.

CAPM salary and jobs

The CAPM can prepare you for entry-level project management jobs such as, junior project manager, and associate project manager.

Project management is an in-demand skill and a growing career field. A report conducted by the PMI projects 70 lakh new project managers in India from 2017 through 2027, for a total of 210.7 lakh by 2027. In a report published by the PMI in 2021, the global economy will need 250 lakh new project professionals by 2030 in order to keep up with demand.

According to Glassdoor, a certified associate in project management makes an average salary of ₹12,58,032 in India as of August 2022 [4]. Continuing along this career path, Glassdoor reported the following salaries:

  • Senior project manager: ₹33,00,000

  • Leader of project management: ₹17,45,089

  • Principal project manager: ₹32,26,274

  • Senior principal project manager: ₹38,35,776/yr

  • Senior director of project management: ₹95,31,338


The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is also administered by the PMI. While the CAPM is generally seen as an entry-level certification, the PMP is considered a professional-level credential. The PMP is also far more popular than the CAPM, with over one million PMP holders worldwide. 

Here is a quick summary of their differences.

Who it's it for?Entry-level project managersThose with at least three years of project management experience
Jobs postings that mention certification on Naukri (August 2022)15,52038,891
RequirementsSecondary degree, plus 23 hours of project management education35 hours of project management training (can be replaced with CAPM), and 36 months of experience leading projects with a four-year degree or 60 months with a secondary degree
Average India salary (from Payscale, February 2022)₹684,000₹2,000,000
Cost (from PMI website, August 2022)₹23,169 for non-PMI members, ₹17,377 for PMI members₹42,863 for non-PMI members, ₹23,459 for PMI members
Exam3 hours, 150 questions3 hours 50 minutes, 180 questions

Should I get the CAPM or PMP?

As an entry-level certification, obtaining the CAPM certification would be more beneficial if you have little or no experience with project management. It can be a great ice-breaker for you to gain some experience in this field or for you to take on more project management-oriented tasks in your workplace. Your decision should depend on what your individual goals are. It will also be wise to acquire knowledge about examination fees, as well as other options available to you.

If you have at least three years of project management experience, it will be worth considering the PMP.


CAPM training

To train for the CAPM exam, you can self-study or enroll in a course. Here is a quick look at two online training courses.

Project Management Basics

  • What you need to know: Project Management Basics is a course offered by the PMI designed to prepare you for the CAPM. The lessons are 20-minute online modules that are accessible in any order. The course is based on content in the PMI project management guide, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) and includes a free digital copy of the guide.

  • Price: $400 USD for non-PMI members, $350 USD for PMI members (approximately ₹30,169 and ₹26398 respectively) [5]

Google Project Management: Professional Certificate

  • What you need to know: The Google Project Management: Professional Certificate includes six courses on various aspects of project management, including project initiation, project planning, and Agile project management. Completing the coursework will also earn you a Professional Certificate and qualifies you with over 100 hours of project management education that you can use toward requirements for PMI certifications, the CAPM included. The certificate is not an official CAPM training course.

  • Price: $39 (₹2941) a month subscription, with a free trial week (subject to change) [6]

Opting to self-study?

If you'd like to study for the exam on your own, you will want to at least get a copy of the most recent PMBOK Guide, which the CAPM is based on. You can also start getting acquainted with the content and structure of the exam through the PMI’s CAPM handbook.


The CAPM exam

The CAPM exam contains 150 questions and you will have three hours to complete it. 

Of these questions, fifteen are “pretest questions.” These are used by the PMI as a way to test future examination questions, appear randomly throughout the test, and are not counted in your score. The CAPM exam is based on the contents of the sixth edition of the PMBOK Guide. (Again, this will change in 2023 - do not have a release date yet)

The breakdown of exam topics across the 13 chapters of the PMBOK Guide are as follows:

  1. Introduction to Project Management: 6%

  2. Project Environment: 6%

  3. Role of the Project Manager: 7%

  4. Project Integration Management: 9%

  5. Project Scope Management: 9%

  6. Project Schedule Management: 9%

  7. Project Cost Management: 8%

  8. Project Quality Management: 7%

  9. Project Resource Management: 8%

  10. Project Communication Management: 10%

  11. Project Risk Management: 8%

  12. Project Procurement Management: 4%

  13. Project Stakeholder Management: 9%

New Exam

Will encompass 4 Domain areas based on the new CAPM Exam Content Outline:      

  • Project Management Fundamentals and Core Concepts 

  • Predictive Plan-Based Methodologies 

  • Agile Frameworks/Methodologies 

  • Business Analysis Frameworks 

  • A 10-minute break will also be added to the exam  

Both the current and the new exam will include 150 questions to be completed in 3 hours and can be taken at a test center or as an online proctored exam.

Getting started

As an entry-level project management certification, the CAPM can be a great way to build up needed skills to enter the field of project management. If you are ready to get started, consider checking out the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate—the first week is free.

Article sources


Project Management Institute India. “Project Management Certifications India, https://www.pmi.org.in/content.aspx?id=Storefront-Price."  Accessed August 30, 2022.

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