People and organizations get things done by engaging in projects. Projects are defined as temporary efforts that create value and get results through unique processes, services, and products. Projects have timelines, teams, expectations, budgets, and phases, known as a lifecycle.
Projects need someone to lead the team, resolve issues, and ensure that everything runs on time and within the budget. These people are known as project managers, and a great project manager can make all the difference.
Projects managers are in heavy demand. The project management field is expected to increase by 33 percent through 2027. Consequently, project management is a great career choice that offers a challenge while ensuring job security and growth potential.
But how do you take those first steps in a project management career? For starters, you can gain CAPM® training. That’s what we’re covering here today. This article shows you how to achieve CAPM certification, including dealing with the CAPM exam, CAPM requirements, CAPM project management, the cost of becoming a Certified Associate in Project Management, and why you should take the CAPM exam.
We’ve been tossing around the CAPM acronym a lot; what does it mean? What’s CAPM certification, anyway?
What is CAPM Certification?
The CAPM acronym stands for Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®, designed to prepare candidates for entry-level positions in project management. This certification is administered by the Project Management Institute, also known as PMI. PMI is a global organization specializing in project management. Education, collaboration, international advocacy, networking, and research prepare individuals and organizations to work smarter in today’s dynamic and ever-changing world.
CAPM certification is the first stepping stone on the project management career path. It paves the way for more complex and time-consuming certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification.
Now that we’ve answered the “what is CAPM certification?” question, we need to cover the requirements. What are the CAPM requirements for becoming a certified associate in project management?
Before sitting for the CAPM exam, candidates must fulfill the following requirements.
1) You must have a secondary degree, meaning a high school diploma, GED, associate degree, or any global equivalent.
2) You must earn at least 23 hours of project management education must be completed before the exam. You can fulfill this 23-hour requirement by taking a project management course online or at a local educational institution. Additionally, the PMI Institute offers training through their Project Management Basics online course that fulfills this eligibility criterion.
Note that you don’t need a four-year undergraduate or a master’s degree. You can enter the exciting world of project management with as little college as an associate’s degree, which is cool since it means, you don’t have to make a heavy initial investment in higher education. With just a small bit of time and effort, you can get your foot in the door with CAPM project management.
What is the Cost of CAPM Certification?
You will find the costs manageable in your pursuit of CAPM certification. The CAPM requires applicants to pass one exam. Here are the CAPM certification prices:
1) Non-PMI members: $300
2) PMI members: $225
If you’d like to become a PMI member, it costs $129 a year and a one-time $10 application fee. So, the total cost of joining the PMI and taking the CAPM certification exam is $364. In addition, PMI membership has valuable perks such as a free downloadable PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide, reduced pricing for other project manager career-advancing certifications, and access to project management job boards.
If you’re a full-time student participating in an accredited degree-granting program, you could be eligible for the $257 student bundle. This price includes a membership fee of $32 and the CAPM exam cost. In addition, you can potentially save even more money by talking to faculty members who teach project management courses at your school and see if they have access to bulk purchasing agreements with PMI.
Finally, suppose you have a job already but believe that CAPM certification can benefit your employer. In that case, you could ask your manager if your organization would cover training costs and exams. There are plenty of companies that would like to have an in-house certified associate in project management.
What are the Benefits of CAPM?
So, why should you obtain CAPM training? Here’s why.
1) You will learn how to initiate a project
2) You will become acquainted with all the essential phases of a project, including budgeting, planning, and execution
3) You’ll be taught how to estimate the cost of each task and the project’s overall expenditure
4) You will learn how to hire and manage a team
5) You will be taught how to set and achieve goals, meet deadlines, and plan for contingencies, among many other valuable skills
6) Your job prospects will improve. Many companies place stock in certifications, which show that the applicant has the knowledge and skill sets needed to meet the job requirements
7) You will be better prepared to take the CAPM exam
Who Should Apply for the CAPM?
Suppose you want to be qualified to manage large-scale projects and take on more responsibility or add project management skills to your current skill set. In that case, you should pursue the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM).
All About the CAPM Exam
The CAPM exam consists of 150 questions based on the contents of the PMBOK Guide’s sixth edition. You have three hours to complete it.
Fifteen of the CAPM exam questions are called “pretest questions” and are used by the PMI to test future examination questions. Pretest questions appear randomly throughout the test but are not counted against your test score. A breakdown of the CAPM exam topics across the PMBOK® Guide’s thirteen chapters are:
1) Introduction to Project Management: 6%
2) Project Environment: 6%
3) The role of the Project Manager: 7%
4) Project Integration: 9%
5) Project Scope: 9%
6) Project Schedule: 9%
7) Project Cost: 8%
8) Project Quality: 7%
9) Project Resource: 8%
10) Project Communication: 10%
11) Project Risk: 8%
12) Project Procurement: 4%
13) Project Stakeholder: 9%
Also Read: All About Project Management Qualifications
Maintaining Your CAPM Certification
After you pass your CAPM exam and gain certification, it’s good for five years. Once the five years are up, you must pay for recertification and take the recertification exam to keep your credentials up to date.
The CAPM recertification fee is $250 for PMI members and $300 for non-members. The recertification period starts at the end of your fourth certification year. You have that year to schedule your recertification and pay your fees. You can take the recertification exam three times within the one-year eligibility window. Once you pass the recertification exam, you’ll be certified again for another five years from the date you passed the exam.
You also have a one-year eligibility window from when you apply for recertification. But keep track of your one-year eligibility window and one-year renewal window since each window is separate. For instance, if you schedule the exam after the renewal window closes but are still within your eligibility window, you’re no longer eligible to renew. Instead, you will be considered a new CAPM student again.
So, Is the CAPM Worth It?
Although the CAPM is an entry-level certification, it is absolutely worth it. You are gaining valuable project management skills with very little financial outlay, and, as mentioned before, you don’t even need an extensive college education background.
Once you solidify your project management skill set, you can eventually pursue several related job positions, such as:
1) Associate project manager
2) Junior project manager
3) Project analyst
4) Project control specialist
5) Project coordinator
6) Project manager
Also, CAPM certification is a great way to begin building up your project management skills. Once you secure your CAPM certification, you can look at other certifications, such as PMP.
Finally, certified project managers command better compensation. According to Ziprecruiter.com, a certified associate in project management working in the United States earns an annual average salary of $91,735, with a range that goes from $62,500 at the low end to $139,500 at the high end.
Do You Want to Take Project Management to the Next Level?
We mentioned building upon your newly gained CAPM certification to improve your project management skill set by taking other certification courses. For example, UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management, in collaboration with Simplilearn, offers a PMP boot camp that will boost your project leadership skills and prepare you to take on more significant challenges and better career opportunities.
The boot camp, aligned with PMI-PMP® and IASSC-Lean Six Sigma, covers valuable project management skills such as:
2) Customer Experience Design
3) Design Thinking
4) Digital Transformation
5) Leadership Skills
6) Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (LSSGB)
7) Project Management
8) Project Risk Management
In addition, the bootcamp helps you earn your 146 Professional Development Units (PDUs) to maintain your continuing certification requirements (CCR) for PMI-related certifications. You will also be offered membership in the UMass Amherst Alumni Association.
Today’s business world needs more qualified project management professionals than ever. So, sign up for this valuable project management bootcamp today, and turbocharge your project manager career while opening more doors and career opportunities.