FAQ - Costs and Benefits of PMP Certification

Traditional professional certification

Becoming a Project Management Professional is similar to becoming a doctor, an airline pilot or any other profession:

  • To become a doctor, you will pay for (a) medical school and (b) certification. The payments will be wise investments, based on your increased lifetime income.
  • To become an airline pilot, you will pay for (a) pilot training and (b) certification. The payments will be wise investments, based on your increased lifetime income.
  • To become a certified Project Management Professional, you will pay for (a) PMP exam prep training and (b) certification. The payments will be wise investments, based on your increased lifetime income.

PMP costs

To earn your PMP credential, you will encounter two costs:

  • PMP exam prep training, paid to a trainer
    • The range is between $180 and $3,000
    • There is no "standard" training program. To find the right one for you, check each trainer's credentials and examine the online and printed learning materials. Some "training" programs don't include either.
    • PMP certification exam, paid to the Project Management Institute
      • $405 for Project Management Institute members, $550 for all others.
      • PMI membership is currently $139 annually, plus a one-time $10 application fee.
      • Local PMI chapter membership averages $25 per year.

    That makes the total cost range between $730 and $3,550.

    PMP Return on Investment

    If you are a self-employed PMP, your training will help you deliver better projects, sooner, at a lower cost. Here's an example:

    • The Old Way: You sell $1,000,000 worth of projects each year. Your costs are $600,000 each year, so your profits are $400,000 each year. 
    • The New Way: You sell the same $1,000,000 worth of projects each year. Your training helps you improve your profitability by 20 percent. Your costs are now only $480,000, so your profits are $520,000 now. Your PMP certificate training helped you earn an additional $120,000. 

    If you are employed as a project manager, your training will help you lead your team to greater success. Here's an example:

    • The Old Way: Your team works on $10,000,000 worth of projects each year. Many of your projects have an incentive for early completion. Your costs are $6,000,000, plus an additional $100,000 for late delivery penalties. Your profits are $3,900,000.
    • The New Way: Your team works on the same $10,000,000 worth of projects each year. From your PMP training, you learned ways to improve your overall project performance by 20 percent. Your total project costs are now only $4,800,000. You deliver more projects early, winning $100,000 in incentive awards. Your profits are $5,300,000. Your PMP certificate training helped you earn an additional $1,400,000 for your organization.

    Example, using goss consulting's "PMP for YOU" learning system

    costs

    Goss Consulting's "PMP for YOU" 4-day boot camp training is reasonably priced at $1,595 per student, for the most comprehensive learning system:

    • Online lessons and quizzes (35 hours)
    • Online media center, with additional learning tools
    • Online 200-question simulated PMP exam, with answers and rationales
    • Printed PMBOK, from PMI
    • Printed textbook
    • Quick-reference guide
    • Flash cards
    • Audio CDs
    • Live kick-off meeting, weeks prior to the live training
    • 4-day live PMP boot camp (32 - 35 hours)
      • Lectures
      • Slides
      • Q&A
      • Lesson quizzes
      • 200-question simulated PMP exam
    • Personal and group coaching to help you complete your application, and to help you prepare for your PMP exam. (Mike Goss, PMP, DTM is a Certified Coach.)
    • 100% risk-free, money-back guarantee on your PMP for YOU tuition. Full details are at https://www.pmpforyou.com/guarantee.

    PMP membership is $129 annual dues, plus a $10 one-time application fee.

    Local PMI chapter membership dues average $25.

    As a member, you will pay PMI $408 to sit for your PMP exam. Non-members pay $555.

    Total Costs = $1,595 + $139 + $10 + $25 + $408 = $2,177.

    Return on your investment

    There are several ways to measure your benefits from becoming a certified Project Management Professional. Pick the one that works for you. Adjust the factors. No matter how you look at it, your investment will by tiny compared to your rewards:

    • You receive a promotion because of your PMP credential. Your new position includes a raise of $20,000 annually. You spent $2,177 to earn an additional $20,000. Your first-year ROI = $20,000 / $2,177 = 919%.  
    • In the self-employed project manager example above, your company earned additional annual profits of $120,000. Your first-year ROI = $120,000 / $2,177 = 5,512%. 
    • In the corporate project management example above, your employer earned an additional $1,400,000 in profits due to your increased performance and leadership. Let's take a total of ten members of your company through the PMP for YOU training program. Your total costs would be 10 x $2,177 = $21,770. That means your company spent $21,770 to earn additional profits of $1,400,000. Your first-year ROI = $1,400,000 / $21,770 = 6,431%

    No matter how you adjust the growth of your profits, investing in yourself and your teammates pays extremely high returns. And those returns get bigger every year.