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Project Management

Fastest Way To Earn Your PMP


This is the question of the year because I have met numerous people working towards their Project Management Professional certification.  I don’t blame them for wanting to attain this prized certification.  With it comes prestige, promotions and pay increases (at least in my case).

Read the Marketplace Survey to see how much certified Project Managers earn:  http://www.pmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Virtual-Library-Project-Management-Salary-Survey.aspx

And to make it even more interesting, see how much Project Managers are earning in the top 10 countries paying the most:  http://www.pmi.org/en/Professional-Development/Career-Central/10-Countries-with-Highest-Salaries-for-Project-Managers.aspx

If that isn’t motivation to want to earn this PMP certification, I don’t know what is.  If you are serious about it, commending more money is not enough, you probably want the credibility that comes with it too.  I know for me, it helped me solidify what I already knew and learned through my years as a Project Manager.  It also helped me break some of those nasty bad habits I picked up along the way as invalid shortcuts not recognized by the PMI organization.  You want to do things the right way so your projects are planned, executed and closed without much of a hiccup or hitch.  Especially if they get audited.


Let’s get on to how to earn a PMP fast.  There are a few steps you must take and being organized is a MUST.

1.  Make sure you go to the PMI.org site and determine which certification you want to earn.  There is now a list of different certifications offered by the Project Management Institute:

2.  Assuming you want to earn your PMP, make sure you review the requirements to ensure you are eligible to sit for the exam.  Click here for those details:  http://www.pmi.org/Certification/Project-Management-Professional-PMP.aspx.  Don’t worry if you do not meet the requirements to sit for the PMP exam.  They do offer the CAPM which is the Certified Associate in Project Management certification.  It isn’t as “glamorous” as the PMP but it can be a stepping stone to you one day earning your PMP.

3.  If you plan to have your company sponsor the cost of the exam, check with your benefits administration to make sure this is eligible and with your supervisor to make sure they will approve this to be funded.  If you don’t have to pay for it out of your own pocket – don’t.  Otherwise, save your money.  It will cost you about $555 as of December 2, 2013 to sit for a computer-based exam and a little less for a paper-based exam.  Those prices are assuming you are not an active member of a local PMI Chapter.  If you are, then the cost is reduced but basically by the dues amount – so you pay the same whether you are a member or not.  I hope that makes sense.  Either way – wouldn’t hurt to join your local PMI chapter to get to network with certified PMPs before you take the exam to earn yours.

4.  Get materials to begin studying for the exam.  I used Rita Mulcahy’s study materials set along with the Project Management Body Of Knowledge Guide (PMBOK).  I personally took 4 months to study for the exam on my own but there are several bootcamp and training programs available to help get your prepared in as quick a time as possible.  The bootcamp programs typically last 4 to 5 days, take you off to a remote location and feed you “brain” food to help you with memorization.  They also highlight techniques to use while taking the exam in order to work through the problems with formulas.  Do your research – there are a bunch of great training programs out there.

5.  Sit and pass the exam.  How quick and easy is that?  As long as you properly prepare you will most likely pass on your first attempt.  If you don’t, you can take it again, for an additional cost.  I know I didn’t want to prolong the time spent studying so I worked very hard to learn and memorize the PMI content so I could pass the first time.

There you have it.  I never said it would be easy, but honestly – this is the most streamlined you can get to fast track your way to earning your very own PMP.

Good luck on your endeavors and please leave a comment HERE once you have passed the exam – we would love to hear all about it.

Please share any fast-track tips to earning the PMP you have learned about by leaving a comment.

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