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9 Steps To Becoming a PMP® Certified Professional

Becoming a PMP® (Project Management Professional) certified professional involves a series of structured steps, each critical to the journey. Below, we detail these steps, using information from various authoritative sources:

1. Read the PMP® Credentials Handbook

The Project Management Institute (PMI)® publishes this handbook, which provides comprehensive details on the process of taking the PMP Exam and becoming PMI® certified. It’s a must-read to understand the application and examination procedures

2. Ensure Eligibility 

There are specific eligibility criteria based on education and professional experience. If you have a high school diploma or equivalent, you need five years of project management experience, with 7,500 hours in leading and directing projects. With a bachelor’s degree, three years (4,500 hours) in leading projects are required. In both cases, 35 contact hours of project management training are mandatory

3. PMI Membership and Local Chapter Membership 

Joining PMI and a local PMI Chapter offers benefits like access to the PMBOK® Guide, discounts on the PMP exam, networking opportunities, and educational workshops

4. Register for the PMP Exam

Setting a deadline for the exam by registering at the PMI website and scheduling it through Prometric is essential for focused preparation.

5. Study the PMBOK® Guide Thoroughly

The PMBOK® Guide is the primary reference for the PMP Exam, covering about 75% of the exam content. It’s advisable to read it multiple times for a comprehensive understanding.

6. Utilize Additional Study Materials and Self-Study Courses

 Alongside the PMBOK® Guide, use other study materials and courses to cover the remaining 25% of the exam content. Enrolling in PMP boot camps or using online courses like PM PrepCast can be beneficial.

7. Attend a PMP Workshop

Participate in workshops offered by PMI Chapters or other institutions. These provide interaction with instructors for clearing doubts and understanding difficult concepts.

8. Practice with Sample Exam Questions

Regularly answering sample PMP exam questions and tracking your scores helps in understanding the exam pattern and assessing readiness.

9. Take the PMP Exam

After thorough preparation, it’s time to take the exam. A short tutorial before the exam helps in understanding the computer and software.

10. Maintain Certification with PDUs

Post-certification, you need to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years to keep the certification active. PDUs can be earned through various educational and professional activities.

Additional Considerations:

The average pass rate for the PMP exam is about 61%, and it is considered a difficult test. The exam consists of 180 questions to be completed in 230 minutes, covering areas like Process, People, and Business Environment.

The application process can take over 90 days, and it’s recommended to allow about 6 months for complete preparation and credentialing. Free digital resources from PMI and participation in networking and test preparation groups can also be advantageous in your preparation journey.


The path to becoming a PMP® certified professional requires meticulous preparation, adherence to eligibility criteria, and continuous learning. By following these steps and utilizing the available resources and support networks, you can enhance your chances of successfully achieving and maintaining this esteemed certification.