PMP or CAPM - Which Project Management Certification?

Project management is on the rise. More than 15 million jobs were available in 2022, and companies across many industries are searching for new project managers with relevant experience and qualifications.

Want to increase your credibility and career opportunities? Invest in one of these two specialized PMI-certified certifications-- CAPM or PMP. Understanding the differences between them is critical because your choice will influence how you're perceived in the industry.

Requirements for PMP or CAPM Certifications

If you're looking to start a career in project management and don't have project management experience or an advanced degree, the CAPM certification is perfect for you. It's ideal for recent college graduates or current students who want to get ahead with a credential that demonstrates their commitment to the field.

Prerequisites for CAPM Certification

Here's a look at the prerequisites for the Certified Analytics Professional Accreditation.

  • 4-year degree

  • 3 years leading projects

  • Project Management training of about 35 hours


  • High school diploma or global equivalent degree

  • Project management certification/training of up to 35 hours

  • Led projects of up to 60 months.

If your career as a project manager is a lifelong pursuit, CAPM certification may be the next step. The certification is ideal for people just starting their careers, but you need to have some project management education before you can take the exam. This can be completed online without impacting your professional or collegiate obligations. Some universities may also offer this as part of their degree program.

CAPM requires 1,500 hours of general work experience, while PMP candidates with only a secondary degree must have 7,500 hours of the actual project leading and directing under their belts.

Some Prerequisites for PMP Certification

The PMP certification doesn't need a bachelor's degree, so openings are available to anyone with the experience needed to qualify.

  • A secondary degree or equivalent

  • Led projects and directed the same of up to 7,500 hours

  • Project management education of up to 35 hours


  • 4-years degree

  • Directing projects and leading them of up to 4,500 hours

  • Project management education of up to 35 hours

It takes a lot longer to complete the PMP certification, compared to CAPM for those who have not taken a project management course already.

The Exam Costs

The PMI certification is taking advantage of their 20% off promotion and gives you access to the CAPM exam for only $225. You can test out the PMP exam for $405 from the comfort of your own home.

A lot of companies offer professional development benefits that may cover education and credentialing for their employees, as reported in a 2016 survey by Robert Half International. The survey reports that 72% of CFOs say their company pays for some or all educational costs associated with earning a professional certification.

How Difficult it is to Score Well in PMP or CAPM Exams?

The CAPM exam is mostly considered an entry-level certification as it is easier than the PMP certification. It also features questions taken from the PMBOK® Guide, which is used by the global standard for project management set by Project Management Institute. The CAPM Handbook makes it easy to know what percentage of your CAPM exams are taken from each chapter in the PMBOK® Guide so you can prepare comprehensively for your exam by studying just the book!

The PMP certification exam is more challenging for early career to established professionals. It covers not just the PMBOK® Guide, but also real-world scenarios that experts know how to handle. There are three things you'll want to do in order to pass: study the PMBOK®, Exam Content Outline, and handbook; enroll in a formal course of study from a Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) and finally take the actual test with practice questions.

Benefits of CAPM and PMP Certifications

With CAPM certification commonly available, project managers may wonder why they would invest in PMP certification. The answer is simple. PMP certification is a more significant, industry-recognized program for project managers worldwide.

PMPs have proven themselves more than qualified to lead complex projects, and PMP-certified project managers are even paid more. Organizations are more likely to complete high-quality projects on time and within budget when at least one-third of their project managers are PMP-certified. But PMPs don't just bring value to their organizations: they should earn a higher salary than those without a PMP certification.

Having a CAPM certification is not as widespread as having a PMP certification, but it still demonstrates that you know the key project management frameworks and processes, which can help in the long run. In addition, someone with CAPM certification has at least an intermediate working knowledge of the PMBOK® Guide, which can be a great first step to eventually pursuing the PMP certification for even better opportunities.

Is it worth it to get PMP or CAPM Certification?

If you're looking to break into a new career, certifications can often help. They may look great on your resume, demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge or skills for the job, and lead to higher salaries when compared to non-certification positions. There are some things to keep in mind, though.

With high approval rates and high recommendations by those who have earned the certification, both the CAPM and PMP are highly regarded. Not only that, but it seems many people think these certifications help land jobs. Some 54% of CAPM earners think so, and 64% of PMP earners agree -- 75% more than survey respondents without this certification

The PMP holds more value than the CAPM on Indeed, where the CAPM was mentioned in 1,943 job listings, and the PMP was mentioned 42,240 times.

CAPM or PMP: Which one should you get?

The CAPM and PMP are important certifications that anyone in the project management field should get. You must decide which program you'd like to work towards based on your professional circumstances.

The CAPM may be a great fit for those looking to get started in the project management field. If you are just beginning the process of becoming certified, then the CAPM might be easier for you. The PMP is much more intense and requires some experience and training to do well.

How do CAPM and PMP exams differ?

The CAPM and PMP are two different types of certifications. The CAPM tests your knowledge in project management with less hands-on experience. On the other hand, the PMP covers everything you'll need to know in the practical application including tools and techniques.

CAPM Exams

You'll need to know how much each chapter is covered in the PMBOK Guide. Here's what you need to cover to appear for the exams

  • Introduction to Project Management − 6%

  • Role of the Project Manager− 7%

  • Project Scope − 9%

  • Project Environment − 6%

  • Project Integration − 9%

  • Project Cost − 8%

  • Project Schedule − 9%

  • Project Resource − 8%

  • Project Risk − 8%

  • Project Communication − 10%

  • Project Stakeholder − 9%

  • Project Procurement − 4%

PMP Exams

If you're looking to become a Project Management Professional, the PMP exam covers material in the PMBOK Guide and beyond. Here are the topics that you must know:

People − 42%

The people section of the HR Code includes questions on managing conflict, leading a team, assisting team performance, negotiating project agreements, supporting virtual teams, and other topics related to human resource management.

Process: 50%

The product development process covers many aspects of the project itself. These include managing roles, assessing risks, reviewing budgets and schedules, overseeing quality standards, determining the scope, and other topics.

Business: 8%

You will be asked to learn about project planning and management and several other business process compliance topics in our business test.

Several changes to the Project Management Professional exam have recently been announced. The new exam consists of 180 questions instead of 200 and three domains instead of five, among other changes. Make sure your study materials reflect this update.