Project Management Professional (PMP) and Professional Development Unit (PDU): Definition, Earning, and Usage

A scale of measurement used for measuring the ongoing development within a project management field is PDU or Professional Development Units. These are like credits given in high school for measuring your competency and performance throughout the year. For maintaining a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, you need to maintain a specific number of PDUs which are achieved by attaining certain events or completing certain courses. In three years, you should have 60 PDUs to prove your competency as a project manager.

In this blog, you will learn about PDU and PMP in detail.

What is PMP?

Administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), USA, PMP aka Project Management Professional is a certification recognized as a universal credential and professional standard in the project management industry. It is the leading project management institute that provides training, tools, and networking opportunities to over 600,000 members worldwide in the project management domain. The latest version of the PMP certification exam is the PMBOK-fifth edition and the certification thus acquired is valid for 3 years.

How Much can a PMP Holder Earn?

Professionals with project management certifications earn 22% more than those that don't possess the certificates or qualifications, says the Project Management Institute. According to PMI, non-certified project managers in the United States get an average salary of $95,000 annually. On the other hand, project managers who hold the PMP certification make $120,000 annually. Based on the PMP certification factor, that represents a wage boost of around 25%. Additionally, as your project management job develops and grows, you may anticipate seeing an ongoing escalation in your pay.

PMP Certification Benefits

Professionals that hold a PMP certification have access to a spectrum of well-paying job options. This certification strengthens your project management skills and exhibits your ability to lead challenging projects.

Accepted Worldwide

You'll be able to communicate in the international project management language if you earn a PMP certification. As a result, you won't have to worry about learning new procedures when working in various parts of the world because it is a widely acknowledged certificate. Your abilities will be in demand internationally.

Superior pay compared to non-certified project managers

When you go through various job openings on the market, many of those either look for PMP-certified candidates or give precedence to professionals with certifications. A PMP certification will benefit your career in terms of advancement and superior pay. When compared to project managers who are not qualified with the PMP, you are more likely to see your current income increase if you have a PMP certification.

Supporting your improvement as a project manager

You will have a better grasp and the ability to handle projects after undergoing rigorous training and testing under the PMP certification process. With the aid of project management certificates, you can learn and use all the most recent project management techniques. You will become a better project management professional if you have a solid understanding of project management tools, frameworks, and methods. A PMP certificate makes you industry-ready and equipped with the latest tools and knowledge of project management techniques.

Gain recognition for your improved project management

You can master standardized processes and refine your project delivery abilities by earning a PMP certification. With a stronger grasp of project management, you will be efficient in completing tasks swiftly and effectively and gain the respect & appreciation of your superiors in the process.

What is PDU?

PDU or Professional Development Unit is a measurement scale or an indicator of continued progress in the project management industry.

You must obtain these PDUs by participating in activities like attending conferences or taking courses. These activities help in keeping your Project Management Professional (PMP) certification active. Over three years, 60 PDUs are needed for a project manager as a credibility score.

You must therefore participate in the activities, in which you can obtain professional development units (PDUs). You may, for instance, enroll in a course on project management procedures and earn PDUs. The event duration has a direct relationship to the number of PDUs you earn. For instance, one professional development unit is equal to one hour of instruction in a course or webinar.

Ways to Get PDUs for Free

You can choose to reduce the expense of keeping your PMI credentials and obtain free options, or you can invest some money by learning through paid training and conferences. Here are some suggestions on how to obtain free PDUs −

Professional Meetings

You are only allowed a few PDUs in this case per recertification cycle. However, meetings are a simple way of earning PDUs. It might be necessary for some situations. Taking a speaker at a PMI Chapter event as an illustration. Any gathering that has a learning component, such as a seminar or networking event with a panel discussion or presentation, would be considered in this case.

Presenting a Proposal

Your ability to speak in front of groups could be useful. You can impart knowledge that formally and directly pertains to your authorization by giving a presentation to your coworkers or a local project management group.


You can actually get free PDUs for reading. You can include your independent reading in your PDU total. There are now plenty of articles, blog posts, and fascinating books available on subjects related to PMI themes. Be confident that you will discover something that satisfies the CCR scheme's standards and is both useful.

Performing Professional Work

Even in your regular employment, you might put your abilities to use and develop them. You are allowed to log time while performing project management duties as long as it is pertinent. For instance, the time spent organizing a conference, attending project board meetings, distributing communication materials, and collaborating with sponsors will all be taken into account.


In the event that you have a lot of free time but little money, volunteering is a fantastic approach to raising your overall PDU total. There could be thousands of PMI volunteers in your area and around the world. You may record using your project management expertise to lead, for instance, a significant summer PM event in your PDU journal.

Writing Content

You can also keep track of the hours you spend creating your material. Many websites provide publishing opportunities on behalf of PMI. Your published content, whether it's on this site or elsewhere, can contribute to your PDU total. You can also upload videos to YouTube or post your presentations on SlideShare. LinkedIn's short texts will also receive credit.

The Bottom Line

Your job will be more widely recognized if you have a PMP certification to demonstrate your abilities. You get the chance to demonstrate your project-management expertise and experience. Thus, 3 years is a good time period for investing your time in engaging in practical and educational endeavors for earning up to 60 PDUs. A PMP certification can be a wise investment in both your career and personal growth.

PDUs are a crucial component in finishing your PMP. A certification in project management is similar to any other. To obtain any degree or certificate, you must have earned enough academic credits. Project management certification follows the same principle. You are still allowed to work and accumulate PDUs toward PMP certification.