Whether you’re ready to enter the field of project management or enhance your skills if you’ve already established a career as a project manager, there are certifications, like the CAPM® and PMP® from the Project Management Institute (PMI), that you can pursue.  RMC is here to help you understand the CAPM vs PMP and to help you learn what it takes to pass your certification exams on your first try.

PMI offers two options: the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® or the Project Management Professional (PMP)®. We break down these popular certifications so you can figure out which path is the right one to pursue to improve your skills, differentiate yourself from the competition, and land the job you want.

CAPM vs PMP Certification 

  1. Benefits of CAPM Certification
  2. The CAPM vs PMP Exam
  3. What Happens After You Become a CAPM?
  4. Advantages of Having a PMP Certification
  5. The PMP Exam
  6. What Happens After You Become a PMP?

Benefits of CAPM® Certification

Getting your CAPM® certification is a great path to take if you want to build your skills to consider a career move into project management. If your goal is to be able to manage larger or more complex projects and take on more responsibility, this credential is a great next step.

This certification can provide you with knowledge and skills that will give you the confidence to take on a larger project role or be the project lead. If you want to stand out against other job seekers, becoming a CAPM® shows future employers that you want to improve professionally. Now may be the time to consider looking into the CAPM® exam before it is scheduled to change in July 2023.

The CAPM vs PMP Exam

Because this certification does not require project management experience like the PMP®, the exam for the CAPM® is less complex. It is fact-based and doesn’t require you to interpret scenarios. The exam takes three hours to complete and consists of 150 questions. You have to retake it every three years to maintain this certification.

This is an entry-level certification (unlike the PMP®, which has more extensive requirements) that you can get when don’t yet have the PMP’s® prerequisite experience. The prerequisites for this certification are a secondary degree (high school, or associates degree) and 23 hours of project management education.

What Happens After You Become a CAPM®?

This certification will immediately boost your credibility in the field. Employers will recognize your commitment to the profession. It will also give you the chance to gain valuable experience that you can use when you’re ready to pursue the PMP®.

However, even if you decide that you don’t want to get your PMP®, your CAPM® certification can help you go farther than you would if you didn’t have this on your resume.

Bottom line:

Consider pursuing your CAPM® certification if you’re new to project management, enjoy the work and want to get the education necessary to prove yourself so you can take on more ambitious projects in the future.

Advantages of Having a PMP Certification

If you’ve been working as a project manager and you’re ready to take your career to the next level, the PMP® certification is a worthwhile investment. This certification is recognized around the world in a wide range of industries and it’s the most sought-after credential for those who want to be recognized in project management.

With this certification, not only will you become qualified to command a much higher salary than those who have a CAPM® and those who have no certification at all, but you’ll also be able to prove that you have what it takes to lead larger or more complex projects with more substantial budgets and responsibilities.

The PMP® Exam

The PMP® exam is more expensive, more challenging, and longer than the CAPM® exam. It consists of 180 questions, and you’re given four hours to finish it. To maintain your certification, you’ll need to earn 60 professional development units every three years.

There are several prerequisites that must be met before you can take the PMP® certification exam. You’ll need to show that you have a secondary degree, 2-5 years spent leading projects (depending on your degree type), and either your CAPM® certification or 35 hours of project management education. Alternatively, you can also qualify if you have a four-year degree, 4,500 hours spent leading projects, and either your CAPM® certification or 35 hours of project management education.

What Happens After You Become a PMP?

Once you have your PMP® certification, you’ll be ready to pursue exciting new job opportunities in project management. You’ll stand out against others in the field, and you’ll have the skills necessary to tackle the most complicated projects.

With this certification on your resume, you can prove that you know the ins and outs of effective project management, and employers will recognize this distinction.

Bottom line:

Whether you want to land a better job, make more money, or simply have the skills necessary to tackle projects of all sizes and complexities, becoming a PMP® can prepare you to be a better project manager. Consider getting this certification if you already have up to 5 years of project management experience and want to be recognized and rewarded for your expertise.

CAPM vs PMP: Which Certification Should You Get?

The answer depends on your current level of experience, as well as where you want to take your career. No matter what you decide, RMC is here to help.

We offer courses instructor-led online for a fully immersive learning experience. Or, choose from our eLearning courses and self-study materials that allow you to work independently and at your own pace. No matter which you choose, RMC courses and learning materials are specifically designed to teach you how to pass the CAPM® or PMP® exam on your first try, guaranteed! This means that, whenever you’re ready to pursue your certification and evolve your career, you can get started right away, no matter how you prefer to learn.

Need Additional Help?

Still have questions about the CAPM vs PMP and need some extra guidance? Contact us for more information!





Cate Curry
Latest posts by Cate Curry (see all)