Execution to perfection
Execution to perfection

PMP Certification


If you want to make a career out of project management, you can’t go wrong by investing in PMP certification – the most highly sought after qualification in this profession. Read on to find out exactly:

  • What PMP stands for
  • How it can help you
  • What you can do to get PMP certification

What is PMP Certification?

PMP stands for Project Management Professional. It is a general project management credential issued by the Project Management Institute (PMI) to professionals working as project managers.


PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) credential is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers. Globally recognized and demanded, the PMP demonstrates that you have the experience, education and competency to lead and direct projects. Project Management Institute


PMI’s certificates are designed to improve the general standard of project management as a profession. PMP certification consequently has strenuous exam entrance requirements to make sure only suitably skilled and experienced project managers are able to earn PMP credentials.

Why go for PMP Certification?

Although obtaining PMP certification does not in and of itself make you a better project manager, it does give you a valuable qualification. PMP certification will help you get better, higher-paying work more easily.


PMP-certified project manager salary

According to South African National Salary Data, a PMP-certified project manager can earn up to R 1 090 785 per year, depending on the industry they work in and other factors such as the amount of experience they have.

(Source: Payscale, 20 November 2014)

Why do certified professionals earn higher salaries?

As stated previously, certification does not entail any training that would make you more skilled at your job, so why is it such a significant qualification?

PMP certification validates your expertise and experience as a project management professional. It thus proves to employers that you are a highly-qualified project manager. Employers are consequently willing to pay large salaries in order to have proven project managers at the helm of their large and expensive projects.

Writing the PMP exam and getting certified

To get PMP certification you must qualify for, write, and pass the PMP project management exam.

Here is some information on the particulars of the exam:
Exam requirements
  • A secondary qualification (such as a high-school certificate or a higher education certificate).
  • 5 years’ project management experience.
  • 7500 hours leading and directing projects.
  • 35 hours of project management education.

  • A Bachelor’s degree.
  • 3 years’ experience in project management.
  • 4500 hours of experience leading and directing projects.
  • 35 hours of project management education.
Exam format1 exam (200 questions, 4 hours)
Passing mark61%

For more information on the exact requirements of certification and all the rules and guidelines set out by the PMI, you can download the PMP Handbook for free here: PMP Handbook.

How to prepare for the PMP certification exam

As can be seen above, the PMP exam is very long. This means that it is also a very tough exam to write and that you will need to prepare sufficiently. You will have to study for the exam, and also prepare for the actual writing of the paper.

Exam content

The PMP exam covers the content of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), a project management handbook published by the PMI.

The PMBOK Guide is the PMI’s definitive guide to professional project management and is used by project managers across the world. The PMBOK Guide contains all the set standards, guidelines, terminology, and practices of project management as defined by the PMI.

The content of the PMBOK Guide is divided into:

  • The 5 Process Groups of project management
  • The 10 Areas of Knowledge of project management

You can download the complete PMP exam content outline here: PMP Exam Content Outline

Study aids

There are numerous books and study aids, besides the PMBOK Guide, that can help you pass your exam:

  • PMP Exam Prep, Eighth Edition: Rita’s Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam, by Rita Mulcahy
  • The PMP Exam Made Easy: Your 24-Hour Study Guide to Passing, by Ron Ponce and Christopher Scordo
  • Head First PMP, by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman

There are many more books you can also read to help you prepare for the exam. However, while books like these are all useful, you still need to read the PMBOK Guide at least once – twice if possible!