July 12, 2023

Is the CAPM Certification Worth It?

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Key takeaways

  • CAPM certification can be worth it for someone seeking to have a project management career.
  • If you have little to no project management experience, the CAPM can be an appropriate starting point to break into the field.
  • After obtaining the CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) certification, you can pursue various entry-level project Management roles such as project coordinator, junior project manager, associate project manager, project administrator, and project support officer.

What is CAPM?

The CAPM certification, or Certified Associate in Project Management, is a globally recognized credential offered by PMI (Project Management Institute). It is intended for individuals pursuing entry-level positions in project management. The exam consists of 150 questions covering project management fundamentals like project integration, resource management, stakeholder management, and risk management.

CAPM certification is commonly pursued by students, recent graduates, and professionals who are looking to gain project management experience or take on larger project responsibilities. The certification demonstrates a commitment to developing fundamental project management skills.

Is CAPM worth it?

Yes, CAPM certification can be worth it for someone seeking to have a project management career, especially if the person is starting out or has limited experience in the field. 

A CAPM certificate provides several advantages, such as access to entry-level project management positions, PMP exam eligibility, and recognition of project management expertise. It is a worthwhile investment due to the expanding employment market for project management specialists and the potential for competitive salaries. 

By earning this credential, you can improve your career prospects, acquire industry recognition, and lay the groundwork for further project management professional development. 

If you’d like to know more, you can download and read the CAPM exam content outline and generic certification handbook.Also read: Defining a Project Management System

Also read: Defining a Project Management System

CAPM compared to other certifications

CAPM vs. PMP

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is a globally recognized professional-level credential for experienced project managers. Employers across various industries highly value it as proof of proficiency in project management methodologies, processes, and leadership.

The PMP is a professional-level certification requiring at least three years of project management experience. It offers higher salary potential and more job opportunities than the entry-level CAPM. However, if you have little to no project management experience, the CAPM can be an appropriate starting point to break into the field.

CAPM vs. Google Project Management Certificate

The Google Project Management Certificate is a self-paced, affordable, and prerequisite-free program that teaches foundational project management skills, such as Agile and Scrum methodologies. It is geared toward beginners and imparts fundamental project management skills. 

However, it may not be as widely recognized or valued by employers as PMI’s globally renowned CAPM certification. The CAPM certification can lead to more employment opportunities and potentially higher salaries.

Also read: 5 Common Project Management Mistakes to Avoid

How to get CAPM certification?

To get a CAPM certification, you need to meet specific requirements:

  • You need a secondary degree (a high school diploma or the equivalent).
  • 23 hours of project management training, or a four-year degree and the same amount of training.

To apply for the CAPM examination, you can follow these steps:

  1. Visit the official website of the Project Management Institute (PMI).
  2. Create an account on the PMI website if you don’t have one already.
  3. Log in to your PMI account and navigate to the CAPM certification section.
  4. Fill out the CAPM application form, and provide the required personal and educational information.
  5. Submit the application and necessary payment (PMI members receive a discounted exam fee).
  6. Wait for your application to be reviewed and approved by PMI, which typically takes a few business days.
  7. Once your application is approved, you will receive an email with instructions to schedule your CAPM exam.
  8. Schedule your exam date and location through the PMI’s authorized testing partner, Pearson VUE.
  9. Prepare for the exam by studying the CAPM exam content outline and utilizing study materials and resources available, such as PMI’s official guide and practice exams.
  10. On the scheduled exam day, go to the designated test center and complete the CAPM exam.

Generally, it takes a few weeks to complete the process from application submission to scheduling and taking the exam. The application review and approval typically take a few business days, and the exam can be scheduled shortly after approval. 

The preparation time for the exam may vary depending on the individual’s study approach and availability. Overall, the entire process can range from a few weeks to a couple of months.

Also read: What Is a PMO? A Beginner’s Guide for 2023

Training costs

The costs associated with obtaining a CAPM certification include the following:

  • PMI Membership: To become a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), which is a requirement for CAPM certification, there is an annual membership fee. The cost varies depending on your location but is typically around $139 (Plus a one-time US$10 application fee) for individuals.
  • CAPM Exam Fee: The exam fee for PMI members is $225 USD, while non-members pay $300 USD.
  • Exam Preparation Materials: Depending on your preferred study method, you may choose to invest in CAPM exam preparation resources such as books, study guides, online courses, or practice exams. The costs of these materials can vary.
  • Renewal Fee: CAPM certification holders will have to earn 15 PDUs over three years and pay a certification renewal fee of $60 for members and $150 for non-members to keep it active.

It’s important to note that these costs may change over time. It is advisable to check the official PMI website for up-to-date fees and membership costs.

Also read: Top Innovative Project Management Strategies

What is the value of CAPM?

CAPM certification has professional value. It can give you an edge in the job market, show that you are committed to professional growth, and show potential managers that you know much about project management. Also, getting the CAPM certification instantly fulfills the 35 hours of project management training needed to get the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, which is more advanced. 

CAPM certification also has general knowledge value. The certification covers the most important ideas, methods, and practices of project management, giving you a complete understanding of the field. This information can be helpful outside of professional project management because the principles of project management can be used in many different parts of life and work. 

The CAPM certificate gives you skills that can be used in many other areas and situations, such as planning, organizing, and managing projects. It improves your problem-solving skills, ability to work as a team, communication skills, and ability to manage projects, making it a helpful asset in your professional and personal lives.

After obtaining the CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) certification, you can pursue various entry-level project management roles such as project coordinator, junior project manager, associate project manager, project administrator, and project support officer.

Looking for the latest in Project Management solutions? Check out our Project Management Software Guide.

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FAQs

What is CAPM certification?

The CAPM certification, or Certified Associate in Project Management, is a globally recognized credential offered by PMI (Project Management Institute). It is intended for individuals pursuing entry-level positions in project management.

What are the requirements for a CAPM certification? 

To get a CAPM certification, you need to meet specific requirements:

  • You need a secondary degree (a high school diploma or the equivalent).
  • 23 hours of project management training, or a four-year degree and the same amount of training.

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