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How do you become a project management professional?

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Quick Answer

Becoming a Project Management Professional, or PMP, requires a combination of work experience, education and successful completion of a certification exam. The PMP designation is administered by Project Management Institute, and applicants must meet the qualifications before attempting the certification exam.

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Full Answer

Applicants interested in pursuing the PMP credential are required to have either a secondary degree, associate’s degree and 7,500 hours leading project teams, or a four-year degree and 4,500 hours leading project teams. In addition, applicants must have at least 35 hours of project-management education.

When preparing to apply for the PMP credential, applicants must complete a detailed application including reporting of project-leadership hours by phase. The project-management methodology divides the cycle into various phases and applicants must demonstrate experience in each phase. In addition to reporting hours, applicants are required to provide project details and contact names for verification purposes. A percentage of all applications are audited, and Project Management Institute validates the information provided.

Project Management Institute also requires 35 hours of project-management education. This requirement can be met in a variety of ways, including training sessions conducted by education partners, college courses or online training sessions.

After achieving certification, those holding the PMP designation must continue to demonstrate ongoing education and application. To maintain the credential, PMP holders must complete 60 Professional Development Unit hours every three years. Professional Development Unit hours are obtained through work assignments, education sessions, participation in project-management organizations or conferences.

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