6 Project Manager Certifications (With Steps and Salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 7 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Regardless of the industry you're in, having a project management certification shows potential employers that you have a range of valuable project management skills. As a project manager, it's also important to have sufficient credibility and knowledge for the role. Knowing the types of project management certifications that are available can help you decide which one to undertake to improve your project management skills. In this article, we explore six types of project management certifications skills and provide the types of careers that you can pursue with these certifications.

6 project manager certifications

Here are some project manager certifications you can consider getting to develop your skills:

1. Associate in Project Management (APM)

If you're just starting out as a project manager in your career, the Associate in Project Management (APM) certificate is a good one to begin with. The APM is a globally recognised certification in the project management field that shows that you have sufficient knowledge in the field to handle your own projects. To get the APM certification, you can pass with a score of at least 35 out of 50 for a one-hour exam with 50 multiple-choice questions.

2. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

The Certificate Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is another popular certification that can help you increase your credibility in managing projects. Individuals with a CAPM are usually skilled in understanding the fundamentals of project management, including its terminology and processes. The CAPM is usually valid for five years, and you can renew it without any professional development units. To be eligible for the CAPM, you may require the following:

  • complete a secondary degree, such as a diploma, bachelor's degree or master's degree

  • have at least 1,500 hours of project experience

Alternatively, you can get the CAPM if you possess 23 hours of project management experience before you sit for the CAPM exam.

3. Project Management Professional (PMP)

The Project Management Professional (PMP) is a type of project management certification that shows your capability in leading and supporting teams during projects. It's an important certification that's recognised globally in project management. With the PMP, you can work in many industries as a project manager. If you want to apply for the PMP certification, you may require the following:

  • possess a secondary degree, including a diploma, bachelor's degree or master's degree

  • complete at least 7,500 hours leading and directing projects

  • complete 35 hours of project management education

Alternatively, you can also get the PMP certification with these requirements:

  • earn a four-year bachelor's degree

  • complete at least 4,500 hours of leading and directing projects

  • complete 35 hours of project management education

Related: Project Leader vs. Project Manager: What's the Difference?

4. Professional in Project Management (PPM)

The Professional in Project Management (PPM) is a certificate that shows that you're capable of leading a project team in the IT industry. This is a mid-level certification that includes several project management modules, including how to plan, control, execute and complete projects. It also trains professionals to develop project measures and schedules while using different approaches to manage and lead projects. Experienced project managers who already successfully managed several projects during their career usually take the PPM. The exam to gain this certification comprises 150 multiple-choice questions.

To get the PPM certification, it's necessary to do the following:

  • complete the mandatory e-course of 45 to 50 hours

  • possess at least two years of project management experience

  • pass the exam with a minimum score of 75%

Related: What Does an IT Project Manager Do? (With Duties and Salary)

5. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Scrum is a framework that technology companies use to improve teamwork. Many companies look for project managers who are also certified Scrum masters so they can know how their teams work during projects. As a Scrum master who's familiar with the Scrum framework, you can also understand the team's roles in a project, including events and rules that can help to increase the value of the project. To get the CSM certification, you require the following:

  • have a general familiarity with how Scrum works

  • attend a two-day CSM course

  • pass a CSM exam, accept the licence agreement and complete the Scrum Alliance membership profile

Read more: 7 Scrum Master Certifications That Can Help You Succeed

6. CompTIA Project+ Certification

The CompTIA Project+ certification is an entry-level project management certification specifically for business professionals who usually manage and coordinate small to medium-sized projects in the technology sector. The CompTIA Project+ certification is highly useful since it covers a range of frameworks and methodologies that you can apply in various projects. It also gives you knowledge of project management basics, tools, constraints, change management and documentation. To get the certification, you may require the following:

  • have one year of project management experience and knowledge of the project life cycle

  • have the ability to manage stakeholders and resources

  • possess strong communication skills

  • have project documentation skills

How to get a project management certification

If you're looking to get certified in project management, here are some steps you can take:

1. Find out the certification you require

When you're planning to get a project management certification, it's essential to do sufficient research to find out which certification best suits your career. For example, if you're planning to work in the IT industry, you can consider getting a PPM or CompTIA Project+ certification. If you're already a project manager, you can find out what kind of certification your company prefers and if they can sponsor you.

2. Achieve the requirements for the certification

Once you've understood what you require for the project management certification you want, you can start working towards it. For example, the ScrumMaster certification or PMP require you to have a few years of project management experience or to take a certified course before the exam. Conduct research on the institute or organisation to find out the pre-requisites of each certification so you can meet them.

3. Prepare for the certification exam

If you're taking a certification that requires you to pass an exam, it's useful for you to spend some time preparing for the exam and studying for it. The ScrumMaster certification may require you to attend an in-person course, but other certifications may only require you to pass an exam. You can consider looking for online resources and textbooks or take a training course at institutes to strengthen your knowledge in project management.

4. Renew your project management certification whenever necessary

Certain project management certifications may require you to renew your certification once every few years. For example, the PMP certification requires you to renew it every three years and log 60 hours of educational experience. If you have a CSM, it's necessary to renew it every two years and also earn additional educational experience to keep the certification. It's essential for you to know when to renew the certification so you can prepare for it.

4 jobs you can get with a project management certification

Having a project management certification can give you many opportunities to try out different roles. Here are some jobs you can consider when you have a project management certification:

1. Project coordinator

National average salary: $3,026 per month

Primary duties: A project coordinator is an individual who assists project managers in monitoring the team's progress during a project. They assist project managers to create timelines and work with their teams to develop schedules so that the team can complete their work according to the timelines. With the help of spreadsheets, they track project information and their team members' progress.

2. Programme manager

National average salary: $8,139 per month

Primary duties: A programme manager is an individual who is in charge of organising and monitoring a company's programmes. They create, manage and oversee programmes, teams and budgets in an organisation. Programme managers usually also write requests for funding their programmes, such as applying for grants. By working with various departments, they ensure that each programme is efficient. They're also in charge of analysing and minimising programme risks.

3. Project manager

National average salary: $6,219 per month

Primary duties: A project manager is an individual who plans, coordinates and executes all the plans under a project. To ensure that the project is successful, they work with everyone who's a part of the project and communicate changes to various teams. They're also in charge of ensuring that the team submits their work for the project on time and stays within the budget. Project managers also manage their clients' expectations and relay feedback to teams to improve on the project.

Related: What Does a Project Manager Do? (Plus Requirements and Pay)

4. Product owner

National average salary: $8,514 per month

Primary duties: A product owner is an individual who works with the development team to create a goal for a final project that a company plans to launch. They're in charge of realising a product's full potential and motivating their team to achieve that goal. Product owners also serve as the point of contact between the client and their team.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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