Top 5 Project Management Certifications And How Much They Pay

Editorial Team

project management certifications

The project management industry is evolving fast, with numerous opportunities for growth. The skills you acquire by getting a project management certification will help you excel in any management or business position.

So what is project management?

Project management is a process that involves creating plans and following through till it’s executed. It is done to actualize pre-determined goals.

A project management certificate can help you to sharpen your abilities and bring relevant qualifications to your employer. Also, it enhances your earning capacity in the process.

No matter what your job role is, a project management certification can add value to your specialty.

Whatever program you pick, make sure that you balance the skill level of the certificate with your knowledge and best practices in your organization.

There are many advantages of threading the path of Project Management. The benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Career progression

Major project management certifications are globally recognized. Also, project management certification qualifies holders to become members of internationally recognized professional bodies. These attributes of project management certification guarantee that possessing them will get your career to a great start.

  • Increased earning capacity and job opportunities

The demand for individuals with a project management certification has increased. Also, the supply of project managers is below its demand across industries. This, therefore, gives holders of the certification an edge in terms of securing an employment. In terms of income, Project management certification can help increase your income by 20%.

  • Job security

The job security emanates from the disparity between the demand of project managers and the supply. The continuous rise in demand for project managers makes the job of those in possession of the certification secured.

  • Sound work experience

The practicality of project management certification will make you experienced enough to handle projects of diverse nature.

Every certification has inked in hardcopy or on their websites set of requirements. Without them spells non-eligibility and will hinder you from getting certified. That said, here are the top five project management certifications and their qualifications.

1. Project Management Professionals (PMP)

While there are other valid project management certifications, PMP continues to bear the tag of the ideal project management certification. PMP holders are equipped to work with the practices and procedures peculiar to diverse industries.

Further, the certification is for professionals with previous project management knowledge. Candidates must have 4,500-7,500 hours of project management practice and complete 35 hours of project management education before qualifying to take the PMP exam.

PMP requirement

•    A high school diploma or its global equivalent.

•    Candidates must have 4, 000 to 7, 500 hours of project management practice.

•    Candidates must complete a total of 35 hours on project management studies.


  • A four-year degree
  • A total of 4500 hours expended on leading and directing projects
  • A total of 35 hours spent on project management studies.

PMP examination and sundry cost

The computer-based test (CBT) and the paper-based test (PBT) of the PMP examination cost the same amount of $555. However, failure to pass the exam brings down the cost to $375 in subsequent attempts. You can only attempt the exam three times.

Becoming a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) cost $129. It doesn’t include $10 signing fee. Members of PMI, enjoy the benefit of a lesser examination fee.  For instance, members pay $405 instead of the $555 paid by non-members. Also, a subsequent attempt at the PMP examination cost $275 for members instead of the $375 paid by non-members.

PMP training

Some PMP boot camps charge about $1000 for a 5-day course. However, if you’re okay with distance training, obtaining the needed 35 contact hours online is considerably cheaper than face-to-face training.

Cost of PMP study materials

The official reference book for the Project management professional Exam is the PMBK® Guide. You can download it for free from the PMI website.

PMP Certification Cost Items  

Membership Fee – US$139   

Exam Fee –US$405

Online Training Course for self-study – US$200    

This brings the total Certification Cost to US$744


PMP is one of the highest paying certifications. According to PayScale, a PMP can make about $83,000 to $90,000. In the financial industries, PMPs make about $110,000 to $145,000.

2.    Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

CAPM confers its holders with a deep understanding of the primary areas of project management. Also, CAPM holders are also known to be verse in terms of project management terminology.

CAPM is the precursor to the Project Management Professional certification. Also, it’s offered by the Project Management Institute. For experts without a university degree and for those who want to obtain the PMP certification in levels, the CAPM is a platform to the more stern PMP.

CAPM requirement

•    A high school diploma or its global equivalent.

•    Candidates must have 1500 hours of project management practice.


•    A total of 23 hours expended on project management studies.

Examination and sundry cost

Each of the above- listed project management certifications has different examination charges. Also, there are additional costs incurred in the course of taking each of the certifications.

CAPM can only be attempted three times. It cost $300 to take the examination. Subsequent attempts (not exceeding twice) will cost $200.

Membership fees

The examination cost for CAPM members is $225. Subsequent attempts at the examination, cost $150 for members.

Cost of CAPM study materials

The study material for CAPM examination is available on Amazon at the price of $37.39.

Cost of CAPM training

23 hours of training is mandatory for those with no prior project management work experience.  CAPM training ranges from $199 to $4000.


The annual salary for someone with CAPM is $101,103. But the salary varies according to job experience and roles.

3.    Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

This certification gives professionals who are starting as Scrum practitioners the knowledge of a project management methodology. The certification method teaches candidates about Scrum values, which highlight accountability, teamwork, and constant progress toward a defined goal.

It’s administered by the Scrum Alliance, an organization which supports the use of flexible frameworks in project management.

In general, CSM is an excellent choice for entry-level managers who make use of Scrum project management systems.

CSM requirement:

  • A good grasp of Scrum
  • Compulsory in-person attendance of a two-day CSM course totalling 16 hours.

Examination and sundry cost

CSM mandatory two-day course goes for about $1000.  30 to 90 days after taking the two-day course, you will be eligible to register for the CSM examination. The cost of the examination is $29, inclusive of the cost of certification.

CSM renewal fee

CSM certification is renewed within every two-year interval. It comes at the cost of $100.


The annual salary of a Certified ScrumMaster is $88,319 per year and $51.88 per hour.

4.    CompTIA Project +

CompTIA Project + is streamlined to serve professionals, businesses, individuals, specifically those who handle projects that are small-to-medium sized. 

The certification focuses on improving skills in business and communication to lead and execute projects on time, within budget, and with determination.

Further, CompTIA Project+ is open to anyone who wants a project management experience. Also, professionals with a year of project management skill in a leadership position are fit to sit for this exam.

In comparison to other project management certification, CompTIA Project + is well versed in the areas of project management concepts. It will equip you with knowledge of project tools, documentation, and constraints to state a few.

Requirement of Comptia Project +

  • An understanding of a project life cycle. You must acquire this within a year
  • The capacity to manage the resources of an organization and its stakeholders
  • Effective communication skills
  • Ability to document projects

Examination and sundry cost

The examination voucher for CompTIA Project + cost $319.


Holders of CompTIA Project+ can earn an average salary of $65,000 to $87,416.


PRINCE2 also called the Projects in Controlled Environments certificate is administered by the ILX Group. The certificates center on a scalable management strategy to manage projects of any size.

The PRINCE2 certifications are in high demand and recognized globally by most business organizations. You can achieve two levels with Prince2 certification: Practitioner or Foundation. The Foundation level is an entry-level certificate while the practitioner level requires a PRINCE2 Foundation certificate as a requirement. Also, it’s wheeled toward more advanced project managers.

In general, the certification can help you to enhance your skills set across many important business disciplines and drive excellent business performance. Further, it focuses on executing and delivering projects from initiation to delivery.


PRINCE2 Practitioner requires a PRINCE2 Foundation, CAPM, PMP or an IPMA certification.

Examination and sundry cost

To get a PRINCE2 Foundation certificate, it costs $200 while a PRINCE2 Practitioner cost  $340.


As stated by, female PRINCE2 professionals receive $77,000 while men earn $90,000. But the average salary is $85,800.

Do you want to start delivering projects? The time to start is now! These project management certifications are highly sought after by top organizations. Also, having them will set you apart from uncertified professionals. Get one of these certifications and get set to reach the pinnacle in your career.

Good luck!