In today’s workplace, lots of us are project managers, even if we don’t have that specific title. Our jobs often include balancing budgets and schedules with work that has to be done to achieve a specific outcome. That’s more or less the definition of project management. A natural question to ask then is, “If I’m already managing projects, why should I get a project management certification?”
That’s a fair question. After all, if you’re already doing the job of a project manager, it can seem like certification is just a formal way to say so. But a project management certification does a lot more than that. Let’s talk about some of the benefits of becoming certified. We’re going to focus on the Project Management Professional Certificate (PMP) from the Project Management Institute, since it’s the best-known and most widely respected project management certification in the world. Here are some of the ways a PMP project management certification can help you:
- Become a Stronger Employment Candidate as a PMP: Being a certified PMP helps set you apart from other project managers when you’re looking for your next job.
- Earn More as a PMP: Project managers with a PMP certification earn more than those who aren’t certified
- Get access to Project Management resources: A PMP certification combined with a PMI membership gives you access to loads of project management resources
- Keep your Project Management Skills Current: Being a certified PMP ensures you’ll keep your skills up to date
- Become Part of a Project Management Community: PMPs belong to a community of practitioners who can provide support and guidance
Let’s take a look at each of these reasons in more detail to help prove how a PMP certification can help your career.
Become a Stronger Employment Candidate as a PMP
A PMP certification stands out on your resume. It tells employers that you have the legitimate training and experience to understand project management practices as a professional. Imagine a hiring official wading through a stack of resumes to find a project manager. The job title of “Project Manager” can mean virtually anything, from a person responsible for processing client invoices to someone whose primary job is to post content to social media. But a PMP certification stands out as the mark of a professional project manager who knows how to balance the demands of today’s fast-moving, complex projects using current, proven practices. Your PMP certification can help hiring managers cut through that stack of resumes and identify you as a project management professional.
Earn More as a PMP
PMI’s research shows that PMP-certified project managers in the United States earn an average of 25% more than project managers without a PMP certification. The median salary of a PMP in the US is $23,000 higher per year than a project manager without the certification. That means that over the course of a 20-year career, certified project managers can earn over $400,000 more than those without a PMP.
Get access to Project Management resources
When you become PMP-certified, you get more than just a piece of paper. When you also join PMI as a member, you get access to project management templates, free webinars, and more. PMI provides articles and other content you can use to support your project management work. In addition, you get free access to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, which is the most comprehensive overview of the project management discipline (and important study material for the PMP exam!). On top of all that content, you’ll also get discounted access to certification exams and PMI events.
Keep your Project Management Skills Current
Being a certified PMP ensures you’ll keep your skills up to date. You’ll need to renew your certification every three years, which requires continuing education that you can gain through taking more classes, reading, participating in webinars, and by just practicing your craft as a project manager. Beyond keeping your project management skills sharp, you’ll also have access to a ton of project management content from all different industries and across the world, allowing you to expand your project management understanding well beyond your field of employment
Become Part of a Project Management Community
Quite possibly the best part of becoming a PMP-certified project manager is the amazing connections you can make with project managers around the world. From local PMI chapter meetings to online groups on LinkedIn to networks like projectmanagement.com, your standing as a PMP helps you make connections with all sorts of project management communities. There you’ll find friendly, expert advice, support, and even opportunities to give back to the project management community.
How to Become a PMP Certified Project Manager
As you can see, the benefits of becoming a PMP can help you land good jobs, earn more money, gain more knowledge, and join a thriving community. If you’re passionate about project management and interested in the next step, check out our article: “How to Become PMP-Certified.” If you’re already convinced, but want to complete training to prepare you for the PMP certification exam, read more about our Project Management courses.