How the PMI Certification Impacts a Project Manager’s Career

Mar 30, 2020 | Project Management

Project management is a field that requires extensive managerial experience, keen attention to detail as well as a pragmatic approach. Although these skills are necessary, you need other things as well to excel and grow as a project manager.

Project managers need to provide proof of their project management skills and knowledge. One way of doing this is to pursue certifications by accredited organizations such as the Project Management Institute (PMI).

PMI is an internationally recognized institution and earning a certification from it can validate the knowledge, skill and credibility as a project manager. In other words, a PMI certification serves as the most objective way for project managers to excel in their career. In this article, we will discuss how the PMI certification can impact a project manager’s career.

Makes Your Résumé Stand Out

Anyone who wants to boost his or her career opportunities looks for certifications that they can mention in their résumés. For project managers, PMI is the most valued and recognized institution in the industry.

Whether it is a local or global firm, all types of organizations are always on the lookout for the best possible candidates for management positions in their organizations. They receive countless applications for available positions, so they need to filter out candidates quickly.

Since no other project management certification, compares with the ones PMI offers, making it a part of your résumé can make you stand out from the competition. PMI is a surefire way to attract the attention of head-hunters and acquire a role in a top-tier company.

Higher Salary 

While there are plenty of benefits of the PMI certification, making more money is the most significant one. According to a survey conducted by the Project Management Institute (PMI), up to 70% of all survey respondents mentioned that their total compensation increased last year. 

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Photographer: Fabian Blank | Source: Unsplash

At the same time, the report uncovered that 26% of the survey participants enjoyed 5% higher compensation last year. Moreover, when asked about the total compensation of participants, it was found that PMI holders earned 25% higher than the project managers that didn’t have the certification.

Another interesting observation about this trend was that it remained consistent across all major industries. Managers in agriculture and mining reported that they earned $173,000 annually on average, whereas the 75th percentile of respondents earned as much $200,000.

Even project managers in industries with low annual incomes received a substantial salary increment, with the least paid sector being healthcare ($130,000 annually). As the research study by PMI shows, PMI certification can set you up for a higher salary and success, regardless of which industry you belong to.

Offers Opportunities for Networking

Once you acquire a PMI certification, you will become part of an ever-expanding professional network that is dedicated to bringing innovation into project management. The number of active holders of PMP (a certification offered by the PMI) is close to 1,000,000 and you can expect it to grow even further in the future. 

However, if you start to consider other certifications offered by the PMI such as CAPM®, PgMP®, PMI-RMP®, PMI-SP®, PMI-ACP®, PfMP®, and PMI-PBA®, the number of active professionals exceeds over a million active professionals.

The PMI Institute organizes several meetings of these professionals regularly. These events and meetings allow you to meet with experts across different fields and build contacts. By engaging with accomplished project managers in these meetings, you can strengthen your network within your industry and expand to other industries as well.

Provides Access to New Opportunities

Some project managers are not able to achieve the growth they want because their existing field has limited opportunities. However, earning PMI can change that. The certification is recognized by a wide range of industries worldwide.

According to a report by McKinsey and Co., 60% of senior executives consider strong project management skills as an essential part of their future strategy. Therefore, if you are a certified PMI, then you have the chance to switch to a new industry and acquire a more lucrative position.

Helps Master Project Management Concepts

The main goal of the PMI certifications is to help project managers master the foundational concepts of project management. Each certification evaluates a candidate's knowledge of different components of project management.

Preparing for these certifications will compel you to study from different sources and learn the latest techniques for managing projects effectively. It will also allow you to study project management methodologies, processes, techniques, and tools, as well as leverage the current trends and best practices.

Unless you learn to merge the foundational concepts of project management with your practical experience, you will not be able to earn the certification. Hence, the PMI certification ensures that you stay in touch with the core concepts of project management.

Sharpens Your Communication Skills 

Effective communication is a big part of strong leadership. To be a successful project manager, you also need to be an excellent communicator. According to research, ineffective communication is the primary reason for project failure. Therefore, your ability to communicate with clients and understand their needs plays a crucial role in project success.

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Photographer: Elevate | Source: Unsplash

More than 90% of a project manager’s daily activities is communications: phone, meeting, email, reports. While studying for the PMI certifications, candidates will learn how to manage and lead a team, how to resolve conflict and how to manage stakeholders. Being PMI certified, signifies de facto that you are an excellent communicator with strong leadership skills.

Trains You to Tackle Complex Projects 

Certified project managers are assigned more complex projects. It can be multi-year projects, multi-millions projects, international projects with teams spread across the world and speaking different languages.

At the same time, those projects may also require a more complex risk assessment and cost structure. PMI certification holders are equipped with all the tools to tackle those projects confidently. That is the beauty of it and that is why in order to work on most US government projects, you are required to be PMI certified.


Many project managers consider getting the PMI certification to be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. Not to mention, the stringent criteria of the certification adds to their woes.

However, qualifying for the certification can open new avenues for your project management career. If you have any questions about the Project Management Professional (PMP), Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP), or any other certification offered by the PMI, feel free to visit our website.

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