What Salary and Career Opportunities Does PMP Certification Provide?

Oct 21, 2019 | PMP Certification

Applying for a PMP certification is a big step in a project manager’s career. However, many professionals are unsure whether or not the certification is worth the time, money, and effort.

For this reason, we will discuss the advancements in your career that PMP can bring. Furthermore, we will talk about the chances of salary increase after acquiring the certification, depending on your years of experience, job title, or the size of your company.

What Is a PMP Certification?

While the prospect of a hike in salary is appealing itself, it’s important to understand what the PMP certification actually is and its basic requirements. There are two ways to qualify for the PMP certification exam:


If your educational qualification is less than a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent, then you would need to have greater work experience. You need at least 5 years of experience as a project manager to qualify for the PMP exam. Within these 5 years, you must have directed projects for at least 7,500 hours.

Furthermore, you must have 35 hours of project management education or training. You can skip the last condition if you already have a CAPM certification. However, both of these qualifications must be awarded from a Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.).


If you have earned a four-year bachelor’s degree or a global equivalent, then you need less experience to qualify for the exam. Thus, you only need 3 years of project management experience with 4,500 hours of project direction in those years. However, like the first method, you will still need to complete 35 hours of formal project management training or have a CAPM certification.

After being eligible for the exam, you can apply and prepare for it as your application is verified. You have the option to schedule your exam from Monday to Friday, according to the slots available. However, before continuing to give the exam, we advise you to prepare for the exam with a credible institution.

The PMP exam is four hours long and is laden with multiple-choice questions. It does not penalize you with negative marks for wrong answers, and you can also see the result of your test immediately after taking the exam.

Increase in Salary after PMP Certification

The certification can bump your salary for as much as 23% compared to a project manager who hasn’t been certified by PMI. These numbers are not made up. PMI showed these figures in the 10th edition of the PMI Salary Survey.

PMI conducted this survey from 33,000 project managers across 37 countries. Astoundingly, project managers around the globe received an increase of 23% on average after acing the PMP certification.

A twenty-four year old woman counting dollar bills.
Photographer: Sharon McCutcheon | Source: Unsplash

Salary Increase by Country

The highest-grossing country for a project manager in terms of salary in Switzerland. According to the survey, the Swiss offer $136,003 to PMP certified project managers, on average.

For someone working as a project manager in the US, the average annual income is $92,000. However, after being certified in PMP, the average salary for the project manager goes up to $115,000 on average.

In terms of the highest-paying countries for PMP certified project managers, Switzerland ($136,003), USA ($115,000) and Australia are at the top.

Comparatively, the most significant increase after the PMP certification comes in countries such as South Africa, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, and India. Project managers in these countries receive an average salary increase of 58%, 53%, 48%, 43%, 43%, and 36% respectively.

Salary Increase by Experience

Understandably, project managers who have greater experience in project management also yield a more considerable increase in salary after the certification. However, this does not happen in all of the countries, as per the PMI survey.

For instance, in a country such as South Africa, 20+ years experienced project managers had an average salary of $95,736. This salary is 250% higher than the salary of a project manager who has under 3 years of experience.

PMP Certification Salary by Job Title

Your job title can also affect how much of an increase you will receive after acquiring a PMP certification. As a general rule, your salary increases as your level of responsibility increases, and the survey has the numbers to prove this.

Developers working hard
Photographer: Tim van der Kuip | Source: Unsplash

Project managers, according to their level of seniority; receive a salary from $87,426 to $110,000 in the United States. Positions such as Project Management Consultant, Project Management Specialist, Program Manager, Portfolio Manager and Director of PM/PMO receive $115,000, $90,000, $121,650, $134,000, and $140,000, respectively.

The IT industry yields the highest increase in salary, and you gain a higher increase if you are a program manager.

Is PMP Worth the Investment?

The cost of a PMP exam is $555, which is a considerable amount, to say the least. However, if applying for the membership of PMI, you can attempt the exam for $405. This seems like a great offer until you realize that the membership fee is $139.

Regardless, you will receive an $11 discount by becoming a member. Furthermore, becoming a member of the organization allows you to access study resources, such as the study guide, the PMP question bank and questions, and answers for simulated tests by PMI. However, one may still wonder whether the investment in PMP is worth it or not.

Looking at the numbers provided by the survey, it certainly seems that acquiring the PMP certification is prosperous for your career. Not only will PMP add more weight to your resume, but it will also cause an increase in your salary, regardless of your experience, job title or the country you live in.

Consider taking the PMP exam and open the path to a successful career and do it with us! Learn more at projectvanguards.com or fill out the form below to stay in the loop on important announcements.

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