5 Best Project Management Certifications


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If you’re looking to further your career in project management or make an exciting career shift into one of the most up-and-coming industries in today’s market, exploring project management certification options can be a great option for you. Yet, with so many certifications available from hundreds of vendors, it can be tricky to narrow down your options. Read on to learn more about the best project management certification options for you. 

The Best Project Management Certifications of 2023

Certification TypeBest ForAverage Exam CostAverage Salary
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)Preparing for the PMP Exam and Accreditation $300 ($225 for PMI members)$101,103
Associate in Project Management (APM)Best for Entry Level Project Management Preparation$200$74,963
Master Project Manager (MPM)Best for Experienced Senior Project Managers$300$81,646
Google Project Management: Professional CertificateBest Budget Friendly Entry Level CertificationNA $80,567
Project Management Professional (PMP)Best Overall Certification for Project Management$555 ($405 for PMI members)$123,000
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)Best for Agile Project Management$495 ($435 for PMI members)$117,000
Certified Project Director (CPD)Best for Project Directors$210$125,302
PRINCE2 FoundationPRINCE-Focused Entry Level Project Managers$1500*$98,422
PRINCE2 PractionerPRINCE-Focused Experienced Project Managers$1500*$104,000
PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)Best for Risk Management Specializing Project Managers$670 ($520 for PMI members)$118,000
Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)Best for Executives Managing Project Portfolios$1000 ($800 for PMI members)$128,000
PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)Best for Project Scheduling $670 ($520 for PMI members)$110,000
Professional Scrum Master IBest for New Scrum Masters$150$98,622
Professional Scrum Master IIBest for Intermediate Scrum Masters$250$103,455
Professional Scrum Master IIIBest for Advanced Scrum Masters $500$124,078

*Pricing may vary based on individual package options offered through the vendor

Top 5 Project Management Certifications

1. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

Description: The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification is an entry-level certification administered by the Project Management Institute that’s appropriate for new graduates, new project management professionals, and those making a transition into project management for the first time. The CAPM exam satisfies a majority of the requirements required to sit for the PMP exam and consists of 150 questions administered over a 3-hour time frame. 

Price: PMI Member: $225.00      Non-Member: $300.00

Prerequisites and Requirements: 

  • Have a secondary degree, such as a high school diploma, GED (general educational development), or global equivalent
  • Have at least 23 hours of project management education completed before the exam (PMI’s online Project Management Basics course can help fulfill this requirement)

2. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Description: The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, administered by the Project Management Institute, is widely recognized as the premier certification for project managers worldwide. The exam consists of a 180-question exam administered across a time frame of 230 minutes. The PMP certification is best for any project management professional looking to gain credibility and experience while advancing their career. 

Price: PMI Member: $405.00      Non-Member: $575.00

Prerequisites and Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 36 months of experience leading projects within the past eight years
  • 35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM® certification


  • High School or Secondary School Diploma
  • 60 months of experience leading projects within the past eight years
  • 35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM® certification

3. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

Description: The Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) certification, administered by the Project Management Institute, acknowledges superior experience and education surrounding Agile project management specifically. The exam covers a broad range of Agile frameworks, from Scrum, Kanban, Lean, extreme programming (XP), and test-driven development (TDD). The ACP certification is best for project managers who frequently work on Agile projects or want to expand their knowledge of Agile methodology. 

Price: PMI Member: $435.00    Non-member: $495.00

Prerequisites and Requirements:

  • Secondary degree
  • 21 contact hours of training in agile practices
  • 12 months of general project experience within the last 5 years (a current PMP or PgMP will satisfy this requirement but is not required to apply for the ACP exam)
  • 8 months of agile project experience within the last 3 years

4. Google Project Management: Professional Certificate

Description: The Google Project Management Professional Certificate is a self-paced, entry-level certification that teaches the basics of entry-level project management, Agile methodology, and real-world project scenarios. One of the major perks of this certification is that it does not require any prerequisites and can be obtained for an affordable price. This certification is best for those who are looking to dip their toes into the field of project management before exploring more committed certification options. 

Price: $49 per month (subscription-based model)

Prerequisites and Requirements: N/A

5. Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)

Description: The Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) certification, administered by the Project Management Institute, is a certification for executives and senior project managers who are looking to expand their experience in multi-project portfolio management. Compared to other certifications, the PfMP certification is best for seasoned project management professionals, and, accordingly, requires the most extensive prerequisites of any project management certification. 

Price: PMI Member: $800.00     Non-member: $1,000.00

Prerequisites and Requirements:

  • All applicants must possess a minimum of 96 months of professional business experience within the last 15 years AND
  • Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or the global equivalent)
  • 84 months of portfolio management experience


  • All applicants must possess a minimum of 96 months of professional business experience within the last 15 years AND
  • Four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent)
  • 48 months of portfolio management experience

Read more: Scrum Master vs. Project Manager: What’s the Difference?

What Are The Benefits of Project Management Certifications?

While exploring continued education in the form of professional certifications takes some upfront investment and dedicated commitment, it can benefit you greatly in the long run. Here are just a few of the top benefits of investing in project management certifications:

  • Certifications Help You Stand Out: In today’s competitive market, obtaining a recognized project management certification can help you stand out from the competition.
  • Increased Earning Potential: Obtaining project management certifications is one of the fastest ways to increase your earning potential, with certain credentials improving earning potential by 20% or more, on average. 
  • Gain Valuable Credibility: Acquiring and maintaining a project management certification proves your mastery over key concepts and helps you stay fresh on new industry trends, improving your credibility as a professional. 
  • Make A Career Shift Into Project Management: If you’re looking to make the shift into project management from another industry, obtaining a project management certification to add to your resume can help you make a career pivot without going back to school. 
  • Help Bring New Frameworks and Ideas to Your Team: For existing project management professionals, exploring new certification options is a great way to master new project management methodologies and expand your professional toolbox while bringing new ideas to your team. 

Best Project Management Certification Prep Course Providers 

Master of Project Academy

Founded in 2012 by Resit Gulec, MBA, PMP, ITIL, Master of Project Academy is a top provider of online Project Management courses and training. Today, Master of Project Academy has helped over 300,000 professionals in more than 180 countries grow professionally through virtual project management courses, with an average first-attempt pass rate of 99.6% in the certification exams. 

Read more: Master of Project Academy Review 2023

Project Management Institute (PMI) eLearning Courses

The Project Management Institute is the world’s largest and most trusted administrator of project management certifications. Naturally, it also offers project management professionals a wide variety of educational resources, including online courses to prepare for certification exams. PMI offers paid and free educational courses on all things project management, including courses tailored to support students in their path to obtaining specific certifications, from CAPM to PMP and more. 

Read more: Project Management Institute (PMI) – Advancing the PM Profession


PMTraining was founded in 2004 by Christopher Scordo (PMP, ITIL), an author of over half a dozen best-selling project management guides. Today, PMTraining has over 100,000 international students and comprehensive on-demand training courses for numerous top project management certifications. Each course includes a variety of training materials, downloadables, one-on-one instructor access, and free re-enrollment if you don’t pass your certification exam.

Read more: Best PMP Exam Prep Books


Before obtaining your well-earned certification, there are a few essential steps you need to follow in order to successfully prepare for your certification exam:

  1. Understand Your Options & Select Which Certification Is Best For You

With so many certification options available to project management professionals, it’s important to understand what certification options are best for you. Take time to dive deeper into your top choices, understanding what prerequisites and expenses are associated with each certification. 

  1. Explore Potential Course Vendors and Study Aids

Taking advantage of course vendors and pre-exam study materials is a great way to ensure that you pass your certification exam on the first try. Explore a variety of course offerings and see what options are best for you, including in-person courses, on-demand courses, free prep courses, and more. 

  1. Set a Test Date

Most project management certification exams require you to apply ahead of time, giving you ample time to supply any supporting materials to your application, such as proof of prerequisite completion. Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to study and prepare before setting a test date.

  1. Pay Any Fees Associated with Testing 

As you prepare to take your certification exam, understand that there is a fee associated with obtaining your certification. Most fees range from $500–$1,000 and are required before a test date can be selected. 

  1. The Night Before Testing: Preparation for Feeling Your Best        

Before you take your exam, ensure that you’re feeling your best by getting a good night’s sleep, eating something, and staying hydrated. While most exams offer a break at some point during the testing process, you want to pace yourself so that you have the focus and energy required to power through the entire exam.

After successfully completing your certification exam, you’ll want first to contact your test administrator to receive a copy of your official certification, if they haven’t sent it over automatically. From there, you’ll want to update relevant professional files, such as your resume and LinkedIn profile, to reflect your new credentials. If you haven’t already done so, share your accomplishments with your team as well! 

You should also look into your individual certifications maintenance requirements, as many certifications require ongoing PDUs (Professional Development Units) every few years in order for you to maintain your credentials.

While in-person testing options are less common than virtual-based ones, they are available for select certification exams. However, regardless of how the test is administered, it is always proctored and monitored, either by electronic software or an in-person trained test administrator. Before testing begins, you will know how many questions are involved in the certification exam and how long you have to complete them.

Most certification exams will allow you to retake an exam up to 3 times within a designated time, usually one year. 


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