PMI PMP Certification Project Management

How to get project management work experience without PMP certification

Getting PMP work experienceLately I’ve been getting a lot of questions on my post about whether or not it’s worth getting PMP certified. The most common questions I receive are about whether or not someone has enough project management work experience to apply to take the exam. According to PMI, in order to apply to take the PMP exam, you need:

4,500 hours (36 months) of professional work experience leading and directing projects if you have a bachelor’s degree, or,

7,500 hours of work experience (60 months) of professional work experience leading and directing projects if you have an associate’s degree.

Some people find there is a bit of a Catch-22 when it comes to getting project management experience to take the PMP exam. On one hand, you need to amass this project management experience in order to apply to take the test. But on the other hand, many project management jobs require that applicants be PMP certified project managers before they are even considered for the role. So how do you go about getting project management experience to apply to take the PMP exam if you are not already a PMP credential holder?

Here are a few ideas:

Get a job as a project manager without a PMP

Even without PMP certification, it is possible to get a job as a project manager. Some project manager jobs do not require certification; find those, and give it your best shot landing one of those jobs.

Smaller companies may be more open to hiring someone without a great deal of project experience if they show that they are an intelligent, positive, and hard-working candidate. Startups and similar small companies will be more likely to hire non-PMPs than might government or military organizations, where long lists of credentials and industry work experience are highly valued.

Work some project management experience into your current job

If you’re working as an engineer, software developer, quality assurance analyst, or some other technical profession, it might not be too difficult to get some On-the-Job Training (OJT) in project management. Volunteer to manage small projects for your organization, or ask to serve as an assistant or associate project manager.

You might also speak to your manager or human resources department about project management mentoring; if you can shadow an experienced mentor, you can learn a great deal about leading and directing projects. In turn, you can take some of your mentor’s workload away from him or her, which will likely be appreciated – project managers usually have a lot to do!

Finally, you can work as a team lead in your current position. While being a team lead might not equate to actual project management experience, you will still be managing people, timelines, and potentially budgets, which will be great experience that you can put on a resume and later talk to recruiters about when it comes to applying to project management jobs.

Be a member of a project team

Even just working on a project team can be quality experience for a future project management career. Technical experience is very important for project managers; in fact, I find that engineers, developers, and other technical employees make some of the best project managers. Getting quality experience as a technical member of a project team will, in my opinion, make you a much better project manager than someone who does not have a technical background or experience working on a multitude of different types of projects.

While you are working on projects, keep track of how the projects are going, and of what PMI process groups you are working in – initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, and closing. Knowing what areas of the project you’ve been working on will help you to “talk the talk” when it comes to applying for project management roles.

Get involved with your PMO

An company’s Project Management Office (PMO) offers project governance, advice, and templates for the entire organization. If you’re working in a company that has a PMO, why not step up to help out with some of this governance? This will give you a broad degree of project experience, and will show you what methods are used to manage projects in your company. And if your company doesn’t have a PMO, you might speak with your manager about getting involved in starting one up. Your company might appreciate someone who can serve as a central point of contact for project management information.

Take some project management courses

If you have the time and energy to do it, you might seek out some project management education. In order to get PMP certified, you will need 35 contact hours of project management education, so you will need to get it at some point! Why not get it sooner rather than later?

There are plenty of courses, both online and offline, that offer project management training, and if you are serious about being a project manager, you might consider getting a Masters degree in Project Management. While this still does not equate to project management work experience, having such a degree will certainly give you a leg-up against candidates who have not had any formal project management training.

Get CAPM certified

If you don’t have enough professional project management experience to get PMP certified, you might consider getting CAPM certified. CAPM stands for Certified Associate in Project Management, and it is designed for people who are interested in becoming project managers and are just getting started with their project management careers. You do not need to have any professional work experience to earn the CAPM credential; the test is based on PMI’s framework, as is the PMP, though the CAPM test is not as rigorous as is the one for the PMP.

As I believe that the PMP is a much more respected certification, I am not normally an advocate of CAPM certification. However, if you are having a lot of trouble finding a project management job without the PMP, perhaps the CAPM can help you to demonstrate to recruiters or the people in your human resources department that you are serious about becoming a project manager. Plus, by going through CAPM certification, you will learn about PMI’s project management framework, which is something you will need to know anyway if you do plan to eventually take the PMP exam. I’ve written a post about the pros and cons of getting CAPM certified here that you can check out to see if CAPM certification might be right for you.

Another option you might choose is to undergo a different, non-PMI certification. The two that spring to mind are the ScrumMaster and ITIL Foundation certifications. Agile Development using Scrum is very popular these days, and by undergoing an Agile certification you will learn how to manage iterative development projects using Scrum. Meanwhile, ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a British certification focusing on IT Service Management (ITSM) that is popular and respected, in the United Kingdom especially, but also in Canada and the United States.

Stay positive

My final piece of advice is… stay positive! When you’re walking into an interview, don’t focus on your lack of project management work experience, and any potential negatives that being inexperienced entails. Focus on the positives, and on all of the great things that you can do. Even if you don’t have professional project management experience, you probably have managed projects at school, as a volunteer, or even in a club or at church. Prove to your recruiter that you are an accomplished problem-solver, a team player, and a dedicated worker. If you can give recruiters a glimpse of the amazing project manager that you will one day become, they might decide to take you on to help you begin your journey.

Good luck!

By Brian Crawford

I'm a Canadian and British dual citizen with an internationally-focused American MBA and an MS in International Project Management from a French business school. I am PMP, ScrumMaster, and ITIL Foundation certified. I'm particularly into travel, writing, and learning about different languages and cultures.

136 replies on “How to get project management work experience without PMP certification”

Hi Brian,

You have put together a good resource. Thank you for that.

I have a different kind of a problem, something people like me would be looking for a way to deal with.

I am 54. I have been in software development and management for close to 25 years. I have done just about everything in software development. I have also managed projects, not necessarily following all of what is prescribed by PMI.

Recently, I got myself PMP certified.

I am wondering whether companies will consider people like me with the age factor.

Just need some advice. Thanks

Hello Pat,

Regarding the age factor, I think that you are in luck. If you have 25 years of software development and management under your belt, and have now become PMP certified, I believe you’re in a great position to start managing projects. While some jobs are difficult for older people to attain, project management or program management do actually seem in some cases geared toward people with experience and achievements under their belts… in fact, I would guess that many organizations might prefer more seasoned project managers over younger, lesser experienced candidates.

As for where you might look, you might consider looking into government positions. The reason I say this is because in my experience, in the United States and Canada anyway, there are a great deal of older, more experienced people working project management jobs in government positions. It might be worth a shot!

Good luck to you, and congratulations on passing the PMP examination.


How precisely are the hours for the PMP typically quantified? If an entire project (including all of the phases) lasted for 3 months, is it an 80 hour work week x 12? Thanks in advance for the help.

Hello Dan,

It is up to you to figure out how much of the time you spent in your work week was spent “leading and directing projects”. So if you felt that you were doing that work for the full work week, you would indicate that.

On the other hand, PMI only wants you to count 40 hour work weeks. So even if you worked 80 hours during a work week, they would want you to only count 40 of those hours for your project management work experience.

Best of luck to you.

Hi Brian, I am 40 years old with an extensive background in military & law enforcement. Not 1 day of project management under my belt. I’d like to take the PMP exam however, it requires 4500 to 7500 hours and x amount of years experience to take the exam. I meet all other requirements. Can I still take the PMP exam with no experience? The expirence requirement is discouraging.

Hello Alfredo,

Unfortunately, the work experience component is something that is definitely required for PMP applicants, and in fact it seems to be the thing that most people have trouble with – attaining the experience leading and directing projects, and then tallying it for the PMP exam application.

On the other hand, this is also something that turns out to be a good thing for PMP credential holders. It means that all people who have PMP certification have spent a certain amount of time managing projects. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good project managers, or even fair project managers – but it does mean that they have done it!

I’m starting my own real estate investment/remodeling business and I’m wondering if being the owner of the company would qualify as work experience for the Project management certification and also is an associates required? I completed some college level schooling but most of my training comes from working apprenticeships in trade jobs

Hello Ryan,

I do think that the Prince2 certification could be a good idea, especially if you’re living in the United Kingdom where it seems to be very useful and valued. I always say that more education is better, and it does seem that having multiple certifications can look very good on a resume! Best of luck to you!

Hi Brian,

I’m looking into getting my PMP designation.

I worked as a part-time Finance Manager for 3 years at my university’s radio station. I approximately racked up 2,000 hours of project management experience. Would PMI recognize these hours?
Mind you the organization is entirely student-run, with board members and senior management changing on an annual basis, as they graduate.

Thank you in advance,

Hello Niro
I would like to let you know that minimum 4500 hours and 4years are required to be recognized by PMI.
But yes there is another way for sure.
We can take your case and provide you a solution.
Please email me at

Hi Brian,

I have over 16 years project management experience, but I am now 68 years old. Is too late to be PMP certified?



Hello Angel,

No, it’s never too late to be PMP certified. I personally plan to be learning and growing well into my golden years! If getting PMP certified is something you’d like to do, I recommend going for it. I respect you for taking the initiative.

Good luck!

Hello Brian,

I was just wondering if you had any specific advice for someone looking to get PMP worthy experience while in college.


Hi Isaac,

That’s a good question. As far as I am aware, experience for the PMP exam needs to be professional experience, so schoolwork wouldn’t count.

My recommendation to you would be not to worry to much about getting PMP-worthy experience in college, but to work your way through college in such a way that you can get PMP-worthy experience when you get out. For example, even if managing projects within your school for clubs, your fraternity, student government, or whatever else will not earn you any of the 4500 hours of professional project management work experience you require, perhaps by working as a project manager through college you will be able to get a job managing projects where you get out, or your future managers will give you certain project management tasks due to your experience in the domain. You might also try volunteering your project management for nonprofits and the like – that could be another route to getting a good project management job in the future.

Good luck to you – it is nice to see such initiative from someone still in college. I hope that you end up having a great career in the field.

Hello Brian,
I have been a project manager for two major commercial retail alarm companies installing security, fire, access and CCTV systems nation-wide. I do not have my PMP certification, nor do I have a college degree of any kind.
I have been in the industry for the past thirty four years and have held titles such as installation manager, operations manager, systems engineer and have been a project manager for the past eight years.
I was considering PMP certification until I realized that a college degree was part of the requirement. I am 52 years old and to do both seems somewhat daunting, as well as expensive. I’m wondering if it is worth my time and expense. Your thoughts?

Hello Chris,

A college degree is not, in fact, part of the requirement – you do not need to have a college degree in order to get PMP certified. However, if you do have a college degree, you will need fewer hours of work experience in order to qualify for PMP certification – 4,500 hours with a bachelor’s degree as opposed to 7,500 hours with a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent).

Also, you don’t necessarily have to have been a project manager in title in order to qualify – you simply need to have that many hours of experience leading and directing projects (regardless of title). So if you led and directed projects as an operations manager or systems engineer, those hours of work experience would count.

Meanwhile, I’m not sure if it is worth getting PMP certified in your case – that is something you’d have to find out based on your career and your geographic location. My advice would be to ask your Human Resources professional what they think about the certification. They would see many different resumes and applicants for jobs in your field, so they would know which certifications and credentials are most in demand for your domain.

Hope this helps!

Yes, I got involved with project management work before getting my PMP as project management experience is required for getting the PMP. But I think CAMP may not worth the effort.

Hello Ed,

Thanks so much for the kind feedback – I really appreciate it! I’m glad to be able to help aspiring PMP applicants figure out the best path to certification.

All the best to you in your project management career!

Hello, Brian,

I am about to be laid off from my (very large) company. During my time here, I have participated in, & led, quite a few projects-even “forced” to put the title of project manager on my outgoing signatures. I have also participated in a “company-specific” project management training. Currently, all I hold is my BA in HR. I am thinking of using the time immediately after my layoff to aggressively study for my CAPM, then take my overall work experience to test. Is this a good idea? Am I missing a step here?

Hi Dionne,

I’m sorry to hear that you’re about to be laid off – that’s never very fun.

It sounds like you’ve had quite a bit of project management experience. In my opinion, if you already have enough project management experience, and are interested in furthering your career in project management, you should get the PMP certification rather than the CAPM certification. In my experience, the PMP is more valued and can land you more interviews and more jobs. Other people may have differing opinions, of course, but I believe the PMP will serve you better if you can get it, or if you have a path toward getting what you need in order to qualify for it (the work experience hours leading and directing projects in particular).

I’ve written an article about the pros and cons of the CAPM certification here in case you’d like to check it out.

Best of luck to you!

I am working as Project Accountant for more than three years in a big Pharmaceutical manufacturing organization, I am aspirant to do PMP certification, I am also having professional qualification in Finance/accounting, as you must aware now there are many companies offering position in finance and they also require PMP certificatin,
During my this job I had worked around many manufacturing facility upgradation projects and capacity enhancement as well, would you please help me how I can elaborate this in Project management working hours experince

Hello Aftab,

I’m not sure if I completely understand your question. However, if you’re asking about figuring out which hours you’ve worked that would qualify for the project leadership and direction work experience for the PMP exam, you would simply tally up all the hours that you spent working in one of the five PMI process groups. Remember that you do not have to have actually been working as a project manager; even if you were completing project management tasks under another title, that would also apply.

In any case, good luck to you.

Also I can raise inspection in project and imparted my talent in implementing production and project planning under SAP migration in my company Please help . I wish to pursue CIMA too. I absolutely dont have any engineering background. I am an MBA Finance and Bachelor in Commerce, still I am trying to entering in this field. I will get experience letter as a accountant only :

Waiting an earliest reply from your part

Hello Siddarth,

I am not sure what your question is exactly, but it does seem that you have had some experience in project planning (which would be part of leading and directing projects). You don’t need to have any engineering background in order to get PMP certified – only experience in a professional capacity leading and directing projects.

If you can get more experience like this, I recommend doing it. It will eventually add up to the hours you need in order to apply to take the PMP examination.

Best of luck!

Thanks for the reply, Brian! Is it possible for me to take the course/exam on my own? Or do I HAVE to be company/employer sponsored?

Hello Dionne,

You can certainly take the course and exam on your own. That is what I did myself. Also remember that the course does not necessarily have to be a PMI-centered course – any formal (re: not self-learning) project management education will apply.

Best of luck!

Hi Brian,

Lot of valuable infoirmation and I am hoping you can help me out.

I am trying to find the required PM experience with an MBA. I can only find the required hours(4500) with 4 year bachelor degree but no where I can find for the MBA.


Hello Simi,

Unfortunately, there are not different levels of experience for people who have Masters or PhD degrees… there are only two levels; one for people without a Bachelors degree, and one for people with a Bachelor’s degree. As you have your MBA, you also have your Bachelor’s, so you would use the 4,500 hours as your goal to apply for the PMP exam.

Hope this helps!

Hi Brian,

I have 10 years of IT experience and Engineering degree and I have worked for India, US and UK clients.
I have performed the different roles such as system Engineer, System Administrator, Analyst programmer, IT Analyst and Technical Lead in my tenure. I have involved in project management activities since 4+ years for multiple projects. Could you tell me that can I elligible for PMP exam?
If a 4500 hours of project management experience is mandatory for PMP then could you tell me how can i calculate it if I have worked on multiple project simultaneously.
Waiting for your reply!!

Hello Nishant,

It does seem that you have a nice wealth of work experience under your belt. However, whether or not you have the required 4,500 hours of work experience leading and directing projects is something you will have to figure out! I recommend tallying up your hours in an Excel (or otherwise) spreadsheet and seeing how many hours you get. You will need to have hours in all five of PMI’s process groups.

Meanwhile, if you have worked on multiple projects simultaneously, that is no problem – you just tally up the total hours for all of those projects. You shouldn’t have any projects duplicating hours though (so for example, you can’t count the same hour toward two projects). This means you would only tally up 40 hours per week maximum of work experience leading and directing projects.

Best of luck to you.


i was wondering if i would be qualified to take the pmp exam with 5 yrs experience as a lead supervisor and a hs diploma?

Hello there Bryant,

This is difficult to tell. I recommend getting out a computer with a spreadsheet and then tallying out how many hours of your work experience as a lead supervisor was actually spent managing projects. In that manner you will be able to easily calculate whether or not you have the required 7,500 hours (with a high school diploma) that you need in order to apply to take the PMP exam.

Good luck!

Hi Brian,

I work for a company where upper management initiates projects, and then once they decide to go ahead with a project, it gets turned over to me to do the planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. Do you think it will be a problem if I didn’t have any “Initiating” hours to report in my work experience?

Thank you,

Hi there Alex,

PMI does want PMP applicants to have professional work experience in all of the different PMI process groups. I am not sure if it will be a problem necessarily if you do not have that experience in the Initiating process group, but perhaps there is a way to get at least some? Maybe if you can get involved with some of the projects that are starting at ground level, even if you’re not necessarily managing the project yourself.

If not, I don’t think I’d worry too much – PMI sees project managers of all types, and I’m pretty sure it would work out.

Good luck!

Brian, another question:

Also, my projects, while sometimes months long, typically don’t have formal project charters. Basically, upper management will say “Get this done by .”

Also, I’ve not made work breakdown structures, but I do make schedules and facilitate team meetings to get status reports from team members.

Do you think my experience is too informal to satisfy the work experience requirement?

Thanks again,

Hello Alex,

That is okay if your projects do not have formal project charters or Work Breakdown Structures. If you are managing projects, that is all PMI cares about – PMI knows that not everybody manages projects according to PMI’s methods. If you were using Agile Development and Scrum practices, which are quite different from PMI’s mostly waterfall-based project management techniques, that would work as project management experience as well.

Good luck to you!


I have just been made redundant from my current role and looking to move into a project management role.

For the last 6 or 7 years, I have been managing projects as part of my role although I am not called a project manager. I would like to gain the PMP qualification and wonder what type of evidence I would need to provide to the PMI to be able to take the test.

Thank you


Hello David,

That is not a problem if you have been managing projects but have not officially been a “project manager”. PMI requires applicants to have had professional work experience leading and directing projects, not necessarily “being” project managers.

As for evidence, you would simply have to document the hours you have spent in a professional capacity leading and directing projects. You could simply do this on a spreadsheet, and then pass your hours by your managers in case you get called for an application audit by PMI.

Best of luck!


I am really intersted in taking the PMP certification but i have a doubt regarding the project management experience. I am holding a bachelors degree and work as a finance executive, i have done two onshore migrations/transitions/OJT for my company.
the first one was for 1 month and the second for 4 months. Will this experience be counted.

Hello Shantung,

If the work in question was “leading and directing projects”, then it would count, even if you were working in finance. It doesn’t matter if it was IT, finance, construction, or whatever – as long as you were managing projects in a professional capacity, it would count as proper work experience for the PMP application. It is up to you to decide whether or not you can ethically say that you were “managing projects” in your role.

Hope this helps. Thanks!

I am a movie director and producer, creating projects and managing that are mostly self-initiated. I was wondering if the time I spent working on these projects would count toward my hours.

For instance, I directed and produced an award-winning, self-funded documentary. Would the time I put into making that documentary count toward my hours?

I moved from Domincan Republic to Puerto Rico,Civil Enginner and Masters of Science in Construction Management, My last work experiencie was only 1 year as a controller of more than 8 projects, the first 6 most the company doesn’t have projects manager, so it was part of my job and most of the my activites were: payroll, controlling all project (all resourses(human and materials)), planning next day of work,……)
I don;t have enough our to apply PMP, but I need to find a job, and I can’t decide for CAPM..
Need ur recommendation

Hello Diana,

It sounds like you are on your way to gathering enough experience to qualify for PMP certification (you may in fact have it by now). It seems to me if you can continue to manage projects professionally, you should continue to do that until you have enough experience to apply to get the PMP credential. It is much more powerful on a resume than the CAPM. On the other hand, if you don’t, I have been hearing lately that the CAPM is really quite a useful certification to have if you are starting out in project management. In any case, if you can afford the time and money required to get CAPM certified, it couldn’t hurt!


I am 25yrs old. I have been working as a Mechanical Design Engineer in a Manufacturing company.i have 4 years of technical experience. i wanted to shift my career to the managerial side. i want to apply for PMP certification but i do not have any project management experience. since i was on the technical side for 4yrs i do not think i will get a project engineer job. i need your advice as how to shift to management side and want to know if i am eligible to write PMP exam.

Hello Syed,

In order to apply to take the PMP examination, you need to have 4,500 hours of professional work experience leading and directing projects (if you have a Bachelor’s degree – it is 7,500 hours without it). If I were you, I would go ahead and document the hours that you have earned leading and directing projects in an Excel spreadsheet or some other format. In this way, you can count up your hours and see how close you are. Remember that the work experience needs to be experience leading and directing projects – not simply working on projects.

I hope this helps – best of luck to you in your career.

Hi Brian,
Thanks for sharing such valuable advice and information with the world!

I have a Master’s degree in Comp. Sci & about 6 years of experience that includes 2 years of Software testing and the rest Software development experience. For about 3 years, I have contributed to many project management activities in my team like participating actively in planning meetings, scheduling releases, conducting scrum calls etc. But I have not had the title of a project manager ever.

I would really like to become a project manager at this point. I personally think CAPM is not worth taking at this point in my career. But am I eligible to take up PMP? How do I show professional experience when I have always had a title of Software Engineer? Please help

Hello Ka,

Do not worry about the fact that you have not worked with an official title of “project manager”. All you need to have is work experience leading and directing projects. So if you have the 4,500 hours of required work experience managing projects (if you have a Bachelor’s degree, that is) you can still apply to get PMP certified even if you didn’t have the proper title.

Best of luck to you in your future project management career.

Hi Brian
I am a 23 year old male whose very passionate about becoming a certified project manager.I will be starting a course in project management from the University of Cape town the course is an advanced diploma in business project management Nqf level 7. I was also planning to do a Post graduate diploma in project management from the university of stellenbosch which is Nqf 9.I wanted to know when exactly should I consider going for the pmp exam after the advanced or post graduate diploma in project management???I would though prefer be a certified project manager at atleast 27 years ,please if you could also email me at some advice as am about to begin a journey that I believe will be worthy it.

Thank you

Hello Unam,

It sounds like you are doing quite well in your education and in your career. You likely have a bright future ahead of you.

If you’re looking to become a project manager, you definitely seem to be on the right track. However, to get PMP certified, you will need to have acquired 4,500 hours of professional work experience leading and directing projects before applying to take the exam. That said, if you are doing post-graduate work in project management, you will likely have some good credentials on your resume to be able to attain a project management position, at which point you will be able to start tracking your hours spent managing projects and eventually attaining sufficient hours to sit for the PMP examination.

Best of luck with your future career as a project manager.

Hi Brian!

Firstly many many thanks for your information,
Your posts are very valuable for every pmp aspirant.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in B.Com (computers) and MBA(HR).I have one year experience as project coordinator and 4 years experience as Assistant project manager in a construction company(still working).But 2 of my project manager had quit the job and I can’t find them to vouch for me,can I support my work hours through my contract agreement with the company or a letter from one of the directors of the company?

Am I eligible to apply for pmp certificate?

IF yes we have 6 working days a week, so the week work hours sumup to 48 hours, in a post of your’s it was mentioned as 40 hours a week are taken into consideration, lf this is the case how do I present my work hours?

Thank you
Hope you succeed in every aspect of life.

Hi Brian,
Thanks for the post, it was worth reading.
I currently work in a bank as a lending specialist, been there 6 months and it is my first experience in the banking sector although I have been in sales for 6 years. I have decided I want to become a project manager in the finance sector and already preparing for the PRINCE 2 exam (the equivalent of PMP exam). However, because I have only been in this role for only 6months and I have been advised that the next move for me will be in another 18months, i fear I will not be able to fully maximize the PRINCE 2 qualification now. Would you advice i go ahead and take the exam now or wait 18months or theteabout when my manager will think i am ready for a move?
Also, I am currently doing a postgrad diploma in business administration and project management is one of the 8 courses i will have to pass to get the degree, do you think it wise to finish the program and rely on the one course to support my desire when interviewing in the future or would you suggest a masters in project mgt.(i plan to get an mba once i am through).
Looking forward to hearing from you.

Hi Brian,

Thank you for pointing out that PMI will only consider Experience Leading and Directing Projects from the 8-years immediately preceding the date of your PMP Certification Application.

Of my zillion hours accumulated prerequisite experience, I have only about 980-hours that fall within this time period.

Saved me from wasting a considerable amount of money to obtain the required 35 contact hours of “formal project management education”.

Problem is that in the present job market in the U.S., “PMP certification required” is turning up more and more as a mandatory must have for many senior level positions.

Have an engineering Master’s degree, an MBA, and many years of very senior level work experience.

Does not seem to me that obtaining the CAPM makes much sense for someone for whom the PgMP certification would be more appropriate.

Kind Regards

i am a graduate materials engineer with three years experience in non managerial positions but will like to move on with my career in project management . can i get certified as project management professional ?

Hi Brian,

I have been a team lead for a reputed IT consulting firm for past 6 years . Before that I was a software engineer with the same firm. I have been leading a team of 14-20 people and implemented BI solutions for my client across different geography .Can I show my team lead experience as professional project management experience ? I have bachelors degree in Engineering .

Hello Brian. Thanks for the post. I am a customer service officer in a bank. However I have been showing a great deal of interest in project management. I have no previous knowledge of project management. Kindly advise.

Hello Brian,

Thank you very much for sharing such comprehensive article regarding CAPM and PMP.

I have a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and am a license holder for Professional Engineers Ontario (P. Eng.).

I am currently employed by a company as the “Project Coordinator” and am assisting our project manager who is quite an experienced engineer in the field of industry.

I, however, was in the field of research for many years before hired by this company and this job is to be a major change in my carrier. That is why I am thinking of educating myself with the project management criteria and principals.

Here is my questions in three folds:

1- Does my Ph.D. degree or P.Eng. license facilitate or speed up the PMP process or it is not credited as anything useful to get my certificate?

2- Since I have not passed even one course in the PM discipline, how many courses do I need to pass and through what school or university?

3- Do you recommend that I pass my courses and acquire experience in 3 years and go for PMP or should I start with the CAPM right away?

I greatly appreciate your feedback.

Thank you

Hi Brian,

I worked as senior Business Analyst and Project Expeditor in IT sector for 11 yrs by now. Recently, I obtained PMP certification. Please advise what should be done to get a project manager role. How to convince the management that I can drive a project?

Hi Brian,

Good website and really helpful hints. Who created your website
and how much does it cost monthly to maintain ? Do they provide a ecommerce peice ? So you can sell products ? I want to transition from paying a monthly fee that is $119. so that’s why I asked.

Thanks Much

Hi Brian,

Hope you are fine.
I have been working as an account manager for almost 5 years at which I managed some small projects related to my existing clients (not as prescribed by PMI).It helped me with my application. I have just got my PMP certificate, but I started to feel that it is totally irrelevant to my experience and my title is not supporting (Account Manager, PMP 馃檨
Plz let me know your feedback .
What should I write on my resume ?


I am a techno functional SAP consultant and after 8 years of experience I want to switch in Project Management. I did worked with my PMs during my project tenure so aware of the norms. However My Company HR not willing to approve me join PMP projects stating I am critical to project technically.Please suggest If I am taking the right step.Your guidance will be very helpful for my next action in my carrier plan.


I have been working in technical support for a Canadian telecom organization for the last 2.5 years.

Just curious if technical support experience can count towards the experience requirement for PMP certification?

Looking forward to hearing back.


Hi Brian,
Thank you so much for your insightful posts. I have been a principal at various elementary schools for the past ten years and desire to change careers and move into project management. Over the course of my various principalships, I have managed many projects and am wondering if I could count these towards my 4,500 hours of PMP work experience. Examples of some of the many projects I have managed include:
1. Dedicating a year to researching, adopting and managing a revised school-wide curriculum.
2. Creating and managing a year-long, school-wide mathematics assessment program.
3. Creating and managing a parent involvement initiative.
4. Creating and managing Professional Learning Communities.
5. Creating and managing year-long school-wide Action Plans.


Hello Brian,

My current position is a project coordinator for an environmental consulting firm. We generate environmental reports for large banks, which are used for commercial loans.

I generate proposals, ensure projects are properly staffed and handle all issues revolving the projects logistics. My team can handle anywhere from 50-100 concurrent projects at a time. I am unsure if what I do would qualify as work experience for the PMP… Does my line of work satisfy the requirement or will I need to find a new job?

I want to get my PMP and work for a company that is more technology driven. I plan on taking project management courses at a local university extension program to satisfy the education portion.

Hope you do well, I have more than 10 years worked as a planner, scheduler by using the primavera P3/P6 and estimator in my back home. Now I am here in Canada for more that 5 years I did not work in a project management aspect, my question is, can I apply for PMP Exam in Canada ?
and How they are consider my previous experience? and how can I prove my experience ?
Thank you very much

Hi there,
I am a junior in college and trying to decide between a project management, HR, or combo of both degree. I have an internship at the California Chamber of Commerce for this summer lined up, but also have a few interviews for management training programs. What type of internships are there for project management besides management training programs to get an idea about the field?
– Amy


I’m a QA engineer from 5 years and really interested in obtaining PMP certification .

What are the next steps? Am I eligible for taking PMP certification ?

I have 4 years bachelors degree in Engineering ?

Advice me 馃檪

Hi Brian,
Is it absolutely necessary that all the following areas should be accounted for whilst computing 4500 hours for PMP application to be accepted? If I can show total 4500 hours in first 4 areas and no hours in closing a project area, is that acceptable?
路 Initiating the Project
路 Planning the Project
路 Executing the Project
路 Controlling and Monitoring the Project
路 Closing the Project
Please could you let me know as I am all set to apply for PMP and start the certification process.
Many thanks


I鈥檓 a Mechanical engineer from 20+ years in manufacturing and really interested in obtaining PMP certification .

What are the next steps? Am I eligible for taking PMP certification ?

I have 4 years bachelors degree in Engineering ?

Advice me 馃檪

What types of tasks count as experience hours for a PMP cerificate?
I have worked in office admin for 15 years, but have had side projects such as organizing clothing drives and most recently founding a non profit organization that is in the process of building a raised bed community garden, as well as creating curriculum for monthly community meetings on the topic. Do these types of things count, if not what does?

Hope you well.
I am Btech Mechanical with 7 (3+4) years of experience working in tier 1 companies to automotive giant in India.
I want to stick to my technical field, will PMI certification help me opening new avenues in future career.

I have been a Project Manager in the IT industry for 20+ years. Tons of direct, hands-on experience managing projects using PMI best practices. I’ve sat for the PMP twice and failed by a couple of points. I dread taking the exam again. Is there any other ways to achieve the PMP cert. without taking the exam?

Hi Brian,
Thanks for the post.
I’m interested in becoming a PM. I have worked in the engineering / construction industry for 6 + years, as an accountant and then as project accountant . I would like to jump to the next level and become a Project Manager.
I have a bachelor in business with Management major and I’m thinking of doing a introduction to Project Management certification( which will give me more knowledge of ms project and develop an integrated project plan, etc)
Do you think that would be enough to land a job as PM ?
I’d appreciate any advise.

Hello Brain,

I am Mechanical Engineer with 7+ years of experience in all presales activities. Right from getting the enqiry to getting the order…my work involves handling multiple activities like Mechanical design , Detailed Cost Estimation, Proposals, Procurement ( During Bidding Stages), Sales and Marketing of all static equipment ( Heavy Engineering Oil and Gas Domain) .I have no relevant experience in handling the projects. I understand that I can get the PMP certifiction , but my query is on the basis of this Certification , can i enter into project management …I am an aspiring project manager…. Kindly dvice

Hi I just graduate with a Master degree in Project Management and also just had a Scrum Master certification , also got the Specialization in Project Management Practice with California Irvine university and now I am studying to get my ITIL V3 foundation and also planning to get a software product Management specialization .
My question will be, do you think that is worth to get the CAPM ?

Hello Brian,
Hope this email finds you well

Brian, I am hoping you are still reviewing and replying to this site and the questions we have.

I am 48 year young Female that decided to obtain my Bachelors in Project Management I graduated in September 2015! I am so proud of myself. I went about my life a little backwards, I have Over 25 years of experience in Teaching Medical Hospitals in the Financial department, I have credentialing, contracts, billing, and analytical experience. Now to attach to that is the BSPM. So how do I go about getting my Certification and someone that will hire me? I am in the process of testing for the CAPM
Thank you for your time and feedback

Hello Brian
i completed my masters degree in project management in 2009.but since then i was running my own retail business which unfortunately i had to end now.
At current point i have decided to get back to my original qualification but with no experience it is nearly impossible to get a job.
please note i am willing to do more courses and invest time in learning but i am not sure what to do and where to start.
I need your advice in selection of right courses. Also if you guide me that in which industry (construction, retail. IT) project managers are well paid and in big demand both locally or internationally so that i can steer me towards that.
Thanks in advance

Hello Brian,

I am Working as Associate Planning and Reporting in MNC. I assist PMO’s on their projects. are these experience countable for PMP?

Please advise.

Thank you!

hy brian,
hope u al gud
em really intersted to get PMP certificate. i hope u ‘ll help me out ,i have done my MBA n i dnt have any type of experience in pm …so wht can i do 4 it ?

plase tel me
thank you

Hell Brian,
I have a BS in computer engineering but worked in retail sales for 12 years like neiman marcus , Barneys Ny and have been number one seller always.
i have trained people art of selling and also new hires.
I am trying to get out of retail and get into corporate world as a marketing or pricing analyst but i am willing to start as a project manager. Studying for pmp now. Am i on the right path to get a project manager job and then do mba partime

Hello Brian, I must say that you have put together a great resource especially for people like me. I have worked with this company for over 5 years and i am 31 years of age. I have a BSc and an MBA although not on PM, I have successfully helped deliver a great working software my employer uses. I was involved in all stages of the build and am the current go to person on the software. I track and manage all error debugging, write requirements and basically involved in all technical aspect of the software. I desire to become a PM soonest but it seems my company isn’t a place to grow much. I have looked into taking a PMP course and then sit for the certification. Is it possible to count those hours spent toward the PMP requirement or is it strictly hours worked as PMP that only qualifies? Also, what would you suggest in terms of gaining experience as a PMP. I have started looking for PM Jobs, but have not received any interview calls and i suspect it has something to do with “lack of experience” as a PM.

Hi Brian,

Hope you are doing well. I have been working with Franklin Templeton India for almost 4.5 years out of which I have Business Analyst(Operational) experience of 1.5 years and would like to pursue PMI-BBA. Will that be helpful? Or can you suggest me any other course under PMP?

Thank you in Advance.

Dear Brian,

Many thanks for this wonderful and informative post.Hope, you are doing good.

I am an MCA with 7 years of IT experience.Currently working as a Er in SAP ABAP technology.In my role, i am involved in starting from gathering requirements to successful project go lives.I have experience of many end to end implementations.In my capacity,i managed and lead a mid-sized team responsible for many successful deliverable.So, with such technical work experience can i apply for junior SAP project Manager jobs in India? Please guide on this.

Thanks in advance.

Best Regards,

Hi Brian,
Rupa here I have done my MBA in marketing and 5 years of experience in same field and now want to join project management so is it possible for me to get job in Project management ?

Hi Brian,
Great article. I have been an Electrician for 10 years now and I want to progress into electrical project management. I only have my highest Level 3 qualification in electrical testing and my experience to rely on. My new employer is aware of my ambition and has said he is willing to help me with my progression because it will benefit him as an employer to have me after I’m qualified. I am 28 years old and wondering if I am too young to actually work towards such a demanding and responsible job. Or is it wise doing my Level 3 Certificate in Management and leadership first to get an understanding of management??
Thanks Brian.

Hi Brian!

Firstly many many thanks for your information,
Your posts are very valuable for every pmp aspirant.

I have a Bachelor鈥檚 degree in B.Com (computers) and MBA(HR).I have one year experience as project coordinator and 4 years experience as Assistant project manager in a construction company(still working).But 2 of my project manager had quit the job and I can鈥檛 find them to vouch for me,can I support my work hours through my contract agreement with the company or a letter from one of the directors of the company?

Am I eligible to apply for pmp certificate?

IF yes we have 6 working days a week, so the week work hours sumup to 48 hours, in a post of your鈥檚 it was mentioned as 40 hours a week are taken into consideration, lf this is the case how do I present my work hours?

Thank you
Hope you succeed in every aspect of life.

Hi Brian,

Your article is great! I just wanted to ask you for some advice. I am having a career change and wanted to get into the field of Project Management. I did a 3 day course on Project Management for a taster and liked it. I am currently in my 2nd year doing a Bsc in Construction Mgmt to enhance my education.Seeking employment at present in Junior project coordinator/ administrative role to get an understanding from the start. Am I doing the right thing? Also can you recommend another p.m course that would be of benefit to me?

Many thanks in advance!

Good afternoon Brian,

At this time I obtain an MBA and will commence a Graduate Level Project Management certificate program in August. A family member mentioned that in her hometown they provide paid training because of the need for future project managers. Do you know of any websites that could provide a list of companies that are willing to provide paid training for such position?

Hey Brian,
I dont know if this message will be respond…given how long ago the post was written but here goes. Thanks so much for the time taken to write this for people like myself. Very much appreciated.

I am a business analyst, currently interested in getting PMP certified. I do have a BSc and an MSc. I have about 12 years working experiences in consulting projects. In most, I worked as a business analyst executing an aspect of the project.

I have two primary concerns.
In the last four years of my working experience, I worked closely (it was a four man team) on a M&A project..afterwards a business transformation project. My last project was the development of an online portal, which I delegated to offshore developers. My first concerns, can these be classified as “projects”? Yes, we sometimes had to monitor progress with excel and gant charts…but I am not to certain if my experience fits into the PMP definition of Projects? We didnt have project charter and the project terminology (we had work scope, duration, deliverables and deadlines).

Lastly, audit. I stumbled somewhere that all our experiences are audited. I have lived in many countries and my work experience spans time before the explosion of social media aka Linkedin/Facebook. In other words, I have no idea where some of the supervisors of colleagues are. Two of the companies in my list (I am sure) have been closed down. Another company I worked for, was a Business Name I created to execute a venture. I am certain my case is not unique. I have little trail of my experience. Does that already disqualify me?

Thanks so much for your time.


Hey Brian,

Well I am working as Senior for Test Engg for a software company. I have 5 years of experience recently I completed the PMP course and ill be taking my Exams this august. So will my Prior Experience is considered or not.

Thanks and Regards,

Hi Brian,

This is a useful information. thanks to you.I’m a freshly post graduated project managent student without any experience. I’m planning to appear for CAPM. what kind of recruiters will hire freshers? can you please let me know about this? I’m wiiling to volunteer until I gain certain experience.


Hi Brian,

I saw previously that you say that school work doesn’t count towards your PMP hours but what if you are a project manager getting an early start with small companies on the side of your course work but are also still a student? I want to get a jump on my PMP but have 3 terms left until I finish my bachelors. I work with a startup company that can’t afford to pay me yet so I volunteer my time and I’ve also been brought on to manage an independent game development production. Even if I work for free it would be nice to put that experience to work. What would you recommend for me?

Hi Bryan

I am a B.Tech(electronics and telecommunications engg.)& have more than seven years of experience in IT,as a Quality Analyst ,including 2 years of experience in leading a team as a Test Lead,but the rest 5+ years were as senior test engineer and test engineer ,i.e. being a part of the project but not necessarily leading it.I am yet to calculate the hours for the 2 years as team lead but i just wanted to know whether the experience for the rest 5 years will be relevant according to PMI to include in the 3500 hours?


I have managed my rental property for 5 years and have a BA degree. Can I count managing tenants, repairs, rent, and security deposits etc. as project management experience?

Thank you,

I have an Associates degree in Biomedical repair and a Bachelors degree in Technical Management Business. I am on my second semester of Project Management (taking all of the classes for PMP first so I can get certified). Do I need the work hours in order to take the test for certification?

I have been a Customer Service Rep for Eaton Corp for almost 9 years and there is no doubt that what I do daily should be considered time towards the needed 4500hrs. I took part in an 8hr onsite course on Project Management conducted by a local Tech college and the instructor said she felt that what I do each day would qualify for the hours. I have taken on major projects for example a few years ago the Panama Canal Expansion Project (26 million for our company) and more recently taking on a large project for a tech giant with a colorful logo. We are essentially internal PM’s who manage the relationship between field project managers/engineers and our manufacturing management teams to meet project deadlines. I am not sure how to officially log this time for them and would love any incite on that process please. Thanks and have a great day.

Hello, maybe you’ll be able to help me!
I am graduating college in a few months with a B.A. in Public Relations. I recently decided I wanted to be a project manager, but I am having trouble deciding what my next step should be. I plan on taking a PM course at my school next semester. It is a three day long course($1100) and I will receive a certificate after completion. My next thought was to go to grad school and get an MBA or MS in project management, but this is where the real dilemma comes into play. I want to attend NYU SCPS, but after reading reviews for the school and many like it, I am second guessing attending a professional studies college. These colleges seem(according to my research) to be geared towards people that already have experience in project management and/or want to gain more experience or advance to higher positions in their current companies. Reviewers have stated that these courses do not “teach” like a typical college course because people generally have experience. I am learning from the ground up, so I feel I need a more academic setting.
Am I overthinking things? Is getting an MBA or MS from one the advanced/continuing studies colleges worth it? Will it teach me in the way I need it to? What would be better alternatives?
Thank you for your advice!

Hello Brian

I have over 17 years of Bank Management experience. I have done everything from opening new offices to training my staff on new systems and even co-chairing an Affinity Group for my current employer. My question is does this qualify as my 3 years of experience?

Dear sir ,
i am suhas . i am 26 year old ,i have completed bachler degree in electrical engineering ,i have 3 years experience in plant maintenance , so can i eligible for pmp certification?

Hey Brian,
I am 22 years old, new to the IT field and I’m interested in getting my PMP. First,I would like to hear your thoughts on gaining both my bachelor’s degree and the project management experience at the same time. Do you think it will be too much? Secondly, will I be taken seriously if I have my PMP so young in my career? Lastly, does it matter if the degree is business related?

I am 45 yrs, from being an engineer, to changing to run a small business as owner/ manager for 7 yrs, now somehow landed up needing to find work. I am trying to go back into tech. work but it may be difficult to return to the field (too old, and gap in employment). My background was 10 yrs as Senior Applications Engineer, where I did benchmarks and bring the design etc. 7 yrs running as general manager for a motel, where I was also actively involved in construction and improvement, and managing upgrades in a timely manner.

Would I qualify to take the PMP certification? Would that be a good idea in my case?


currently iam working as an Asst manager position(sap).i were the part of implementation team but not an project manager even an consultant handled independently our finance module, i have more than 6+ yrs experience in various company and various project as an team member, my query is how PMI judge my experience in different project experience as per their criteria or am i eligible for PMP certification…

Remember that i were not project manager but handled my module which one of part of project of SAP module independently.. pls give your input..or suggest for me which better to get the Project manager role or certification in current orgnisation..

Hi, I am interested in taking the PMP cert. I have 4+ years experience on the project management team in a project coordinator roll. As of Feb I moved into more of a project coordinator/manager roll being responsible for work flow, scheduling our engineering team for 6 projects and handling all management of engineering resources within an engineering firm. Will this past experience count towards my 7500 hrs needed? Also, since I am qualified to take the CAPM, should I take this first? And if I do, what type of job will I be qualified for? Can I be considered for a PM position somewhere?

Hello Brian – great job & keep it up! I have completed the 35 contact hours towards my PMP. I have about 8,200 PM-related hours on either side of a serious illness. Unfortunately I can only count the most recent 5yr of PM experience (not 8yr) as I was very ill for years 6,7,8. I have PM experience over 15+ years, but only 3,800 in last 5 years. I am about to be laid off and have no opportunity to earn additional hours at the moment. Is there a way I can earn additional PM hours (training, volunteer, pro-bono)? that PMI would likely accept? Any suggestions?


I am currently looking over the requirements for the PMP certification. I worked as a Residential Appraiser for over 10 years. I was involved with projects ranging from commercial construction to residential construction. I was wondering would this satisfy the work experience requirement.

Hi Brian ,
I am merchant naval officer, 1st officer; I was the Deputy Master and head of the Deck department and in-charge of whole cargo operation . But I was wondering whether my experience would be relevant to PMP certification as my roles and responsibilities were of ,in nature,operations rather of projects which have unique outcome.Kindly advise .

Hi Brian,
I am presently working for Medical devices in Logistics. I was involved in warehouse project for last 2 years handling various functions from Imports and local distribution,
Please let me know if I can opt for PMP and how is this going to be useful.Kindly advise.

Hi Brian,

Just wanted to know what is the methodology used in Australia and NZ market? Is is more PMP-oriented or is it Prince-2 Oriented?

I want to ensure that I get the right certification. I come from a services/customer services background (12+ years) with MBA education. Would like to start as project coordinator and then slowly make my way to project manager or scrum master role?

Need your advice and thank you.

Hello Brian

I have recently completed my Project Management Certificate NQF Level 4, question is, can i get a job with that certificate in the project management field?

Hi Brian,
I’m a software engineer in a small investment management company that has only now started to grow. I’ve been here 10 years and have built several complex software single-handedly. I want to move into project management not necessarily in my current job. Am I eligible for the PMP certification?

Hi Brian,
i’ma mechanical engineer and just got and admission in project management program (without any work experience) so i want to figure out how should i bulit my profile so that i can competwith the experience person

Dear Brian,

I have total 8 years experience as SAP software developer in MNCs. Since last 3 years i am working as developer as well as leading the same project.Till now, i don’t have any PM certification. Can i apply for the associate SAP project manager jobs?


Dear Brian,

I’ve been in education now for 10 years; math teacher to be exact. I’m looking to change professions and hoping getting my PM certification will help get my foot in the door. I’m looking into taking a 4 day boot camp to increase my success rate on the exam.
Do you think this is a good option for me?

Hi ALex

I have 2 years of Academic Coordinator experience and 1.5 years of IT projects handling expereince . Aslo i have 1.5 years of MS in project management study. Will this be accepted by PMI for appearing in PMP certification please?



Hi Brian

I have 2 years of Academic Coordinator experience and 1.5 years of IT projects handling expereince . Aslo i have 1.5 years of MS in project management study. Will this be accepted by PMI for appearing in PMP certification please?



Hi Brian,

I’m a fresher with mechanical engineering (BE), I like to do project management (post graduate diploma) in Canada. Will it helpful to find jobs over there, as I don’t have any work experience?

Hello Brian
I am project supervisor for last 6 years.
I have done large amount of work done.
I have dealt with managing people and getting project done in
Timmy manner.
Wondering what would be the best rout for me to become project manager .
Thanks for this information.

Hi Brian,

I am an administrative assistant with experience as an Insurance Office manager, Program Coordinator at my church, I have my Bachelor’s Degree, a Corporate Law Certificate in Regulatory Analysis & Compliance and I have a Paralegal Certificate.

What do you recommend I do for getting promoted and acquiring Project Management experience without stepping outside of my current job class? (I have been told that I cannot do anything above my pay grade)


I have a Masters in Project Management & Human Resources. I work Contract Sales for the government. There are no opportunities for leading group projects鈥攁s we all work separately. How would you recommend I create the 4500-7500 hours of work experience? I鈥檓 willing to intermingle with my current work鈥攕imply need suggestions of industries that may be willing to take me on.

Hey Brian i have a question i’ve been working for my company for 5 years+ i started out leading a team of doing counter tops. Is that considered managing or support but i do lead and manage and run the shop. We have multiple projects and jobs at the same time. I do not know how to inputs my hours of managing and leading, because theirs so many jobs i do per week. roughly around 12 small projects a week. is that eligible for pmp thank you in advance.

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