CAPM Certification PMI Project Management

Is CAPM certification worth getting?

CAPM certification

I frequently get asked questions about whether or not PMP certification is worth getting… I answer those questions on my post about the pros and cons of PMP certification. I’ve been a PMP certified project manager for a number of years now, and I have found that having the letters PMP behind my name has afforded me some great career opportunities and enhanced my credibility as a project professional.

The PMP is not an impossible certification to get… with careful preparation and diligent studying, the test is more than passable. However, it is not the test that I find most PMP wannabes have issues with… it’s the considerable amount of project management work experience that you need to have under your belt in order to apply to sit for the examination. First you need to earn the work experience; then, you need to record it for the PMP exam application. Many people find attaining those hours of project management experience difficult, especially considering that many employers require PMP certification of people before they give them the opportunity to manage projects.

Lately, I’ve been fielding questions about another certification that has been growing in popularity called the CAPM – the Certified Associate in Project Management. The CAPM does not require the project management work experience that the PMP does, and the multiple-choice test candidates must pass in order to become CAPM certified is not as difficult to pass as the PMP exam.

What is the CAPM?

The CAPM is the Project Management Institute (PMI)’s entry level certification for project managers or people who are interested in entering the field of project management. It is based on PMI’s project management framework as explained in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), in its fifth edition as of January, 2013.

The CAPM is a relatively new credential, introduced in 2003 (the PMP, on the other hand, was introduced in the United States in 1984). The CAPM exam features 150 multiple choice questions that must be completed in a three hour time period at a registered testing center (like Prometric in the United States).

If you are considering applying to get CAPM certified, you might be wondering whether or not it is worth the time, cost, and effort to do so. As I have already done for the PMP examination, I’ll outline a few of the pros and cons that I personally perceive about PMI’s CAPM certification.

CAPM certification pros and cons

The pros of CAPM certification

You do not need project management work experience to take the CAPM

In order to apply for the CAPM you do need to have certain qualifications; however, these qualifications are not as rigorous as those required in order to apply to take the PMP examination.

In order to qualify to take the CAPM, you must have:

A secondary diploma (high school or the global equivalent)


At least 1,500 hours experience OR 23 hours of project management education.

As you can see, while the PMP requires that applicants have attained several thousand hours of professional project management work experience, the CAPM simply requires “experience”… to me, this seems to indicate that applicants only need to have some work experience under their belts before applying to take the exam. And not only that, if they don’t have that work experience, all they need to do to qualify for the CAPM is to have 23 hours of project management training. To apply, this would mean coursework or for-credit courses; self-study does not apply in this case.

The CAPM does not require post-secondary education

Not only do you not need to have experience leading and directing projects in order to apply for the CAPM, but you also do not need to have a college degree. While the PMP has different requirements for people with bachelors degrees or associates degrees, the CAPM does not – all you need to apply for the CAPM is a secondary education (high school or the equivalent). This means that people who are currently enrolled in college or university and want to have project management certification before they graduate so that they can start applying for jobs can get CAPM certified before graduation. This might help these individuals score entry-level project management jobs upon graduation.

The CAPM shows recruiters or current employers that you are dedicated to a career in project management

While CAPM certification does not show managers or recruiters that you have experience leading and directing projects as does the more powerful PMP certification, it does show that you have at least some degree of dedication to a career in project management. If you weren’t dedicated to the career, you wouldn’t go through the time and effort to apply and study for the CAPM exam, nor would you pay the costs associated with it.

Human resources professionals who know about the CAPM and what it stands for will realize that your being CAPM certified does not mean that you have experience managing a wide array of projects… but they’ll already be aware of that just by having gone through the work experience section of your resume or CV. However, seeing CAPM certification on your list of credentials will show them that you are genuinely interested in a career in project management and not simply applying to a project management job opportunity on a whim. This, coupled with a strong interview, can go a long way toward helping you secure a project management position or take on a role where managing projects or parts of projects will be in your job description.

Going through CAPM certification will help you gain knowledge of project management

While the CAPM exam is based solely on PMI’s framework as explained in the PMBOK, by going through the process of getting CAPM certified, you will gain some important knowledge about project management. While PMI’s processes do not represent the entirety of what it means to be a project manager, PMI’s framework does focus on some important aspects of the role. For example, PMI places great emphasis on sticking to processes, and PMI is also keen on breaking down a project into work packages and planning the effort associated with these work packages accordingly. I have found that placing emphasis on these facets of project management – ensuring that you adhere to proper procedure, and that you develop a strong Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) – can go a long way toward achieving project success.

This extra knowledge about project management can help you in a job interview, even if the subject of CAPM certification does not come up in discussion, and also even if you’re not applying for a job as a project manager! Knowing about proper project management processes and about how to manage time and effort are both valuable professional skills.

The CAPM exam is not a difficult exam

The PMP exam is often considered to be quite tricky. The multiple choice questions on the PMP exam have been designed to stump people who do not have experience in project management… these questions are designed to test both PMI’s project management framework and whether or not you have experience managing projects. The CAPM exam, on the other hand, is designed solely to test PMI’s project management framework. This means that if you study this framework, you will not have to worry about getting zinged by tricky questions that require project management experience to answer… you should be well-prepared for the exam.

By studying for the CAPM, you will also be studying for the PMP

If you study PMI’s framework to take the CAPM exam, you will also be studying the same framework that is needed to pass the more difficult PMP exam. In order to study for either exam, you will need to know PMI’s framework according to the PMBOK. This means that time and effort spent on studying for the CAPM will not be wasted if you also eventually want to become PMP certified.

The cons of CAPM certification

The CAPM is not as recognizable or as well-respected as the PMP

While many organizations have heard of PMP certification and what it stands for, not as many organizations have heard of the CAPM. While recruiters in companies that deal with project management may have heard of the credential, there is a good chance that non-human resources professionals in the organization will never have heard of it.

The CAPM is also not as well-respected as the PMP. The reason for this, I believe, is that those people who are aware of both of these certifications understand that if you had the work experience required to get PMP certified, you should always get PMP certified and not CAPM certified. Put another way, by telling someone you are CAPM certified, you are also telling them that you do not yet have the proper requirements to get PMP certified. Even if you don’t say this in words, it is understood.

I realize that this is probably not always the case… there are likely some professionals who have the requirements to get PMP certified who choose to get CAPM certified instead. But I would seriously question why anyone would choose to do this. I can think of no good reasons why you should ever get CAPM certified when you already have the requirements to undergo PMP certification.

The CAPM does not hold the same weight in industry as the PMP

In tandem with the fact that the CAPM credential is less respected than the PMP, the CAPM also does not hold the same weight as the PMP in industry. The PMP, in the domain of Information Technology (IT) especially, is sought after, and many jobs require PMP certification of candidates who wish to take on roles as project managers. The CAPM does not have this sort of weight… for those jobs that require PMP certification, the CAPM is not good enough; you sill won’t be able to apply for those jobs.

Recruiters seeing the CAPM credential on your resume won’t give it the weight that they would give the PMP if they saw it there instead. They might give it some weight if they were deciding upon whether or not to give you a chance at managing projects due to your interest and having gone through some study on the subject, but it won’t help you get jobs to the same extent that having the PMP would.

For this same reason, CAPM certification is probably not useful outside of the domain of Information Technology. If you’re in construction, sales, or industrial engineering, for example, the chances of recruiters or hiring managers having heard of CAPM certification drop significantly.

The CAPM does take some effort to study for

While the CAPM exam is certainly not as difficult to pass as the PMP exam, it does take time and effort to study for. In order to pass the multiple-choice test for the CAPM you will need to understand PMI’s project management framework. PMI’s framework consists of five process groups – initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, and closing – within which are numerous interlinked processes. In order to study for the CAPM exam you will need to know these processes (their inputs, tools & techniques, and outputs) and understand how the outputs for certain processes become inputs for other processes.

When I was preparing for the PMP examination, I found that Rita Mulcahy’s PMP exam prep book was the most effective study guide of the bunch. The questions posed in her book were quite comprehensive, and the level of difficulty of the questions posed in the book most matched the level of difficulty of the questions I found when I went to sit for the PMP examination. Rita’s company also has a guide available for people studying for the CAPM, and while I have not personally undergone CAPM examination (it did not exist when I was a novice program manager), I’m quite sure it is equally as effective as the PMP exam prep study guide. If you’re interested in a comprehensive way to study for the PMP exam, I would recommend studying both the PMBOK and Rita’s CAPM Exam Prep book.

The CAPM is expensive considering it is not a powerful certification

According to PMI’s CAPM Handbook, the computer-based training (CBT) test for the CAPM costs $225 USD for PMI members and $300 USD for non-PMI members. This is a fair amount of money considering the CAPM is not an especially weighty credential. You might also have to pay to renew your CAPM certification in five years (though hopefully by that time you’ll already have your PMP, at which point there will be no reason to renew your CAPM certification).

There are other certification options available for new project managers

If you do not have the work experience to attain PMP certification, that certainly does not mean “it’s the CAPM or nothing”. There are numerous other options available to you if you are interested in learning about project management. In fact, many people believe PMI’s framework, which is based on the waterfall methodology of project management, is quite dated and not as effective as other current project management frameworks.

One such option is ScrumMaster certification, where you will learn about Agile Development using Scrum. Agile is a very popular methodology where projects are completed in iterations. Agile has an agreed-upon Agile Manifesto to which Agile project management principles are based. I have used this project management methodology myself and found it both effective and scalable.

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of practices for IT Service Management (ITSM) that offers a wide range of certifications. While these certifications are currently more popular for practitioners in the United Kingdom than they are in the United States or other parts of the world, they are also worth investigating if you are interested in a career in information technology.

Finally, there are other options available for you to get project management training that might help you to secure a project management job. For example, you might take a project management course at a college or university, or work part-time on a Masters in Project Management. This sort of education will help you learn all about different project management methodologies, and will also help you on a resume even after you eventually do get PMP certified. The CAPM, on the other hand, becomes virtually useless once you have your PMP – there is no reason to list both these certifications on your resume, as the PMP effectively overrides the CAPM.

Is it worth getting CAPM certified?

I have outlined some of the positives and negatives toward getting CAPM certified, so now it is time for my personal recommendation as to whether or not it is worth undergoing the process.

In my opinion, CAPM certification is not worth getting if you have the means to eventually get PMP certified without it. That is to say that if you already have a way that you can get those 4,500 hours of professional experience leading and directing projects that you need in order to take the PMP exam, you should wait until you have that experience, then go for your PMP. There is no reason to get the CAPM if you can see a clear path toward getting your PMP.

If, on the other hand, you are encountering difficulties getting project management work experience and don’t see a clear path to getting PMP certified, you might consider the CAPM. Getting CAPM certified will help you to learn about project management and may convince recruiters or managers to give you the opportunity to manage some projects. Plus, the knowledge you learn while studying for the CAPM will also help you when you finally do have what it takes to apply for the PMP exam, so the time you spend studying for the CAPM certification will not be time wasted.

As I have never personally undergone CAPM certification, I would appreciate any feedback on the pros and cons in this post, and if there are any other points that I haven’t made for or against the credential. Please let me know in the comments if you can think of any. And if you are someone who is reading this post that does decide to go for your CAPM certification, let me be the first to wish you the best of 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.

316 replies on “Is CAPM certification worth getting?”

As a recent college graduate I was eligible to take the CAPM because I had a project management course and had the required hours. And I actually just passed the CAPM. In this scenario I do think it’s worth it because it gives me more options when trying to start my career in this economy.


I am also a recent college graduate, I plan to take the capm next week. I was wondering, now that you’ve had the certification under your belt for a couple months, has it benefited you in your job search?

Also, If you have been placed in a position, what position and industry do you work in? And if not, what industry are planning on entering?

Hope you get this message. Thank you in advance 🙂

Hello Harrison,

Not sure how things went with Patricia, but I wanted to say, congratulations on your college graduation. I hope that your job search and subsequent career has been going well!

All the best to you.

Hi Brian

Please could you confirm if the research I have done is correct…
I am from South Africa and am in a completely different situation where-by I have no degrees or diplomas to my name just a high school certificate but would still like to have a career in project management and be taken serious in the field.
essentially I would like attain a PMP certificate.
The way I have found is to obtain a Project management leading to PMP certificate then use that cert to apply for jnr. positions in order to obtain the work exp.needed (not sure if this is the same as the CAPM you often refer to)

I also would like to know what kind of costs are we looking at in attaining the PMP certificate before I start the whole process as coming up with the money to do these courses is extremely hard to come by


Hello Quade,

Yes, I do think that if you are interested in getting into project management, then getting a project management certificate of some sort (maybe the CAPM, and maybe something else) could be helpful for you. It might show that you have interest in project management and are serious about going forward with project management as a career.

Meanwhile, the experience you get could help you work toward getting enough work experience to get PMP certified. Without a Bachelors degree it will take a little bit more work (more hours) in order to do so.

As for costs, those fluctuate, but you can find them on PMI’s web site. Of course, getting the certificate will also cost, but that will also fluctuate depending on training provider.

Best of luck to you.

Hello all,

A bit of background on myself.

I am a merchant mariner; YES a Captain an I recently got into finding out about how to get PMP certified. I find it quite more exciting and interesting than your common MBA or business degree, its a different story completely and its quite interesting.

That being said upon getting my certification I am about to enroll in a professional development program that will help me get skills for the PMP. Due to the nature of my professional experience (10yrs in the maritime industry mostly in operations) I dont have the hours or the experience for PMP.

Here is the dilema; how valuable or would you think that getting CAPM certified is worth it for someone with my background? Evidently my goal is to continue doing projects or participating and doing them, I just think that with my background and experience the road ahead in that direction doesn’t quite look clear.

Any thoughts??

Hello Luis,

Being a Merchant Mariner sounds very interesting! I do think that project management is a very interesting profession. I am glad that you have found the profession and this site.

The professional development sounds good. As for the CAPM, if you are really interested in pursuing project management as your career, you should consider it. It does help people get “on the track” for project management, as commenters here have attested. However, if you have a path to getting the 4,500 hours of project management work experience that you need to get PMP certified, you should probably do that instead. PMP certification is more powerful than CAPM certification and overrides the CAPM once you get it.

Good luck!


Hello Dear. Before Going In to the Topic, I would like Congratulate First For Your Grad. If You Complete Your MBA Combination Of Project Management Class During This Session At least 20 Hours Your All Good To Go Further Process. As PMP Board Design Regulations It Shows The Rule. So Your Good Go For CAPM Exam Not For PMP.
Good Luck.

Hello AADI, thank you very much for your comment and feedback for Patricia! I really appreciate yours and others’ expertise in helping people who have questions about PMP and CAPM certification on this site. All the best to you.

Hello Patricia,

Thanks very much for your feedback about the CAPM – I really appreciate it. I agree that it can give you options when trying to start your career. I think that having CAPM certification definitely shows that you have taken the initiative to learn about proper project management and desire to start a career in the field, which demonstrates initiative and dedication to potential recruiters.

Best of luck to you!

I am currently in grad school and I will soon be completing a project management course. Once I’m done will I be able to just study for the CAPM exam and take it? I do not want to pay $1600 for a CAPM course if it is not necessary. Also what study materials did you use if this is the route you took.

Hello Thurmond,

Yes, I believe that you can study for the CAPM examination and take it at any time. I don’t believe you need to pay the money for a CAPM course. All you need to have is:

A secondary degree (high school diploma or the global equivalent), and at least 1,500 hours of project experience (or 23 hours of project management education) by the time you sit for the exam.

So if you have the first option, you don’t need to have any education. If you do not have 1,500 hours of project experience (note that this doesn’t say project management experience), then you will need to have 23 hours of project management education – but this can be any project management education, not necessarily CAPM, PMP, or in fact even PMI-based education. So it can be education you got from a college course, or even education about other project management methodologies such as Agile (Scrum), ITIL, or Prince2.

Hope this helps – best of luck to you.

$1600 for a CAPM course?

I paid $99 for access to CAPM and PMP courses at the same time via Groupon!

I just download the material to a folder to study later when I am ready to take the CAMP exam. I am not in a career where a PMP is really necessary.

Hello Tv,

Please see above regarding project management education – note that you do not have to take a CAPM or PMP course in order to earn the qualified education hours – just “project management education”. There are tons of options available!

Good luck to you.

Hello Mellie,

I don’t see where you see the cost of $1600 for a CAPM course, but that does sound extremely expensive. When I studied for the PMP, I did not take a PMP exam prep course – I used project management classes from my Masters of Science degree in order to qualify for the required education hours. So you definitely don’t have to take a prep course in order to study – you just need some project management education.


This is some great information! I plan on taking my CAPM, because I do not have lead experience but I have a ton of experience of working on project teams. I am currently working on a project team and have been giving the lead or two intricate parts of the entire project. I believe the CAPM is going to benefit me in the long run because my company is always looking for PMs, therefore obtaining my CAPM may get me a shoe in on some future projects.

Hi Karry, thanks very much for your feedback! I do hope that becoming CAPM certified benefits you, and that you are able to find some great project management job opportunities within your company. I think getting CAPM certified shows some great initiative on your part.

All the best to you in your project management career.

I am going for the CAPM because I don’t have the hours necessary for the PMI. I have done some PM work mainly as an SME but I understand all about project management. I am taking this certification to hopefully land a job about project management and then get the hours for the PMI. I believe that it will show employers that I am interested in project management

Hello Bert,

Thanks very much for your input on CAPM certification – I really appreciate hearing why you have chosen to go for it! I certainly hope that it will help you (or already has helped you) land a great job in the field of project management so that you can start building up your hours of project management work experience.

Best of luck to you!

Hi Brian,

I have 4 years experience in project management, would a PMP add value to me at this stage? My experience has mainly been with smaller projects

Hello Ajay,

If you are managing projects as your profession, it does seem to me that PMP certification would be useful to you. Of course, that also depends on what country you live in and what domain you work in (in the field of Information Technology, for example, it is very helpful to get PMP certified). You might ask your Human Resources department what they think.

All the best.

I don’t see a clear path to getting PMP certified, I believe that CAMP certification will give me the opportunity to manage projects

Hello Carlos,

This makes sense to me. I hope that, if you are going for the CAPM certification, this turns out to be the case, and that you are able to start building your project management career. Good luck to you!

Hi Brian,

Wonderful write up..I was kind of confused whether to do CAPM first and then move to PMP till I read your article. You have articulated the pros and cons very clearly and precisely and I loved the “Is it worth getting CAPM Certified”

You have helped me to decide to move directly to PMP.

Thanks and Regards,

Hello Dhivya,

Thanks so much for your kind feedback on the article – I really appreciate it! I’m really pleased that it has helped you to come to a decision about your certification process.

Best of luck to you in your PMP application and preparation!

Hi Brian,

Ua article is vry help for me.I had completed my engg in ELECTRONICS AND COMMUNICATION (ECE). But m confused what to do first CAPM or PMP coz i dnt have any exp in PM.. In CAPM der are some positive nad negative points.. So, its an humble request to guide me a right path..


Hello Sufiyan,

Congrats on completing your degree.

If you don’t have any experience in project management, and you’re interested in PMP certification, you can go one of two routes. One is that you can get the project management experience you need to qualify to take the PMP examination without getting CAPM certified. If you are able to do so, then you won’t need to get CAPM certified (as the CAPM mostly just helps you get your foot in the door). However, if you’re having trouble getting that work experience, you can get CAPM certified; this might (but is not guaranteed to) help you get entry-level project management positions in companies.

What you do is your choice. My thought is if you can get to PMP certification without getting the CAPM, that’s what you should do (as the CAPM basically becomes useless once you have your PMP).

Good luck to you.

Hi Brian,

Your article is comprehensive and useful. Thanks for the same.
I was a bit confused between CAPM and PMP as far as my case is concerned. I am an Engineering graduate and Telecom Professional. I already have an experience of around 4.5 years. My work profile is not purely project based rather its predominantly Operations/Troubleshooting based. So I am confused if I need to opt for PMP or CAPM. Ultimately I want to move into Project Management. Your assistance will be highly appreciated. Thanks.

Hello Manoj,

If you want to move into project management, then the PMP is likely more useful for you in your career. The CAPM can serve you as a stepping stone to get the work experience that you need in order to sit to take the PMP exam.

If you think you can get that project management experience without getting the CAPM in your current position, that is what I would do. The CAPM, however, has other plusses and minuses that I outlined below – so you might want to go for it anyway – but in my opinion, if you see a clear path to getting the PMP without getting the CAPM first, you should do that.


Thank you Mr.Brain for ua fruit full advice… Actually, the thing is right now iam working as a Quality Inspector..

Hello Sufiyan,

If you are getting “project experience” (not necessarily leading and directing projects), then that experience can count toward the experience you need to apply for and take the CAPM exam. However, if you’re interested in getting the PMP credential, you will need to have professional experience leading and directing projects (and not simply working on them as a project team member).

That said, as a Quality Inspector, there may still be some opportunities for you to get project management experience. I would recommend perhaps talking to your manager or supervisor to see if there are any opportunities available, or even reaching out to your Human Resources department for advice and guidance.

Good luck!


I had my own business 4 years. I closed on 2011, after that, I got a job as a Commercial flooring estimator for a year, and now I’m working as Commercial Flooring Project Manager for almost a year. Do you think that I can apply for PMP based on my experience

Hello Jean,

In order to sit for the PMP exam, you need to have (with a Bachelor’s degree) 4,500 hours of experience leading and directing projects. If you have this work experience in your job as a commercial flooring project manager, as well as the 35 hours of project management education, then you can apply to take the PMP examination. It’s up to you to figure out if you have the right amount of work experience – I recommend laying it all out in an Excel spreadsheet (or in Numbers, or whatever other spreadsheet you us) to find out.

Hope this helps.

Hello Ed,

Thanks very much for your kind feedback about the article and the advice – I really appreciate it! I’m glad to help out project managers and people interested in expanding their careers into project management however I can.

All the best to you!

This is an eye opener! In my own opinion, there is a higher rate of employers hiring individuals with CAPM in areas close to the seat of the government because more government contracts / jobs apparently dominate. If you live in D.C., VA, MD, or willing to relocate to these areas, then you might stand a better chance with CAPM.

Hello Michael,

Thanks very much for your input. This is new to me! I haven’t heard much about people actively seeking individuals holding CAPM certification… mostly I hear it being used as a get-in-the-door sort of credential.

Thanks very much for sharing this!

Can someone clarify what qualifies for the work experience aspect of the CAPM? their definition on the site is very broad. for instance does corporate finance experience count? working on a file, offering a service (merger) etc. fits in their broad definition but certainly doesn’t sound technically correct.

Hello Jim,

I’m not certain (because I’ve never had to qualify for the CAPM myself), but I believe that what you need is “project experience”. Therefore, if you have experience working on projects (including corporate finance projects), then that experience can count.

On the other hand, what you do not necessarily need is experience leading and directing projects, like you do in order to take the PMP examination. This experience is more specialized. Instead, if you have worked on projects, even if not in a leadership role, you can apply to take the CAPM.

Good luck to you.

Thanks for this, was a bit confused thou, just finished my masters in project management and dont have any experience at all… what advise do you have for me… capm or pmp

Hello Phil,

If you do not have any experience at all, then you will have to get some – in order to get PMP certified, for example, you will need to have several years’ worth of experience. The CAPM requirement is less stringent (as indicated above).

My normal advice is, if you have a clear path to getting the project management experience you need to get PMP certified, you should go for that… otherwise, you might consider getting the CAPM certification if it will help you get those elusive entry-level project management jobs.

That being said, you do have a Masters in Project Management! So you might not have any issues getting those entry-level project management positions without getting the CAPM as well (as you are already sufficiently qualified). I’d definitely give that a shot first.

Congratulations on your Masters, and best of luck in your burgeoning career.

Hi Brian,

Thanks for this very informative post. I’m finishing up a master’s degree, but don’t anticipate working in the same industry as my educational background. I’ve come to the same conclusion as you that for those of us who currently don’t have a way of earning the hours required for the PMP, the CAMP could be a first step in the direction. I’m hoping it’ll open some doors at my current company.

Hello SH,

Thanks very much for your feedback – I really appreciate hearing about your experience and your thoughts about the CAPM and about project management. I certainly hope that the CAPM is indeed a step in the right direction, and that it opens some doors for you. Best of luck to you in your project management career!

Hi Brian,
I have around 15 years experience in the IT industry, have approx 2 years leading projects and worked as a senior consultant co-ordinating mentoring small team and projects.

I am trying to make a foray from technical into pure project management role. Sometimes i feel CAPM may be a better start for me. But consider some of my lead experience in the past, would i be eligible for PMP exam. Let me know your thoughts.

Hello George,

You will have to double check to see if you are eligible to take the PMP exam. I recommend filling out a spreadsheet of your project management hours and seeing if they reach 4,500 hours of professional work experience leading and directing projects (it doesn’t have to be done with the title of “project manager” – it just has to be experience). Then you will know whether or not you have the required hours to get PMP certified. If you do have those hours, the PMP would be a better choice than the CAPM.

Good luck to you in your research.

Hello Brian..

I am a landed immigrant in Canada having 20+ yrs of experience in varied segments of business viz. operation, marketing, admin & finance and in particular 3+ yrs of Project Management in India .. I have been trying to get job as assistant or associate project mgr but am not able to get.. shall CAPM be the ice breaker… and once I hv canadian experience I can go for PMP.. Pl comment

To everyone,

Thank you so much because I really needed to read something like this. I have been struggling to figure out what I need to do to be successful in the Project Manager Industry. I want so much to have a complete and total career change and it looks like the CAPM may be the best start for me. I recently gained my Masters in Project Management two weeks ago and I really want my first step to be my best step.

Hello D’Andre,

Thanks very much for the kind feedback on the post. I’m really pleased to hear that you are excited about your career change and looking into certifications. Having the Masters of Project Management is certainly an excellent step in the right direction toward a fruitful career in project management.

Best of luck to you!

Hi D’Andre Manigo,
I am CAPM certified and now I was looking for Masters in Project Management courses(preferably in USA as i have also given GRE:321/340). Can you please suggest the best universities for the same, it would be a great help.

Hello Jignesh,

It seems to me that you might have the experience needed to go for the PMP exam right away… you may actually have the 4,500 hours of work experience that you need to apply to take the exam. If that is the case, then I would recommend getting the PMP rather than the CAPM… it seems to me that it could open more doors for you in your career, and is a recognized credential in Canada.

That said, any project management experience you do get in Canada will certainly apply toward the work experience you need for PMP certification. The work experience you earned managing projects in India would also count.

I too am struggling trying to decide if the CAPM is worth taking. While your points regarding the value of the CAPM are quite salient, I believe that any quantifiable effort expended to better one’s opportunities is always worth it in the long run.

The one thing that does bother me about the CAPM is that there appears to be no path to the PMP once you attain it. I feel that if there were a process to obtain the PMP that was designed for those who pass the CAPM first, it would add value to the CAPM.

Perhaps an additional education requirement and X number of hours of verifiable project work, not necessarily project management, but included.

To have a certification that is below the level of the main certification, without a clear cut path to attain the higher level certification is tantamount to a money grab for those who determine early on that they do not qualify to take the higher level exam.

In my opinion, that in itself decreases the value of the CAPM.

Hello Marshall,

I really appreciate your taking the time to drop by and give a detailed comment with your thoughts about the CAPM exam, and how it relates to the PMP exam.

You’re right – there doesn’t seem to be a path to the PMP exam from the CAPM certification; they’re separate qualifications. And even worse, once you become PMP certified, the CAPM certification becomes pretty much worthless (as it’s like the PMP exam, but a lesser certificate). Once I became PMP certified, I probably wouldn’t even put it on my resume.

That said, it’s helpful to know that the hours you spend studying for the CAPM exam are in fact hours well spent when it comes to taking the PMP exam. The processes that you study for the CAPM are the same as the ones you study for the PMP. So those hours will not be wasted!

Thanks again for your thoughts – I appreciate it!

I have the CAPM, and IMO it is useful given contexts.

For large projects, a PMP is needed, granted. However, this is coupled IMO with many years of practical experience as well a university degree in the given field. PMP IMO is meant to be for “seasoned” PMs. CAPM-certified persons can still obtain team lead roles, or roles on small budget/scope projects, which is why it’s deemed entry-level.

To use your ICT example, a person managing a WAN project connecting all Apple stores in the US needs to be a PMP. A person managing a project installing a WAN for a small mom and pop chain in Atlanta doesn’t need a PMP. I liked your article, but IMO the CAPM is best for small scope projects, and is for persons newly out of university or at the beginning of their careers who are capable of managing small projects. It’s not for people who want to manage the World Trade Center project rebuilding, or the London Crosslink rail project.

Hi C,

Thanks very much for your analysis of the CAPM vs. the PMP. I always appreciate such commentary! I think you make some good points – certain projects need the full expertise of someone who has undergone what it takes to become PMP certified (with the associated 4,500 hours of professional project management work experience), while others can be taken on by someone who is in the beginning stages of their project management career and has gone ahead and become CAPM certified.

Thanks again for your feedback and thoughts about the CAPM and the PMP – I really do appreciate it!

CAPM is to get the foot in door and small projects to start off, but once they have 4-5 yrs under their belt, they’re just as qualified as someone with a PMP. I know of one PM who got his CAPM several years ago, but has decided to not pursue a PMP…why? He has a good job and great experience under his resume now. He also has an MBA too. So i believe the CAPM cert has definite value out there for people wanting to get into PM.

Hello Mike,

Thanks very much for the feedback – I really appreciate hearing your perspective. I’m glad to hear that the CAPM has value for people who are looking to further their project management careers – I think that’s what a lot of people who come to this site asking questions are hoping to hear.

Thanks again, and all the best to you!

Hi Brian,
Thank you so much for jotting down the pros and cons of CAPM in such a comprehensive manner.
I’m a Network Admin with almost 7 years of experience and my profile is almost like Manoj (stated above). Now I want to move towards management. Could you please suggest me whether to go for PMP or CAPM?

Thanks in advance!

You also mentioned there are several other courses available which can replace CAPM. Could you please provide us details about some of them?

Thanks again!

Hello Aditi,

Some of the other courses include Agile Development’s ScrumMaster certification, ITIL Foundation certification (which is more about IT Service Management), and also, in the UK, there is Prince2 certification.

Please let me know if you hear of other project management-type certifications that might be worthwhile – I would appreciate hearing about them.

As many people concluded that CAPM can not be a step to another level of certification, that is not true, CAPM can give you direct qualification to sit for Prince2 professional certification exams without need to take the lower exams.

Hello Ola,

That is very useful to know. I did not know that the CAPM helps you to qualify for the Prince2 certification. Thanks so much for your comment and information – I really appreciate it!

Hello Aditi,

Thans for the question. In my opinion, if you have the 4,500 hours of professional project management work experience (with a Bachelor’s degree), then it would be wiser to go straight to PMP certification. It will open more doors, prove your project management experience, and have more clout down the line. If not, you might consider the CAPM using the pros and cons I’ve indicated above. Also check the comments, as some other project managers have been offering feedback of their own.

Thanks very much for asking, and best of luck in whatever you choose to do.

I completed my MBA in Project Management in late 2012. I am presently enrolled in a CAPM program and to be honest with you, what I’ve learned in this program would not have been obtained on my own.

Hello Beth,

Congrats on your MBA in Project Management, and thanks very much for your feedback about the CAPM and the various things that you have learned while studying to take the CAPM exam – I really appreciate it!

Best of luck with your project management endeavors!

I think the CAPM is a good way to get into project managment if you don’t have experience or little of it. I am pursuing that and i have an MBA too. Once i get the experience, i see no reason to pursue the PMP. I believe an MBA and CAPM along with experience will be valued more than someone with no degree and just a PMP ith experience.

Hi Mike,

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts about the value of the CAPM certification – I really appreciate it! I definitely think that project management certification plus an MBA graduate degree can help to open doors and grow careers.

Thanks again, and all the best to you!

Hi Brian,

Your article has really helped me understand the difference between the two certifications.

Need an advice from you. I completed my Diploma in Industrial Electronics, PG in Human resources and MBA in Human Resources Management. I was entrepreneur for 10 years and then after that 10 years of training & e-learning experience. I have handled in-house projects with the internal/external teams. But, I never carried designations with title as “Project Manager”.

Will Project Management Institute authority still consider my application for PMP certification? Will I stand eligible for taking the exam?

Hello Atul,

I’m glad that the article was helpful.

It sounds like you have some great work experience. The good news is, as long as you have the 4,500 hours of professional work experience leading and directing projects (with some experience in all five process groups), you can legitimately apply to get PMP certified. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t have the official role of “project manager” as long as you were leading and directing projects in whatever roles you played.

Hope this helps – good luck!

Thanks a million Brian.
That’s a great news!
This piece of information is awesomely helpful.In context to my PMP journey, I will keep asking you wherever and whenever needed. I hope you wouldn’t mind.

Hi Brian,

I am a Banking professional into Relationship management with 8 years of experience.

How would going in for a CAPM would advance or enhance my career prospects and work that i do is more into sales and relationship building and no project is involved. But i would want to start afresh with project management and what opportunities or work descriptions would CAPM offer me.

Hello Bala,

Thanks for asking. I do not know if the CAPM would help you in your financial position, and I’m not sure if it would help your career prospects and work if you are into sales and relationship building. If you are interested in getting into project management, however, the CAPM might be able to help you.

If I were you, I would talk to the Human Resources department at your bank or financial institution, and ask them what they think. Would the CAPM help you get into project management in a banking career?

On the other hand, if you’re interested in leaving the financial sector completely, then the CAPM might help you get a job in another firm (in IT, for example) managing or coordinating projects. It might be something to look into.

All the best.

I am graduating next week with an MS in IT and I have a dual BBA in MIS & Management. I have recently become interested in PM because I manage small IT web projects at my current job. However, I’m not 100% certain that PM is something I want to do in the long run. I am leaning more toward a career that integrates various aspects of business into IT. IT proj. mgmt. is definitely an option there but I know that there are other options such as IT Business Analysts, IT Manager, etc. In those type positions (and similar) they all seem to have in common some degree of pm duties. I’ve looked into CAPM because I am not close to having the required experience hours for PMP. However, before ever looking into CAPM I’ve said I was going to pursue the ITIL certification(s) based on what I learned from an ITSM course in grad school.

Your article was helpful and brought forward some really valid points. I have seen ITIL certifications pop up more these days as a desired qualification. What is your opinion on my situation- would you advise I first pursue ITIL and later focus on CAPM (or PMP if I land a PM or similar position soon)? What are your thoughts on ITIL certifications?

Thanks in advance!

Hey there – thanks for asking!

I myself completed an ITIL certification back in the mid-2000s; this was in Dublin, where ITIL was catching on (due to Ireland’s proximity to the UK, where ITIL originated). These days, ITIL and ITSM seems to be catching on over here in the States. So nowadays it does seem to me that ITIL is a good choice.

My opinion would be to go ahead and get ITIL certified, and see if that will help you get jobs where you can start amassing professional project management work experience. If you can get access to this work experience, the CAPM won’t be as useful for you, since (in my opinion) the CAPM is only really useful for helping you to get your foot in the door for those project management jobs. If you can do this without the CAPM, then go ahead and get those project management hours, and then go for the PMP certification, which holds a lot more value in today’s economy.

That said, I always say that several certifications are better than one – so if you think you’ll enjoy learning about PMI’s processes, and want to get a leg up on some of your competition in the workforce, then maybe you should get both? ITIL first, and then the CAPM next. The information you learn for the CAPM will also help when it comes to taking the PMP exam.

I hope this helps. Best of luck to you in your career!

Hello Brian,

I have been in the IT field since 2007 and for the majority of the time I worked in project teams. Since I do not meet the requirement for the PMP, I am planning on taking the CAPM. My question to you is to know how difficult it is to transition from IT project management to construction project management for example. Eventually, my goal is to apply my project management experience to a different field and I would like to have your input.
Best regards.

Hello Abalo,

PMI’s framework is designed to be a domain-inspecific project management framework. As such, if you study for the CAPM or PMP certifications, you will be learning a non-specific framework designed to help you in numerous different domains, including Information Technology, construction, finance, general management, and so on.

As such, I do not think it would be difficult to use the project management knowledge you will learn when studying for the CAPM or PMP and then switching into another domain. That said, it is definitely useful to have experience in a domain before managing projects within it. For example, it’s much easier to manage software development projects if you have several years of software engineering work experience under your belt.

I hope this helps. Best of luck!

Just some feedback on the matter..

A certified PMP, prince2 etc manager that also prepares for the CAPM and PMP exam, told me that the CAPM would have a good reason to exist on my CV because of my studies. I studied project managemet (yes, my actual degree is on project management)in the technological educational institute of Larisa, Greece.

If you dont have such studies it is not that important to obtain, and of course i am referring to people with no actual experience on the field. Maybe a microsoft project certification could prove more useful..

Nevertheless, if you obtain such certification you will be a bit ahead from another candidate on job that involves project management.

Best luck to everyone

Hello Chris,

Thanks very much for your feedback on the PMP and the CAPM. I’m glad to hear that you did get a solid tip to go ahead and get the CAPM certification, and why it would help you in your career.

I definitely think that the CAPM was designed to give people that small leg-up when it comes to getting professional project management jobs, and that it does show a commitment to a career in project management. It also shows something of your personality – that you are willing to learn new things and challenge yourself in pursuit of certifications or jobs.

Thanks again for your feedback, and best of luck to you in your career!

Hi Brian-

Appreciate the article. I didn’t know much about the CAPM until a recruiter of mine mentioned it. I’m currently temping as a Project Operations Manager, and am wondering if taking the initiative to get my CAPM will show them I am dedicated to this and want to stick around. My only concern is, as i mentioned I’m in a temp to perm postion, so being a temp, I don’t exactly have as much income as I’d like! I saw someone mention $1,600 for the exam, but your article mentioned between $225 and $300. That I can swing, but $1,600, not so much. Do you mind clarifying that, or pointing me in the right direction on where I can find out?

Thanks again!

Hello Eric,

I have some good news for you. According to the CAPM application form itself, both computer-based and paper-based testing for the CAPM exam costs $225 or 185 euros for PMI members, and $300 or 250 euros for non-PMI members. So you will definitely not have to fork out $1,600 for the exam.

I hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you!

Hi Brian,

I am working as a Scrum Master in an IT company for last 2-3 years. Total exp of 9 yrs in IT.
Do you think this experience is counted if I apply for PMP certification ?
If not, do you advise me to take a CAPM just to make it as stepping stone for future career ?

Hello Swapnil,

I certainly think this experience would count on your application for PMP certification. As such, I do advise that if you already have the required experience for PMP certification, you get that instead of the CAPM. The CAPM can serve as a stepping stone toward PMP certification, but once you get PMP certified, the value of your CAPM certification dissipates.

Best of luck to you.

Hi Brian.

Thanx for all of your wisdom and input that you’ve shared so far, I can see that you’re a tree of knowledge with a heart for people.

I need your advice please sir, im caught up between choosing to either do the CAPM course (but I require 23hours for the PM education as prerequisite), or ITIL Foundation (this is a 3day class-based course). Im not sure which one of the 2 would be best to do first?
I’m leaning towards ITIL Foundation , hoping the hours that I’ll be attending the ITIL course could serve as or be allocated as my 23 required hours for CAPM…? I’m currently a technical manager for Konica Minolta, but my passion is working with people, working on computers and managing projects.

Please can you advise me on which course would be best to take? Should I do both?

Thank you in advance!

Hello Ben,

I agree that doing both is always the best idea! I personally have done ITIL, PMP, and ScrumMaster, and I find that all three have helped me further my own career.

That said, if you were going to do one, I would recommend doing the ITIL Foundation course, especially if you work in the United Kingdom where it is especially valued. You can use those hours toward the 23 required hours of project management when it comes to applying to take the CAPM certification.

Good luck!

Hi Brian,

Great website for those of us seeking answers. I just started my online PMP course yesterday and have a few questions. How can I use my medical claims background to enter the project management arena? I figured the CAPM was the best way to get a foot in the door. Should I also try to take the PMP exam too or do need more hours/experience for that? I do have a BS degree and took a CompTIA PC Tech certification class. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Hello RoSalyn,

Indeed the CAPM may be a good way to get the foot in the door. On the other hand, if you do not have 4,500 hours of professional work experience leading and directing projects, you probably won’t be able to sit for the PMP exam.

If you’re in the medical claims field and do not have the proper work experience to get PMP certified, the CAPM certification may help you get project management work in your organization. You might ask Human Resources? Either way, I do think that more education and certification is always better!

Good luck to you.

I am on H4 visa in USA. So legally I cannt work here. So never got an opportunity to work in real time scenario. Recently I cleared ITIL 2011 foundation , Scrum Master certification and lean Six Sigma YB. As I dont have real time Project Management experience ,I am thinking to go for CAPM. Is ITIL and Scrum master is sufficient to fulfill prerequiste of 23 hours of Project management experience. Thanks in advance.

Hello Nitu,

Congrats on your ITIL, ScrumMaster and Six Sigma certifications. It does seem to me that you already have more than enough certification to get work in the project management field, though if you do not have a work visa that would of course be your main issue. I don’t think the CAPM will help resolve that issue!

On the other hand, like I always say, more certification is always best, and if you are not able to work and have the money, then it couldn’t hurt to look into the CAPM. On the other hand, I do not know if you have the required 23 hours of project management education to sit for the CAPM – you can add up the hours of the courses you have taken and you will find out.

Best of luck to you.

Im a well seasoned engineer and IT professional. For the last 5 years my work has been system administration with short projects. So I am going for the CAPM while I start tracking my hours toward the PMP. What criteria do you use to distinguish routine work vs. project management work? Can troubleshooting a problem be considered PM hours? Thanks, Brian

Hello Brian,

That is a good question, and something that a lot of people struggle to figure out while applying for the CAPM, PMP, or other certifications. Basically you have to use your judgment and be able to justify it. So troubleshooting a problem could fall under a number of categories. Working on projects could also count as project execution. However, you do need to have experience in all five of PMI’s process groups in order to qualify.

I hope this is somewhat helpful – perhaps there are other resources available online that would also be of assistance. Good luck in your research.

Hi Brian,

Thanks a lot for all the info! To give you a brief run down of my background, I have an undergrad degree in electrical engineering (India) followed by 3 years of work experience in an IT firm (developer -> team lead)(India). I then did my MBA in Finance (USA) followed by 2 years of work experience as a senior analyst -> product owner in hospitality industry (USA).

I recently (couple of months back) switched jobs and am now a Project Manager in an IT firm (USA). As many other people, I am confused between the two certifications. I can surely meet the requirements for CAPM but with PMP, I am not sure if I can clearly breakdown my prior work experience into the five process groups.

So any help would be greatly appreciated!

Hello Hardit,

Thanks very much for your query. If you are interested in learning how to break down your work experience into PMI’s five process groups, you might check out this post. It will show you how I personally filed my own work experience for the PMP application.

Best of luck to you – it sounds like you have a great career in progress.

Hi Brian,

Would you guide me if doing CAPM will help me in my operations management job. I am currently working as Airside Operations Manager and looking if CAPM will benefit in my current role and en devour future careers. Thanks….

Hello Muhammad,

I am not sure if the CAPM will help you as an Airside Operations Manager – however, you might check with your Human Resources department to see if they have any advice? You could also check with other people or organizations within your field to see if that would help.

Generally, the PMP (and CAPM) are most useful in the field of Information Technology, but project management is a useful skill anywhere, and I do think it is starting to branch out.

Thanks! All the best to you.

Hi Brian,
How does the PMi verify the 4,500 project management hours that one claims to have worked on in their application for the PMP test?

I spoke with PMI today. You log your projects (provide information on them), get them signed off by your current or past supervisor for that project (i believe your supervisor provides contact information). Once this has been done, PMI verifies the information provided.

Hello Maxwell,

Thank you very much for researching this, and for speaking with PMI, to find out that information – I appreciate it! That is very useful to know. Definitely getting project work signed off by previous and current supervisors is very important. All the best to you!

Hello Tina,

PMI will occasionally audit people who apply to take the PMP exam. PMI does not disclose what percentage of people they submit to the audit. When you get audited, you need to show proof of the fact that you worked in certain positions that you claimed to on your application. I believe the best way to do that is to have your employers sign off on your work hours that you submitted.

When I applied to take the PMP examination, I passed the hours I was applying by my managers first before I sent in the application. I did not get audited, but if I had, I would have easily been able to say “I got audited, can you please verify my work experience hours like we talked about” so that I could get that information to PMI.

Hope this helps!

Hi Brian,
Thank you for your insightfulness into CAPM. I am considering studying for the CAPM, but I am a bit confused on steps. I do not have the necessary hours but have a BS degree and would like to get the 23 hours of credit to sit for the exam. What is your suggestion for getting these hours that would work on the PMI application to take the test? Kind Regards.

Hello Shari,

The good news is, you can take any project management education to satisfy the education hours for the CAPM and the PMP. So you do not need to take a “prep course” in order to satisfy those required hours.

I would say you can go ahead and find any project management education that looks interesting to you. You can also use project management education hours from a Bachelors or Masters degree, for example, as long as the education was project management education. You have lots of different options.

Best of luck to you.

Hi Brian,

Thank you for all your insight on CAPM and PMP certification. I am a bit confused on what to take up for my situation.

I have a bachelors degree in Engineering and have been working in the IT industry for more than 4.5 years now. Out of those 4.5 years, I have been a team lead on a project for 2.5 years now.Can that be considered as experience under leading and managing projects? Even though I have been a team lead, I have always worked under a Project Manager. I still have a minimum of 1.5 to 2 years before I get promoted to an associate manager and can be termed as a Project Manager.

Can I use my 2+ years as a team lead on a project as experience for ‘leading and managing projects’? Or is CAPM my only choice? Please suggest.

– Mayuri

Hello Mayuri,

To take the PMP examination you will need to have 4,500 hours of experience leading and directing projects. So even if you were not a “project manager”, if you have those hours, you can apply to take the PMP exam.

If I were you I would go ahead and add up all your hours to see if you have 4,500 hours leading and directing projects, with work in the five PMI process groups. If so, you are set and can apply to take the PMP exam. If not, you can see how far away you are, and if the CAPM might help you in the interim.

Good luck!

Hi Brian

i have read your article and i see that what you said and recommended is true. i am currently about to get my master degree in Engineering and operations management and i see my self in project management. i had two classes in project management that are required in my graduate program and i am preparing for CAPM exam. i choose CAPM because i don’t have any work experience in PM field and i want to start climb the ladder from its beginning. thanks for your information.

Hello Abdullah,

Thanks very much for the comment and feedback on the article and its recommendations. I really appreciate it! All the best for you in your Masters degree and in your future project management career.

Hello Brian!

Great article – it did enlight me about the CAPM certification; the point now is which one I choose: CAPM or Scrum Master? I simply love both methodologies, but I’m not sure if Scrum Master will clear my path to project management, as I don’t have any experience…..

I’m truly in doubt! :T

Hello Talita,

I would recommend doing both! I find that more certifications are always (well, usually) better. If you have both the CAPM and the ScrumMaster you will have knowledge of two different project management techniques that are both valid in certain situations. And I do think that knowing Agile Development techniques is very useful in today’s project management domain.

Best of luck to you.

HI Brian,

I am hearing about the CAPM and PMP from many days but could not make out exactly for what kind of educational background is needed for this. I am a Commerce graduate working in operations with 5 years of experience. I also deal with small projects say like using lean concepts to identify the problems in gaining effieciency in daily work of operations.

I feel that CAPM is start point for me if i need to swap my career in project management.

It would be really helpful for me if you can provide me your inputs if i had to do CAPM course and how does it fits to my educational background and work experience.


Hello Balakrishna,

The CAPM might be a good starting point for you if you are interested in getting into project management. I would say that it certainly couldn’t hurt, and learning PMI’s various project management processes could be helpful. Meanwhile, you don’t have to do a CAPM course to sit for the CAPM exam – any project management experience would do. All the best to you.

Hello, I was just wondering, how are the hours calculated for project time. Do you just take 8 hours per day average and 40 hours per week for the length of your project? For example, a full time project manager would get credit for 2080 hours per year?

Hello Scott,

In this case, you would only count the hours that you are working leading and directing projects. So if you were a full time project manager, then yes, you could count your 40 hours per week (PMI won’t let you include overtime hours or more than 40 hours per week when you’re counting your work experience). But if you are working as, say, a business consultant, and only spending part of your time managing projects, then you would only count those hours.

Good luck to you.

Hi Brian,

I have 8 years of IT Industry Experience. Presently I am working as Associate Project Manager. My manager is insisting me to complete CAPM first and then attaining PMP in the next two weeks after passing PMP. Could you please advise if this is practically possible. Many thanks in advance.


Hello Keshav,

This might be possible (if there are exams for the CAPM and PMP two weeks apart), but it doesn’t seem to make sense to me that your manager wants you to follow this route. Once you get PMP certified, the CAPM is pretty much worthless (in my opinion), so there is no good reason to get the CAPM if you are already eligible to take the PMP exam.

Best of luck with your project management certifications!

Hi Brian, I read your article about CAPM recently and would like to thank you for your take on that subject. I’m thinking seriously to study CAPM. Money is no object and I don’t mind dedicating three months (or more if needed) to study for the exam. I’ll explain fully my situation so you have the full picture.

I have a bachelor degree in Accounting and finished my ACCA exams (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) which is a professional certificate in accounting. I’ve been working for over a year in a very small company and my job is not entirely in the accounting field. In fact, accounting is only a tiny part of what I do there. I’m applying for other jobs in the hope that I could work for a bigger company in the accounting or finance department or work for one of the big audit firms. To be a member of the ACCA, it is required to have three years of work experience related to accounting, auditing or finance. It’s also required to be supervised or mentored by a certified accountant (anyone who has a professional certificate in accounting and not necessarily ACCA). Unfortunately, I’m not satisfying any of those requirements in my current job, so my year of experience will not be counted towards ACCA membership. That’s why I’m hoping to get another job where I can see myself progressing towards the membership (which is what companies and finance departments really value).

Now after that lengthy introduction (I hope I didn’t bore you by the way!), here are my concerns with getting CAPM. I have a strong interest in the project management field and I think the skills of project management would benefit everyone regardless of their profession. Hopefully at some point I’ll be managing people, assignments, resources …etc. Am I correct in this assumption? Also I plan to have my own business in the future and I regard setting up and running a business as a project which will require proper management. Again, am I right to assume that having basic knowledge of project management will help me in starting a business?

I would like to stick to accounting and build my career in that field. I chose CAPM because first I can qualify for CAPM even without the required experience. Second, it is an entry level certificate to project management which will give me a fair amount of knowledge (just enough) to make me better at work and make me stand out which in turn will help me going up the career ladder. I don’t need in-depth knowledge (PMP) as I don’t want to change my profession.

Is it possible that having such a certificate in my CV (resume) would suggest to employers that I am not dedicated to the accounting profession? I am worried that having the title (Certified Associate in Project Management) right beneath (Certified Chartered Accountant) would confuse the employer as to why I am certified in two different fields. Would they see how having knowledge in project management would make me even better at work and that CAPM is just there to support and enhance my ACCA membership and accounting experience? Or should I just leave it off my CV if it would do more harm than good?

To sum up, is CAPM going to help me in my accounting career and any future plan of having my own business? And is it ok to show employers that I have CAPM besides ACCA?

Sorry I didn’t mean it to be that long! It would be very helpful to get an opinion from such an experienced and intelligent guy. I really appreciate your help.

Hi Sam,

It certainly sounds to me like you have the drive and energy to make a project management career succeed. I agree with you that having knowledge of project management can help anyone in their careers. Getting the CAPM might help you on your way to gaining those valuable hours of professional project management work experience that can lead to PMP certification, if that is something you are interested in.

I do not think that getting project management certifications will hinder you in your accounting career, or in any other career. If anything, it will show that you are interested in management as well as accounting, and that is a valuable thing if you want to become a manager in accounting or finance. I don’t think having project management certifications would look like you are in a different field – project management principles can apply to all fields.

I do think that you can show prospective managers your certifications without concern. That said, you could ask your Human Resources department professionals what they think. They might have some idea how PMP or CAPM certification can tie into your professional career path.

Best of luck to you!


Great information. Thank you for sharing.

One question I have is on the work experience route versus taking the courses. How does one quantify/qualify that through their work they have acquired/demonstrated project management practices.

Hello Dee,

In this case, you would simply tally up the hours that you have spent working on projects, separating those hours into the various PMI process groups as required on PMI’s application. There is more information about how to file your work experience hours here. In the case of the CAPM, you would show 1,500 hours of “project experience”. Best of luck to you.

Hey Brian, I have completed my B.E in electrical engineering in 2014 June and without any kind of work experience , I am planning to study project management course(in business field) in Canadian college from Jan 2015, Then would I get Entry level jobs in Project management field??

Hello Shah,

I wouldn’t be able to guarantee it, but I do think that if you were to study project management, you might have a good case to show your employer that you might be given some projects to manage to earn project management work experience. That said, if you are newly graduated from college, you might have to “put in the hours” before you are given management tasks. Don’t worry – it will come! You have a long career ahead of you.

Best of luck to you.

Hi Brian,

I reside in Canada and I am really interested in the CAPM certification. Do you know if I can take the exam in Canada? I know it would be useful for me as I have little experience in PM

Hi Brian,

I have 2.5 years of work experience working at Hewlett Packard but have not handled any projects, but trying to do some projects outside, so how can I get this 4500 hours of project handling exp.

Hello Swathi,

The 4,500 hours of project management work experience must be professional project management work experience. So if the outside work is paid work in a professional capacity, you should be okay. But volunteer work or work done at school or at a university would not count toward the hours of professional project management work experience.

Hope this helps.

I am in a unique position and would like your advice. My boss has been charged with growing our PM business and is recommending that people earn their PMP certification. I am a part time support employee with little experience leading projects, but my boss asked me to attend the internal PMP prep training courses so I better understand PM. We are around 1/2 way into the PMBOK and Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep guide. I know I do not qualify to take the PMP certification, but I do believe I would qualify to take the CAPM certification exam. Since I am already studying the PMBOK & Mulcahy Exam Prep book, as well as participating in twice weekly study sessions, do you think there is any reason I should invest in CAPM training materials? Wouldn’t what I’m already doing prepare me sufficiently for CAPM? It is my understanding that it is all based on the PMBOK.

Hello Angela,

I think that if your employer is paying for the PMP preparation courses, it is definitely worth your going and learning about PMP certification and project management. Even if you never get PMP certified, learning about proper project management and how to keep projects on track is very good information.

Meanwhile, I do not think that CAPM training materials are useful if you are learning PMP certification, unless you really want to make sure that you only study those parts of the material that are relevant to the CAPM examination. PMP exam materials will cover CAPM exam materials and more. You’ve probably already done this, and I hope that it went well!

Greetings Brian,

First I thank you for your valuable time and effort sharing such a nice and result oriented information. I am quite sure many of us will be benefited with this information. I would grateful if you could guide me in my case: I hold an MCA (Masters in Computer Application) degree and working as an IT specialist with total 8+ years of experience in IT Operations(infrastructure support). I have started losing my interest in day to day technical support work and looking forward for a managerial position ahead. I don’t have any experience in project management (However, I have just 6 months managerial experience in direct marketing in my first company dealing in Pharmaceuticals) . I want to know, what is good in my case to go for a CAPM or PMP certification to acquire in-depth knowledge of project management And, would that be enough to get the relevant job profile in the corporate industry?
Thanks in advance for your precious time!!

Nand Sharma

Hello Nand,

If you do not have any experience in project management, and you don’t see a good route to getting experience, then the CAPM is good. The pMP will be more in-depth, but you need more project experience to take the exam. I do think that if you want to start a career in project management, the CAPM credential can’t hurt!

Hi Brian,

Firstly, I would like to congratulate you for all the wonderful accomplishments you have achieved. I am a newbie with 6 months of experience in PM as of today. I am working in Pune, India which is an upcoming area in the PM field. So far I have been quite impressed with this field and I have really made up my mind to go further. I have taken advice from my TLs and they have suggested me to go for CAPM. But after reading your article I surely feel I need and expert advise. So Brian, as of today with 6 months experience and more than basic knowledge of PM what would you recommend me. Also, before going for CAPM or PMI, is there any course or certification that you want to recommend me?

Thank you in advance!

Smith Dsouza

Hello Smith, thank you very much for the kind words about the accomplishments. It has certainly been fun taking this path into information technology and project management.

If you do have the experience to get the PMP, definitely get the PMP. Since writing this article, many people have told me that the CAPM certification has helped them in their careers, and to get into more project management related jobs. So if you can’t get the PMP exam yet, the CAPM is a good starting point!

Meanwhile, other courses and certification that I have are Agile (using Scrum), and ITIL Foundations. Both are good. ITIL is very useful in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Agile is quite popular these days and I find it quite useful. Best of luck!

Hi Brian, I have a BS in Psychology. I’ve been looking into the Project Management industry lately. I have no experience in Project Management at all. I worked as a Quality Assurance Inspector in a Pharmaceutical company for 3 years. Do I qualify for the CAPM certification and even if I do get it, will employers even look at my resume twice? Or should I go for a MBA in Project Management instead? Thanks for this beautiful article!

Hello Liz,

You should qualify for the CAPM with the work experience that you have. You do not need to have project management work experience to take the CAPM. Meanwhile, if you do an MBA, that is fantastic – it does not have to be in project management. If I were hiring, I do not think I would put any extra stock into an MBA with project management versus a good MBA who has project management certification and the PMP. That is just my personal take of course. Best of luck!

Hi Brian!

This article is definitely the most informative article on PMI’s CAPM vs PMP. I liked how you clarified the misunderstood things, thank you for your time and effort to prepare this awesome article.

CAMP vs PMP, it is clear that PMP is more valuable than CAPM, but always consider that the type of job or the extent of job or the responsibility to be taken will be a main factor whether you go to CAPM or PMP, moreover, consider that becoming a CAPM certified still matters in many countries in the world!

I have been working a telecom company since May 2006, and now I’v 8+ years of experience in different areas or departments, I have been developing IT projects since 2011 in my company and I also have a Becholar of Science in Information Technology + over 3 years of project development and management.

So the question is, in your experience, how do I contact to the PMI and tell them or prove them that I have what I have to go directly to PMP preparation?

Thanks again Brian and keep up the good work.

Yasir from East Africa, Somalia, Mogadishu.

Hello Abdisamad,

Thanks very much for the kind feedback about this CAPM article! I really appreciate it.

I agree with your points about the CAPM versus the PMP. The PMP is definitely more valuable, but I have learned since writing this post that CAPM certification has helped many people get into good project management roles.

In order to “contact PMI”, you simply need to apply to take the PMP exam. Then, you will send them a summary of your hours of professional project management work experience. Once they have okayed your work experience, you will be good to take the PMP examination.

Good luck!

Thank you for this article. A previous poster asked about proving/demonstrating project work in order to take CAPM. I have a degree in art,taught for eight years (writing curriculum, delivering instruction, etc.) I was also in graphic design and marketing for 20 years. I have managed all of my own projects and some group projects in these areas, but I don’t know that this experience qualifies.

If it does, I would certainly study and take the CAPM as way to transition into a project management career.

I looked into taking a course in project management about 8 years ago, but I had not heard of project management as career at the time and the demands of teaching and being a single parent to a son with special needs prevented it.

Your advice is most appreciated.


Hello Michelle,

I do not believe the CAPM requires you to prove your project work experience – that would be the PMP. The CAPM simply requires work experience. As such, depending on what post-secondary education you have attained, you can certainly take the CAPM.

Best of luck with your career!

Hi Brian!
I am an electronic engineer & I want to do job in project management sector.I just went though your article and it really helped me,thanks a lot Brain.The question I want to ask you is that I have done a course named as ENGINEERING PROJECT MANAGEMENT as my engineering subject.In this way am I able to do CAPM ? Please guide me !

Hello Munaam,

Yes, I do believe that an engineering project management course would apply as a course that could serve as your education for the CAPM certification. If you have 1500 hours of professional work experience, not necessarily as a project manager, that also works, and you won’t need to have project management education as well. Good luck!

Couldn’t someone say get the CAPM designation first, the using the designation, get a job in project management, then attain the required amount of hours to apply for the PMP? With the CAPM designation, would you not have an easier time to get project management experience?

Hello Mitch,

Yes, this is exactly how I think the CAPM would be best used. I have heard feedback that the CAPM certification has helped people get roles as newbie project managers, and that they can then use that work experience to apply for the PMP examination. Thank you for the comment!

Hi Brian,

I have around 2.5 years of work experience in IT and Networking technologies , could you please suggest whether i am eligible for PMP or i have to apply for CAPM first , also this experience qualifies for PMP certification or not.

Hello Vidit,

It is up to you to figure out if you have the 4500 hours of professional work experience leading and directing projects to apply for the PMP exam. It is not hard – you can simply document all your project management work experience (even if your job title was not project manager) to find it out. Meanwhile, the CAPM is a certification, so it wouldn’t apply as experience per se. However, I am pretty sure the education you might take before sitting for the CAPM examination would apply as project management education for the PMP.

Best of luck to you.

Hi Brian,
Thank you very much for sharing your experience i’ve graduated recently in Computer Science and Management and i want to make my career in Project Management field, i had this subject in the University but as i am not feeling confident to apply for the exam i am making a CAPM prep course. This article has sharpped my decision to continue studying.

Thank you

Hello Amadeu,

Thank you very much for the kind feedback! I am so glad to hear that this article was helpful for you, and that it convinced you to continue studying within the project management domain. I am a strong proponent of studying and learning new things. Best of luck to you in your project management career!

Hi Brian,
Thank you very much for sharing your experience i’ve MBA Marketing and having 6yrs experience in Sales and Distribution i want to make my career in Project Management field, i am making a CAPM prep course. This article has sharpped my decision to continue studying.Will this certification help me To make career?

Thank you,

Thank you

Hello Srinivas,

Thank you very much for the kind feedback. I am glad to hear that this article helped you to make your decision about the CAPM. I do think that if you want to continue your career as a professional project manager, the CAPM certification certainly can’t hurt! And you can use it as a launching pad to many different project or program-related careers. Best of luck to you in your work.

Hi Brian,
The info provided by you is very helpful. Still would ned your opinion about how good to take CAPM to head towards the PMO jobs, leaving technical programming profile? I am keen to switch my role from developer to management.After understanding the requirements for both PMP and CAPM, i find myself fit to start with CAPM, not having much exp in project management.Need your comments.

Hello Deepti,

Yes, I do think that getting project management certifications can help lead you toward a project management career. I personally used to work as a developer and software designer, and I transitioned into project management over time. Best of luck to you!

Hi Brian,

Thank you for the information on this website. I had one query regarding CAPM and PMP certifications. Are these certifications primarily useful for technical project managers only? Or do project managers in other professions like HR or Finance can use these certifications as well. If I am not an employee with a technical background or if I don’t work in a technical project or software company, would taking a CAPM/PMP certification help me land a job? In short, do other companies or professions requiring Project related roles honor a CAPM/PMP certification. Thanks

Hello Mio,

PMI’s various certifications are designed for ANY project manager. They include frequent references to construction project managers and other project managers in their printed information. However, I do notice that PMP certification seems to be the most popular in the field of Information Technology. You might consider asking your HR department whether or not PMI’s credentials are of value in your company and in your field. Good luck to you.

Hi Brian, I plan on studying for my CAPM in January. Assuming I pass and become certified, and then plan on taking the PMP exam in the future… is that also a good/sound decision?

I’d rather start off with the CAPM then move onto the PMP exam. I have 2.5 years of project experience (current), I just do not have people working directly under me (I work in building and construction with an Architecture degree).



Hello Kevin,

That sounds like a good decision, though you might also consider that if you are still earning professional project management work experience, you can simply wait to take the PMP exam when you have amassed the required number of hours. That will save you some money (as CAPM certification is not very useful once you have your PMP certification).

Good luck to you.

Thank you very much for such elaborate comparison between PMP and CAPM. This has helped me make a decision on what I should.pursue first given the fact that, I am an IT project consultant working directly with project managers but, I lack the experience of managing/directing projects. I have decided to go for CAPM for start as it would help me land a junior PM role in the IT industry.

Brian’s article above, has outlined wcons or pros of CAPM. If you are in delimma in choosing which of the 2 certs to go for, I would recommend visiting PMI site for better understanding.


I am SHVA, student into masters (civil and construction management). I would really like to know if CAPM certification is worth getting for a career in PROJECT MANAGEMENT? As i want to start my career as soon as i finish my masters and will this certification help me in getting into jobs???
pls reply soon!!

I have so much passion in project management and I will like to become a PMP certified in the future. I’m currently during my MBA with concentration in Information Technology and I have registered to take the CAPM. I had a project management course in college and I was able to gain 48 contact hours. I’m waiting now to get approval from PMI to take the exam. Currently looking for study materials for the exam and came across your article on Rita Mulcahy. Will this prep review give a high passing rate on the exam? Do you have another study materials you will recommand?

Thanks for the great article.

It helps alot on my questions.

i wanna start a new career,cani start with Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM),and once i finish the exam can i get a job with the certification, bearing in mind i have to proceed to do pmp

It behooves me to think that project management is always equated w/IT and hard core project management roles. I am a business/admin professional who has used project management skills in my career(small projects) and during college (team leader). If you plan an event, meeting, fund raiser, dinner party, wedding, or family reunion you are using project management skills. I have an ABA degree and felt that a CAPM could elevate my credentials. If this certification is being considered by many….it should be respected as a bonafide credential as well.

Hi, I was interested in taking the PCP exam and have the required hours of experience. However, I saw in the guidelines that the experience has to be within the last eight years. My experience is from about ten years ago. Is this a problem? Is there any way I can make this work?

Hi Brian,

Your article has been very helpful. I needed some advice for my own case. I have 3 years experience of working on projects as an architect. Guessing that doesn’t count as project management experience, I won’t be eligible to go for a PMP certificate.
I have been accepted into a Canadian University for a program in Construction project Management. Do you think i should go for a CAPM right now to boost my career opportunities there?
I would be grateful if you could give me some advice on this.

Thanks for your helpful input and the Rita Mulcahy study book. As a principal network engineer I’ve been considering adding the CAPM to my technical certifications. I feel it would provide validation of my ability to integrate a project management discipline into the various design, implementation, and delivery activities that I lead. Thanks again.

I need some direction. I have a BS in Business Administration (1986 Auburn University) and have worked as a marketing “Project Manager” for 10 years. (I think that was just a catch-all title for ‘whatever we want you to do’.)However, I left that position to stay at home with my two children for the last 15 years and am now ready to get back on the horse. I’ve done loads of volunteer projects but I venture to guess that I could not document much to the satisfaction of achieving true project management hours to qualify for the PMP. I feel like I have to start over and just do the CAPM. Am I wrong? I have just discovered today that these certifications even exist. A lot has changed since 1998. Any direction or advice is appreciated.


I am Praveen from India. I have 4.5yrs of working experience. Out of that 1.5 years as lead team. Right now I am planning to pursue MBA in US. Will CAPM certification be useful for my admission? Will top B-schools in US recognize CAPM certificate?

Hi Brian,
Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I have been a Director of Operations for a start up for 10 years. I was a one woman show who managed Accounting, HR, Travel and operations. During the time, I worked on many projects from processing improvement, audit, picking new software, planning charity event…do those count as projects? Also, I am very active with my children’s music school and plan all the group travel tour (in Europe) every summer for 60 people +. Including picking a tour company, bus and hotel arrangement..can i use that on the application?

I have 20 years of professional sales experience. I am changing industries to get into PM. So, I’m not new to the workforce, just new to PM. I had always wanted to know the pros and cons of the CAPM vs PMP. For someone like myself who has no project management hours, do you think CAPM is the way to go? I’d like to avoid it if I can and go straight for the PMP if possible.

Hi Brian ,

Your Site is very informative .I had lot of my questions answered except a couple . I work as a Quality Analyst . I have masters degree but I don’t have experience of Project management .I am planning on taking CAPM ,but would a self study (book you suggested on the Site Rita Mcurphy) would be enough or is it mandatory to take a course to prove my hours of study

Hi Brian!

Your article gives great insight about the CAPM/PMP credentials.

I am currently pursuing my under-graduation in the engineering domain(IT Stream).I have keen interest and desire to validate myself with Project Management skills.

But I am completely numb and in-cognizant in this area.

What kind of training/resources are required to step by step master the fundamentals and clear the certification? It would be of great help if you could recommend some books.

Hi Brian,

First of all, I’d like to say I really appreciate reading this article.

I have 2.5-year experience in project management in a small agency in France. By the end of 2013 I decided to left my job to go to Canada to study English in an international school in order to work in an international company (I apologize in advance if my english is not correct)

I got back in october 2014 and I’ve been facing struggles to find a job in my country. So I was wondering wether getting the PMP certification might help me to find a job? However I need 6 more months in project management to pass the PMP Exam. Therefore, do you think the CAPM would be worth getting ?

Hello Brian,

I am from Canada and am a professional engineer in the province of Ontario. I am working in engineering consulting for last fifteen years and obtained my Professional engineer licence in 2013. I had 9 yrs experience in project experience as designer/junior engineer prior to obtaining my P.Eng licence. I am interested in getting PMP certification but my only problem is that my 11 yrs of project engineering experience does not necessarily have 4500 hrs of project leader/manager portfolio. How do I go about it. I have more than enough experience to show that I was part of project management team but maybe not enough to demonstrate my role as manager/supervisor/leader. I certainly don’t see the option of CAPM as viable option with my length of experience and my P.Eng. designation. Please respond, I will really appreciate.



Hello Brian,

I wanted to know whether a Graduate Certificate in Project Management (like ones offered by Sheridan College and Humber College in Canada) would be sufficient to get an entry level job in Project Management. I don’t have any work experience to speak of, other than internships, which weren’t really related to Project Management anyway. So would a Graduate Certificate in Project Management, along with a Bachelor’s in Engineering, be enough to get a job? Or would it be necessary to get a CAPM certification as well?


Hi Brian,

I’m curious what counts as experience hours? I previously worked as a crew leader for a moving company. I lead teams of two-ten people everyday for 7 years. We’d show up and do an initial walk through, I then would plan the execution and allocate my resoucese(people, packing materials,truck space) according to their individual strength skill sets. We would complete the work then I would ensure customer satisfaction and handle the billing/ collection.

I now work on data center de-installations, I have completed several smaller projects(less then a week start to finishing on-site each)

and am looking to gain a PMP certification. Do you think my experience from moving would count? If yes how do I account for all that time?

I welcome your feedback.


Hi Anne, and all – thanks for your comments. You’re right, I haven’t been answering questions – I’m only one person, and I’ve had a lot going on what with work and family. My original goal was for other visitors to help answer other people’s comments; I’m just a project manager like the rest of you, and I’m sure many of you are more experienced than I am. But for the most part it has been just me answering questions. So if you see anywhere that you can add insight, please feel free to do so. Meanwhile, when things slow down a bit I will get back to answering the questions.

Thanks very much!

Hi Brian,

Thanks for the writeup it did cleared many of my doubts regarding CAPM vs PMP …

I have almost 6 years of experience in ITeS and worked on many projects ( but not end to end ). It would be kind of you if you could guide me what kind of experience in project management qualifies me to take PMP certification.


Hi , My name is Rishi, it was nicely written article by you, i have a different concern and no one hase answered my query so far.
I have professional work experience of 46 months with a startup called iyogi, now its huge i was able to work there with different domains and verticals. but no one called any task as project but every pilot process i was involved with was like a project. Then for next 36 months i work for calltechy solutions llc, created that company , handled operations, maketing , revenue means A to Z of the business for handled by me.

I want go for PMP certification, with above credentials , would i be consiered by PMi for PMP exam??

Please help

Hi Brian,

I am a Test Engineer and have 1.5 years of work experience. I also manage a small module in my company currently. Would I be elligible for PMP course?.


I have 9 years of IT experience and my designations is Senior Software Engineer. I don’t have any Project management experience. Should I take CAPM or PMP if I want to proceed my career in that way

I need help…
I just Completed my Bachelors in Mechanical engineering and now working as a Parts and service Engineer Projects And machinery in a company.I have been working in this company for almost 6 months.I have not taken any course related to project managment or anythn g like that.Do i have to take extra workshop so that i can be eligible for applying in CAPM?
Or should i mention my small projects which i did during this period of 7 months in this company?
I am confused…

Hi Brian Crawford,

sir, I just wanted to thank you from bottom of my heart to explain about CAPM and PMP in such a articulate way; not only did you write this article but also answered questions of many exam seekers even if they were repetitive in nature and already covered in your article for almost an year now.

I wish and pray for your well being.
God bless you!


Hi Brian,

I recently graduated with a Masters in Mgmt, concentration in Proj Mgmt and wanted to obtain my CAPM cert. Reason being for just the CAPM, I have very little specific PM experience because a bulk of my experience has been in Procurement/Contracting and I dont feel I would get approved to take the PMP. That being said, I have the most current version of the PMBOK. Do you feel that studying that would put in a good position to pass the CAPM exam? I would like to have some kind of cert to go along with my degree. I would also like to look into ScrumMaster and I appreciate you pointing that out. A bulk of my procurements are Construction type contracts and the projects mirror the Agile method. This would probably help me in future positions or promotions.



Absolute waste of time and money. It is a very concise qualification but it is stupidly and unneccesarily long. THe Prince2 contains all the necessary aspects you need in Project Management. I would have never done the CAPM if I knew that Project Management was all I needed.

DO NOT DO IT! The CAPM is the same as a degree and it covers every single aspect of project management which is totally necessary because you can pick these things up in the job.


Just stick with the Prince2 qualification and find a job in Project Management. Much more effective and much cheaper and much less time studying.

Hi Brian,
First of all, amazing article on PMP and CAPM.

I like to share my background with you, i am working as mechanical engineer in one of the top EPC (Engineering Procurement Construction) firm and I have 3 Years of Work ex as of now.

Now I am thinking of career change from my technical into PM domain. If you know how EPC works, career shift in this organisation will be helpful or should I take up CAPM and then shift to smaller industry get some experience and then try to get back into the same organisation. (Risky affair no doubt)

Need your advice.




Thank you for the informative article regarding a clear and clean breakdown of the pro’s and con’s of the PMP and CAPM.
I am currently in the process of changing careers from fourteen years of teaching and running several programs in education to a career in Project or Account Management. I have been weighing the possibility of taking the CAPM with the desire to take the PMP once I have acquired the necessary hours.
Other than getting the CAPM certification is there any other recommendation you might have to make myself more marketable in this career shift? I recognize that am coming from an unconventional project management background. Managing projects and programs at my schools were always a part of the job that gave me the most satisfaction, so in leaving education Project Management seems like a good professional shift. I live in Chicago and there is a sizable amount of larger and emerging companies that are looking for project managers. I am trying to stay competitive, informed, and relevant as I pursue this shift. Any feedback or advice would be welcome.

Thank you for your time.

Hi Brian..excellent article. I have a BS, MPH and DC..that is a Master in Public Health, Baccalaureate in Nutrition and a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. I am in the USA. I don’t want to work within IS. Your article states that CAPM is primarily for IS. Are there projects in healthcare where you are a CAPM and not a glorified senior level secretary and more of a liaison within provider or hospital admin groups or is this not the way to go here? I have absolutely no project management experience..I have program management experience but not technical like documenting every step…etc. More like a very organized leader..who manages the tech staff…..not sure if this is me, devil is in details and I am not an IS person at all..thanks for your input..I see some courses offered for like $99 USD for courses on Fundamentals of Project MGT and then after a course on Application of Project MGt..they are not for credit and would not apply toward not sure which way to learn the stuff so I can be more valuable but not CAPM certified or decide to do the CAPM if it is possible to work outside the IS field. Ideally I need/want to be at a six figure CAPM earn over 100k with little experience or is this unrealistic? Thx for your input. Lucy

Hi Brian,

I have 8 years of work experience in IT and I have completed by bachelor’s degree as well in Computer Science. I have worked as a business analyst for 4 years and as a project lead for close to 3 months. Do, you think these credentials should be sufficient from a work experience stand point to take up PMP?

Thanks and Regards,


I am fascinated by having the PMP to my name but not sure if 13years experience in developing and managing websites would count for the project experience?

I have an associate degree in computer accounting and have 35 contact hours.

Please could you advise me if I am qualified, or settle for the CAPM.

Hi Brian,

From a quality management/process improvement & compliance perspective for non IT industry such as telecom, understanding basics of PM is useful. Please suggest which certication is readily accepted & useful- CAPM or PRINCE2 foundation or any other you may suggest.


Hi Brian,

Thanks for the great article. Can you advise what kind of work would qualify me for the 4500-7500 hours of project management experience? I am currently working as a Business Analysis Specialist in a Financial Leasing company. Will this position help me qualify? How is the work experience proven to PMI?

Thanks a lot for your help in advance.



Dear All,

My experience in maintenance for 12 years and during that I finished my studies in BSc-2001 and MSC-2007 in engineering management and MSc-2011 in Electronic Engineering.
In 2012 I changed my career to projects section and now I am leading projects team and following some projects.
Due to my lack experience in projects I would like to participate in a program allow me to lead the projects with more control as my employer has invested more than 200 M USD and gave me the responsibility to follow these projects. you can say that I accidentally became a Project Manager.


I work for a top Consulting firm and have 3.5 years work exp (almost 2 in project management) and was thinking of giving the CAPM exam. Can you please advise me when the exam actually happens. I am unable to find a schedule online.

Thanks again in advance

Brian, I worked in the field for 12 years , graduated trade school and did the necessary training and hours to get a master plumbing license. Other than the trade school I have no formal college education/degree. I have recently been put in to a project management role. Could you guide me to the best route for me? , I would like to get a PMP cert. but not sure I’ll be going back to school to get a bachelors degree anytime soon

Hello Brian,

I’ve been working for the past 7 years as an Office Manager in a software company managing many different things. Creating handbook/manuals, creating and implementing ordering processes, accounting receivable/payable processes, and even the sales quoting/ordering/maintaining processes. I worry that since these are not necessarily project focus experience, I cannot claim them to be hours of experience to get my PMP. Would you suggest that with the experience I already have that I get the CAPM and then use the CAPM to gain more PM experience along with my current work experience to then obtain the PMP?

Hi Brian,

Appreciate your effort in posting this, is a great article to come across.

My case is, I have Masters degree in Computer science & close to 4 years of IT experience. But I am sure , I am not eligible to sit for PMP as I don’t have Project Management experience /hours. CAPM looks as a good option as I am really have great career interest towards project management. But, still confused. Would you please share your thoughts, what do you suggest.

Hi Brian,

I was a bit confused between CAPM and PMP as far as my case is concerned. I am an Electrical Engineering graduate and working as Solar Engineering Professional for design & engineering of solar power plant. I am having experience in design & engineering of solar power plant about 5 years.Now I want to move into Project Management. So I am bit confused if I need to opt for PMP or CAPM. Your assistance will be highly appreciated. Thanks.

Hi Brian,

I started my career as a software developer in feb-2011 and since last 2+ years I have been working as a Team Lead managing the Team, which further takes me to the path of Project Management in which I am already interested and quite eager to move.

I talked to a PMI authorized institute and according to them I am eligible for taking a PMP Exam, but I doubt that and could not afford to loose money. As you are pretty well experienced in that can you guide me through??

Also, if I am not eligible than how much worth will be a CAPM exam for me?? Certified Scrum Master is also an option for me, so which Exam I should choose according to you.

Can You guide me in a little detail?

I’m looking into taking the CAPM because I’m a professional in the biotech industry with some project management experience but not enough to take the PMP. I do want to get into the field, and feel that this would good option to get started. Not sure what your advice would be, but any thoughts are appreciated!

Hi Brian, thanks for the great read. Im currently a quality inspector in the heavy engineering sector and looking to get into project management. Im currently in progress with CAPM and reading what you advise on this page, Im now more confident that I have taken the right steps to start a career in PM. My plan is to shadow project managers in my organization, hopefully start with a small project and gain hours for PMP later. My only concern right now is what do you think would be the best approach towards my senior management to give me that initial start?

Hi my dear friends ,

As per the last reply from Brian he seems to be busy and so I feel those who want to have a quick understanding on CAPM & PMI and also to get clarity they shall refer older replies of our dear Brian .Most of the answers can be taken out if we can read the previous answers/reply provided by our good & humane friend Brian .

Brain you are doing a good work and may god bless you .Appreciate it

HI Brian,

This is a very well written article. Definitely helped me to have a good look at it. I’m right now having the chance to manage my first project which fell in my lap due to my eager to get it even though I had no experience at all. I’ve already been considering a PM career for a few months and now I’m studying for CAPM.
As I am entry level I believe it’s going to add on to my CV and open opportunities for a PM career. Considering your pros and cons I believe I’m making the right choice. Although I’ve had some contact with Agile which seems to be a quite different approach.
A question for you. Do you think that the Agile framework goes on a totally opposite direction from the PMI’s one? Do you think that studying/getting certifications for both would be a positive thing career wise?
Thanks. Hope you get my message.

Hello Brian,

I really enjoyed this post. Speaking for myself, I’ve always had an interest in learning about project management. As a recent college graduate, I believe getting certified is what will move me ahead of the pack. I believe employers will take me more serious, if they see I have the certs in addition to my life experience, education, and being able to sell myself.

I strongly feel getting certified, is the only way I’ll get the opportunities I want to gain the experience I need.

Hi All,
I am IT professional and i don’t have the project management experience. I sat the pmp exam recently and couldn’t got through. And planing to retake. Any one can advise me which exam should i sit? Pmp or capm?

Hi Brian,
I live in London .I have more than 7 years of experience in security , customer services. Now i have decided to change my career to go in project management . So i discussed with one of my friend and he said to study PMP and get certified. I called different training providers and they all said that for PMP i need proper experience in the industry and recommended me to do CAPM 1st. So now i have enrolled myself for CAPM course and started .I am still not sure that what will be my future after passing my CAPM. I would appreciate if you can kindly suggest me something


Hello Brian!

Hope you’re doing well! I work in a family business and I want to learn about project management because I know it will help me with my entrepreneurial work. I have time to take PMP classes that are offered at my local university. The total cost for classes, $2,300 and I figured having a CAPM certification as an outcome won’t hurt. My question is, do you need to take official classes so they can be counted towards 23-hour requirement or can you “self-study” for much cheaper on our own and would those hours count? I figured if I want to pursue a career elsewhere later, I can get a PMP certificate and use those $2,300 classes towards preparation, let’s say 5 years from now.

Thanks for your help!


Hi Brian
Thank you for sharing your valuable insights with us. It has been a really helpful article. I am a new immigrant in Canada with five years of banking experience in my home country. However, while working in that bank I had only four months of experience in working in a project. During my BBA I just loved my project management course. So here in Canada I want to go further with the field of PM. I have already started preparation for CAPM and applying for jobs simultaneously. But I have found out that jobs are mainly focused on IT experience which I clearly do not have. And as you know without work experience I can not go far with CAPM. So do you have any suggestion on this? Is it mainly for people with IT work experience or what? Your words will be a great help I believe.
Thank you


I am from India. I have been involved in setting up a manufacturing unit for 2 years. How do I use that as my project experience. I was involved in the capacity of Project Coordinator and Site In Charge. Can this help me in the PMP certification?


Hi Brain,

Can you please help me with what is the certification that I should be going for considering my 2+ years of project experience?


Good evening Brian!
Many thanks for the article. It gave me some great insights about the pros and cons. I am a military officer of 23 years experience with leading groups and team of several hundred and I want to starts a second career. I was thinking getting a CAPM certificat first, go with the PMP after and complete with an MBA in order to provide me some official credentials that will be acknowledged by industry. Would you consider to be a wise path at 44 years old?
Thanks for your opinion!

I just paid $75 for one year access to train for the PMP certification on Groupon. (sweet deal!!) My only concern is the PMP requirements. I do not have a college degree but have management, budget and procurement certifications as a Management and Program Analyst. I’ve managed federal government contracts as a Level II COR/COTR and govt. credit cards issued to authorized agency staff for 3 years and; program office budgets for 7 years, all combined managing over $3M annually. I consider this as appropriate project management experience but not sure this meets the PMP requirements. Would this kind of experience count for PMP or CAPM? If not for PMP, I’ll add the PMP training course on my resume and optain the CAPM cert.

Hi Brian,

I have one quick question for you.

I have experience leading and directing a very important/large part of multiple projects but not the entire project itself. The projects are building mobile and web applications for our clients. I lead the product testing for all of the mobile apps we build and design. I am also involved in weekly meetings with our clients / I always provide input in these discussions and lead the section of the meeting which focuses on testing.

Would this type of experience suffice for the PMP certification test? If not, do you think I could simply tell the PMI employees that I lead and direct the projects? Do you think they will call/reach out to my boss for clarification if I say I lead and direct the projects?

Thank you!


Hi my name is Chevanne i will be sitting the CAPM exam next week Saturday. Are there any pointers you can give to play me pass my exam? i am a bit nervous about it

Earlier than telling you the secret, I wish to inform you that there are
various more apps that really declare the same, however most of
them wants Root Entry which is sort of dangerous. Giving root entry to any random app will be dangerous
and it might compromise your privacy. Anyhow, the next app does not require root entry!


I have a question. I’ve been a program representative at a University for 15 years. When I got hired it was at a time where you started low and worked your way up. I have no college degree. I’m now looking to move and having no college degree and I’m at a major disadvantage. I’m thinking of taking this exam. What do you think? Would this help me? Could I use my past experience as hours?

I’ve been working in the Hospitality industry, mainly in luxury hotels for over 10 years. I have a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. My responsibilities included managing the front desk, housekeeping and Guest at a property of 729 rooms. I’m looking to pursue a career in Property Management. I have schooling and managerial experience but no property management experience, so I’m considering a CAPM certificate since I’m not qualified to take the PMP exam. Do you think my field of study will help or works against me when seeking a job in Property Management? I’m currently 35 years old.

I’ve been working in the Hospitality industry for over 10 years, mainly in luxury hotels. I have a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. My responsibilities included managing the Front Desk, Housekeeping and Guest Services at a property of 729 rooms. I’m looking to pursue a career in Property Management. I have a degree and managerial experience but no property management experience, so I’m considering a CAPM certificate since I’m not qualified to take the PMP exam. Do you think my field of study will help or hinder me when seeking a career opportunity in Property Management? I’m currently 35 years old.


I am finance professional ACCA Qualified and have bachelors degree in Applied Accounting currently working as Finance Assistant in projects finance.

I am considering to have a project management certification just to enhance my profile and to have in depth understanding of project management, would you recommend CAPM or any other certifcation in project management,



Am currently working for an Oil & Gas service company as a trainee field engineer, graduated with an engineering degree; would like to know about the job prospects for entry level project management in this sector for CAPM certified people.


I have around 6 years of production experience in content field, but not have enough project management experince. can you suggest if i shall start with CAPM, then PMP. because I feel little difficult PMP is.

Thanks for all ur suggestions!!

hi everyone,
Im confused…..I was so excited with the idea of going in for a CAPM certification where I wil be more prone to be accepted at the jobsite. Now im doing a BSC program in engineering(year 3)…..I thought of doing the CAPM in my 4th year. will it be preferable for me to wait n try to get the experience needed for a PMP certification….then go for the PMP exam?

Also, I thought if I go in for the CAPM certification in my 4th year…after on I go for a two year masters program….I will be left with three years to renew my CAPM certification and three years to gain the experience to go in for PMP exam… what is really the best option?
thanks in advance

Hello Everyone.
I am little confuse.
I have applied for CAPM exam but didn’t submit my fee yet becouse somewhere i read that a audit team can do audit of submit application randomly and may be your application not get selected either you have submit all queries accurate.
If i will submit required fee now and then my application got rejection then what will i do?
I will get lose of $300.

Please suggested

I found the CAPM to be extremely valuable when job searching. I knew that my company was going to be acquired within a year so I took the steps to get certified so I could change careers since the job market was not so great.
I’m sure that it is different other cities, but I got a ton of interest from Seattle area employers. These employers wanted someone with experience, but didn’t want to pay for a PMP (not in the budget). I did get quite a few phone interviews with people asking about the certification and ultimately landed a position in a department that was expanding and needed assistance running their new account implementations and other various projects. They originally put the job description out to someone with a college dipoma and some project experience. My CAPM clinched it because it showed that I already had the experience that they needed and my interest in obtaining the PMP in the future made me a great fit for the fledgling department. In some cases, anything helps in the job market. Especially if you are trying to break into the industry.

Dear Sir ,
I have pursued my Bachelor’s in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering and then Post Graduation Program in Project Management from India. Based on my Project Management course I got a job as a profile of junior Project Manager in a construction cum mining company and got the opportunity to manage 2 projects ;Item rate contract and an EPC project . My role was more of an Administrative sort of ,I.e Project Planning,scheduling,accounting,inventory management etc ; non-technical , but sometimes my role was being required in the technical supports also by compiling the Standard of Procedures for Machinery operations as well. I was into this role for 19 months ( 6 days a week with 8 hours a day) . Currently, I am into a financial advisory firm from last 7 months as a role of Business Analyst.
Please advice by considering the above scenario of mine that, how CAPM will help me in wedding a good credential in my resume? Will it help me to get a good and stable job in New Zealand or Canada ?

Awaiting your sooner reply Sir

Hi Brian,

Great article!

I am based in South Africa and am considering my options to complete CAPM.

My question: I have my Bachelors Degree however do not hold any other formal qualification in Project Management. Will the content taught in the CAPM exam prep course be enough to start off with in terms of getting into the groove of PM and applying it in the workplace?

Thanks in advance

Hi Brian,

I am a new grad from 2015 and i am now working for a manufacturing company. I am interested in the project management field and I am wondering if I should go for CAPM or CSM.

I realize my experience might not be relevant to project management since I am doing quality control kind of work. Is it hard to change from manufacturing to other fields such as financial and IT?

With CAPM or CSM, do they give me greater chance to change field?


Hi Brian, I am having one year of experience dealing with small projects (RFP proj mgt), and I would like to switch to actual project management internally or outside. While I dont have the five years experience to qualify for the PMP, I was thinking CAPM for now and PMP later. Thoughts?


Hi Brian,
I have Level 5 Diploma in Computing certificate from NCC education.I really interested in project management.Does CAMP suit with me?I wanna Know some suggestions for me.Thank you

Hello Brian,

I’ve worked as a People Services Coordinator where my main responsibility was building incentive programs and boosting morale for representatives of the call center. I worked on several projects that I was over and some that I participated in. I have lots of documented projects along with photos of things I have done. I’m interested in getting my PMP but I only have two years of college and still need to complete. Without those two years of college is it still possible to do my PMP training?

I have an MBA and 10 years of corporate experience managing multiple projects as a marketing director. For the last 15 years, I have been in education to support my family. Now, I am a single Mom solely supporting a child in college and a child in high school. I have worked with recruiters to find a corporate position specifically where I am managing projects, but employers can not seem to get past the fact that I was an educator for the last 15 years. I have taken the required hours and have the requirements to sit for the CAPM. I am wondering if it will be a good choice for me and help me find a position in corporate at least on a contract basis to help better support my family financially. What are your thoughts?

I am working as a software engineer in a reputated MNC. I want to switch my career into managerial line, will CAPM exam help? I have 3.4 years of work experience as a technical.

If i am having 0-1 yrs of experience, then i think CAPM certification is worth, as it will help me to move to project management related job profiles, which will definitely help in future.

Only think i found not good is the cost of applying for CAPM certification 300$. It should be less than that money, so that cost and benefit will judge themselves.


I am working as PMO Executive from 4.5 years in Noida. I’ve done BCA from distance learning. Can you guide me about CAMP and Project Management Certifications.


I am currently 3 months from finishing my MBA with specialization in Project Management. Would this along with the course work I had to do make it eligible for the PMP certification or will I still have to go the route of CAPM first?

Thank you

Hello Brian,

I am working as a Mechanical engineer. My experience (4.5 years) is in Engineering Design. Not currently having project management exp. I have a college diploma in Manufacturing management. I am planning for Project Management Career. Is it worth taking CAMP exam or start a career in Project Management and then taking PMP.



First of all, thanks for sharing your experience in Project Management with people who are interested in. I´m studying Systems Engineering in Peru and I´m interested on Project Management. I really found useful this article and I decided to apply for CAPM. Does this certification improve my chances to get a professional practice in other parts of the world?.

Hello Brian,
Absolutely brilliant article you have posted above. I am doing my masters in computer Science as you mentioned that work experience should be required to eligible for PMP. I don’t have prior experience in project management, so I enrolled for CAPM certification then as per course structure I can do Prince2 certification as well. Then I wish to study Microsoft Project and PMI. What do you think about it? Can I have better chance to convince recruiter?
Please give me some advise about it.
Thank you.


Rakesh Khamkar.

Hi Brian,

Once I graduated,I was an helpdesk agent for nearly 3-years and now being promoted as Project Management Executive(PMO). It’s been only a month for me in this role. I would need to wait nearly 2-3 years for me to take up PMP. In this case, why not I take up CAPM and get good opportunity and experience across companies and then sit for the PMP. With this I get know about management in different companies and at the end I have a certification. Kindly advise.

Hi Brian,

Thank you so much for a detailed description of the certifications. Extremely useful! 🙂

With 13 years of overall experience, I am currently heading a business research unit consisting of 40 analysts. Looking to diversify my skill set, i want to get into PM. Since i do not have PM exp. as such, i guess CAPM would be best suited for me? Also, once i get a CAPM certification, can i also get a PMP certification from PMI after gaining PM exp. for a few years? i.e. can the same institute give me 2 certifications, or will i be stuck with CAPM? Your advise would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.

Hi Brian,

Is there a minimum/maximum time period to take the CAPM/PMP test after completing the 23/35 hours of project management education?

please advise.

Hello Brian:
Thank you for your article and I appreciate your knowledge about the difference between CAPM and PMP. What are your thoughts between the CAPM vs. CompTIA Project+.
I do not necessarily need or want to stay in IT. Does having a CompTIA Project+ hold any value? Would I be more recognized with a CAPM certification?
Thanks for your read.


I dont have 4500 hours of project management for pursuing PMP certification and i want to pursue my career into project management…will it be a good idea to go for CAPM initially, take some exp and then finally go for PMP.

please suggest.

I’ve recently graduated with a master’s degree in engineering management and want to pursue my career as a project manager. I do not have experience but i have worked on some good projects. I had advanced engineering project management subject in my course work. I believe its more than 23 hours. My question is if the CAPM certification worthy and will it help me find a good job as im an entry level candidate. And also am i eligible for taking CAPM? or should i gain experience first and then try for PMP?

Hello Brian,
Many thanks for the information shared on your blog. It’s really very informative

I have been working as one of the team members in our on-going project of deploying ERP system in our group of companies located across Asia-Pacific.
My role in the team is to deploy the Manufacturing module which includes right from Server setup, Database setup, Data administration, Module setup and customization, Developing customized reports and impart user training on the module.

After successful deployment of the module, I have to support the users as and when required.

In the team, I am one of the members but I lead the Manufacturing module. No experience of leading or managing the complete project.

This role I have been doing since past 8-10 years as it’s a big project to cover all sites of Asia-Pacific region.

Based on the above profile, what do you suggest for me- CAPM or PMP? I need your advice.
Thanks a lot and regards

Hi, wanted to leave a note of thanks, this was very helpful!
I’ve been an events/conference manager/producer for 4 years (in finance and now at a global education/development NGO) and am thinking about my next career steps. Due to the nature of the events I’ve run (3-6 months planning, lots of complexity, often combination of strategic long term goal and lots of detailed logistics work, as well as coordination of several team members and work streams per event) I’ve always thought project management work could be a natural next step in my progression.
I am still at my current job and my manager is helping me figure out where to go next, and I’ve wanted to do a professional development course that could put me onto the path of project management (and also get ideas on how we can improve our own processes that may be inspired from project management methodology).

Here in the UK there is also Prince 2 and APMP, but I would also prefer something that has more global reach so I was looking into CAPM (I’m German and don’t plan to stay in the UK for much longer). After reading your article I’m thinking that may be more of a step for me to take if I’m truly ready to leave my job and apply for proper project management roles, and I’m not there yet.

Do you have other recommendations of what kind of course I could do? The ScrumMaster things sounds interesting (as I’m maybe less looking for a strict methodology and more for training my way of thinking/structuring/problem solving based on Project Management thinking). Any tips/links etc would be appreciated!

Hi,I did B.E in Instrumentation Engineering.I am fresher and looking for job.Should i do CAPM certification course?
Will i get a job after doing CAPM Certification?

Hi Brian,

I will like to have your advice concerning doing PMP vs CAMP.
– I am currently working (now for about 5years)as what I call a project coordinator role where I am involved in several projects where these projects have their assigned project leads (PL). The PL basically starts the project (initiation phase) and during planning phase, the PL simply assigns me a number of his tasks and from there onwards, I become responsible to direct the preparation, execution, and closure of a project with the resoective customer. The closure that I do is not the complete project closure but only with respect to each customer. However, I am also involved with the PL towards the final project closure but the PL is more officially responsible for ensuring this to happen. Does been involved to this extend shows experience for the PMP exam?
– Also, what if I am executing my own personal projects (e.g. opening a computer training center for a friend, building a house project) where I am involved from initiation until closure (including financial aspects) but not having/keeping official project mamangement documents (e,g, PID, TPS, IRR etc.)or using official process tools as mentioned in PMP, are these good enough to use as experience for the PMP exam prep?

In summary, working as project coordonator as explained above + doing some of your personal projects (not exactly documenting the PMP material/tools, but applying it mentally/as you go), do you think I stand a chance to be accpeted for the PMP exam and should go Ahead?


– If I would get an opportunity from my current company to do a few projects as PL (not official but more/less as a check/PL trial), should I just wait (perhaps for a 1-1.5years) and then use both my project coordinator experience and this PL trial to apply for the PMP exam?

Hope my story is clear to be able to advice me.



I am sales professional in Analytical instruments , having Master in Polymer Chemistry & MBA in Marketing

Do you think that CAPM certification helps in the career advancement

Just stopping by to say that as a new part-time project manager, I’m intending to pursue the CAPM for now because it will take me more than 4 years at the rate I’m currently going to get enough experience for the PMP, at which point my CAPM will be ready to expire. Should I ever get laid off or my company shut down it would be good to have the CAPM for job hunting, and I can of course use the knowledge I gain now, so it seems a better value to study now than to wait until I get laid off.

I am not rich but make good enough money, and paying $300 doesn’t seem absurd for a 5 year certification – to break that down, that’s less than 2 workdays worth of money for me, or 10 dinners out. Hardly a huge sacrifice.

That being said I do see your argument completely for those for whom money is tight.

Hi Brian,

I have a bachelors in mechanical engineering, i have been working for Honda motorcycle and scooters India from past 3 and a half years particularly in procurement and utility projects,
i want to know if getting CAPM certification would enhance my career opputunities? And when i checked in PMI website on eligibility calculator it shows me that i m qualified for CAPM but not PMP, kindly pls comment

Hi Brian ,

Mine is the same case as that of navneeth. please suggest me whether I should go for a CAPM certification or not. Currently I am having 2 years of experience in Project Management & Marketing.

Hi Brian,

I have a bachelor in biotechnology engineering, and seek to pursuit a career in regulatory affairs and quality assurance, considering I am taking a post graduate diploma in this. I was thinking about taking the CAMP certification, as I seen that in some job postings ask for some project management knowledge and/or experience. My case is same as Navneeth, I want to know if getting CAPM certification is helpful?

Hey Brian,
I am a recent grad and I completed my masters in engineering management. We had a class one semester of project management. Does that count for me to give the CAPM? Or will I have to do the coursework?
Thanks in advance 😊

Hello, Brian.

I really appreciate the way you laid out the pros and cons of the CAPM certification. I currently work with the federal government in a maintenance capacity, but I am moving up within my line of work. Project management is a large part of what I could do while loosely staying in my field, but it would take me out of the field and into the office more.

I do not think that I can get more than the CAPM at this point, but after reading your article, I think that it would be a good place to start for me. I would not renew the certification, rather I would pursue the PMP certification, as per your article.

Again, thank you for laying it out in an (apparently) unbiased and honest format.

Hi Brian,

Please keep me honest. In order to get a PMP you must have a bachelors degree? If you start with a CAPM, can then move towards the PMP without the degree?

Phylicia, you do not have to have a bachelors degree to get the PMP. However, you will need 7,500 hours of project management experience if you only have a high school diploma or associates degree rather than the 4,500 hours needed with a bachelors degree.

Loved your article. I began my career as a secretary (yes, that is how old I am!) and have worked myself up the ladder to Project Administrator. I have been given the opportunity to work as a junior PM and as an assistant PM on two projects. I have now been given the opportunity to “slide into” a PM role and my boss strongly suggested I pursue the CAPM to show management I am interested in keeping the PM role and in moving forward on that track. I am tracking all my hours and hope to move to the PMP in a year or so. I think in my circumstance the CAPM will be a tremendous help.

Dear Colleen,
If you are only a year away from meeting the PMP requirements (project hours and educational requirements), I would personally advise to skip the CAPM and plan on getting the PMP in a year. Six months of study is not unusual for a PMP and by the time you get there. I would start listening to the PMPodcast by Cornelius Fitchner and he has a lot of podcasts focused on earning your PMP.

I just earned a BS in Business Operations from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.

Would any of my courses count towards the 23 hours of required PM education?

Hi Brian,

I want to Switch my accounting career to Project mgt. I have three years of experience in Fund and Cash Accounting. How CAPM will fetch a Job in Project mgt? Does the REP with PMI offer any assistance in getting a job? How this accounting experience is useful in the future?


I am professional in service operations but I want to move in project management though I have deliver any project yet neither have worked in project domain . So please advise for which certificate i should go for. My experience is 7 Years.
Isha Sharma

Hey Brian! I have approx 2 years of experience in Technical Sales in machine automation company by completing B.Tech/B.E(Electrical) in 2014. I want to come out from Sales and want to be a part of project team for becoming a good project manager. May i ask you to please give your assistance to be PMP certified as whether my this experience shall help me or not.

Hi Brian,

I am a Business Intelligence developer currently working as BI consultant and strategist for a start up in India. I have in total 5 years of work experience out of which BI is 3 years. I have handled projects like data migration, Building KPI dashboards etc. I am thinking of getting into Project Management but i am confused where to start. I was excited about CAPM when i learnt about it but after reading your article i am confused. Whether to opt for CAPM or some ITIL certification. I have experience of working with Agile for 4 years out of which 2 years was in the UK. It would be much appreciated if you could help me find out what would be the right path to take.


Dear sir thank you very much for such a nice and effective information regarding PM certifications and others. I got answer most of my questions but some are remaining as mentioned below.

1 i would like to do capm just for knoledge and to clear my brain for it right?

2 i have completed my M.S degree in project managment but still i am not clear about project managnent so CAPM will increase my knowledge …

3 i am experienced and deal some projects and could fulfill the requirment of PMP exam but i want to go from the gross root level am i right?

Hi Brian,

I have 9 years of professional PM experience managing teams of up to 50 people. I left the field in 2000 in order to pursue more flexible work arrangements while raising children. I am now interested in re-entering the field and would like to sit for the PMP in order to show employers that my skill set is deep and still relevant. However the requirements say that the PM experience must have occurred during the past 8years, which seems to indicate that the CAPM is my only option. Not sure in my case if that would actually devalue my experience. What do you suggest I do in terms of certification or skill refreshment to demonstrate my value to a potential employer?

I was wondering what your comments are based on within your article when you say, “how easy the CAPM is compared to the PMP exam”? Did you write both exams? Personally I found the CAPM solely based on the memorizing of the PMBOKS 300-400 ittos associated to the 47 processes. While i have probably half the hours towards the PMP, I figured the CAPM was a worthy achievement that shows that a person is committed to the knowledge required to manage projects properly.

There are virtually zero questions on the CAPM exam geared towards application of PM knowledge. For some it’s easier to answer the PMP style questions vs the 80 questions in the CAPM that are purely based on which tool and technique, which output, or which input and then 2 of 4 choices being very very similar. Not easy unless you can memorize the entire set of ITTOs. I get you’ll know enough to pass the test, but it is NOT “easy”.

I personally will eventually challenge the PMP once all my hours are in. But hopefully the exam is geared towards PMP knowledge application and situations vs. Memorizing a massive set of ittos. 5 years out, looking forward to it! Get the CAPM but study a lot and make sure you do all the reading or you will fail. It’s not a walk in the park like how the author has painted the picture.

Hello Brian,
I am currently working as a Small Business Banker and Private Banker for a local bank. I do not have PM experience, however I have 16 years of banking experience. My experience comprise of: operations (responsible for branch audits, new branch expansions, developing and implementing new policies and procedures at branch level operations), management (branch manager, client portfolio manager, sales manager), business development and sales. I have a college degree in economics and small business management. I want to start a career in PM preferably in banking. Is it worth taking the CAMP exam to start a career in PM? What are the future opportunities- in your opinion – for a PM career in banking? What other industries can I cross over with a CAMP certification?

Hi Brian,

This is a very interesting write-up. I am still confused whether to go with CAPM or PMP. I have worked as a Business Analyst for 5yrs in IT Industry. As per PMP requirement, I have worked on various projects for 4500hrs (all Process Groups) but not as a Project Manager. I qualify for PMP but I am not sure if I can pass the exam since I don’t have much experience on all the knowledge areas. Should I go with CAPM to start my career as a Project Manager ? or should I study and write PMP ? (Studying for PMP is not enough since most of the questions are situational based)
I am totally confused. I have started studying for PMP (Rita Mulcahy) but I am unable to answer most of the situational based questions.

Please suggest.

Dear Pruthvi,
I would say that if you meet the requirements, go ahead and apply to PMI for the PMP exam. Once you have approval to take the exam, you have one year to take and pass it. I think for most people who are starting at the beginning, it may take six months of studying before they are ready to actually take the exam.
Brian Fink, PMP

Dear Experts,

I am a QAQC professional of oil and gas sector , construction. Having 10 years of work experience .
I wish to persue a career in project management
I read about CAPM , and it says only for IT sectors .

Can anyone advise me which certification of project management is useful for this oil gas sectors EPC projects ??

Thank you


Dear Sir
I have completed master in pharmacy and currently pursuing Ph D. in pharmacy. But after completion of Ph D i want to pursue career in project management. My queries are how should i earn PMP or CAPM certification as i am not having formal experience in project management. And how should i earn PDUs required for certification?


I have a bachelors and masters degree in Audiology with 3 years as a hearing aid sales rep and 15 years as a pharmaceutical rep. I am looking to go into medical IT and am wondering what would be the advantage of either of these certifications in that industry.

A.C. you also might want to look at certs from HIMMS. I run a communications network for three hospitals and HIMMS is helping me understand how IT and healthcare mix. Brian Fink, PMP

I have 3 years experience in sales. I’ve decided to take a career move since I was recently laid off. I really love project management but currently have no project experience or a company to guide me down the right path.

I don’t have the funds to go back to school to get a BA in PM, but I do have a BA in Public Relations.

Should I go for the CAPM? Will it benefit me with getting an entry level PM job? Or do you think it’s possible to obtain a PM job regardless of certification?

Thank you,

Brian .
Hello, I am stuck on the information i have obtained regarding getting certified for project management. I have just completed my bachelor’s degree in business with a second major in project management, but i am having a dilemma in getting in to the field at this point for which i am changing careers completely.At the present time I am a automotive technician but stayed in the field to complete my studies, now i want to continue to pursue my project management career,would you have any solid advice that could help me get my foot in the door at a company or firm? I have studied all the material in my degree and each class was 3 credits upon completion so i have roughly 24 credits in project management. Would those credits allow me to take my PMP certification or do i need the hands on experience as well? Any information would be appreciated for I have been stuck in this dilemma for a while.
Thank you

Hello Brain,

Really a great article. I am still confused what to opt for,

I have completed Bachelor of science and I am having 4years of experience in Automation QA and on need basis will be working as Business Analyst and project coordinator. I have decided to pursue a course. In my case which would be much preferred either PMP or CAPM.

Kindly reply and do the needful, It would be a great help from you.

Thanks in Advance,

Hi Brian,

I’m Jen, a drilling/ completion engineer working in projects for almost 3 years now. Looking for chances to move towards the project management side or perhaps changing industry altogether. I’m wondering which of CAPM/ PMP should I opt for.

Hope to hear from you soon 🙂


Hi, Brian,

I recently received from a career source the suggestion of project management as an option for former educators. Since I don’t have the experience nor the clock hours for the PMI, I continued to search other avenues and found out about the CAPM.


What could I use from being an educator in terms of the needed hours for the CAPM?

Is it a viable careet choice for former educators (15 yrs +) to enter the PM field ?



Hi there,

I’m interested to know the value of completing the PMP training course/exam even if I am not eligible to schedule the PMI PMP exam itself?

The training course in which I’m currently registered will issue a certificate of completion of the training course.

Could successful completion of PM training help me get a job in project management?

Thanks in advance for any time/consideration/guidance anyone may be able/willing to share with me on this.

Hi Brian,

First of all, little bit background about my experience and then i will jump to the question.

I am from India and I’ve total 6 years of experience in IT as a Software Developer. Now i am planning to shift my focus to Project Management side.

I am currently working in an organization where we are following Agile framework for project management. and been with this organization from 2 years now.

So my question is, Is it better for me to get CAPM certification or I’ll be eligible for PMP as well?

Note: I have managed few small projects/team in past organizations. Can i count them as Project Management Experience?

Do let me know your feedback on this. Thanks.

Hi Brian,

This was already kind of answered earlier, but in case anything has changed…I’ve done a complete career pivot and am now an administrative assistant looking to get CAPM/PMP certified. However, I have a Bachelor’s from an unaccredited school; will this be an issue when going for PMP?

Can my MBA education be used to satisfy the 23 hours of project management education required to sit for the CAPM exam?

Hi Brian,
I’m currently working as a study coordinator for a global CRO and am looking to get into project management. I also founded a startup business currently and have been working on that for a few years. Am I able to use any experience as a biotech study coordinator or startup business experience towards a PMP? Would I need any formal education as well? Thanks for your time.


Hello Sir,

I have Planned to do as
> FRM,
> PMP-in Risk Mgmt

Please advise is it a correct way or not

Hello all,

I need a suggestion. I am doing my last semester in MBA programming. I was wondering are there any chances in the project management field to enter as a fresher?
Does this PMI help me? If yes, what certification I have to start with?

I would really appreciate all your suggestions

hello brian,
first of all I am a 2017 graduate in civil engineering, and as I am a fresher, companies are only appointing me as a junior site execution engineer, so If I complete 3 years of experience as a site engineer, would that make me eligible for PMP(with completion of 3 years of work experience) and if not then how can anyone is going to give me responsibility of project leading.?
tell me what can I do?

Good day
I see you mention that CAPM and PMP is ideal for the IT field.
What qualification do you suggest for people in the construction/engineering field?
Difference between PMBOK and Prince?

Hello Brian,

I am currently associated with Oil & Gas Industry since last 4 years and have been looking after Operations and Maintenance activities here. However, I was basically hired for Projects, which haven’t started yet.So I do not have Project experience.

Would it still be possible for me right now, before my Project begins, to earn CAPM or PMP certification?

Could you shed some light on PMI’s auditing process which ensures if the candidate is being truthful?

Hi Brian,
Great article, One situation you might need to add, is where CAPM might be the only option due to PMI window of experience limitations.
I worked over 10 years as a project manager for complex IT infrastructure projects and managing programs while leading IT departments, this was 8 years ago when I switched to more pre sales and account management with less focus on PM, nowaday, my experience for PMI is irrelevant, with RMC test I am scoring consistently over 75% as the situational questions for me are clear..
The only option left is to take the CAPM to proof to the employer that the skills are there


Hi Brian,

Nicely laid out guidelines and clarification of basic queries.
I am still to acquire pre-requisites for PMP hence I was contemplating CAPM, Agile Scrum Master or PRINCE2 Foundation certifications.

Are these courses at PAR with each other considering industry standards?

If I have to pick one of this what would you suggest?

I have 11 yrs of exp at various roles in Banking and Finance Industry. But nothing substantial in Project Management or Delivery Roles.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Shashvat, India

Hi Brian,

I would like your thoughts on my way to a Project Manager career. I’ve did Masters in Project management from Boston university and have an year of recent experience in the field(in IT domain). But now i’m back in India (a good market for project managers, coordinators) and looking for a job. Kinda confused for should i go for CAPM or PMI-ACP or PMP. I know CAPM is for freshers but will it boost my resume’s value.

I have a Bachelor’s degree and 15 years of experience in print publishing but have been out of the full-time workforce since December 2009. Although I have well over 4500 hours of PM experience to put towards the PMP much of it will be outdated by the time I am ready to take the exam. I am considering the CAPM but not sure it will be as useful or relevant to me (or of interest to a future employer) given my experience. I am also considering just taking a practical course in MS Projects software in order to transition back into the workplace and then work toward the PMP while at work. Any thoughts on how beneficial either of these two alternatives might be?

I’m wondering how useful the CAPM & PMP are for construction project managers. I’ve got 3 years of experience as a PM and it just seems like this is more geared toward project management in IT and other related business aspects.

Hey Brian!

I have a BS in Applied Statistics and have worked as a mobile and web developer since graduating for almost 2 years. I work at a very small company so I do have some project management experience, but it’s not quantifiable enough to qualify for the PMP. I want to transition to a career in project management in tech, but I’m unsure of how to do that while in my current position. It seems like it’ll be hard without certification, but I don’t want to waste time and money on a certificate that isn’t well respected or recognized. Would you consider the CAPM to be the best entry level certification for an IT project manager? Or would the CSM potentially be better?

Any advice would be very helpful! Thank you!


Hello Brian,

Hope you are doing good. I read your opinion about CAPM and PMP.
I am a Manager in recruitment industry and have more then 5 years of experience in project management. Will PMP would be helpful in my domain. Please suggest.

Thanks in anticipation,
Himanshu Saini

hi Brian.
Great article about CAPM.
Im a civil engineer with 2 years experience from India. My job responsibilities include coordinating bw consultants, vendors and site engineers for various projects pan india. Will CAPM certification help me at this stage?..
Your reply will be highly appreciated.

Dear Sir,
I am having 3.5 years of experience in managing projects in oil and gas EPC industry. I have worked independently on projects and have also handled team of 3 members in some projects. Will I be qualified for PMP examination with 3.5 years experience ?

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