Is PMP Worth It

Is PMP® Worth It?

Is the PMP® Certification worth it in 2021? One of the most powerful advantages of being a Project Manager is that it is a skill set not confined to any industry or business type. The Project Management Institute (PMI) research indicates that project management-oriented careers in seven sectors are expected to grow by 33%, or nearly 22 million jobs, through 2027. Although this certification is not mandatory, it can help you to stand out from your peers in an extremely competitive job market where there are more candidates

In the next seven years, employers will need 88 million people for project management jobs; that is great news for job seekers and also indicative of a very competitive landscape. All levels and tenures of Project Managers should actively seek training and Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification to maintain their professional edge.

Who Manages the PMP® Certification?

PMI is a global non-profit organization formed in 1969, uses education, networking and standardized resources to manage project management standards for over 3 million members and over 1 million active certification holders, including the prestigious Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification.

PMI’s primary goal is to improve the practice of project management worldwide and increase the value that project managers bring to their organizations.

Is the PMP® Worth It? How the Certification Boosts Careers

Is the PMP® worth it? If you are driven to advance your project management career at a bigger company or with high-budget/complex projects, then the PMP® worth it! The PMP® certification can help make that happen. Research from the PMI and third-party employment sites (e.g. provides insights into the specific benefits enjoyed by PMP® certification holders no matter the industry in which they practice:

  • Adds value to resume
  • Confirms industry recognition
  • Validates skills and knowledge
  • Increases income potential
  • Expands professional networking
  • Increases employment opportunities
  • Demonstrates focus on profession
Is PMP Worth It? Benefits from Earning a PMP Certification

Some suggest that the PMP® certification is “the most significant, industry-recognized certification for project managers worldwide.”

Speaking from my own 25+ year career, including as a hiring manager, contractor, and fulltime employee, I have seen how industry credentials can open career doors. When multiple qualified applicants are being reviewed for that single job opening, education and Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification can be the differentiator.

In the annual survey report (2021), the PMI collected self-reported data from 32,000 Project Managers from 42 countries indicating that those with a PMP® certification earn 22% more.

Studying for the PMP Exam?

What Industries Have Project Managers?

Transportation, healthcare, technology, construction, manufacturing, marketing, banking, architecture, and information technology are a few industries with active Project Management careers. In fact, CIO magazine listed the PMI’s PMP® certification in its top 13 Project Management Certifications. Within the provided November 2020 job listings example from for U.S. Project Managers, major companies from very different industries have active job listings.


The wide range of industries seeking Project Managers is good news for those in the profession. It also means that the standards for experience and qualifications are higher and competition for jobs fiercer. Those that earn and maintain their Project Management Professional (PMP ®) certification will qualify for more advanced jobs and likely enjoy more choices in job openings.

Individuals with a PMP® certification secure jobs in all types of organizations. Organizations such as Google, NASA, and IBM also employ Project Managers to handle their projects. Where there are projects, there is a need for skilled Project Managers to manage the work. Where there is demand, supply naturally follows; which means more individuals pursuing PMP® certification. So, ask yourself – is it worth getting the PMP certification?

Salary Impact of PMP® Certification

There is a lot of data around Project Management jobs, encompassing the many titles for the skill set, and comparing those with professional certifications and without. In the leading job posting site,, their November 5, 2020, data reflects input from 23.4 salaries reported:

The average annual salary for a project manager in the U.S. is $ 86,087 with a $ 13,500 bonus for total compensation of $99,587.

The PMI’s 11th edition of Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, 32,000+ project managers from 42 countries includes an interactive map of earning potential across the globe.

The PMI’s salary data is significant for its global reach and that the 82% of respondents with PMP® certification earn an average 22% more than counterparts without it. The PMI states that in the U.S., the median salary for Project Managers is $ 116,000.

Is PMP Worth It? The Salary Report is available in the PMI Portal

Access to the salary report data base is available to PMI members and includes breakdowns by title and geographic regions. As of November 2020, the PMI reports average salary with bonus for the US as shown.

Is PMP Worth It? PMI's 2019 Salary Report seems to indicate that it's worth pursuing a PMP Certification
2019 Average Salary for Project Managers (includes bonuses)

Is the PMP® Certification worth it? Can It Advance Your Career?

Project Managers are passionate, driven types who guide work from mere ideas to finalized deliverables, products, and services. No matter the industry in which you practice your Project Management skills, having a current Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification is definitive evidence of your focus on being the best.

Is the value that’s in a PMP certification worth it in 2021? Yes, the PMP® certification is a validation of your competence in ten knowledge areas and process groups that define the project environment. It provides you with an internationally recognized standard for your experience and skills and adds measurable value to your resume. More than 1,000,000 individuals worldwide are PMPs and it’s growing by the year.

In the end, with all the added effort that it takes, the question of whether or not the PMP is worth it is up to you. You can find out if the PMP® is worth it by answering these questions:

  • Is the PMP certification really worth it for you?
  • Is it important enough that you’ll commit the time and effort to obtaining this credential?
  • Is your profession one that will appreciate the validation of your career achievement through this exam?

If you answer yes to any of those questions, then the PMP® is definitely worth it. The PMP® certification definitely requires hard work and study, yet the long-lasting career and salary potential possible only with a PMP® certification make it worth the effort for anyone wanting to advance their career.

Upcoming PMP Certification Training – Live & Online Classes

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Megan Bell
Megan Bell