Project management involves planning and managing a project to complete its listed goals and deliverables. It manages risks and utilizes careful resource management, smart budgeting, and clear communication across multiple teams and stakeholders. As a result, earning project management certifications is a great way to boost a business management career.
To be a professional in project management, you don’t need a four-year degree, although it’s never a waste. Essentially, certifications in project management enable you to land a better job quickly. Hence, this article discusses the highest-paying project management certifications capable of setting you on track with career aspirations in the field.
What Is a Professional Certification?
A professional certification serves as proof that a person has the required industry skills, knowledge, and qualifications to perform a particular task according to specific standards. In addition, professional organizations or institutions mostly award such certifications after a professional shows proficiency and technical expertise in a certain field.
What’s the Difference Between Certification and a Certificate?
The difference between a certificate and a certification is that a certificate is proof of an educational process and could be a means to getting a higher degree. On the other hand, certification is proof of passing a certification exam and meeting industry standards.
Because national organizations often issue certifications, they are standardized. These certifications also give a chance for people to become members of such national organizations and even offer exam fee discounts to members.
Why Is Certification in Project Management Important?
A certification in project management is important because you get an impartial endorsement that affirms your ability to manage quality projects effectively. The certification also affords you specific career benefits, including higher pay and opportunities to handle complex projects.
Best Project Management Certifications by Salary
|Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)||Project Management Institute (PMI)||$128,000||$800 (member); $1,000 (non-member)|
|Program Management Professional (PgMP)||Project Management Institute (PMI)||$122,000||$800 (member); $1,000 (non-member)|
|PMI Agile Certified Practitioner||Project Management Institute (PMI)||$115,000||$435 (member); $495 (non-member)|
|Professional in Project Management (PPM)||Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM)||$111,000||$340 (premium); $100 (standard)|
|Project Management Professional (PMP)||Project Management Institute (PMI)||$111,000||$405 (member); $555 (non-member)|
|Certified ScrumMaster||Scrum Alliance||$110,000||$770|
|Master Project Manager (MPM)||American Academy of Project Management (AAPM)||$97,000||$300|
|Certified Project Manager||International Association Of Project Managers (IAPM)||$83,000||$499|
|CompTIA Project+||CompTIA Project Co.||$72,000||$348|
|Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)||Project Management Institute (PMI)||$67,000||$225 (member); $300 (non-member)|
Best Project Management Certifications to Further Your Career
How to Choose the Best Project Management Certification for Your Career
Before you choose a project management certification, there are certain things you should look out for. We will explain three things you should consider before you choose the best project management certification for you.
Identify the Cost
Your certification program can cost a lot of money depending on the provider. It is a safe option to get an estimate of the certification’s cost and the fees for induction and projects before enrolling so that you can decide whether it is within your budget.
Consider the Certification Provider and its Accreditation
Making sure the certification provider is accredited correctly is very important. Accreditation is evidence that the certification provides value to its holders. Thus, its absence should be a red flag for you. It could compromise the quality of your education, and you may be unable to get your dream job because you earned your credential from an unaccredited certification provider.
Check the Job Outlook
You should do proper research on the employment outcomes of your proposed certification program before applying. Generally, students who earn their project management certifications from well-known certification providers have better employment outcomes than others.
Which Project Management Certifications Pay the Most?
The project management certifications that pay the most include Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP), Program Management Professional (PgMP), PMI Agile Certified Practitioner, Professional in Project Management (PPM), and Project Management Professional (PMP).
Highest-Paying Project Management Certifications
- Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP): $128,000
- Program Management Professional (PgMP): $122,000
- PMI Agile Certified Practitioner: $115,000
- Professional in Project Management: $111,000
- Project Management Professional (PMP): $111,000
Which Project Management Certifications Are the Best for Beginners?
The project management certifications that are best for beginners include PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management, CompTIA Project+, and Google Project Management Certificate. They are best because they cover basic project management skills like project constraints, communication, team management, project tools, and documentation.
Best College Certificate Programs
How to Prepare for Your Project Management Certification Exam
To prepare for your project management certification exam, you need certain resources and study courses. The following section discusses the best courses and resources worth considering during your project management exam prep.
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Best Courses to Prepare for Project Management Certification Exams
There are various courses you can study to prepare for your project management certification exams. Some of these project management certification courses include IT Project Management for Beginners, Foundations of Product Management, Introduction to Product Management, and The Basics of Success in Project Management.
Other Resources to Prepare for Your Project Management Certification Exams
Apart from taking courses to prepare for your project management certification, you can use other resources. These resources include books, websites, project management blogs, and online communities. In the section below, we will explore some resources that would be helpful for your exam preparation.
Mind Map: PMP Certification
Simplilearn, an online certification training course provider, prepared this ebook on the PMP that summarizes the various topics and syllabus you need to prepare to make study sessions easier. The book includes PMP revision tips, key project management, and PMP modules.
Mind Map: PMP Certification Overview
- Type of Resource: Ebook
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: People who want to prepare for the PMP certificate exam
The Rebel’s Guide to Project Management
Operated by Elizabeth Harrin, this blog serves as a project management tool for providing valuable solutions to help you manage your projects. It also comes in handy if you’re juggling multiple projects and need time-saving productivity tips for developing an efficient project schedule.
The Rebel’s Guide to Project Management Overview
- Type of Resource: Website
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: People who would like to learn about productivity tips, leadership, and basics of project management
Project Management Methodologies & Frameworks for Remote Teams
This is an ebook for those who want entry-level project management certifications. Concepts such as methodology, framework, and identifications of project management are broken down into bite-sized explanations for ease of comprehension.
Project Management Methodologies & Frameworks for Remote Teams Overview
- Type of Resource: Ebook
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: People who would like to take a crash course in project management
Project Manager Community – LinkedIn
This online community is the largest project management group on LinkedIn. You’ll understand new approaches to project management, job opportunities, and project management certifications such as Agile, Scrum, PMP, and Prince2.
Project Manager Community – LinkedIn Overview
- Type of Resource: Online Platform
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: People who want to learn about getting a project management certification and job opportunities
This blog publishes articles, book reviews, and other things related to project management challenges, like email productivity and building trust in your team. It also publishes software reviews and training resources for gaining mastery in the field of project management.
- Type of Resource: Website
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: People interested in project management challenges, email productivity, and top industry trends
Best Online Courses
Project Management Job Outlook and Average Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary of someone with a certification in project management, such as a management analyst, is between $81,000 and $100,000. This range depends on the industry in which the management analyst works.
In addition, the job outlook for project managers has a 14 percent growth projection in the next decade, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Essentially, over 90,000 jobs will be available within that period.
Best Project Management Jobs After Certification
A certification in project management opens up several career paths and employment opportunities across multiple industries. In the sections below, we’ll look at some of the best project management jobs after certification.
Best Project Management Associations
There are various project management associations you can join after earning your certification in project management. These associations can take the form of conferences, social media communities, or traditional memberships. In the section below, we will look at three of these associations.
Program Management Institute (PMI)
The Project Management Institute (PMI) stands as one of the most popular projects management associations. It has over 700,000 members and over 300 local chapters worldwide. Its membership model is more traditional in that it offers resources and networking opportunities.
Association for Project Management (APM)
Association for Project Management (APM) is an association globally representing the project management profession. It has a community of over 35,000 individual members and over 500 corporate partnerships. Furthermore, its qualifications offer access to achieving the Chartered Project Professional (ChPP) status, recognizing the competence and success of project professionals.
Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM)
Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) is an organization made up of nearly 8,000 members with a goal to help you advance your career in project management. The institute provides you with certification and exclusive resources to improve your project management and leadership skills, which add to your program management experience.
Are Project Management Certifications Worth It?
Yes, project management certifications are worth it. As a certificate holder, you are highly valued and accepted globally, and you have an additional advantage over your formal education. In addition, certification providers guarantee that holders have enough hands-on experience and fundamental knowledge to earn the certification.
Additional Reading About Project Management
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Project Management Certifications FAQ
Yes, you can be a project manager without certification. To be able to achieve this, you must have accumulated years of experience in project management. As much as earning a certification or degree in project management is excellent, it doesn’t beat hands-on project management experience.
There are numerous certifications you can get in the field. As a beginner, you can take certifications such as Project Management Institute’s Certified Associate in Project Management and CompTIA Project+. For those who have project management experience, you can take the PMI’s Project Management Professional or the GAQM’s Certified Project Director program.
Like any other certification, earning a project management certification requires a lot of preparation and mock exam practice. It is a demanding certification to obtain, but it is not unattainable. Note that if you are unprepared and unfamiliar with the curriculum, there is a high chance of failing an exam.
There is no specific number of certifications a project manager needs. You can earn as many as you would like as long as they help you in project management practice. If you are enthusiastic about gaining qualifications in project management, you can enroll in an online project management bachelor’s degree program.
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