10 Best project management certifications to enhance your career opportunities

Mai Xuan Truong
Best project management certifications to enhance your career opportunities

In recent years, the demand for project management is on the rise, making Project Manager a top-notch job in the labour market worldwide, bringing attractive salaries and prestige. Whether you are already in the management field or looking for a job as a Project Manager, adding a project management certification to your list of credentials to prove your values ​​and management capabilities will help you bump up your salary or get hired faster.

In this article, we will give out the list of top 10 popular project management certifications that will massively help you develop in your career path. But first, let’s look through some basic knowledge about Project Management Certifications. 

What Is a Project Management Certification?

Project Management Certification is an official document given to professionals to state that they have enough knowledge and skills to lead and manage a team to implement a project and achieve results that meet its binding requirements. Though this type of certification is not mandatory for most occupations and company positions, it is widely regarded to significantly improve credibility and bolster any resume. 

Project Management Certification Benefits

Project management certification requirements vary depending on their types, but generally speaking, applicants have to invest a considerable amount of time, money, and effort. So, some may ask themselves “Is a project management certification worth it?” If you are having this question in mind, let us show you a range of reasons why project management certification is critical to your career success. 

Project Management Certification Benefits
  1. It establishes credibility. A Project Management certification requires professionals to meet specific, stringent guidelines that measure their experience, education, and professional knowledge, thus being certified can help professionals to prove their project-managing abilities and skills.
  2. It increases your chances of getting hired. According to a Project Management Institute report, by 2020, employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management-oriented roles. Meanwhile, there is a shortage of qualified talents. Getting a project management certificate will help you attract recruiters’ notice and get hired faster.
  3. It helps you to make more money. According to surveys, professionals with project management certifications earn 20% more than non-certified project managers.
  4. It enhances your skills. To obtain a project management certification, professionals need to undergo training and a significant amount of coursework to be able to handle any aspects of the exam, which at the same time helps them improve such skills as planning, initiating, implementing, monitoring, etc.
  5. It facilitates networking. When earning a project management certification, you will have the chance to network with other certified professionals worldwide. The more people you can network with, the more chances to get a better job you’ll have. 
  6. It adds more value to the company’s growth. During the learning process to get a project management certification, you will learn the best practices and skills to optimize project management, which in turn, enhances the overall company’s performance and productivity. 

>> Read more: TOP 15 Project management software to grow your business

Top 10 most valuable project management certifications 

PMP: Project Management Professional

Ranking first in the project management certification list, PMP is considered as a gold standard and is most recognized by the majority of organizations all around the world. It allows candidates to prove their competencies at performing different roles as a project manager. 

For those who would like to pursue a PMP, the project management certification UW (University of Washington) or the project management certification TIA (The Technical Institute of America) could be great choices.

Professionals who attend PMP exams can also take online courses, which is super convenient, especially during Covid time. Some popular courses of these project management certification programs include the Simplilearn training course, Sybex, PMTraining, etc. Taking an online course for PMP costs a participant around $350.

With the prestige and the value of PMP certification that is brought to the professionals, it is understandable why this certification fee is higher than most other project management certifications. 

Organization: Project Management Institute (PMI).

Requirements: Four-year degree, 4,500 hours in leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education OR Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or equivalent), 7,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education.

Exam Fee:

For PMI member: $405

For Non-member: $555

CAPM: Certified Associate in Project Management

CAPM is a basic-level Project Management Certification for beginners. The certificate validates a candidate’s understanding of fundamental knowledge, terminology, and processes of effective project management. As CAPM is an entry-level certification, it has fewer prerequisites than other project management designations. 

Organization: Project Management Institute (PMI).

Requirements: Either 1,500 hours of project management experience or 23 hours of project management education; a secondary degree (high school diploma) or higher.

Exam fee: 

For PMI members: $225

For non-member: $300

CSM: Certified ScrumMaster

As the number of IT organizations applying agile methodologies in executing their management process continues to rise, professionals are seeking certification that helps them become a certified Scrum Master.  Obtaining a CSM means that they have received training about the Scrum framework and gained the necessary understanding of team roles, events, artifacts, rules, etc. all that help them steer the project in the right direction and guide their Scrum team to success. 

Organization: Scrum Alliance.

Requirements: Completion of a 2-day CSM course taught by Certified Scrum Trainer.

Exam fee: Included in training (~$1400).

CompTIA Project+

Like CAPM, The CompTIA Project+ is also an entry-level certification but the prerequisites are less stringent. It is designed for people who have one year of project management experience and have executed less complicated projects. This certificate provides you with a sufficient understanding of project basics, constraints, tools, documentation, and change management. 

Organization: CompTIA.

Requirements: No mandatory prerequisites to sit for the exam.

Exam fee: $329

PRINCE2 Foundation/PRINCE2 Practitioner

Projects in Controlled Environments (PRINCE2) are certifications that have been designed with a focus on directing, managing, and delivering projects across all phases, pre-project, initiation, delivery, and final delivery. There are two levels of project management certification PRINCE2: the Foundation level (entry-level) that tests basic project management terminology and methodology and the Practitioner level (advanced level) that tests those who have got the Foundation certification.

Organization: ILX Group.


For the PRINCE2 Foundation exam: No specific pre-conditions.

For the PRINCE2 Foundation exam: Proof of passing one of these: Prince2 Foundation, PMP – Project Management Professional  or CAPM- Certified Associate in Project Management, IPMA Level A/B/C/D.

Exam fee

For Foundation exam: $200

For Practitioner exam: ~$340 

APM: Associate in Project Management

Another entry-level certificate in the project management framework is the Associate in Project Management (APM). APM is an important globally recognized credential in the field of project management which demonstrates that the candidates have the required knowledge to work as an associate in handling basic-level projects. 

Organization: Project Management Institute

Requirements: No formal education or experience requirements.

Exam fee: $300

CPMP: Certified Project Management Practitioner 

If you are looking for a certificate that enables you to get hands-on experience in project management and gives you fundamental knowledge about various tools and techniques to effectively manage projects in real-time, Certified Project Management Practitioner (CPMP) is an ideal choice. The certification is designed to help applicants develop important skills to facilitate the success of any project such as technical, leadership, and management skills.

Organization: EC-Council.

Requirements: No mandatory prerequisites.

Exam fee: 

For US Resident: $225

For Non-US Resident: $300

MPM: Master Project Manager:

Conducted by the American Academy of Project Management, Master Project Manager (MPM) is suitable for not only project managers but also any individual who wants to gain technical and business project management qualities. To be qualified to take the exam, applicants need to meet the commission requirement of experience, education, industry knowledge, training, ethics, and also continuing education.

Organization: The American Academy of Project Management.


A high school diploma, an associate degree or any equivalent degree, 5-year experience in leading and directing projects, 35 hours of project management training, or education.

Exam fee: $300

PPM: Professional in Project Manager

Professional in Project Manager (PPM) is a useful certification course that encompasses different management modules to help applicants acquire key trends in project management and the standard requirements of a project manager. The skills in developing project measures, scheduling projects, and creating approaches to project management are what this certification can provide the candidates with. 

Organization: The Global Association for Quality Management.

Requirements: No formal education or experience requirements.

Exam fee: $300

CPD: Certified Project Director

Certified Project Director (CPD) is an internationally-recognized certificate granted by GAQM to senior and experienced project management executives. With this credential, project managers can prove themselves to have essential skills in handling today’s most complex projects that require abilities to manage risk, scope, quality, and budget, thus, help their team to achieve the successful completion of the projects. 

Organization: The Global Association for Quality Management, Institute of Project Management.

Requirements: Completion of a minimum of 30 hours’ professional self-development over the last 12 months, evidence of full-time equivalent of the three-year program, or portfolio leadership experience.

Exam fee: $500


Above is the list of most valuable project management certificates that will help you distinguish yourself from the rest of the uncertified candidates. Now, it’s time to kick-start your journey to achieve your project management certification and see how helpful it can be to your skill enhancements and career success!

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