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What Is the CAPM Certification? Requirements and More

What Is the CAPM Certification Requirements and More

The CAPM Certifications (Certified Associate in Project Management) certification is designed to help candidates acquire the skills needed for entry-level project management positions. It could be your first stepping stone into a career in this field.

CAPM Certification

What is the CAPM certification? 

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification is designed to prepare candidates for entry-level project management positions. It is administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the world leader in project management. At $225 for PMI members and $300 for non-members, it can be used as a stepping stone to a Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification.

CAPM requirements

To take the CAPM exam, you will need:

  • A secondary degree is defined as a high school diploma, GED, associate degree, or world equivalent
  • 23 hours of project management training completed prior to exam time.

CAPM certification costs

The CAPM requires passing one exam. The exam is priced as follows, as of July 2022:

  • Non-PMI members: $300
  • PMI members: $225

PMI membership costs $129 annually plus a one-time $10 registration fee. This brings your total CAPM certification to $364 as a new member. Membership offers benefits such as free downloads of Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guides, reduced costs for other career advancement certifications, and access to the Project Management Job Board.

A $257 student package is also available if you are a full-time student in an accredited degree program. This includes a $32 membership fee and the cost of her CAPM exam. You can also contact faculty members who teach project management courses at your school to see if they have a bulk purchase agreement with PMI. This will save you even more money. If you are employed and you think a CAPM would be beneficial to your employer, please contact your manager to find out if your organization will cover the cost of testing and training.

Is the CAPM worth it?

CAPM is generally considered an entry-level project management qualification. So how do you decide it’s worth the effort? There are a few things to consider.

CAPM salary and jobs

A CAPM can prepare you for entry-level project management positions such as project coordinator, junior project manager, and associate project manager. Project management is a highly sought-after skill and growing career field. Burning Glass Technologies reports that from March 2019 to February 2020, more than 280,000 entry-level project management positions were advertised. The report also found that the number of these jobs increased by 51% from 2017 to 2019. A report published by PMI, the project-based job market, is forecast to grow by 33%, which equates to 22 million new jobs, and by 2027 employers will have nearly 88 million projects. You will need management.

According to Payscale, Certified Associates in Project Management earn an average salary of $67,911 in the United States as of July 2022. Below are some of the average salaries for positions listed by CAPM in job postings collected by Payscale. The Project Management Institute found that employees with project management skills earn more than those without project management skills. found that they earn 22% more.

Project Coordinator$52,014
Junior project manager$63,582
Associate project manager$60,278
Project analyst$64,501
Project manager$67,911
Project control specialist$74,645


The Project Management Professional (PMP) credential is also managed by PMI. CAPM is generally considered an entry-level certification, while PMP is considered a professional-level certification. Also, PMP is much more popular than his CAPM and he has over 1 million PMP owners worldwide. Below is a quick summary of those differences.

Who’s it for?Entry-level project managersThose with at least three years of project management experience
Jobs postings that mention certification on Indeed (July 2022)1,94342,240
RequirementsSecondary degree, plus 23 hours of project management education35 hours of project management training (can be replaced with CAPM), and 36 months of experience leading projects with a four-year degree, or 60 months with a secondary degree
Average US salary (from Payscale, July 2022)$67,000$111,000
Cost$300 for non-PMI members, $225 for PMI members$555 for non-PMI members, $405 for PMI members
Exam3 hours, 150 questions3 hours 50 minutes, 180 questions

Should I get the CAPM or PMP?

If you have little or no project management experience, a CAPM certification makes sense as an entry-level certification. A great way to step into the field or take on a more project management-oriented role at work. Your decision should depend on your individual goals. It’s also good to know about exam costs and other options. If you have 3+ years of project management experience, PMP is worth considering.

CAPM training

To train for the CAPM exam, you can study on your own or enroll in a course. Here is a brief description of two online training courses.

Project Management Basics

What You Need to Know: Project Management Basics is a course offered by PMI to prepare you for CAPM. Lessons are 20-minute online modules that can be accessed in any order. This course is based on the content of the PMI Project Management Guide A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) and includes a free digital copy of the guide.

Price: $400 for non-PMI members, $350 for PMI members

Google Project Management: Professional Certificate

What you need to know: The Google Project Management: Professional Certificate includes 6 courses covering different aspects of project management, including project initiation, project planning, and agile project management. Completing the coursework also earns a professional certificate and qualifies him for over 100 hours of project management training to use for his PMI certification requirements, including CAPM. A certificate is not an official CAPM training course.

Pricing: $39/month subscription with 1-week free trial (subject to change).

The CAPM exam

The CAPM exam has 150 questions and takes 3 hours to complete. Of these questions, 15 are “pre-test” questions. These are used by PMI to test future exam questions, appear randomly during the test, and do not count towards your score. The CAPM exam is based on the content of the 6th edition of the PMBOK Guide. The breakdown of exam topics in Chapter 13 of the PMBOK Guide is as follows:

  1. Introduction to Project Management: 6%
  2. Project Environment: 6%
  3. Role of the Project Manager: 7%
  4. Project Integration: 9%
  5. Project Scope: 9%
  6. Project Schedule: 9%
  7. Project Cost: 8%
  8. Project Quality: 7%
  9. Project Resource: 8%
  10. Project Communication: 10%
  11. Project Risk: 8%
  12. Project Procurement: 4%
  13. Project Stakeholder: 9%

Getting started

An entry-level project management certification, CAPM is a great way to build the skills you need to gain a foothold in the world of project management. When you’re ready to get started, check out the Certified Associate in Project Management course. The first week is free.

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