Do you work in a position where you do a lot of project management work but do not hold
the title of Project Manager? Do you have several years of experience performing project
management activities as part of a team? If either of these scenarios apply to you then maybe
you are also wondering how you can tell if you are eligible to take the Project Management
Many people and companies alike see holding the PMP® Certification as a pathway to earning
the title of Project Manager. If finding out if you are eligible to take the PMP exam is on your
professional to-do list, just follow the simple 4-step approach outlined here to determine if you
are in fact eligible to take the PMP Exam.
Step 1: Read the PMP Handbook.
Click here to download and read the PMP® Handbook produced by the Project Management
Pay close attention to the sections that cover eligibility requirements and the application
process. It is in the eligibility requirements section that you will find information regarding exam
requirements as they relate to educational background, project management experience, and
project management specific education in order to qualify to take the PMP® Exam.
In the section covering the application process you will find out how your experience is
counted when applying to take the PMP® Exam. The thing to remember about experience is
that it should relate to your actual work responsibilities not your job title. So if your job title is
something like “Network and Implementation Specialist” don’t get discouraged, PMI is only
interested in the project management responsibilities you have had not the title you held.
Step 2: Read the PMP Examination Content Outline.
Click here to download and read the PMP® Examination Content Outline which is also from
As you review the tasks described within the outline you should recognize many of them as
tasks that you normally complete as part of your own work in managing projects. This outline
covers what a Project Manager does, which is what would make you eligible to take the PMP®
Don’t worry if you have not been responsible for 100% of the tasks defined within the outline. It
is doubtful anyone ever has. However, you should have been responsible for the majority of the
tasks defined in the outline in order to meet the eligibility requirements for the PMP® Exam.
Step 3: Compare.
After working through steps 1 and 2 to gain a clear understanding of the education, experience,
and responsibility requirements to qualify for the PMP® Exam grab a copy of your resume and
look for areas of overlap. If you are like many people who don’t typically update their resume
at the completion of each project, take some time to create a responsibilities list to document
everything you were responsible for since your last resume update.
If you have copies of project charters from the projects you have managed and they have
a clearly defined responsibilities section they can be very helpful when trying to recall and
accurately document responsibility areas and tasks for old projects. Plus you will need all of this
information to complete the application for the PMP® Exam anyway so it’s a good idea to gather
Then ask yourself these questions:
- Do I meet the eligibility requirements from step 1?
- Does my resume, or my responsibilities list, reflect the majority of the tasks from step 2?
- Can I honestly say to myself ‘Yes. I meet these criteria’?
If your answer is “Yes” to all three, then you are most likely eligible.
Step 4:Contact PMI Customer Care.
If you have any doubts concerning your eligibility then contact PMI’s customer care department
Following the simple 4-step approach outlined here will allow you to determine for yourself if
you are eligible to take the PMP® Exam. Plus all of the information you have gathered such as
education, experience hours, and areas of responsibilities will all be very valuable when you
start the application process.
Another excellent resource to learn about PMP® Exam eligibility is the YouTube video
How to prepare for your PMP Exam Step 1: Assess Your Eligibility. It discusses the project
management experience hours required depending on your educational background, and the
project management training hours required to be eligible to take the PMP® Exam. It also
clarifies the difference between project management experience hours and project management
training hours and explains the number 1 reason why you should become a PMI member before
applying for the PMP Exam.
About the author: Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM is a noted PMP expert. He has helped nearly
25,000 students prepare for the PMP exam with The Project Management PrepCast and offers
one of the best PMP exam simulators on the market.