What is the CAPM Certification and How Do I Earn It?
It is no secret that anyone can call themselves a "Project Manager". And when employers do not demand a certification, it can be disastrous.
When a project goes correctly, especially in construction or software implementation, hardly anyone notices. Why? Because the client or customer expected it to be flawless or they would have done it themselves.
But when a project is not so smoothly implemented, everyone affected notices and word of mouth spreads like wildfire.
For more entry level project managers or even those a couple of years into their career, there is a certification that can really make you standout from the rest of the pack. Regardless of industry you are in. That is the Certified Associate in Project Management or CAPM Certification administered by the Project Management Institute.
It is a lower level certification than the Project Management Professional, or PMP Certification, and it is meant for junior to mid-level project managers. However, on a relative scale, it's a lucrative certification that can put a huge boost on ones career trajectory.
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PMI describes it this way:
"Regardless of your career stage, the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® is an asset that will distinguish you in the job market and enhance your credibility and effectiveness working on — or with — project teams. Organizations with standardized practices attain better results, as shown in our 2015 Pulse of the Profession® report. Because the CAPM® recognizes your knowledge of the profession’s preeminent global standard, you’ll stand out to employers and be poised to move ahead. Project management is a rapidly growing profession. Through 2020, 1.57 million new jobs will be created each year and qualified practitioners are in demand. With the CAPM, you’ll be on the fast track to opportunity."
The certification is good for five years and then you must either retest or move up to the PMP.
The cost of the exam is $225 for PMI members and $300 for non-members. Exams are normally taken at testing center but PMI announced that the exam can be taken from the comfort of ones home online. See more about this update here.
To sit for the examination, you must possess the following:
- Minimum of a High School Diploma
- 1,500 hours of project experience OR
- 23 hours of project management education which we can provide
The CAPM is less situational than the PMP and is more strictly a what do you know type of test based on the "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge" or PMBOK Guide currently in its sixth edition.
Th exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions of which 135 are scored. The other 15 questions, which you will not know which ones are which, are practice questions for possible inclusion in future tests. There is a time limit of three hours to take the test.
•6% of questions in Introduction to Project Management•6% of questions in Project Environment•7% in Role of the Project Manager•9% in Project Integration Management•9% in Project Scope Management•9% in Project Schedule Management•8% in Project Cost Management•7% in Project Quality Management•8% in Project Resource Management•10% in Project Communication Management•8% in Project Risk Management•4% in Project Procurement Management•9% in Project Stakeholder Management