When should one plan for PMP certification?

PMP being the most famous certification in the area of Project Management has many aspirants preparing for it and aspiring for it. The one question which troubles most of beginners in their PMP journey is “What is the right time to plan for PMP”, “When should one plan for it”.

In this article I shall try to touch upon multiple facets of this question. Though it looks very easy to answer this, if one wants to gain maximum out of this certification, aspects discussed in this article will help

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When should one plan for PMP?

A million dollar question and the first answer everyone will give is just meet the eligibility criteria and go for it that’s it.

Is that’s it? No, there are many other things which we skip and then get effects of it like we may flung in exam, take long to understand concept, concepts are not understood but crammed for the sake of exam etc..

Then what are the things one need to look at? Below is a snapshot of it.

Things to look out for taking PMP exam

Let’s look at these aspects one by one

Hands on practical knowledge

When I say hands on practical knowledge, what I mean is actual Project Management experience. Why this is needed?

If you try to jump to PMP without having enough of it, you will feel it very difficult to grasp and digest the concepts. Though there is cap of eligibility also to show experience, some people working as lead can showcase this experience hours but to get maximum out of PMP, if you would have practical project manager experience or if you have managed one or two projects, it will help

This experience will make you aware about many concepts naturally and after that once you start preparing for PMP, few concepts can be related very well.

Readiness for more work load

This is not something for PMP certification but to take maximum advantage of it. Generally, some people are so eager to do certification that they missed the point/goal of doing it.

One shouldn’t invest the time & money in PMP if s/he not ready to take more work load which is expected from a Project Manager. This transition is not easy to do and need lot of work commitment.

So if you are ready for it and aspire for it, go ahead and do the certification otherwise, no point completing certification in so much advance.

Looking for Promotion in current Organization

Certification without motive will not be that fruitful. General tendency of PMP certification is when one has some motive. One of that is aspiring for promotion/role growth in the organization. Definitely among a big lot only few are promoted. PMP can give you that differentiator.

When I say this, I am not confirming that only PMP certification will ensure you this However PMP will definitely rank you above those who are not holding these credentials.

You may still need to qualify yourself and top few where PMP can lift you above all and mark you for higher roles. So if you aspire for promotion, this is the right time for PMP

Planning for switch in job for managerial position

This point is elaboration or next step of last point. Sometimes, whatever you do, you don’t get that visibility in current organization due to some or the other reason. The next option is to look out.

In your current organization, people around you have seen your work and know your abilities but in a new organization, your profile need some kind of confirmation to your management skills. PMP helps there.

In today’s job market, for managerial roles job description, PMP is there for sure. Organizations look for it and as far as looking out for management roles is concerned you need it for sure. So if you aspire for switching to another organization, this is the right time for PMP.

Meeting Eligibility Criteria

Now coming back to the basics, you definitely need to meet the eligibility criteria. Actually if you have understood above points well, by the tie you will plan for PMP, you automatically will fulfil the major part of the eligibility criteria

  • The candidate must have a total 4500 hours of unique experience (in case of Bachelor’s/Equivalent University Degree)


  • The candidate must have a total 7500 hours (in case of High School Diploma/Equivalent Secondary School).
  • The candidate must have 35 hours of education by any R.E.P (Registered Education Provider of PMI®)

This clearly shows that PMI doesn’t want people who haven’t worked at all in management activities to go for PMP. Reason for that is very simple, it won’t give them expected ROI for the time and money spent.

Also it will be very difficult for people without experience to understand and digest the concepts.

Can devote time for study

PMP is not like any other certification where you attend the training program and you are sure of getting it. I also don’t believe that it’s a very tough certification as people have told about it.

What it needs is, a focused approach and time to understand the concepts. There is another article on PMP preparation which you can refer for the plan but for the scope of this article, you may need to ensure you have time when you plan for PMP.

The mistake which individuals do, they are not having time due to work and personal commitments and they go for exam half prepared. This can be fatal. It’s not tough to get PMP but quality time and a focused approach will take you there.


Planning for PMP at right time is important to get maximum return on investment for the time and money you spent. The points discussed in this article will help you in this journey and will ensure you are on the right path.

I always say one thing, you are best judge for yourself and you know when you are ready for it. If you start preparing for PMP and feel it’s not your cup of tea as you don’t have any knowledge on subject. Take a pause and get what it needed.

Journey of PMP should be enjoyable and so that you can learn and implement the learned stuff

We at Whizlabs are aimed to help you in having a bright career and so we bring project management certifications online training and practice tests.

So, join us today and take a step ahead towards bright project management career!

About Aditi Malhotra

Aditi Malhotra is the Content Marketing Manager at Whizlabs. Having a Master in Journalism and Mass Communication, she helps businesses stop playing around with Content Marketing and start seeing tangible ROI. A writer by day and a reader by night, she is a fine blend of both reality and fantasy. Apart from her professional commitments, she is also endearing to publish a book authored by her very soon.

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