Do You Know 7 Differences Between CAPM Vs PMP Certification Exam?

You would be looking to know the differences between CAPM and PMP certification exams. You may want to know which will give you a better salary and is good for your career. Let me tell you that both exams have their own significance and its not a question of CAPM vs PMP.

Don’t worry! I will clear your confusion which you generally have while making the decision about certification. Which certification to take CAPM or PMP? Before taking this decision you must be well aware of what a particular certification entails, what is its requirements. And after knowing all the factors then decision according to your choice.

Project Management Certifications


Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), it is introduced in 2003. The CAPM exam is an entry-level exam based on project management publication by PMI. The CAPM exam is for those who have less experience and want to work in project management. It is an indication that you are a knowledgeable person in project management.

CAPM is an entry level exam.

If you are having some basic knowledge regarding project management then this exam is for you. If you want to apply for CAPM then you should be well aware of its requirements, education, and experience. That we will discuss further.


Project Management Professional (PMP), is one of the renowned certifications in project management. It is also introduced by the project management institute(PMI). PMP certification has different requirements which are higher than the other certificate needs.

PMP is an advanced level certification.

It is an advanced level certification for professionals who are leading some projects or part of some projects. PMP certification needs good education and experience.

What is the Pattern for the Examination?

Both these exams are different as their standard are far different from each other. So let’ start with CAPM.
CAPM comprises of multiple choice questions like that of PMP but their level is different. In this exam questions are from PMBOK guide. There are 150 multiple choice questions and a 3 hours duration time. The cost for non-members is around $300 and for members its around $225. You need to do a  good self-study to crack the exam.

PMP exam also comprises of multiple choice questions. There are 200 questions and 25 pretest questions, they are based on PMBOK guide and project management experience. The level of difficulty is high as compare to CAPM. Most considered this exam as difficult and want to pursue the course to prepare for the exam. The cost of the exam for PMI members is around $405 and for non-PMI members is around $555.

What are the Requirements?

CAPM Requirements

You should have a high school diploma or equivalent with 1500 hours of professional experience on a project team or you should have 23 contact hours of project management education. Now coming to the exam pattern CAPM exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions. The duration for the exam is 3 hours.

As compared to the PMP exam this exam considers to be easy as you can crack this exam by studying PMBOK guide only. CAPM is a good exam when you have less experience and you couldn’t qualify for the PMP requirements then this option is best for you, of course, you can go for PMP exam after CAPM for more professional growth and gain more expertise.

PMP Requirements

There are two major requirements-

I. Project Management Experience

  • If you are a bachelor’s degree or secondary degree holder then you need 4500 hours of project management experience.
  • If you are a secondary degree holder then you need 7500 hours of project management experience.
    By project management experience it means that you must have experience in leading some project or part of some project, performing project leading tasks defined by PM guidelines.

II. Project Management Training

35 contact hours professional training.

You need project management training it means 35 contact hour. You should complete 35 contact hours formal project management training. Now, you must come across the word contact hour so one contact hour is equal to one classroom instruction. You can add multiple training program hours together to complete 35 contact hours and you can also add educational hours from college programs.

When you fulfill these requirements then you are eligible to apply for PMP.

Which Certification Is Better?

As a project manager, PMP certification is very beneficial to your career. In a broad range of industries, project managers are in high demand. Being PMP adds a big plus to your resume and have better job opportunities. This will take you to a higher earning potential than those without.

This certification makes you a better project manager. The knowledge and experience which you gain through PMP make you an ideal manager with fine knowledge and experience that one need to lead a project. This prepares you to face challenges that come your way and you will have a long-term secure job in your field.

CAPM, a very helpful and incredible certification. While CAPM benefits are not quite as extensive as PMP but its worth the time and investment. If u decide this certification is for you.

If your goal is to pass the PMP exam then CAPM sets a path to your journey to the PMP exam. It improves your chances and increases your potential for the experience needed for PMP. It improves your credibility over other employees.

This certification makes you a better project manager.

Another benefit of CAPM is that it makes you a better project manager by improving your knowledge and understanding to the field whether you want to take a PMP exam or not.

How Much Can You Earn?

PMP certified candidates get higher scale than CAPM certified candidates. PMP is a higher level certification with good experience in project management compared to others. Project management professionals are in high demand. So it’s a growing and developing field.

Preparation For The Examination

There are many guidelines for preparing PMP and CAPM exam but it is worth to take a course or boot camp. For preparation, you must have the latest copy of the PMBOK guide. If you are a registered member in any of the course of PMI’S then you will get the additional benefit, the exam version of the guide will be included and also other useful materials.

Prepare from the PMBOK guide.

Practice exams are an important part of preparation giving you more confidence and let you know that on which area you need to focus more. It tells your weaknesses and area of your strength.

Content For The Examination Of Certified Associate in Project Management

There are ten knowledge areas which are defined in the PMBOK guide and you get questions from every domain. Here is the percentage defined under-:

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

Content For The Examination of Project Mangement Professional

  1. Initiation (13%)
  2. Planning (24%)
  3. Execution (31%)
  4. Monitoring and Control (25%)
  5. Closing (7%)

Validity For The Exam

PMP certification is valid for 3 years. You need not to give the exam again to maintain its validity all you have to do is maintain 60 PDU’s for every 3 years. CAPM certification is valid for 5 years. For the validity of this exam, you have to give the exam again after 5 years.


By reading this you will get to know both the certification is very beneficial for those who want to make their career in project management. This certification tends to be a valuable asset to your career and increase your knowledge. It totally depends on you which certification you want to take.

If you met the requirement and experience for PMP, then prepare for the exam by joining course or training and successfully complete it.

If you do not have much experience and could not qualify PMP requirements then CAPM is the best option. This certification begins your journey in project management. Prepare well for this exam through online or offline medium according to your comfort and crack the exam. You will get benefited a lot.

Over to You

What you think which certification will suit your requirements and give you a better career. PMP or CAPM? Write your thoughts in the comment section below.

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