PM Certifications: Which is Right for You?

PM certifications

Are you preparing for your project management certifications? By now, you may already have a good understanding of what project management is. When you manage a project, you apply your knowledge, techniques, skills, and tools to the activities of the project in order to meet its requirements and deliver the desired results.

Some of the key steps involved in project management are planning, organizing, motivating, controlling resources, procedures, and protocols. There are several exams that you can take to be certified in the field of project management. Here are some of the professional certifications for project management.

  • PMP
  • CAPM
  • PgMP
  • PfMP
  • PMI-SP
  • And OPM3

The profession of project management is growing fast. To be able to be competitive in this field, you should know about at least three of the top certifications. These are the CAPM, PRINCE2, and PMP.

If you are working towards being a project manager, you may be wondering about what certification to take. The three mentioned above are quite different from each other. What makes them similar to one another is that they are the most preferred and the highest-paying project management certifications.

It is vital that you, as someone wanting to get certified, to distinguish each of these certifications so that you can plan about the next steps you are going to take. Let’s take a look at the definitions of these project management certifications.


The PMP is a certification course as a Project Management Professional. Within the industry, the PMP is a recognized as a certification course intended for those who want to enhance their skills and knowledge as project managers.

By becoming a PMP, you are more empowered to utilize a number of methodologies in whatever industry the project may belong to. With the PMP course, you will learn about a lot of PM techniques and also gain the necessary competencies. Doing so, you will increase your earning potential.


The CAPM stands for Certified Associate Project Management. It is an entry-level project management certification. If you are someone who is just starting your career in this field, this is the first certification that you would want to have.

By having a CAPM, you will get ahead of your competition. It is a basic PM course and professionals take the CAPM so that they can be more credible and more effective in working on any project.



The PRINCE2 certification stands for Projects IN Controlled Environments. It is a method for project management that is process based. With it, you will get a detailed step-by-step method for the successful delivery of a project. You will learn about the steps, templates, and processes.

The PRINCE2 is both project-focused and process-focused. The major difference between this certification and the previous two is project experience. With PMP has the most number of hours as a requirement while CAPM’s requirements have the least number of hours.

So, if you are planning to take certifications and strengthen your credibility as a project management officer, you can take the CAPM certification first and work your way up the ladder.

PRINCE2 in the UK is a standard certification. Many industries prefer professionals who have PRINCE2 certifications as compared to other PM certifications. In the US, the CAPM or PMP is the more sought after certification than the PRINCE2.

What Happens After You Gain Your Certification?

Once you have your CAPM certification, it will send an impression on employers looking at your resume that you are a PM professional who is committed and dedicated to project management.

If you ever decide to go on another field and leave behind project management, the CAPM certification will still be useful because of the skills you have gained when it comes to skills on managing time and your knowledge on project management processes.

One disadvantage of the CAPM certification is that since it is not as recognized as the two other certifications we have discussed, it will be more challenging if you want to get involved in bigger projects.

PMP is a certification that is more known. Once you have this certification, you will surely stand out because of the knowledge and skills that you have earned from the course. You are ready to efficiently execute projects and aid in improving the productivity of the project team.

Compared to CAPM and PRINCE2, the PMP certification is at the organization’s higher tiers. With the PRINCE2 certification on your CV, you will be seen as a candidate who is ideal for several roles such as financier, senior supplier, project manager, or project executive.

What are Your Salary Prospects?

When you have earned your certifications, you have the potential to earn more as compared to other professionals who do not have certifications yet. For example, if you have a PMP certification already, what this signal is that you have a good understanding of what project management entails. Also, having a certification makes you a part of a larger community of professionals and organizations that also have that particular qualification.

With a CAPM certificate, you can confidently say that you know how to work on projects. With a PMP certificate, you can direct and lead projects. This gives you more authority and power. Most employers usually prefer PMP certified professionals than those who have other certification for project management.

You will be happy to know that the salaries of professionals in the project management industry are continually rising. In the US, PMP professionals can earn up to $105,000 annually. And that is 16% more of what the non-certified professionals earn. For CAPM professionals, they can get up to $101,100 annually. If you are just starting out, you can get $45,000, to begin with. This will increase as you gain more experience and expertise though.


Regardless of the certification that you choose, you won’t be making a wrong move. For many professionals, it is normal to have many certifications from different bodies over a certain period.

This adds up to your skills and expertise and improves your resume. Don’t be afraid that by taking a certain certification today will have an effect on the other credentials that you want to earn in the later years of your career.

When coming up with a decision on what certification to go for, consider what the employers will be looking for in the industry that you want to be a part of. Also, you should assess the level of your experience as well as your budget.

When you have credentials, you will be more confident to apply for project management positions because you have something to show to the employers that you are serious and committed to your career advancement in the project management industry.

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