Certifications are a career booster and open up many opportunities, especially in the early stages. CAPM certification is basically the same as a career in Project Management. 

If you’ve wanted to start or pivot your career in Project Management, a CAPM certification boosts your chances to get a great job. 

In this article, you will discover what CAPM certification is and all of its technicalities about it.

Let’s dive in.

What is CAPM Certification?

Certified Associate Project Manager (CAPM) certification by the Project Management Institute (PMI) is a globally recognized certification in project management. Having a CAPM certification is a great way to show your credibility and seriousness to the recruiters.

You can get the CAPM by passing an online exam. The syllabus for it includes concepts, processes, and terminology focused on project management and expanding the knowledge and skills in the same.

PMI also conducts the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, which demands a slightly higher requisite experience than CAPM. 

Further in this article, we’ll go a little deeper to find various nuances between the 2 exams. But to give you an idea, CAPM is generally the preferred exam for beginners in Project Management.

Who is CAPM Certification for?

The CAPM certification is for beginners and interested professionals who want to build a career in project management but don’t have any experience in the industry. 

People who want to climb the corporate ladder and those who want to pivot their careers toward project management can also try getting a CAPM certificate.

Benefits of CAPM Certification

If you want to know whether CAPM certification is really what you need, here are some of its benefits that you can relate to:

  • Establishes credibility and acts as a proof of the candidate’s knowledge about project management
  • Helps you learn leadership skills and gives you insights about being the team lead in any of the projects you might encounter
  • Gives a basic understanding of all project management practices and principles that are necessary to acquire the desired skill set
  • Provides far better career opportunities and lucrative, high-paying jobs than what you would expect from anyone without a CAPM certification
  • Adds versatility to the job profile and also opens the door to get a variety of unique job opportunities
  • The CAPM certification is one of the highest paying certifications in project management

Eligibility and Requirements for CAPM Certification

According to the official eligibility criteria by the PMI, here are the following requirements that a candidate must fulfill:

  • A secondary degree like a high school diploma, associate degree, or any global equivalent as their educational background
  • You should at least have 23 hours of formal project management education or learning

That’s all you need to do to be eligible to give the CAPM certification exam. 

How Much Will It Cost You to Get CAPM Certification?

The certification is different for PMI members and non-members. For the members, the fee for the CAPM certification exam is $225, and for the non-members, it is $300. 

capm certification cost

Note: You can become a PMI member by applying for the membership as a student, retiree, or regular PMI member. Go to the PMI website to know more about PMI memberships.

Additionally, students can apply to become PMI members and get a really good deal on the CAPM exam fee and get member benefits.

CAPM Exam Overview

The CAPM certification exam is an online proctored exam that anyone with the eligibility criteria can give either online or from an authorized exam center. 

There are a total of 150 multiple choice questions which come directly from the PMBOK Guide. 

pmbok guide

Each candidate will have a maximum of 3 hours to complete the test. Out of the 150 questions, 15 of them act as a pre-test to recognize the capability of a student. The remaining 135 questions are counted for the final result. 

For successfully passing the exam, the candidate will receive the CAPM certification. The certification is valid for 5 years, and after that, the candidate must give the exam again to get the certification back.

Alternatively, you can renew the certification every three years. For the renewal, each candidate must earn 15 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years to keep their CAPM certificate relevant.

Types of Questions Asked in the CAPM Exam

The format for the questions asked in the CAPM exam is quite straightforward and consistent. The multiple-choice questions asked in the exam will ask you to choose the best answers for questions like:

  • Which of the following tools is best for [a specific process or task]?
  • Which of these describes [some relevant concept or industry-specific term]?
  • Based on the data represented in the following table, determine which task is on schedule and within the budget?

To get the best idea, we recommend trying a CAPM simulator or practice exam to get the best idea. 

If you plan on applying for a CAPM training course, you’ll find several of them which provide these mock exams for preparation.

CAPM vs. PMP: Which of the Two is Better?

In simple words, the real difference between CAPM and PMP, as discussed earlier, is that the former is considered to be for beginners and entry-level candidates. In contrast, PMP is for more professional-level candidates with more experience and knowledge. 

Naturally, PMP is valued more than CAPM because of its higher eligibility bar and more comprehensive exam syllabus.

#1. Benefits

Regarding the benefits, both have the same, with PMP landing you better jobs, higher salaries, and added credibility. A PMP certification will also get you jobs with higher responsibility and more autonomy.

#2. Requirements

For the requirements, CAPM aspirants need to have a secondary degree like a high school diploma, associate degree, or any global equivalent as their educational background. Additionally, they will also need 23 hours of formal project management education or learning.

On the other hand, PMP aspirants have 2 options for eligibility:

Option 1

  • The candidate must have a high school diploma, associate degree, or any global equivalent as their educational background
  • 60 months of experience in leading projects
  • 35 hours of project management education or CAPM Certification

Option 2

  • The candidate must have a four-year degree
  • 36 months of experience as a project lead
  • 35 hours of project management education OR CAPM Certification

If the candidate successfully satisfies either 1 of these 2 eligibility options, they can appear for the PMP exam. 

#3. Exam Patterns and Difficulty Levels

As mentioned earlier, the CAPM exam consists of a total of 150 multiple-choice questions. The time allotted to complete the CAPM exam is a maximum of 3 hours. 

In the case of the PMP exam, there are a total of 180 questions which include fill-in-the-blanks, multiple-choice, multiple response, matching, and hotspot questions. The time allotted to complete the PMP exam is a maximum of 3 hours and 50 minutes.

The difficulty level for both exams is relatively high, with adequate preparation needed to pass. However, the PMP exam is harder compared to the CAPM exam and requires a deeper understanding and knowledge of all the concepts. 

The CAPM exam features questions from chapters 1 to 13 of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide. Whereas the PMP exam features questions from the PMP exam content outline released by PMI, which can be downloaded from their certification page. 

#4. Exam Fee

The exam fee for CAPM is $225 for PMI members and $300 for non-members. For the PMP exam, the fee is $405 for PMI members and $555 for non-members.

If you’re wondering which of these two certifications is best for you, the answer is clear. Go for the PMP certification if you have the required experience and willingness. 

If you’re sticking with CAPM certification, let’s take a look at what you can expect in terms of salary after getting it.

CAPM Certificate Holder Average Salary

After successfully getting the CAPM certification, you can expect to get the following positions:

  • Project management consultants
  • Business analyst
  • Relational administrator
  • Operational support associate
  • Project management officer
  • Senior project manager in IT
  • Marketing coordinator for communications

Of course, the job positions are not just limited to these, but some of the best salaries will primarily be saved for these roles.

As far as the actual pay rate is concerned, you can rest assured that a CAPM certification is going to give a significant boost to your annual pay. 

For instance, the salary range for a CAPM-certified Project management officer in the US is between $51,000 in the low end to $100,000 in the top end. 

The average salary is around $87,000. The figures will vary slightly for specific positions, but they will all mostly be around the same. 

project management officer salary

Additionally, it’s worth noting that in some cases, the pay can go much higher than mentioned. That is if the candidate shows exceptional performance and knowledge in the field or has additional skills that the company might appreciate.

Next, let’s explore some of the best learning resources to help crack the CAPM certification exam.

CAPM® Training Course

The CAPM training course by SimpliLearn is geared towards beginners and offers a core understanding of all the basic concepts in project management. It offers modules on the standard 5 process groups and 10 knowledge areas as per the PMI outline. 

capm training course by simplilearn

There are a total of 14 chapters in the course, with each of them having end-of-chapter quizzes for testing your understanding. 

These also include scenarios and case studies related to individual chapters. The course also takes care of the 23 PDUs required for candidates to appear in the exam. 

Apart from that, there are 2 CAPM exam simulated tests for you to practice all your learning throughout the course. 

There are 2 options to enroll in the exam. You can either opt for a self-paced learning individual program for $399 or go for the corporate training program, which will have additional benefits. 

CAPM® Certification

The CAPM certification course by Sabri C. PMP on Udemy offers 27 hours of comprehensive course content for project management. It covers the entire content outlined by PMI and offers the required 23 PDUs as well.

ultimate capm exam prep-23 pdus

The course content is divided into 17 downloadable resources, 12 articles, and 27 hours of on-demand video. 

There are 1000+ practice questions, including 2 simulated practice tests, section practice exams, and lecture quizzes for exam preparation. 

You can get the full lifetime access for $119.99 (Currently in offer and priced at just $19.99) with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

The CAPM course by Integrity Training and Stone River eLearning is great for learners who want to get it done fast. The course goes through all major concepts and topics in project management and offers 24 PDUs.

certified associate in project management by integrity training

The course is only 9.5 hours of on-demand video along with 14 downloadable resources. You can get full lifetime access to the course for $89.99 (currently priced at $15.99). 

The course offers great technical understanding and explanations for the concepts. However, you will have to search elsewhere for practice simulation tests and questionnaires.

PMP® Certification Training Course

The PMP certification training course by Edureka is primarily designed for PMP aspirants and features a higher level of training. The course features live classes by PMP-certified experts who conduct the sessions. 

pmp certification training course by edureka

These sessions include material from the latest PMP Exam Content Outline and offer 35 PDUs on successful completion of the course. 

You can join in 2 batches, the weekend batch, and the weekday batch. The weekend batch course is for 4 weeks, and the weekday batch is for 18 days. Both of them are available for $749. 

This course is best for PMP aspirants and CAPM aspirants who have at least an intermediate level of knowledge. Complete beginners will find this course slightly advanced.

CAPM Certification Exam Prep Course

The CAPM Certification Exam Prep Course by TIA Education and Andrew Ramdayal cover the entire CAPM outline. It offers 25 PMI Approved PDUs/Contacts hours along with topics like 49 processes, EVM, and network diagrams.

capm certification exam prep course

The course is divided into 19 hours of on-demand video, 18 articles, and 20 downloadable resources. There are also over 400+ realistic exam questions and a full-length mock exam for the preparation. 

You can get this course for $99.99 (Currently priced at $17.99) with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a certificate of completion. 

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®

The CAPM training course by Koenig Solutions is a live training program designed for you to pass the CAPM exam on the first try. It contains all project management concepts, 10 knowledge areas, and 5 process groups from the PMBOK guide.

The live training program gives you 23 PDUs and all learning materials needed for the CAPM certification exam. 

The course is divided into 14 modules which you can learn in the live classes. The schedule for the live classes is highly flexible, with 4-hour and 8-hour session options for weekends and weekdays. 

You can request a demo session or enroll directly from their website after choosing your session timings and schedule. 

Wrapping Up

CAPM certifications are a norm these days for beginner project managers or executives. 

Like any other certification, recruiters will definitely go with your profile instead of someone that doesn’t have direct proof of knowledge. 

Other than that, try to find out the best fit out of the resources we recommended and follow the tips to crack the CAPM test on your first go!