CAPM vs PMP Certification

CAPM vs PMP Certification - A Detailed Comparison

Today's blog will compare and contrast the CAPM vs PMP certifications in terms of exam difficulty, requirements, salary implications, and more.

Earning a Project Management Certification is an excellent way to advance your career, establish yourself as a valuable asset, and increase your earnings.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers two Project Management Certifications, one is Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and a Project Management Professional (PMP). These certifications are important since it provides a high level of credibility to the individuals and showcases the understanding of the fundamental knowledge, processes, and terminology defined in the PMBOK Guide 4that is required for effective Project Management performance.

CAPM vs PMP: What’s the Difference?

CAPM & PMP both are recognized certifications from Project Management Institute (PMI). Aspirants and professionals usually confuse between PMP and CAPM in order to consider which one will be most prominent for them. Professionals prefer PMP who has sound experience in Project Management and a good grasp of the knowledge and skills, whereas others prefer CAPM while having a comprehensive understanding of Project Management terminology and experience.

Here we have concluded the difference between PMP & CAPM:

Exam Fee $225 for members$300 for non-members $405 for members$555 for non-members
Exam Components 150 multiple-choice questions 180 questions including multiple-choice, multiple response, matching, hotspot, and limited fill-in-the-blank
Exam Time Limit Three (3) hours Three (3) hours Fifty (50) minutes
Exam Content Covers chapters 1 through 13 of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition. Covers three domains: People, Process, and Business Environment. Use the PMP Examination Content Outline provided by PMI to prepare.

Benefits of CAPM vs PMP Certifications

A Professional, holding either PMP or CAPM Certification, demonstrates to employers, clients, and colleagues that she/he possesses Project Management knowledge, experience, and skills in order to bring projects to successful completion.

Here is a quick summary view of CAPM vs PMP benefits:

  • Credibility: Both the CAPM and the PMP are Professional Certifications offered only through the Project Management Institute (PMI) that provide increased credibility, more professional development options, and higher compensation.
  • Professional Opportunities: PMPs are employed in a wide variety of businesses in practically every country whereas, CAPM certification holder shows demonstrated understanding of the fundamental knowledge, processes, and terminology.
  • Higher Salary: The Earning Power Salary Survey conducted by the Project Management Institute (PMI) found that Project Managers with these certifications earn 20 percent more than those who do not have either PMP or CAPM Certification.
  • Industry-Wide Benefits: When more than one-third of a company's Project Managers are PMP-Certified, the company's projects are more likely to be completed on time and within budget. On the other hand, The CAPM knowledge can be applied to on-the-job experience that helps develop growing levels of competence in the practice of Project Management.

CAPM vs PMP Exam Requirements

The exam requirements or the eligibility criteria of CAPM and PMP are different.

While the CAPM does not prescribe any work experience to appear for the certification, PMP has 3 different eligibility criteria to be fulfilled to appear for the certification. The candidate needs to earn 23 Contact Hours to be eligible for CAPM whereas he/she needs 35 contact hours to be eligible for PMP.


The CAPM certification exam is targeted at entry-level individuals with little to no Project Management experience, there are fewer rules for qualifying for it. Applicants for the CAPM test must meet the following prerequisites, according to PMI:

  • Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent)
  • 23 hours of project management education completed by the time you sit for the exam


Meeting PMP exam requirements, in contrast, takes more time and effort. PMI offers two paths to be eligible to sit for the PMP exam:

  • PMP Exam Requirements – Option 1
    • Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or global equivalent)
    • 60 months leading projects
    • 35 hours of project management education OR CAPM Certification
  • PMP Exam Requirements – Option 2
    • Four-year degree
    • 36 months leading projects
    • 35 hours of project management education OR CAPM Certification

If you are an active CAPM Certification holder, you do not need to document the 35 contact hours. Your Project Management education requirement is waived.

If you are a graduate of a GAC accredited degree program you will receive a 12- month credit towards the work experience requirement. Also, you can use the GAC coursework to fulfill the 35 education contact hour requirement.

Exam Syllabus and Pattern - CAPM Vs PMP


For Instance, in the CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) exam, each knowledge area carries a specific weightage. It is shown below.

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


The Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification gives a credential if you are highly skilled in

  • People: People skills which you need in order to efficiently lead a project team
  • Process: Stressing on the technical aspects of efficiently managing projects
  • Business Environment: Reiterating the influence on projects from outside the Project
# Process Wt.
1 People 42%
2 Process 50%
3 Business Environment 8%
Total 100%

For instance, PMP Certification hints that the certification holder has project leadership skills the employers are searching for.

The new PMP content includes three methodologies:

  • Agile
  • Predictive (waterfall)
  • Hybrid
# Model Wt.
1 Predictive or Waterfall 50%
2 Agile (Adaptive) + Hybrid 50%
Total 100%

Source: PMI PMP handbook

CAPM vs PMP – Which Is More Valuable?

So now that you're familiar with the distinctions between PMP and CAPM, let's get to the bottom of the question: "CAPM or PMP, which one should you choose?" as well as "Does the CAPM Certification make sense?" The short answer to both of these questions is: it depends. However, PMP is considered more valuable than CAPM due to its experience criteria and certification process.

While considering what is right for you? If you are just getting started in Project Management, don't be concerned about pursuing the PMP Certification just yet. Instead, try acquiring a CAPM and concentrating on gaining more hands-on Project Management experience in the real world.

For instance, if you have a good amount of experience in the respective field, determining if a CAPM Certification or a PMP Certification is more appropriate for your career as a Project Manager might be a difficult decision. Quite simply, if you meet the prerequisites for PMP Certification, then you have made the correct decision for yourself. Even if you meet some but not all of the standards, it's definitely still worth your time to put in the effort to qualify for the PMP certification exam.

CAPM vs PMP Salary

According to Payscale the average base salary of a CAPM is Rs. 690k/yr and a PMP is Rs.2m/yr.

According to the above reports, it is clear that a PMP certified professional makes more than a CAPM. However, even with a CAPM certification, you can enjoy high compensatory perks considering it is a renowned certification, where you can enjoy global job opportunities.

CAPM vs PMP: Certification Renewal Process

CAPM certification holders previously had to think about taking the exam every five years to keep their PMI certification status as after 5 years the certifications expire and there is a need to retake the exam. However, these standards were recently updated by PMI. CAPM holders and PMP holders can now keep their certificates for three years if they obtain a certain number of Professional Development Units (PDUs).

PDUs are referred to as one-hour blocks of time dedicated to learning, teaching, or volunteering. Throughout your 3-year certification cycle, you can keep your certification status by acquiring and tracking PDUs. To keep their CAPM certification active, CAPM holders must acquire 15 PDUs, while PMP holders must earn 60.

Can You Upgrade CAPM to A PMP?

If you are asking whether Is it possible to convert a CAPM to a PMP? While this is an excellent question that you might ask yourself, the quick answer is no as PMP Certification has extensive eligibility requirement criteria.

While you cannot upgrade your CAPM Certification to a PMP, studying for and earning a CAPM can be your first step in pursuing a PMP credential. Gaining CAPM will increase your foundational knowledge, which will help you pass the PMP exam. In addition, the Project Management training hours you earned through CAPM can be credited toward PMP eligibility requirements.


Both Certifications are highly demanding. A study schedule for both will be necessary in order to ensure that you have enough time to absorb the material and practice your exam-taking strategies before the exams themselves.

The PMI and its certification schemes must adhere to strict requirements in order to retain the organization's international reputation and demanding standards. They are both highly-regarded Project Management credentials that are appropriate for persons at various stages of their careers, including entry-level professionals. Only you have the authority to make the final decision, which will be dependent on whatever credential you are eligible for and what your ultimate career goal is.


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