What is PMI-ACP Certification?

PMI-ACP is an Agile Certified Practitioner certification provided by Project Management Institute PMI. PMI-ACP certification is globally recognized and accepted. The certification covers different agile principles and tools along with several agile approaches such as Kanban, Scrum, Lean, Extreme Programming (XP) and Test-Driven Development (TDD). Hence, PMI-ACP certification helps agile practitioners to apply their diversified skills on different projects.

Agile methodology focuses on delivering the product in smaller sprints instead of keeping the customer waiting till the completion of everything. In Agile, the customer is always first where initial prototypes are shown to them so that early feedback is received which will help in making any corrections and developing the product meeting the customer expectations. Customers will also be happy as they will be able to see at the beginning how the product will look like and also can get to see the prioritized deliverables first (Minimum Viable Product).

Benefits of PMI-ACP Certification

There are several benefits of PMI-ACP certification. From getting high salary perks to high global demand for agile professionals. Let us have a look at some benefits of acquiring a PMI-ACP certification.

  • High Demand - According to a Agile Survey by VersionOne , about 94% of respondents mentioned that their organization uses Agile methods. This survey depicts the increasing need for organizations to hire Agile professionals. Candidates with a PMI-ACP certification can stand out in the crowd as there is a high demand for effective and trained agile practitioners.
  • Globally accepted - PMI-ACP certification by PMI is globally recognized and accepted. The candidates can easily apply for the PMI-ACP exam from anywhere in the world and on passing the exam can apply to different industries and organizations anywhere in the world. Therefore, earning a PMI-ACP certification can be extremely beneficial in terms of your career growth.
  • Professional growth - A PMI-ACP certification validates your knowledge and level of professionalism in Agile practices, tools, techniques, and methodologies. The PMI-ACP certification merely adds to your professional growth as it proves to the employers about your ability to take up challenging projects in an agile environment.
  • Better salary - Candidates with a PMI-ACP certificate can earn 28% more salary in comparison to non-certified professionals. The Average Salary of a PMI-ACP credential holder with 5-10 years of experience can expect to be around $123,000 annually.

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner Salary & Jobs

ACP professionals can opt for different job roles including PMP Scrum Master, Project Manager, Agile Trainer, Technical Business Analyst, Project Manager, Deputy Project Manager, Business Analyst, Agile Project Manager, and Digital Channel Planner. The salary structure may vary from country to country.

Let us have a look at the salary structure as per different job roles and different countries.

As Per Job Roles

Here is the salary that you can expect for different job roles.

Job Role Salary Per Annum (USD)
Project Manager 59,000-87,000
Senior Project Manager 65,000 - 115,000
Agile Coach 88,000 – 133,000
Scrum master 75,000 – 110,000
Project manager, Software development 65,000 - 106,000
Certified Scrummaster (CSM) 76,000 -129,000
Technical Project Manager 88,000 - 143,000
Business analyst 62,000- 71,000
Agile project manager 63,000-92,000

In Various Countries

The salary varies depending upon the country, and the countries with demand for certified agile practitioners are the USA, UK, Canada, India, and Australia. Let us have a look at the average salary for a PMI-ACP in these countries.

Country Currency Salary Per Annum (USD)
USA USD 62,000 - 162,000
UK CAD 56,000 136,000
India INR 443,000 - 2,000,000
Canada GBP 33,000 - 75,000
Austrailia AUD 70,000 - 171,000

As Per Years of Experience

PMI-ACP as per years of experience The more experience, the higher the salary. Here is the salary structure as per the candidate’s years of experience as a certified agile practitioner.

Years of experience Salary Per Annum (USD)
<1 50,000 - 66,000
1-4 65,000 - 74,000
5-9 79,000 - 1,00,000
10-19 88,000 - 120,000
20+ 118,000 - 150,000

As Per Various Companies

The average salary of a PMI ACP in some of the top companies are as follows:

Company Salary per annum (USD)
Accenture $59,000-$127,000
IBM $71,000- $103,000
AT&T Inc $114,000-$123,000
Accenture Technology Solutions $68,000-$133,000
Booz Allen Hamilton $66,000 – $147,000

Why Is the Salary So High?

The ACP certification correlates to high salaries due to increased credibility of the certification holder and the ability to showcase his/her high skills and expertise in agile practices. Moreover, the certification requires intense training to ace the examination, along with long hours of time investment and huge costs incurred for training courses, exam fees, and so on.

Employers recognize the ACP certification as it verifies that the certification holder is a professional and can work with various disciplines of agile to implement the best strategies in agile project management. Furthermore, there is a growing demand for agile practitioners and more and more organizations are willing to offer handsome salaries to certified agile professionals.

PMI-ACP Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for the PMI ACP certification, you need to fall into the following eligibility criteria.

Educational background + General project experience + Agile project experience + Training in agile practices
Second degree + 12 months of project management experience in the last 5 years + 1500 hours (8 months) of Agile experience using agile methodologies in the last 3 years + 21 formal contact hours on agile practices

Note- Existing PMP or PgMP certification holders do not require general project experience.

Cost of PMI-ACP Certification (Exam Fee + Training Fee)

The cost structure for the PMI ACP exam varies for PMI members and non-PMI members. Moreover, PMI usually conducts the exam in an online mode-computer based test (CBT), but in some cases PMI conducts a paper based test (PBT).

Let us have a look at the cost structure for the PMI ACP exam in different cases.

Membership Status Exam type Fees
PMI member CBT $435
PMI non-member CBT $495
PMI member PBT $385
PMI non-member PBT $445

You can opt for the PMI membership at $129 along with a one-time $10 application fee for the year.

Application Process for PMI-ACP exam

You can start your application process for the PMI-ACP exam only if you are eligible to apply for the exam. Here are the steps of the application process.

  • Register to become member of PMI
    • It is completely optional to become a PMI member.
    • The fees for PMI membership is $139 (including the one-time $10 application fee)
  • Acquire 21 contact hours by opting for the PMI-ACP exam preparation course.
  • Start filling out the application form on PMI website
    The application form consists of the following sections that you need to fill.
    • General information (Name, address, educational background, etc.)
    • Agile project experience- You require 1500 hours (8 months) of Agile experience using agile methodologies.
    • Record of 21 contact hours of training on agile practices.
  • PMI usually takes up to 3-5 days to review your application. On successful review by PMI, you will receive a confirmation email to pay the exam fees.

  • Pay the fees and schedule your exam with Pearson VUE.
    • You can pay the fees and schedule your exam.
    • You have 1 year to take the exam after application approval.
    • You get 3 attempts for the PMI-ACP exam within a year.

Structure of PMI-ACP Exam

  • The PMI-ACP exam contains 120 multiple-choice questions.
  • Every candidate receives 3 hours to complete the examination.
  • Among 120 multiple-choice questions, 20 are pore-test questions that do not carry any marks.

Here is the weightage of different domains for the exam.

Domain % of questions
Domain I. Agile Principles and Mindset 16%
Domain II. Value-driven Delivery 20%
Domain III. Stakeholder Engagement 17%
Domain IV. Team Performance 16%
Domain V. Adaptive Planning 12%
Domain VI. Problem Detection and Resolution 10%
Domain VII. Continuous Improvement (Product, Process, People) 9%

PMI-ACP Knowledge Areas

The PMI-ACP exam verifies in each domain if the practitioner is acquiring necessary knowledge or skill. There are different levels of knowledge and skills. Let us have a look at these knowledge areas.

Knowledge and skills-Level 1 Knowledge and skills-Level 2 Knowledge and skills-Level 3
Active listening Agile framework and terminology Agile contacting methods
Agile communication management Facilitation methods Innovation games
Agile problem solving strategies, tools, and techniques Building high-performance teams Agile project accounting principles
Agile manifesto and principles Agile participatory decision models Principles of system thinking
Feedback techniques for products Agile business case development Applying new agile practices
Accessing and incorporating community and stakeholder values PMI's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct Regulatory compliance
Incremental delivery Co-location/ distributed teams Compliance (organizational)
Stakeholder management Process analysis techniques Variance and trend analysis
Agile brainstorming techniques Agile continuous improvement process Control limits for agile projects
Agile knowledge sharing Self-assesment Variations in agile methods and approaches
Agile team motivation Project charter for an agile project Failure modes and alternatives
Building empowered teams Value-based analysis Vendor management
Coaching and mentoring within teams Globalization, culture and diversity

Books Recommended by PMI

Here are some book recommendations by PMI for the PMI ACP exam.

  • Agile Practice Guide by PMI
  • Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn
  • Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products by Jim High Smith
  • Additionally, one can refer this: PMI-ACP Exam Prep by Mike Griffiths
  • Please refer this for more details: https://www.pmi.org/certifications/agile-acp/references

Which Is Better PMP or PMI-ACP?

PMP has 3 domains: People, Process, Business Environment where as PMI ACP has 7 domains: Agile Principles and Mindset, Value-driven Delivery, Stakeholder Engagement, Team Performance, Adaptive Planning, Problem Detection and Resolution, Continuous Improvement (Product, Process, People).

PMP focuses on overall Project Management Methodology in Agile where as PMI ACP focuses only on different Agile methodologies, tools and techniques.

Both are of international standards. PMP is recommended because this is currently in Agile unlike the earlier versions where it was based on waterfall methodology. It is recommended to get PMP certification and then can go for PMI ACP.

Refer to this table to understand the difference between PMP and PMI ACP to choose your preference.

The candidates monitor the projects without much interaction with all the members of the team. Candidates interact with few members of the team and manage the project in an organized manner. The candidates are responsible for team leading and interacting with every member on the team
Exam pattern 200 multiple-choice questions 120 multiple-choice questions
Time duration 4 hours 3 hours
Exam cost (PMI member) $405 $385 (PBT)
$435 (CBT)
Exam cost (PMI non-member) $555 $495 (PBT)
$445 (CBT)
Average salary per annum $112,000 $94,000


What is agile and scrum?

Agile is a framework where as scrum is a type of Agile methodology. There are different project management methodologies to implement agile framework and some of them are Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP) and Scrum.

I am already a PMP® certified, will PMI-ACP® certification help me in my career?

PMP focuses on Project Management Methodology in Agile structure which in a way to an extent is similar to PMI-ACP. However, ACP is specific to Agile principles which makes it unique as it covers vastly on all Agile methodologies and principles.

Is there a project manager role in agile?

Project Manager is treated as Servant Leader in Agile. There is no specific role of a Project Manager in Agile. In Agile, there are different roles like Scrum Master, Product Owner, Dev team etc. Project Manager roles and responsibilities are shared among all these different stakeholders.

Can a project manager be a Scrum Master?

Yes, Scrum Master facilitates for a Product Owner to brief requirements to the team and ensures there are no impediments. So, a Project Manager in Agile can act as a Scrum Master.

How to study for pmi-acp?

PMBoK guide and Agile Practice guide are available on PMI website. However, there is majorly 1 reference guide as provided by Mike Griffiths. Aspirants can refer this guide along with PMI provided content.

How difficult is getting your pmi acp?

Compared to PMP, PMI-ACP is little easier. If you are PMP certified, PMI-ACP can be easily cracked. ACP has 120 questions and 180 minutes time whereas PMP exam has 180 questions and 230 minutes time.

How do i schedule a pmi-acp exam?

One can schedule through PMI website.

How is pdu counted for pmi-acp?

For exam, you need 21 PDU’s which can be obtained from PMI authorized trainers. Certification is valid for 3 years and to renew the validation, needed 30 PDU’s in agile topics every three years.

How valuable are pmi acp and pmp

Both are internationally recognized and so adds value to your resume and also for understanding different principles and concepts

How many times can i take pmi acp exam

Once application is approved, eligible for 1 year and can take 3 attempts

How do you check do you meet pmi acp requirements?

Education should be secondary degree/high school diploma and 2000 hours of PM experience and 1500 hours of Agile experience and 21 formal contact hours on agile practices is needed. If you are already PMP or PgMP certified, then you no need to have PM experience explicitly.

How long is the pmi acp exam?

180 minutes (3 hours)

How do they calculate pmi-acp prerequisite hours

2000 hours of PM experience and 1500 hours of Agile experience and 21 formal contact hours on agile practices is needed. If you are already PMP or PgMP certified, then you no need to have PM experience explicitly.

How many PDU's for pmi agile certified practitioner (pmi-acp)

21 PDU’s are needed

How to earn pmi-acp contact hours

Through training from any PMI registered education provider.

How to apply for the pmi-acp with prepcast certificate

On PMI Website, can update details

How many questions must i answer correctly on the pmi-acp exam

PMI didn’t reveal this

Where do i take the pmi-acp test

Online or Offline at designated centers. One can refer PMI website for the same.

What is the career path for pmi-acp

Different job titles available for ACP professionals are: Technical business analyst. Agile trainer. Project Manager. Digital Channel planner.

Which is easier pmi-pba or pmi-acp

PMI-ACP is comparatively easier.

How much agile experience do you need to become certified as a pmi-acp?

1500 hours as mandatory by PMI

How to earn pmi-acp professional development units

Through training from any PMI registered education provider.

What jobs can you get with your pmi-acp

Different job titles available for ACP professionals are: Technical business analyst. Agile trainer. Project Manager. Digital Channel planner

Is the PMI-ACP exam hard?

Easier when compared to PMP but harder compared to all other Agile certifications in the world.

Is PMP and PMI the same?

PMI is the body who provides certifications like PMP, PMI-ACP

Does PMI verify project hours?

PMI randomly does audit and in case if your application got selected for audit, you might need to share additional details on your project experience.

Why is the salary of a PMI® Agile Certified Professional higher than that of a software professional?

A survey states that a PMI ACP earns 28% more than non-certified professionals.

What are the most important skills connected with higher compensation for a PMI-ACP®?

The most important skills connected with higher compensation for a PMI-ACP is the ability to apply best agile practices effectively to lead agile project management.