is pmp certificate worth it

Is PMP Certification Worth It In 2021? Salary vs Cost

You might be wondering if PMP certification is worth it and if it is valuable for your career.

In my experience, PMP certification is worth it. There are numerous advantages and benefits of becoming certified. PMI salary survey suggests that project managers with PMP credential earn 20% more than the non-credentialed professionals.

Even after knowing the salary benefits, you still might have doubts. You would say that the salary increase will happen only after you pass the exam and before that you will have to go through the grind of passing the exam. You would ask if it is worth the trouble given that the PMP exam is costly, and expensive and it requires a lot of time and effort.

Your doubts are well founded. Salary and emoluments tell us only half of the story. The other half is the cost of preparation and taking the exam. So, let us compare input vs output. Let us determine cost vs potential increase in earnings to determine if PMP is really worth it or not.

Note: There are many other benefits of doing the certification. You can read my other post to understand these PMP benefits. In this post, you will find an analysis of cost vs salary increase.

Is PMP Certification Worth It For Your Career?

There is no second thought that the cost of PMP certification is high. You might have temporarily delayed the thought of clearing the PMP exam. But I must tell you that you are potentially losing a 20% increase in your salary by dealing with PMP.

The featured attraction of this certificate is the higher salary offered to the PMP credentials. In various sectors, the average salary of a certified manager is substantially higher.

PMI salary survey suggests that project managers with PMP credentials report a higher median salary than those without it. It is also reported that there is a nearly 20% hike on average across the surveyed countries.

Let us understand the cost and benefit attached to this certification. The PMP examination fee is $405(Rs.29,694) for PMI members and $555(Rs.40,697) for non-PMI members, according to the current exchange rate excluding all other costs like training fee, study material cost, etc.

There is a clear difference in the cost for members and non-members of PMI. This difference also appears if candidates take re-examination or opt to renew the certificate. Members can also download the PMBOK for free, whereas non-member will have to pay a certain amount to get the PMBOK.

The total cost for PMI members comes out to be Rs.47,809($652) and Rs.79,606 ($1086) for non-PMI members. Refer to the table.1 for a complete analysis of the cost for the certification.

Exam Administration TypePMI Member StatusUS DollarsINR

Computer-based testing(CBT) Member $405 Rs.29,694
Computer-based testing(CBT) Non-member* $555 Rs.40,697
Paper-based testing(PBT) Member $250 Rs.17,975
Paper-based testing(PBT) Non-member* $400 Rs.28,760
CCR certification renewal(once in 3 years) Member $60 Rs.4,315
CCR certification renewal(once in 3 years) Non-member* $150 Rs.10,785
Study Material & Training fee For all $187 – $381 Rs.13500 – Rs.27400

* Join PMI, which costs $129, and $119 to renew each year.


India ranks at number 38 on the global salary survey map with an average median salary of up to Rs.28,750. This translates into an extra income of Rs.3,45,000 per year or about Rs.28,750 per month.

That means if you clear the PMP exam you are very likely to get an increment of 20% on the current salary package, which is also quoted by the certificate providing institute.

The PMP exam is indeed expensive and difficult but this cost, which should be quoted as an investment, can be recovered from 2 to 3 months of successfully clearing the exam, which marks one amongst the benefits of PMP certification.

If you are thinking of appearing for PMP then it’s better to take good training and good study material for your preparation. The chances of you succeeding at the very first attempt depend on quality training and yourself study.

Because every time you appear for the exam you have to pay the exam fee. Good study material means a good amount of money but ultimately it leads to success.

Depending on your sector, geography, role; your current salary might be more or less than the global median salary. It will affect your cost of training, study material, classroom program, etc.

PMP Cost

People working in the project management field have PMP Certifications as the highest valued qualification. So what is the cost of doing PMP certification? Actually PMP certification cost have the following major component
PMP Fee,
Study Material,
Training for 35 contact hours.

According to PMI, the PMP fee is $555 (non-member) and $405 (a member of PMI). The study material and the training cost may vary from which country you belong to. Usually, the training cost may range from $500 to $1500.

If you want a more detailed look at the cost of PMP in India, you can read our blog post.

PMP’s Salary

No doubt the salary scale of PMPs is higher than the one without the certification. The PMP certification not only boosts your career, your network, but it also increases your salary significantly. The major significance of PMP certification on salary are listed below.

  1. The salary of a PMP certificate holder increases to 20%.
  2. If a person working in the USA, the median salary increase would be $116,000.
  3. Likewise, if a person working in India now earns (say)Rs.55k the potential salary increase would be Rs.83k.
  4. The countries where project professionals report the highest median salary are Switzerland (US$132,086), the United States (US$116,000),  whereas the countries reporting the lowest median salary are Pakistan (US$14,914) and Egypt (US$13,933). 
  5. The PMP exam has both benefits and costs attached to it and the benefits always overpower the cost of the exam.

PMP Cost Vs. Salary

Let us understand the difference between PMP salary vs. PMP cost. If suppose the total cost of PMP training and study material comes around $1500 and after a good preparation candidate could clear the exam. The PMP-certified candidate will see a 20% growth in their salary. Let us understand this with an example, a non-certified person earns $70,000 and after clearing the PMP exam he will earn $85,000 over a period of 1 year, which means an increment of $1,250 each month.

Thus he can recover the cost of PMP with a span of 3 months from clearing the exam. Hence, the salary benefit will outperform the cost of appearing for the PMP exam.


Contrary to many other certifications that target a particular domain or particular geography, PMP has its worth in many industries at almost every major country in the World.

There is a growing demand for project managers throughout the world. As a matter of fact, many corporations are training their employees for PMP certification. This information is leading to increased need and demand for proficient and skilled managers.

We have given you an idea about how much your certification will cost you and how you will manage the expenses that you spend on your certification.

PMP exam no doubt is one of the toughest exams and requires a good amount of hard work and your hard work will surely pay off. By increment in your salary, you can easily pay the amount that you spend on your certification.

This is not an impossible task but a task that can be done with proper planning. PMP exam must not be delayed merely because of the cost involved but it must be considered as the benefit associated with it.

Apart from increased income, PMP certification improves your job security. Some companies value the core expertise and skill accomplished through certification. Hence, PMP credential will definitely pay you. It’s better than not having one.

Over To You

What is your understanding of the cost attached to PMP certification? Is it worth it for you to take the PMP certification exam? Is the cost too high?

Do you think this certification will boost your current salary package? Or, it won’t have any effort? What is your opinion on this? Please share it with us in the comment section below.

4 thoughts on “Is PMP Certification Worth It In 2021? Salary vs Cost”

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