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The differences between PMP® and CAPM® certifications

Published on Sun 19, 2020
The differences between PMP® and CAPM® certifications

Both PMP® and CAPM® are PMI governed standard certification iterations in the project management domain. Working in the project skill development domain, we often come across professionals who have doubts concerning the two certifications. As PMP® is the more popular certification, professionals often set out to get the certification without completely understanding the experience requirement for the certification.

To clear such doubts, we will discuss the base differences between the two certifications in this article. The objective of this article is to help young professionals make informed decisions about the certification that will suit them.

So, the major differences between CAPM® & PMP® Certifications are:

1. Target audience

CAPM® is designed for professionals who are starting their career in the project management spectrum and hold little to no experience in the project management spectrum. Such professionals might have worked on some part of a project or might have assisted project managers.

PMP®, on the other hand, is designed for professionals who have extensive experience in managing projects. Such professionals would already have 3 to 5 years of experience and would already know a lot about project management.


2. Pre-requisites

As CPM is designed for professionals who are starting their career in project management or have minimal experience in the domain, the certification has no experience pre-requisite. All one needs is 23 hours of formal training for project management.

PMP®, on the other hand, requires 4500 to 7500 hours of project management experience depending upon the previous educational background. Apart from this, a professional must undertake 35 hours of structured learning in project management.


3. Knowledge scope

CAPM® is more concerned about inducting professionals to project management. CAPM® certification scope is limited to PMBOK®, the official standard guide designed and developed by PMI.

PMP®, on the other hand, includes several other management disciplines. With the latest PMP® exam outline, the scope of PMP® certification surpasses PMBOK by a mark and includes several new knowledge points essential for effective project management.


4. Competency Exhibit

Holding a CAPM® certification means that a professional has the fundamental knowledge in the project management domain. The certification indicates that the professional is capable of working in a project and is capable of handling small and medium projects.

With the experience pre-requisite, PMP® certification indicates that the professional has ample knowledge and experience to lead complex projects.

Please note that neither of the certifications guarantees the success of any project.


5. The Exams

CAPM® is a knowledge-based certification exam that tests the fundamental project management theories, processes, and best practices. Also, the difficulty level of the CAPM® certification exam is low. The CAPM® exam contains 150 direct questions, and the test duration is of 3 hours.

On the other hand, the difficulty level of PMP® certification is much higher and concentrates on testing the project management knowledge, tools, and techniques through situational questions. The test comprises 200 questions, and the duration of the exam is 4 hours


So here they are, the major difference between CAPM® and PMP® certifications. We believe, now, you would be able to make a more informed selection. If you have limited experience in handling projects or have got exposure only to small or medium projects, you should take up CAPM® certification rather than waiting to acquire more experience. With CAPM® certification, you get an opportunity to analyze your performance and identify areas that you need to work on.

Also, it is necessary to understand that PMP® certification demands considerable project management experience, and extensive project management skills are expected from a PMP® credential holder. So, take up the certification exam only if you believe you have ample experience and knowledge in the project management domain.

If you are planning to take the CAPM® or PMP® certification training, we offer PMP® & CAPM® certification training in various modules like in-person, live online, and self-styled learning. Choose the training style that suits you and begin your learning journey in project management. You can also connect with our training chaps at or +1 8553221201 if you have any doubts or queries regarding the certification that you require or the training type that will suit you. Happy Learning!

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