Take the 2-minute tour ×
Project Management Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for project managers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am planning to apply for the PMP. However, all my project experiences were time related (event planning). I had no projects where I managed a budget.

Would it be better to obtain the CAPM first, or would it be better to apply for the PMP? What are the requirements for obtaining these certifications?

share|improve this question
This might be considered a duplicate, but if nothing else, this is definitely related and may be helpful: pm.stackexchange.com/questions/3013/… –  jmort253 Sep 15 '12 at 18:01
@jmort253: Thanks for the hint. I think the question is related but not a duplicate. The questioner has no project experiences. (Thanks for editing too) –  Marco Daniel Sep 16 '12 at 6:25
This post is being discussed on meta: meta.pm.stackexchange.com/questions/484/… –  jmort253 Sep 16 '12 at 7:17
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 13 down vote accepted

According to the PMI CAPM Certification page, here are the requirements for the CAPM:

To apply for the CAPM, you need to have:

  • A secondary diploma (high school or the global equivalent)

AND (one of the following) *emphasis mine:

  • At least 1,500 hours experience


  • 23 hours of project management education by the time you sit for the exam.

Other than the secondary degree AND the hours experience OR the PM education, there appear to be no other requirements. See page 6 of the CAPM Handbook for more information.

According to the PMP Certification page, you need:

To apply for the PMP, you need to have either:

  • A four-year degree (bachelor’s or the global equivalent) and at least three years of project management experience, with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.


  • A secondary diploma (high school or the global equivalent) with at least five years of project management experience, with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.

For the PMP, the requirements are broken down into 5 process groups, which are listed in the PMP Application Form. The one that includes preparing the budget is the "Planning the Project" process group. This consists of preparing the project plan and developing the work breakdown structure. Examples are:

  • Project requirements
  • Project constraints
  • Create WBS
  • Develop schedule
  • Develop budget
  • HR Management
  • Communication
  • Procurement
  • Quality management
  • Change management
  • Risk management
  • Conducting kick off meetings
  • Presenting the plan to stakeholders

The manual doesn't state how many hours you must have in each process group; it just states the total and that you should have experience in all five groups. Thus, if you have experience doing something else in this process group, you should theoretically meet the requirement without specific budgeting experience.

From page 8 of the PMP Handbook:

You should have experience in all five process groups across all your project management experience submitted on the application. However, on a single project, you do not need to have experience in all five process groups.

In summary, if you don't meet all of the requirements for the PMP, the CAPM is the choice recommended by the PMI.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the great answer. –  Marco Daniel Sep 16 '12 at 7:13
Excellent answer. –  David Espina Sep 16 '12 at 11:37
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.