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?

  • 1
    This might be considered a duplicate, but if nothing else, this is definitely related and may be helpful: pm.stackexchange.com/questions/3013/…
    – jmort253
    Commented Sep 15, 2012 at 18:01
  • 1
    @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) Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 6:25
  • This post is being discussed on meta: meta.pm.stackexchange.com/questions/484/…
    – jmort253
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 7:17
  • We are not PMI. No matter what answer you get here, PMI will not respect it. If you have a question about PMI rules, you should ask PMI.
    – MCW
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 8:13

4 Answers 4


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.


You can refer to the eligibility prescribed by PMI for PMP - if you’re Secondary degree/High school Diploma, Associate’s degree or global equivalent, PMI expects one to have project management experience of Minimum 5 Years/60 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience during which at least 7500 hours are spent leading and directing project tasks.

Or, if you’re Bachelor’s degree or global equivalent, one need to have Minimum 3 years/36 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience during which at least 4500 hours are spent in leading and directing project tasks.

In both the cases, one needs to have a 35 contact hours/PDU of formal project management education. So, based on above criteria’s, you can decide in which category you’re fit in. Most for PMP exam aspirants enroll themselves for some training program in PMI REP to get the necessary guidelines which includes study materials, mock tests, doubt clearing sessions and other features. I’ve come across simplilearn PMP training equipped with more user friendly features along with certified trainers’ and quality course ware.

If you’re interested, you can check out their website http://www.simplilearn.com/project-management/pmp-certification-training.

Hope it serves your purpose, Good luck!

  • 2
    I know this is old, but just an FYI: If you're on the fence on whether to get a PMP or a CAPM, and you don't yet have any of the contact hours of education, what I did was take courses to prepare for the CAPM, and take that first. PMP courses are way more expensive. Once you're ready, apply for your PMP, and you can use the same education hours for your PMP application that you used for your CAPM.
    – DrewJordan
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 20:02

There are only 2 requirements to appear for PMP exam-

  1. Project Management Experience
  2. 35 hours of Project Management Education

Regarding Project Management Experience - You need 4500 hrs of experience if you have done 4 years of degree (bachelors degree or equivalent). Other wise if you have a diploma of equivalent then you need 7500 hrs of experience.

The PM experience should be in a leading & directing role. So, PM role is must before doing PMP. However, PM role is not equivalent to PM designation/title. PM role means that you should have managed full or part of a project. Your role in the project could be of vendor management, team management, client management etc. The projects could be related to any industry. They could be big or small, technical or non-technical etc.

It does not matter if you have not handled budget. You need to have practical experience of initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling and closing the projects.

You can read more about the details of 4500 hours of experience here - (http://www.pmbypm.com/go/4500-hours-explanation-cornelius-ficthner/)

All the best. (http://www.pmbypm.com/)


The exam tests all of the required to be a Project Manager. However, you are not required to have an experience in all of the management areas, but you need to know about them in order to pass the exam.

First of all, you need to study well and have some confidence that you are able to pass.

Most of the experienced Project Managers did not know about procurement but they are now PMP certifieds.

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