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In recent years, Project Management has become a lucrative career option for all the talented and ambitious Project Managers who want to accelerate their professional growth. If you are interested in Project Management, then it is necessary to know the difference between CAPM vs PMP.

CAPM is a beginner’s level certification for project practitioners and PMP is an industry-recognised Project Management certification for Project Managers. By successfully obtaining a project management certification, your dreams & desires can be accomplished in no time.

But often, we can witness the candidates confused about selecting the suitable Project Management Training/certification. To find the resolution for this problem, we have produced this blog for you to analyse and choose the best option feasible for your need.

Table of Contents

1) What is PMP Certification? 

2) What is CAPM Certification? 

3) Differences Between CAPM vs PMP 

   a) PMP and CAPM Exam Prerequisites & Fee structure

   b) Exam Format 

   c) Estimated Exam Preparation Time 

   d) Certification Bodies 

4) Benefits of PMP and CAPM Certifications

5) Tips to Choose Between PMP and CAPM

6) How Difficult are the PMP and CAPM Exams?

7) Is Upgrading the CAPM to a PMP Certification Possible? 

8) Conclusion 

What is PMP Certification? 

Project Management Professional PMP Certification is a golden standard in the Project Management field and is recognised globally across organisations. Acquiring the PMP Certification proves that you have sizeable experience in project management. PMP Certification stands for Project Management Professional Certification.   

This certification proves to act as evidence of your training and experience in the field of Project Management. The purpose of the PMP certification is to validate the candidate's ability and the knowledge and experience gained to take responsibility for high-end projects.   

You will become one of the most credible & preferred candidates by recruiters once you complete your PMP Exam.

And this blog will most definitely help you get an understanding about how to get a PMP Certification

PMP Training

What is CAPM Certification?

CAPM stands for Certified Associate in Project Management. This certification is designed to prepare candidates for Project Management positions in entry-level.

CAPM is administered by the Project Management Institute PMI, a leading worldwide organisation in the field of project management. Rather than focusing on Applied knowledge, the CAPM emphasises understanding the principles and concepts.   

Obtaining the CAPM certification is possible if you follow the study syllabus and material, understand, and memorise enough information to pass the exam. Usually, studying for the CAPM exam is simple, as it is based on PMI’s framework, the content is easy to understand, and the questions in the exam are less complex.  

Typically, the exam is a computer-based and closed book and is available year-round during working hours.   

The Cost of the CAPM Exam for PMI members comes close to 201 GBP and 271 GBP for non-PMI members. The Project Management Professionals obtaining this certification with a long-term investment plan are bound to get valuable results. 

Find the course information with regard to CAPM Certification Training Now! 

Differences between CAPM vs PMP

Pursuing a PMP certification needs to meet more preconditions than a CAPM certification. As the CAPM and PMP certifications have different requirements, check out the exhibited details in the tables below. 

a) PMP and CAPM Exam Prerequisites & Fee structure 

You can pass the exam on the first attempt only if you understand all the topics and concepts. Exclusively, the sole purpose and design of the PMP exam is to test your comprehension ability and your potential to practically apply the knowledge in real time.  

Below are the prerequisites for the CAPM vs PMP Exam:




Minimum Experience Required 

3 yrs. 

3 yrs.

Experience Required in Project Handling/Management

36 Months with a four-year degree, /or/ 60 months with a high school diploma or an associate degree. 

Bachelor's degree with 4500hrs or Secondary degree with 7500hrs. 

Formal Training Required 

At least 23 hrs of Project Management Education.

At least 35 hrs of Project Management Education. 

Exam Cost 

Approx. 271 GBP 

Approx. 501 GBP

Renewal Cycle 

3 yrs. 

3 yrs. 

Renewal Criteria

The certification holders need to earn 15 PDUs every three years.

Need to earn 60 PDUs 

(Professional Development Units). 

b) Exam Format 

Gaining knowledge and acquiring a thorough understanding of the exam format is bound to help you with – Planning & Scheduling in the context of exam preparation. Analysing the differences listed below will portray a clear picture in your mind.




Total No. Of Questions 



Exam Pattern

Multiple Choice Questions

Theoretical Questions with Multiple-Choice Options 

Total Time. 

3 hours

4 hours

Pass Percentage

No fixed passing score set. But you can aim for 70% to stay safe. 

No fixed percentage is set, depends on Psychometric Assessment.

Exam Mode



c) Estimated Exam Preparation Time 

First, familiarise yourself with the exam pattern and plan a schedule. Set aside a comprehensive study plan based on your availability and the syllabus you need to cover. And now, you need to strictly adhere to the planned schedule to achieve the desired results.   

The following is a suggested routine following which you can prepare well for the exam and clear it with minimal efforts.



  1) On average candidate, it might take 4 – 10 weeks.

On average it might take approx. 8 – 12 weeks.

2) It follows the PMBOK (Project management body of knowledge) guide. 


3) That will come close to 120 hrs of study. 

The hours of study time required will vary based on your knowledge, experience, and grasping ability.

d) Certification Bodies 

Having a certificate from a recognised institute will naturally boost your resume among professionals. The PMI issues Project Management certifications to validate the candidate's knowledge and experience.

Benefits of PMP and CAPM Certifications 

The PMP and CAPM are both specialised training offered through the PMI to improve the candidate's credibility, increase the salary, and open new opportunities for professional development in the field of Project Management.

CAPM certification proves that you understand the principles & concepts and have a solid foundation in project management. Whereas the PMP certifications prove that you have the potential to apply those project management principles & concepts in real-world scenarios.

Freshers in project management careers can benefit from a CAPM certification.

One of the  benefits of PMP Certification is that it presents the individual with several new opportunities in the field of project management. With this certificate, you can show that you have the skills, knowledge, and experience in managing projects, regardless of their size and complexity. You can move up the ladder and get higher positions along with an increase in salary.

According to PMI, the potential candidates who have a PMP certification will end up getting a 20% higher salary on average than those who do not own a certificate.

Overall, either of the certificates can escalate your recognition among peers, increasing the possibility of a hike in salary and career development.

CAPM vs PMP Certification: In respect to Industrywide Benefits. 

Taking into consideration that CAPM Certification is more affordable, attainable, and requires far less time than the PMP certification. As a project management professional, have you asked yourself, “Why should I pursue a PMP certification?”  

If yes, then, let us analyse the answer for you.  

a) PMP: The PMP certification is one of the most remarkable credentials recognised among industries worldwide. Currently, the PMP is the most in-demand certification essential in the project management career. We can find professional PMPs working in a wide-range of industries across every country.

In recent years, the PMPs have proved their credibility, knowledge, and skills to lead complex projects. They are versatile in managing project teams and have obtained the desired results at the highest level.

In fact, organisations with PMP-certified Project Managers complete the projects on time and within the expected budget. Nonetheless, the PMPs just do not bring merit to the organisation, they do earn 20%-25% higher salaries than their counterparts who do not own a PMP certification. 

b) CAPM: Even though the CAPM certification is not as well recognised as the PMP certification, it validates the candidate's knowledge about PMIs project management frameworks and processes, acting as a spur or enhancement against the candidates without any PMP certification.

The CAPM certification holders have a magnified knowledge of the PMBOK Guide, encouraging them to serve as the initial prerequisite to pursuing the PMP certification.

Tips to Choose between PMP and CAPM 

As a Project Manager, it might seem a little difficult to determine whether a PMP or a CAPM certification is beneficial for your future. 

The point is, if you are eligible and meet the PMP certification requirements - then undoubtedly, the PMP certification will be the right choice for you. For instance, if you meet most requirements for PMP and hardly find a few shortcomings, then it is probably worthwhile for you to work towards achieving a PMP certification. 

Below are a few key points worthy of you to consider and answer some of these questions yourself before you decide to choose between PMP certification vs CAPM certification. 

1) Choosing a career pathway for PMP certification vs CAPM certification holders.

Analyse at which stage of your career you are. Is it worthwhile for you as a beginner to select the project management field, or do you already have an experience in project management with pleasant history to describe?  

If you are at the entry level of your career path, then choosing the CAPM is likely the correct choice. The reason is that you can show your experience and qualifications as determined to pursue the PMP certification. And those with explicable experience in the Project Management field with an understanding and knowledge of the fundamentals can opt for PMP certification. As PMP certification can fetch you a better salary, respect & recognition among peers, and professional development.

You can even choose a CAPM certification if you hold a senior designation in your project management industry. You can determine better technical roles to work on and add more responsibilities as a team lead or if you expect a salary increment.

2) Analysing the Cost of PMP certification vs CAPM certification holders.

While both Certifications can be an investment towards your future, the PMP exam can be a little expensive compared to a CAPM certification (Depending on your PMI membership status). 

Apart from the exam costs, you also must consider the PMP training costs and other material costs required for your education. However, with higher investment costs for your PMP education, you can expect a higher return on the salary as a PMP-certified Project Manager.

Do consider and make sure to check if your employer is willing to cover your exam cost before taking any final decision. Many employers pay the exam fee for their Project managers, as obtaining the PMP certificate will reflect the overall well-being of your whole organisation, simultaneously improving your job prospects.

3) Employment and Job placement for PMP certification vs CAPM certification holders.

As a PMP-certified professional, you are certainly in high demand to be qualified for Project management roles. The PMPs can expect better salaries as they have higher responsibilities and bigger-sized projects to handle. The job roles you can expect are Project manager, Project controller, Program manager, and other senior Project Management roles, where you might have to manage the project teams and complex projects with higher budgets. 

And with a CAPM certification, you can qualify for positions such as a Project Coordinator, an Assistant Project Manager, or an Associate Project Manager. The CAPM certificate holders are held accountable for coordination activities among the project management teams to facilitate effective communication.

 4) Salary Comparisons with referral to PMP certification vs CAPM certification holders.

Once you obtain a PMP certificate, you can look forward to a decent salary increase, especially in the case of specialised projects. As claimed by the PMI Earning power salary survey, PMP certification holders can expect a 20% higher salary than those without the certification.

The time spent and the efforts made in achieving the CAPM certification to gain a salary rise are worth the attempt.  

Regardless of the option you choose, earning either of the certifications will indeed enhance your resume, making you a more skilled and proficient Project Manager.

PMP® Certification Training Course

How Difficult are the PMP and CAPM Exams? 

PMP: The PMP certification exam is suitable for more experienced project management professionals. Therefore, the exam becomes more challenging. Similar to CAPM, the PMP exam also refers to the PMBOK Guide, including questions about real-life scenarios and events to test the candidate's capabilities of handling real-life project management situations. 

You should read the PMP handbook, PMBOK Guide, and the PMP examination content outline to better prepare for the exam and clear it with minimum attempts. To prepare for the PMP Exam Questions you must enroll with a formal training given by a PMI registered education provider.

CAPM: CAPM is for entry-level Project Managers and professionals interested in Project Management careers. Compared to PMP, the CAPM exams can be considered less rigorous. The questions selected for CAPM are with reference to PMBOK Guide, i.e., the PMI’s Global standard for Project Management. 

The CAPM handbook consists of a number of questions that are associated with each chapter of the PMBOK guide. Thus, studying only the PMBOK guide can help you prepare for the CAPM Certification better.

Also, check out our blog to prepare the top PMP interview questions to ace your interview!

Is Upgrading the CAPM to a PMP Certification Possible?

Actually, it seems like it is possible but the answer is ‘NO’. You cannot upgrade your CAPM to PMP but the knowledge gained through CAPM can help you pursue PMP. Also, it is possible to apply the project management education hours of CAPM to your PMP prerequisite.

If you have just started you career in project management, then CAPM can be a great first step. This will help you obtain a PMP and higher salary upon years of Project Management experience.


In this blog, we can get a glimpse of CAPM vs PMP, and how both PMP and CAPM certifications add value to an individual's resume. While we know that the CAPM is a credible entry-level certification, the PMP is considered the gold standard of project management certifications. What to choose between PMP and CAPM certification is individually dependent, based on whether you are an experienced professional or inexperienced in the field of project management.   

Hence, before determining which certification to choose, you can consider your experience, skills, and intent behind achieving the certification. 

Sign up for the PMP Certification Course to amplify your Project Management career. 

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