CAPM Certification Requirements

What are the CAPM Certification Requirements?

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification requirements are a tiered validation structure that ensures you have the necessary education and work experience. Meeting these requirements is the first step to obtaining CAPM Certification. Earning the CAPM certification means you must qualify for the requirements in addition to studying for and passing the CAPM exam. In this article, we will review the CAPM certification requirements in detail. After reading this guide, you should know if you are qualified to sit for the CAPM exam or not.



CAPM Eligibility Criteria

The Project Management Institute requires that you meet some initial criteria before you are eligible to take the CAPM exam. Candidates must meet two requirements to obtain CAPM certification and sit for the exam. These criteria all focus on your level of formal education. Candidates must complete the verification section of the application to apply to take the CAPM Exam.  You need a high school diploma, associate’s degree or equivalent AND 23 contact hours of formal project management education.

CAPM Eligibility Breakdown in Detail

Academic Education

  • You will be asked if you have a secondary diploma or a degree. You will need the name of the institution, the year you graduated, and the major.

Formal Project Management Education

formal project management education requirementsProject management requires advanced knowledge and understanding of project management tools, techniques and processes. According to the CAPM Credential Handbook, the CAPM exam “objectively assesses and measures experience, education and professional knowledge—the foundation of competent practice as a project manager.” There are 10 knowledge areas that a project manager has to be proficient in order to pass CAPM certification exam. These knowledge areas are tested in five different project management process groups. In order to pass the CAPM certification exam, a CAPM candidate must score above a proficient level in these project management process groups.


  • You will need to show 23 contact hours of project management education.
  • The 23 hours of Project Management education requirement can be fulfilled by our CAPM certification training
  • What is a Contact Hour?
    • One hour of Classroom instruction equals one contact hour.
    • If you attend an 9 hour long session with breaks in-between, then you can claim (9 hours minus the break time) as contact hours.
    • You may use educational hours from college programs.
    • There is no time period or expiration on contact hours.
    • These hours can be accrued from classroom courses or online training workshops.

Prior to attending our course, you may complete our CAPM Readiness and Overview course to get more information about the information required to pass the CAPM exam, the CAPM examination process, application and the steps for maintaining your certification. This online training option satisfies the required 23 contact hours of project management training and allows our students to complete their application and receive eligibility approval before attending our CAPM Exam Boot Camp course.

For a more information about the eligibility documentation, please review the CAPM certification requirements within the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Handbook. This free guide is available from the Project Management Institute’s website. Within it, you’ll find a detailed description of the CAPM certification, an explanation of who is eligible to apply, and the process to apply. It covers everything you would ever need to about the exam from an administrative point of view.

CAPM Eligibility Quick Reference 

CAPM Application Process

Because the CAPM application is quite an involved process, we recommend that you gather all the relevant information related to your CAPM application before you begin. Once the application has begun, it cannot be cancelled; however, you can save your application and completed later.

  • Register to become a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI).
    • It typically costs $139 to become a member, but it saves you money on exam fees.
    • The standard non-member price to take the exam is $555. The PMI member price for the exam is $405.
  • Is PMI Membership Mandatory?
    • The answer is no, you don’t have to be a member, but there are at least two financial benefits to becoming a member:
      • PMI members receive a significant discount on their CAPM exam application fee. This discount is greater than what it costs to become a PMI member.
      • PMI members receive a free PDF copy of the PMBOK Guide, which is needed to prepare for and pass the exam.
    • Side By Side Cost Breakdown:
      Item PMI Member Non Member
      PMI Membership Fee:  $139 $0
      CAPM Application Fee: $405 $555
      Total Cost: $544 $555
      *Bonus – Retake Fee:  $275 $375
    • Submit your PMP application online.
      • The online application provides a limited amount of space (500 characters). Use concise descriptions to describe the project management tasks the candidate led or directed for each project.
      • There is no rush to do this step. We will help you with this as part of our PMP Course.
      • You can use our CAPM Certification Course to satisfy the required 23 hours of education
      • Before submitting the application, you will need to read and agree to PMI Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct and the Certification Agreement/Renewal Agreement.
      • PMI® will review your application and respond within 3 to 5 business days.
      • Once your application is approved you will receive an invitation to pay for and schedule the exam.
      • Schedule your exam with Pearson VUE.
        • You have one year to take the exam after your application has been approved.
        • You may take the exam up to three (3) times during the eligibility period.
    • CAPM Examination Process
      • Scheduling the Exam
        • Once you have been approved by PMI and paid to the CAPM certification exam fee, you can schedule your exam with Pearson VUE. You will have one year from the time your application is approved to take the exam. You may take the exam up to 3 times during this eligibility period. You can find a complete list of testing locations on the Pearson VUE PMI page.
      • Take the CAPM Exam
        • The CAPM Exam is taken at your nearest Pearson VUE test center and is 150 questions with a 3 hour time limit. Because it is a computer based exam, you will receive your score immediately.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

do you meet the pmp requirementsIf your work experience and education meet the qualifications and requirements, we’d love to help you get started on your application and on the way to passing your exam by enrolling in one of our public CAPM Boot Camp classes. We offer classes in over 20 cities and online, usually once a month. Our instructor led courses cover all aspects of the examination as well as extremely helpful test taking strategies and exam simulators to make sure you are fully ready.

CAPM Certification Requirements FAQ’s

Does my job title have to be Project Manager?
Do I have to be a PMI Member?
How long does it take to process the application?
What is an Audit and How will I know if I'm selected?
How long is my eligibility good for?
Do I need to renew my PMI membership to stay certified?