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Are PMP Jobs in Demand?

The Project Management Professional (PMPĀ®) is still an in demand certification in the DC area. There are thousands of job openings that list this certification as required or desirable.

Not surprisingly most jobs requiring PMP certification are for Project or Program Managers though there are some listings for Project Analysts and IT Analysts that require PMP certification as well. PMP jobs continue to pay well with salaries in excess of $100k per year.

PMI offers many certifications

Over the years, the Project Management Institute (PMIĀ®) has expanded its certification beyond the PMP. There is the Program Management Professional (PgMPĀ®) which is for individuals who manage multiple projects.

Less than 5% of the job openings that list PMP also list PgMP. Of those most accept either certification. However, there are a handful that especially require the PgMP certification. These jobs are for senior level management positions.

Another PMI certification is the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPMĀ®). This is a more junior certification and a good starting point for someone who wants to enter the Project Management field.

As with the PgMP, most of the job openings list CAPM as well as PMP. However there are a few openings that only list CAPM and not PMP.

Agile Experience and Certification Increasingly Important

Of the job openings listing PMP as a required or desired skill, over 30% also list Agile as required or desired.

The PMI has expanded its training and certification to cover Agile methodologies. In particular, there is the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACPĀ®) Certification geared towards people who are part of Agile teams.

As with the other PMI certifications there is an overlap of jobs requiring either PMP or PMI-ACP. Jobs specifically looking for PMI-ACP candidates include Directors of Technology, Agile Coaches, Release Managers, Scrum Masters and Senior Project Managers.

The demand for PMP holders in the DC area is very strong. Compared to many East Coast metro areas there are 5x more job openings in the DC area for those that hold the PMP certification.

What are PMP Certification Requirements

The PMP is one of the most recognized project management certifications. Passing this certification demonstrates that one has the experience, education, skill and competency required to lead and direct projects

What are PMP Certification Requirements?

This certification is sponsored by the Project Management Institute. Their requirements for taking the certification are as follows:

  • A four-year degree
  • 36 months leading projects
  • 35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM Certification

Individuals without a four year degree are instead required to have a high school diploma and 60 months of experience leading projects.

How to Put the Odds in Your Favor to Pass the Exam

The PMP certification exam covers three main domains including:

  • People (42%)
  • Process (50%)
  • Business Environment (8%)

An important change in exam focus in recent years is the focus on Agile and hybrid approaches.

About half of the certification exam will focus on predictive project management approaches while the other half of exam questions cover Agile and/or hybrid approaches.

Be ready to spend some quality time with the exam. It consists of 180 questions. Those questions are a mix of multiple-choice, multiple responses, matching, hotspot and limited fill-in-the-blank.

Passing the PMP certification exam requires finding resources, creating a study plan and following through with consistent study effort. However, you are certainly not alone in your journey.

There are local PMI chapters available whose members can provide advice along with the opportunity to find study groups.

There are also quite a number of project management blog posts and podcasts that provide insight and perspective. Also, consider reading through the PMIā€™s ā€œA Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledgeā€ (PMBOKĀ® Guide). This is a go-to reference book.

Maintain Your Certification

Your journey is not over once you pass the exam and earn your PMP certification. Once you have your certification in hand you will need to earn a set number of Professional Development Units (PDUs). These PDUs are one-hour blocks of time that you spend in continuing education, volunteering or even teaching others.

The PMI requires the PMP certification holder to complete 60 PDUs over a three year period in order to keep their certification current.


The PMP is an established, well respected certification. It can certainly give you a competitive edge in the job market.

It literally pays to earn it. Individuals holding it earn a salary premium as compared to non-certified individuals. According to the PMI, holders of a PMP certification can expect to see their median salary being 25% higher than their non-PMP peers.

In addition, with the passage of the 2016 Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA), project and program managers hired by the federal government are now required to have a PMP certification.


PMIĀ®, PMPĀ®, PgMPĀ®, PMI-ACPĀ®, CAPMĀ® and PMBOKĀ® are all registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute

If you have any questions or need additional info, please contact me.

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Christine has 15+ years in the technical industry developing software, leading teams along with extensive experience as a hiring manager. She found that she really enjoyed the process of building teams and interacting with candidates and business customers. As a result, Christine decided to make the hiring process her focus and started Vector Recruiting.

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