PMP or CAPM – which is better?

By Melissa

Last updated on Sep 21 2020

PMP or CAPM – which is better?

Is PMP harder than CAPM?


CAPM Certification

It is a beginner-level certificate. You can take up CAPM if you want to start a career in project management. It is best suitable for applicants with less or no experience in this field. In addition, you will get better job opportunities and a higher salary. Also, you will be examined on your skills and knowledge in project management topics, principles, and methods.


In the CAPM exam you have to mainly depend on your knowledge to pass it. However, to pass PMP you have to have practical experience in project management. In other words, a PMP certificate is more suitable for people with experience. You will also gain knowledge and skills in leading and managing projects.


Eligibility criteria for the CAPM exam:


  • You must have a secondary diploma or a high school diploma.
  • You should get 23 hours of education on project management.


Anybody can begin their careers with the CAPM certification exam. However, the applicants need to have at least 23 hours of training before taking up the exam. You can take up online courses to finish 23 hours of training. You can choose any format for taking up the exam depending on your needs. To complete this training, you do not have to put aside your career. However, you can also take up the 35 hours of PMP training instead. Also, the candidates won't have to put their professional career aside in order to acquire this certificate.


Take up CAPM Training from Experts and Get CAPM Certified



PMP Certification


Project Management Professional is the most popular certificate available in project management. The demand for PMP certificates is increasing every day all over the world. You will be able to learn how to manage and lead the project effectively.


Eligibility criteria of PMP® exam:


  • You must have a secondary degree or high school diploma.
  • You need to achieve 7500 hours in leading and directing projects.
  • Also 35 hours of education on project management is needed.


  • You must have a four-year degree.
  • You need at least 4500 hours of managing projects.
  • It is a must to have 35 hours of education on project management.


You do not need a bachelor’s degree in PMP. However, the applicants with a four-year degree have an advantage. You need at least 1500 hours of training in CAPM but in PMP you need 7500 hours of training on leading and managing projects. Similarly, the applicants with four years' degree need only 4,500 hours of training. Also, you have to complete 35 hours of training in PMP. However, you must complete 23 hours of training in project management education in CAPM.


You have to pay around $225 for the CAPM exam registration if you are a PMI member. However, if you do not have a PMP membership, you must pay $300.


For the PMP exam, you must pay around $400 with a PMI membership. However, you do not have a PMI membership you must pay $555 for exam registration.  


Take up PMP training from Industry Experts and Get Certified


Difference between the PMP and CAPM exam:


CAPM Exam: You have to solve a total of 150 multiple choice-based questions within three hours. It a computer-based exam. It contains fifteen pretext questions which do not affect your final result.


PMP Exam: You have to solve a total of 200 questions within four hours. The questions given will be all multiple choice based. You will get a total of 24 pretext questions. It contains multiple choice-based questions.


You must read the PMBoK Guide thoroughly. Since most of the questions are asked from the PMBOK guide. However, you will not know the actual marks of any questions. You will also have no idea about which of the questions are pretext questions. Therefore, you must answer every question correctly.


CAPM Certification Exam Difficulty :


CAPM is an entry-level certification that provides opportunities for both beginners and professionals to enhance their skills and knowledge. So, it is considered less difficult than the PMP exam. However, you might find both the exams a bit difficult. Since both of the exams require time and hard work for preparation. The PMBOK Guide is very important for the CAPM exam preparation. If you get the CAPM certificate you must understand all the concepts and theories given in the PMBoK.


Difficulty level of PMP exam:


This exam is mainly suitable for applicants with experience considering its difficulty. In other words, you must gain enough experience in project management to get this certification. Practical experience is important in this exam. You must complete the entire PMBoK Guide to learn all the important concepts. You will also be examined on your capability to handle real-life projects.


Passing score of CAPM and PMP


There are no fixed passing marks for both of the exam. However, you can try to score above 75% in the practice exam to increase your confidence level. You will be able to improve your knowledge and understanding of the topics with the practice exam. You can know your mistakes and your weakness. After that, you can work on strengthening your weak points.

CAPM Maintenance

CAPM is not a permanent certificate. Therefore, you have to renew it every five years. But the PMP certificate lasts for three years, after that you have to renew it.

Steps to renew the certification

Every certificate has a different method of renewal. You have to apply for recertification after you reach the renewal date.

You have to renew the CAPM certification every five years by passing the exam again.

However, if you achieve a PMP certificate you do not have to retake the exam. You have to earn the professional development units to prove your dedication after every three years. You have to take up the continuing certification program to earn the PDUs needed.

In addition, after five years of gaining your CAPM certificate, you will be able to gain a lot of experience. You can then apply for the Project Management Professional Certification according to your choice. You can also choose to take the CAPM exam again. However, it is a much better option to go for PMP instead. In other words, if you want to expand your career in project management, PMP is an incredible choice.

Advantages of CAPM and PMP certification

You can stand out from the other newcomers in the project management field with the CAPM certification, other benefits of CAPM are given below:

  • You will achieve recognition and respect within your company.
  • It can help you to improve your confidence level.
  • The career opportunities will be higher
  • Achieving a path of success is possible with a strong foundation.

PMP also has many benefits that are given below:

  • You can get respect from your company
  • The PMP certified professionals receive a higher salary than the non-certified project managers.
  • This validates your skills and knowledge in managing, directing, and leading projects.
  • You might receive higher job opportunities. Since it is a globally recognized certificate, you can gain job opportunities in different countries.

Both the certificates have some benefits to them. However, CAPM certification is not as well-recognized as the PMP. Also, the difference in salary is not known. You can gain a better salary with a PMP certificate. You will also be able to lead a successful career after achieving a certificate.

Exam Content of PMP and CAPM

To prepare for the CAPM and PMP exam you can take the help of the resources, study guides, and materials available. However, the best option will be to take up a training course. You can learn all the concepts related to project management with the training courses. It will also help you to increase your chances of passing the exam.

To completely prepare for the exam you require the PMBoK guide. Since most of the questions asked in the exam are from this book. In addition, you can take up practice exams to understand the concepts better. You will be able to find your mistakes and weak areas with the practice exam. You can also focus on strengthening the areas that are important for the exam.

Final Words

Both the certifications have a great amount of materials to study from. However, the PMP certification is considered to be a bit difficult because it is based on your practical experience. Both of these certificates are important and beneficial for improving your career opportunities in this field.

If you have the needed experience for a PMP certificate then you can take up a training course. You will be able to improve your skills and learn extra skills. PMP certified experts are considered valuable for an industry. In addition, you can increase the productivity of a company with your project management skills.

You can display your skills and knowledge with these certifications. You will be able to get better job and higher salary. Also, you can lead a successful life since these certifications increase your value to the industry.

Finally, you must choose the certification based on your career level and needs. These certifications are highly recognized in the field of project management. You might need these certificates at different stages of your career.

Both PMP and CAPM certifications are accredited by PMI. To get started, you can take up CAPM training or PMP training. Be sure to take up training from an authorized training institute like Sprintzeal. It is a REP (Registered Education Provider) of PMI, the governing body. To get full details about PMP or CAPM training from Sprintzeal, chat with course experts.

Most Popular and High Paying Project Management Certifications:


PMP® Certification

PRINCE2® Foundation

CAPM® Certified Associate Project Management

PRINCE2® Practitioner

PRINCE2® Foundation Practitioner

PgMP® Exam Prep training




About the Author

Sprintzeal   Melissa

Technical Content Writer with Experience in Creating Content for Quality Management and Other Popular Domains.

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