PMP or PMI ACP – which certification should you get?

By Nandini 

Last updated on Nov 1 2021

PMP or PMI ACP – which certification should you get?

Which certification is better - PMP or PMI ACP?

Project management jobs are becoming increasingly popular. The reason for the popularity of management jobs is the stability they provide. As markets are becoming volatile and jobs are becoming unstable, everyone is trying to find a safe and secure job.

There are many reasons to go for a project management job. The main reason is that it will help you find a job in any type of industry. You can go for finance, marketing, or food. The options are plenty when it comes to project management jobs.

How to get a project management job?

The best way is to get a certification. A project management certification will help you learn the basics of project management and apply them in your real life. It will also add value to your resume and help you during interviews.


Project Management Certifications


There are many project management certificates. However, you need to understand that all certificates are not the same. There are some certifications that will help you find a suitable job. On the other hand, other certifications are a waste of time and money.

How to decide which certification is best for you? There are many ways to determine that. You need to understand your requirements first. In essence, you have to make a list of the jobs you want. After making a list, find out the qualities that you need to get the job. It will help you find out what type of certification will help you the most.


Which project management certification is the best?


There are many certifications but PMP and the PMI ACP are the best among them. They are the oldest certifications, therefore you can trust them. As job security is unstable these days, you need something that will give you stability. Project management jobs provide both stability and security.

When you consider other options, you will find that project management jobs are secure and stable. It is because there are no limitations to it. Every organization needs a project manager. It is an essential part of every company. So, as a project manager you will be able to find a high-paying job wherever you want.


PMP or PMI ACP - which one should you choose?


Both PMP and PMI ACP are worthy project management certifications. However, you need to choose between the two. Although both of them are equally good, there are a few differences. You need to understand the differences between PMP and PMI ACP to make a decision.

Also, it will help if you make a list of your requirements. If you go through what you want from a certification, you will have a clear idea. As both PMP and PMI ACP are efficient certifications, it becomes difficult to make a choice.

But, with the right guide you can easily choose between the two. Here is a complete guide that will help you find out which certification will be best for you.

  • Future prospects

It is very essential to have career plans. In essence, you need to plan what you want to do for a job. It will give you a clear idea of what you need to do. Choosing a certification becomes easy after deciding a career goal. The PMP certification will help you become a project manager. Although it is a good certification, it will not teach you agile concepts. To learn agile principles, you need the PMI ACP certification.

However, you don’t have to stress a lot about future prospect. Even if you choose PMP, you can always learn agile process later. Also, if you choose PMI ACP, you can come back to PMP.

  • Present needs of the company

Everyone has a dream company that they want to work for. If you have such a company in mind, it will make the process easy for you. List the requirements of the job position. Mark the skills that you need to have. Your next step is to check whether a certification will help you learn those skills. If the job asks for project managers, you need to go for PMP. However, if there are no specifications, you can go for PMI ACP.

Agile principles are new. So, if you want to learn the latest principles, you should go for PMI ACP. In the end, you can always learn new things even if you don’t require them at work.

  • Broadening your knowledge

The basic principles of both the certifications vary a lot. PMP will teach you traditional project management. However, PMI ACP will teach you agile practices. Both are very different from one another. So, you need to be careful while choosing as it will affect your career. If you want to learn the basics of project management, you should choose the PMP certifications.

You need to understand that PMI ACP is also a part of PMP. In essence, learning PMP principles will also give you basic knowledge about agile practices.

  • Thought process

Your thought process is essential while you work. As both the certifications have different thought processes, they will directly affect your work. PMP helps you learn the waterfall method. As a result, you will focus on the final product of the project. On the other hand, PMI ACP helps you learn agile principles. As a result, you will be more flexible.

The thought process mainly depends on the job requirement. If your job requires you to be flexible and adapt to changes, you need to choose PMI ACP.

  • Market and customer requirements

Both market and customer requirements are essential for any job. You need to understand the market requirements of your product or service. If you have a stable market condition, PMP will be beneficial for you. Also, if you can easily define customer requirements, you need to choose PMP. However, if your market conditions are volatile, PMI ACP will help you.

Market conditions often change. So, if you want to target the market, then PMI ACP will be the best option for you.


You will receive both PMP and PMI ACP certification from PMI – Project Management Institute, the governing body.


Get PMP Certification Training - Online, Live Online and Classroom Training


Get PMI ACP Certification Training - Online, Live Online and Classroom Training 



Prerequisites for PMP and PMI ACP exams


You need to keep the prerequisites in mind while applying for any certification. There are different prerequisites for different exams. For the PMP exam you need to have 4,500 hours of experience in project management. Along with that, you also need to have a four-year degree in any commerce branch.

On the other hand, the prerequisites for PMI ACP are more complex. You need to have 2000 hours of experience in general project management. Apart from that, you also require 1,500 hours as an agile project manager. As agile is more complex than the traditional waterfall method, you need to have more experience with it.

Therefore, we can say that PMI ACP is for those who have previous experience. On the other hand, PMP is for people who are new to project management. However, you can also gain experience by doing more projects.

Exam pattern of PMP and PMI ACP

The PMP exam is a CBT. It has 200 questions that you need to solve within 3 hours. Although it seems easy, the questions are complex. You need a minimum percentage of 75% to pass the exam. If you pass the exam, you will get the PMP certification. However, if you fail to score 75%, you can appear for the exam again.

PMI ACP has a different exam pattern. There are 120 questions in the exam and you need to answer them within 3 hours. All the questions require great effort for solving. Therefore, you need to practice well before the exam. The passing percentage for the exam is 70%. In essence, you need to score 70% to pass the exam.

Financial structure

The fees of both the exam vary. For PMI members, the cost of PMP exam is $405. However, for non-PMI members, the cost is $555. The difference is significant. Therefore, it would be valuable to join the Project Management Institute.

Apart from that, there are re-examination fees also. For PMI members, the re-examination fees are $275. But, for the non-PMI members the re-examination fees are $375.

On the other hand, the PMI ACP exam will cost you $435 if you are a member of the PMI. If you are not a PMI member, you need to pay $495 for the exam. Also, the pen-and-paper exam fee is different. For written exam, you need to pay $385 if you are a member of PMI. If you are a non-member, then you need to pay $445.

Therefore, it is advisable to join the project management institute. Overall, joining PMI will help you save a lot of money. It will also give you access to study materials.

In conclusion, both PMP and PMI ACP are good certifications. No matter what you choose, you will be able to find a stable job in large corporations. In the end, your dedication toward the job matters the most.

To get full details about the PMP or PMI ACP certification program or about other project management certifications, chat with our course expert


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About the Author

Sprintzeal   Nandini 

With over 3 years of experience in creating informative, authentic, and engaging content, Nandini is a technology content writer who is skilled in writing well-researched articles, blog posts, newsletters, and other forms of content. Her works are focused on the latest updates in E-learning, professional training and certification, and other important fields in the education domain.

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