The Five Benefits and Salary Comparison of getting your PMP Certification
Wondering if you should get your PMP ? Then you might be interested in this article that explains the 5 benefits of getting your PMP Certification as well as providing a salary comparison of project managers with and without a PMP.
I’d like to share with you on the benefits of getting your PMP certification. I’ve listed five benefits regarding getting your PMP. It’s important to remember there are many benefits to getting your PMP, because you do have to put the effort in to studying and without really keeping your focus on the fact that there are benefits, it’s easy to kind of lose your way. So, let’s always keep in mind the benefits here of getting your PMP
Benefit #1 Learn a common and standardized vocabulary of project management
The first benefit is to learn a common and standardized vocabulary of project management. I’ve had a lot of people in my classes tell me that they sit in meetings and they hear all these project management terms and it made them feel like they weren’t in the know. So they came to the PMP class saying, “I’ve got to learn all this terminology because I can’t continue to sit in these meetings and not know what people are talking about”.
Whether you’re going to get your PMP certification or not just understanding the vocabulary of project management is important. If you’re going to project management meetings, or program management meetings and giving updates to project managers (or you’re a project manager yourself) then learning that standardized vocabulary is critical to your own success. It helps you navigate the landscape of project management.
Benefit #2 Learn about best practices across many different industries
Second, learn about best practices across many different industries. The way the PMBOK or Project Management Body of Knowledge was put together was that many different industries came together. They all brought in their best practices across many industries and they put them into the cross industry standard PMBOK. That’s what you’re going to learn when you study for your PMP Certification.
You’re going to learn a lot of best practices that you can use on your projects at one time or another. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to use all of them. Probably what you’re going learn will be way more than what you need, but that’s probably better than way less. So, you’re going to learn a lot of best practices that you can use in your project!
Benefit #3 Gain maturity and perspective in project management
Number three, gain maturity and perspective in project management. What do I mean? Well, most of us are only (throughout our careers) exposed to parts of projects. For example, we are just exposed to small projects or we’re exposed to big projects, but we’re only on acquisition or we’re only in development or we’re only in manufacturing. A lot of times we don’t see the whole life cycle of project management or if we do, we only see it on a smaller project.
When you study for the PMP certification you learn the full scale of project management: from how to run small, medium and very large projects and you’ll also see the project from beginning to end. Just by going through the class, you will gain maturity and perspective in project management. You’ll see, more of the big picture, and more what different people are doing across different industries and what might be available to you in terms of best practices. Also, to think about concepts that you may have kind of noticed in projects but really couldn’t put a name to it or really couldn’t kind of conceptualize it because you didn’t have the maturity. But going through the PMP certification process is going to kind of accelerate your maturity because you’re going to be able to describe a concept, describe a best practice and move forward on your ability to apply it.
Benefit #4 Gain comfort in scaling project management methods
Number four, gain comfort in scaling project management methods from small, medium, large, ultra large projects, etc. As I mentioned in number 3, the PMBOK is written all the way up to the very large projects, so really everything’s in there and all you do is a scaling down to apply it to smaller projects.
Benefit #5 Internationally recognized certification by customers, suppliers and partners
Finally, it’s an internationally recognized certification by customers, suppliers and partners. So you’ll be able to talk across industries to either your customers, your suppliers, your partners, and other people also in your own organization. It helps you to use the correct terminology and gives you comfort to work in the industry of project management. All right, so we looked at the benefits in terms of what it can do for your knowledge. Now let’s take a look at some salary comparisons that are out there.
Salary Comparison with and without a PMP Certification
If you’re a numbers type of person, then this part is for you. These numbers are based on the 2017 PMI salary survey. And in case you are wondering, they actually do it for every country and not just the U.S. If you’re a PMI member, you can download this complete survey for free and look at, for all the different countries. This is especially useful if you’re going to be working in a different country other than the United States.
In this analysis they look at the difference between people with a PMP versus without a PMP. And with a PMP, their survey came back with a median salary of $115,000. This is the average but the range is somewhere between 70 and maybe upwards of $170,000. There, there is a wide range depending on experience. However, if you just look at the averages here, it tells you the story with a PMP credential, $115,000, and without a PMP credentialed the median salary is $92,000.
That’s a $23,000 difference! Regardless of where you are on the spectrum, which is going to depend on what kind of project manager you are and in what industry, that’s a pretty big difference. Especially if you look over somebody’s career. And if you have 20 more years or 15 more years left in your career it has a big effect.
Let’s just look at an example of 20 years without even taking in the time value of money and compound interest or anything like that. That would be a $460,000 difference, without considering compound interest. This is something that’s a cumulative effect, so it may not have a real big difference right on day one when you get that PMP, but when you are navigating your career over time it helps open doors that otherwise might not be available. Perhaps the PMP allows you to get a promotion in your present department, switch to a different department, or you may even switch to a different company. In fact, many of my students have gotten promotions, switched departments, and companies ,therefore, I see that it can make a really big difference in one’s career.
What about other certifications ?
Alright, here’s another way to look at the benefits in terms of salary. If you happen to be in the IT space, then there’s a number different certifications you can get as an IT professional. Looking at the chart you can see this ranking puts the PMP and the CAPM at the top versus all these other different certifications that you can get as an IT professional. So just one more way to look at the value of the PMP!