A certificate in project management is a great way to sharpen your skills and bring valuable credentials to your employer, while also increasing your own earning power in the process. The project management industry is growing rapidly, with many opportunities for advancement. The skills you learn by getting a project management certification will help you in nearly any business or management position.

Whether you are already in management or looking to move up, getting a project management certification is a smart way to use continuing education to leverage your skills. There are certificates for project managers at every level of professional development.

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These include general entry-level project management certificates, as well as those for specific techniques or vendor types. There are also certificates for individuals who are more advanced in their project management careers and looking to manage multiple projects at a time.

Whatever program you choose, make sure to match up the specialty and skill level of the certificate with your own experience and best practices in your workplace to get the most out of it.

Here are the 11 best project management certifications available to you today.

1. CompTIA Project+

CompTIA Project+ is ideal for entry-level project managers or those who manage smaller scale projects. This project management certification draws on multiple frameworks to provide a general project management competency.

You can expect to learn about resource management, the project life cycle and project constraints, documentation protocols, communication best practices, and coordinating stakeholders.

Managing Organization: CompTIA

2. Certified Project Manager (CPM)

The Certified Project Manager is a credential offered by the International Association of Project Managers (IAPM). It is another great option for inexperienced or entry-level project managers. It also stands as a prerequisite for the more advanced Certified International Project Manager (IAPM) credential.

Certified Project Manager is an internationally recognized certificate and provides a basic framework for planning, organizing, and implementing a project.

Managing Organization: International Association of Project Managers

3. Associate in Project Management (APM)

The Associate in Project Management (APM) is administered by the Global Association for Quality Management. It is an entry-level certification for professionals who are new to the project management field.

Core competencies of resource management, quality assurance, and communication are emphasized in this project management certification. The Associate in Project Management certification does not have any prerequisites.

Managing Organization: Global Association for Quality Management

project management certification

4. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

The Certified Associate in Project Management or “CAPM” is another entry-level certification that is administered by the PMI. This project management certification is a prerequisite for project managers who may want to scale up to the Project Management Professional certification in the future.

An associate degree or equivalent and some previous project management experience or education are required to qualify for this credential.

Managing Organization: Project Management Institute

5. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is the next step offered by the Project Management Institute after CAPM certification. PMI works with universities and businesses to maintain the prestige and relevance of this certification, making it an industry standard.

The Project Management Professional is for professionals with prior project management experience. Candidates must have 4,500-7,500 hours of project management practice and complete 35 hours of project management education before qualifying to take the PMP exam.

Managing Organization: Project Management Institute

6. Master Project Manager (MPM)

The Master Project Manager credential, which is regulated by the American Academy of Project Management, is a board certification for experienced project managers. Candidates must have at least three years of project management experience and have either an approved degree or training in order to qualify for this project management certification.

Managing Organization: American Academy of Project Management

7. Professional in Project Management (PPM)

The Professional in Project Management credential is a project management certification administered by the Global Association for Quality Management. It is considered a certification for middle management positions, which includes the core fundamentals of project management, as well as more advanced concepts like crisis management.

There are no prerequisite qualifications, but candidates will have to study GAQM materials and an e-course to prepare for the PPM examination.

Managing Organization: Global Association for Quality Management

8. Program Management Professional (PgMP)

The Program Management Professional certificate is for senior-level professionals who manage and coordinate multiple projects for their organizations. The PgMP emphasizes synergistic management so that multiple projects benefit from coordinated oversight as opposed to being managed separately.

Candidates must have at least 6,000 hours of experience in project management and 6,000-10,500 hours of specific program management experience to qualify.

Managing Organization: Project Management Institute

9. Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

The Agile Certified Practitioner certificate or PMI-ACP is another credential offered by the Project Management Institute. This certification emphasizes the use of agile practices in project management. Agile strategies such as Scrum, Kanban, and Lean are featured for project managers to cultivate maximum responsiveness to market volatility.

Project experience and previous work on agile teams are required to qualify for this certificate.

Managing Organization: Project Management Institute

10. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

The Certified ScrumMaster certification is a focused credential specifically geared toward the Scrum management technique. It is offered by the Scrum Alliance, which is a non-profit organization who promotes the use of agile frameworks (such as Scrum) in project management.

There are no prerequisites for this project management certification, making it a great option for entry-level managers and those entering a team or workplace that uses Scrum project management techniques.

Managing Organization: Scrum Alliance

11. Projects in Controlled Environments (PRINCE2)

The Projects in Controlled Environments or PRINCE2 certificates are administered by the ILX Group. These certificates focus on a scalable management approach to handle projects of any size.

There are two levels you can achieve with Projects in Controlled Environments certification: Foundation or Practitioner. PRINCE2 Foundation is an entry-level certificate. PRINCE2 Practitioner requires a PRINCE2 Foundation certificate as a prerequisite and is geared toward more advanced project managers.

Managing Organization: ILX Group

Learn More About Project Management Certification Options

If you’d like to learn more about these certifications and project management in general, be sure to sign up for the Teamweek Modern Management newsletter. We share valuable tips and tricks for the industry and also offer software to make your life easier.

Logan Derrick

Logan Derrick

Logan Derrick is a full-time business writer and content marketing strategist. For years, he has worked closely with several project management professionals, learning from them and increasing his own knowledge of the industry. Having held multiple management positions in fields ranging from customer service to marketing, Logan has found a passion for helping others learn about project management, marketing, and the powerful tools available to professionals today.
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