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Do I Have to be a Project Manager to Qualify for the PMP Exam?

No.  But you need to play a management role in projects.

I get this question a lot because about two-thirds of our students fall in this management category.  The PMP exam application asks you for your project role, which may be different for different projects.

The drop-down choices for your project role on the PMP application say you could be a supervisor, manager, project leader, project manager, educator, consultant, administrator, or other.  Note that your role on the project is not the same as your job title.  We often play different roles on different projects.

It’s great if you are a project manager.  The exam content may be a bit easier for you because the exam is from the perspective of a project manager.

What if you play a dual role on projects, i.e. some management and some worker?  You may still qualify with enough management hours (see below), however, you can't claim your worker hours.  For example, figuring out what to build (service to set up or result needed) is management, however, doing the building are worker hours.

PMP Exam Prerequisites & Process

PMP Prep Course at QCP Project Management Institute Prometric Test for PMP

Help with PMP Exam Application

How do you 'prove' you have this experience?  About 90% chance you won't have to.  Only if PMI asks, you'll need to get the contact(s) you named (for each project) to sign your experience sheets.  PMI gives you links to print your expertience sheets, which are already completed using the details you provided on your exam application.  In other words, you don't have to prove you have experience to PMI, just get a project member to sign off on your stated experience.

For more details, visit the Project Management Institute's website at under 'Certification' on the blue menu bar.

Is there an industry background requirement?  Not at all.  Projects are undertaken in every majory industry.  The PMP exam is not industry dependent.  During class, it helps to hear experiences from students in different project environments like:
  • Information Technology
  • Engineering in all its flavours
  • Construction
  • Government
  • Telecom
  • Manufacturing
  • Creative Design/Marketing
  • Financial Services
  • Utilities
  • Business Services/Consulting
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Real Estate/Property Management
  • Oil and Gas
PMP is a registered certification mark and PMI is a registered trademark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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