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Top 11 Associate Project Manager Certifications

This article provides an overview of the best certification programs available for aspiring associate project managers.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications for an associate project manager are important in the job market because they demonstrate to employers that the individual has a certain level of knowledge and skills related to project management. Certifications provide assurance that the individual has been properly trained and educated in project management principles, processes, and best practices. They also can give employers confidence that the individual is up-to-date on industry standards and current trends. Additionally, certifications may be required by some employers as a prerequisite for employment. Therefore, having certifications can greatly increase an associate project manager’s chances of being hired for a position.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the most beneficial certifications for Associate Project Managers and how these certifications can help advance their career.

What are Associate Project Manager Certifications?

Associate Project Manager Certification is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have achieved a certain level of understanding and proficiency in the field of project management. It is designed to demonstrate one’s knowledge and skills in managing projects, as well as their ability to apply best practices to ensure successful project outcomes. The certification focuses on the key areas of project management, including planning, controlling, leading, and monitoring.

Earning an Associate Project Manager Certification can help individuals stand out from other job applicants in their field and demonstrate their commitment to the profession. It can also provide them with the confidence needed to take on greater responsibilities within their organization. In addition, having this certification can help individuals advance their career by giving them access to better job opportunities and higher salaries. Furthermore, it can help them become more marketable for leadership positions by demonstrating that they have a comprehensive understanding of project management principles.

Pro tip: When considering an associate project manager certification, look for programs that offer a variety of learning opportunities. This includes both classroom and online instruction, hands-on projects, and the chance to practice with real-world scenarios. Certifications from reputable organizations can provide validation of your knowledge and skills and make you more attractive to employers.

Related: What does an Associate Project Manager do?

Top 11 Associate Project Manager Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Associate Project Managers today.

1. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to demonstrate an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the principles and practices of project management. It is also intended to help individuals who are new to project management gain recognition for their skills and abilities.

To become certified, individuals must pass an exam that covers topics such as project integration management, project scope management, project time management, project cost management, project quality management, project human resource management, project communications management, and professional responsibility. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within three hours.

The CAPM certification process typically takes between four and six weeks to complete. To get started on the path to becoming certified, individuals should first register with PMI and pay the applicable fee. Once registered they will receive access to study materials that can help them prepare for the exam.

The cost of the CAPM certification varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of PMI. For members it costs $225 USD while for non-members it costs $300 USD.

2. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in the field of project management. The PMP certification is one of the most widely recognized credentials in the project management industry.

To become a PMP, you must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass an exam. To be eligible for the PMP credential, you must have either:

  • A four-year degree (bachelor's or global equivalent) and at least three years of project management experience, with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education; or
  • A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent) and at least five years of project management experience, with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.

The PMP exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that must be completed in four hours. The exam covers five domains: Initiating the Project; Planning the Project; Executing the Project; Monitoring and Controlling the Project; Closing the Project.

The cost to take the PMP exam varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of PMI. For members, it costs $405 USD for first time applicants, while non-members pay $555 USD for first time applicants. The cost also includes an application fee which must be paid upon submitting your application for certification.

It typically takes about six weeks to receive your results after taking the exam. Once you have passed your exam and met all other requirements, you will receive your official PMP certification from PMI within two weeks.

3. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is a professional certification offered by the Scrum Alliance. It is designed to provide professionals with an understanding of the Scrum framework and how to use it in their organizations. It is also meant to help them become more effective in leading, managing, and implementing Scrum projects.

The CSM certification process takes two days and includes an interactive workshop where participants learn about the principles and values of Scrum, roles and responsibilities within a Scrum team, and how to apply these concepts in real-world scenarios. After completing the workshop, participants must pass an online exam that covers all topics discussed during the workshop.

To get certified as a CSM, you must attend an official two-day CSM course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). The cost of this course varies depending on location but typically ranges from $800-$1,500 USD. Additionally, there is a $100 USD fee for taking the online certification exam.

Once you have completed your training and passed your exam, you will receive your official CSM certificate from the Scrum Alliance which will be valid for two years before needing to be renewed.

4. Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP)

Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) is a certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) to recognize professionals who have demonstrated their knowledge and experience in applying Agile principles and practices. The ACP certification is designed to validate an individual’s expertise in using Agile approaches for project management and software development.

The ACP exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions and takes up to three hours to complete. The exam covers topics such as Agile principles, values, frameworks, processes, techniques, roles, tools, and metrics. To qualify for the ACP exam, applicants must have at least 1,500 hours of general project experience within the last five years and 21 contact hours of formal Agile training.

To obtain the ACP certification, applicants must pass the PMI-ACP exam with a score of at least 70%. After passing the exam, applicants must submit a signed code of professional conduct form to PMI before they can receive their certificate.

The cost of taking the PMI-ACP exam varies depending on whether or not you are a member of PMI. For nonmembers, it costs $435 USD; for members it costs $375 USD.

5. PRINCE2 Foundation

PRINCE2 Foundation is a certification program designed to provide project managers with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully manage projects. The PRINCE2 Foundation certification is based on the PRINCE2 methodology, which is an internationally recognized best practice for managing projects.

The PRINCE2 Foundation certification requires that candidates demonstrate their understanding of the PRINCE2 principles, processes, themes and techniques. To achieve this, candidates must pass a one-hour multiple-choice examination.

It typically takes between two and four weeks to prepare for the exam depending on your experience level. There are many resources available to help you study for the exam such as books, online courses, and practice exams.

The cost of taking the PRINCE2 Foundation exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs around £250 - £300 (GBP) in the UK and around $400 - $500 (USD) in the US.

There are no prerequisites for taking the PRINCE2 Foundation exam but it is recommended that you have some prior experience in project management before attempting it.

6. ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management

The ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management is an internationally recognized entry-level qualification for professionals working in the IT service management sector. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the core principles, processes and practices of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework.

The certification typically takes two to three days to complete, depending on the provider and format of the course. The course can be taken online or in a classroom setting. It covers topics such as service strategy, service design, service transition, service operations, continual service improvement and more.

To get certified, candidates must pass an exam at the end of the course. The exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions and has a passing score of 65%. The cost of the certification varies depending on the provider and format chosen but typically ranges from $500 - $1000 USD.

7. Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

Six Sigma Green Belt Certification is a professional certification program that recognizes individuals who have achieved a level of proficiency in the Six Sigma methodology. The certification is designed to help organizations improve their processes and performance, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

The Six Sigma Green Belt Certification program typically takes two to four weeks to complete, depending on the individual’s prior knowledge of Six Sigma and the amount of time they are able to dedicate to completing the coursework. The program consists of online training modules, self-study materials, and an exam.

To receive the Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, individuals must pass an exam administered by an accredited organization such as ASQ or IASSC. The exam covers topics such as Lean Principles, Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) methodology, process improvement tools and techniques, problem solving skills, data analysis methods, project management principles, and more.

The cost for the Six Sigma Green Belt Certification varies depending on the provider but generally ranges from $500-$2,000 USD. This includes all course materials and access to online resources such as webinars and practice exams.

8. CompTIA Project+ Certification

CompTIA Project+ is a certification that validates the knowledge and skills of project managers. It is designed to demonstrate an individual's ability to manage projects in any industry, regardless of the size or complexity. It is vendor-neutral, meaning it does not focus on any particular type of software or technology.

The CompTIA Project+ exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions and takes two hours to complete. To pass the exam, you must achieve a score of 750 out of 900 possible points. The exam covers topics such as project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and control, closure, and professional responsibility.

To get the CompTIA Project+ certification, you must first take and pass the CompTIA Project+ exam. You can register for the exam through Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. The cost of the exam varies depending on your location but typically ranges from $250-$300 USD.

Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your official CompTIA Project+ certification which is valid for three years from the date it was issued. After three years, you can renew your certification by taking and passing another CompTIA Project+ exam or by completing continuing education credits (CEUs).

9. PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)

PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively identify, assess, and manage project risks. The PMI-RMP credential is intended for professionals with experience in risk management who wish to demonstrate their expertise in the field.

To obtain the PMI-RMP credential, an individual must meet certain education and professional experience requirements, pass the PMI-RMP exam, and agree to adhere to the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

The PMI-RMP exam consists of 170 multiple choice questions that test knowledge in five domains: Risk Strategy & Planning; Risk Process Facilitation; Risk Monitoring & Reporting; Risk Quality Assurance; and Risk Response & Mitigation. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete.

In order to qualify for the PMI-RMP exam, an individual must have a minimum of 4500 hours of project risk management experience over at least three years, or a bachelor’s degree and 3000 hours of project risk management experience over at least two years.

The cost of obtaining the PMI-RMP credential varies depending on whether an individual is already a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI). For non-members, it costs $405 USD for the application fee plus $405 USD for the exam fee. For members, it costs $315 USD for the application fee plus $315 USD for the exam fee.

10. PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)

PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) is a certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated their knowledge, skills, and experience in project scheduling. The PMI-SP credential demonstrates that a professional has the ability to effectively create and maintain project schedules that align with organizational objectives.

To become a PMI-SP, an individual must have a minimum of five years of project scheduling experience and pass an exam. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and covers topics such as schedule development, monitoring and control, risk management, earned value management, and resource optimization. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete.

The cost of the PMI-SP certification varies depending on whether you are already a PMP or not. If you are already a PMP, the cost for the exam is $405 for members of PMI and $555 for non-members. If you are not already a PMP, the cost is $555 for members of PMI and $705 for non-members.

In addition to passing the exam, applicants must also agree to adhere to the Project Management Institute's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct before they can receive their certification.

11. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) that recognizes an individual’s expertise in using agile practices in their project management work. The PMI-ACP is designed to provide practitioners with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully lead agile projects and teams.

It typically takes between three and six months to prepare for the PMI-ACP exam, depending on your experience level and familiarity with agile practices. To become certified, you must have at least 2,000 hours of general project experience within the past five years, as well as 1,500 hours of agile project experience within the same time frame. You must also complete 21 contact hours of training in agile practices.

To get the PMI-ACP certification, you must pass an exam administered by PMI. The exam consists of 120 multiple choice questions and has a three hour time limit. The cost for taking the exam is $435 for non-members of PMI and $395 for members.

In addition to passing the exam, you must also agree to adhere to PMI's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct before you can receive your certification.

Do You Really Need a Associate Project Manager Certificate?

The answer to whether or not you need an Associate Project Manager Certificate depends on your individual career goals. If you are looking to break into the field of project management, then having a certification could be beneficial. It can demonstrate to potential employers that you have the knowledge and skills necessary for the job. However, it is important to note that many employers do not require a certification in order to be considered for a position.

It is also important to consider the cost of getting certified, as well as how much time and effort it will take away from other areas of your career. If you are already employed in project management, then having a certification may not be as important. You may want to focus on gaining additional experience and building up your portfolio instead.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if an Associate Project Manager Certification is right for you. Consider the costs and benefits before making a decision, and remember that experience can often be just as valuable as any certificate when it comes to landing a job in this field.

Related: Associate Project Manager Resume Examples

FAQs About Associate Project Manager Certifications

1. What are the benefits of an Associate Project Manager certification?

Answer: An Associate Project Manager certification demonstrates a commitment to professional development, enhances your knowledge and skills, increases your marketability in the job market, and can lead to salary increases or promotions.

2. What is the difference between an Associate Project Manager certification and a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification?

Answer: The PMP certification is more advanced than the Associate Project Manager certification and requires more experience, training, and education. The PMP focuses on project management principles while the Associate focuses on project management techniques.

3. How much does it cost to get an Associate Project Manager certification?

Answer: Costs vary depending on the provider but typically range from $300 to $1,000 USD for all course materials, exams, and certifications fees.

4. How long does it take to get an Associate Project Manager certification?

Answer: It typically takes about 6-12 months to complete all of the necessary coursework, exams, and other requirements for an Associate Project Manager certification.

5. Are there any prerequisites for getting an Associate Project Manager certification?

Answer: Yes - most providers require that applicants have at least two years of relevant work experience in project management before they can apply for their Associates degree.