Top 11 Senior Project Manager Certifications
This article provides an overview of the best certifications for senior project managers, including their requirements and benefits.
Published 17 min read
Certifications are becoming increasingly important in the job market, especially for senior project managers. Certified project managers demonstrate their knowledge and commitment to the profession, which can help them stand out from other candidates and increase their value to potential employers. Having a certification shows that they have taken the time to learn and understand the principles of project management. It also demonstrates their expertise, experience, and dedication to staying current with industry trends. Certifications demonstrate that a project manager has met certain standards of competence and is committed to maintaining those standards. This can give employers peace of mind when hiring a senior project manager.
This article reviews some of the best certifications for Senior Project Managers and explains how they can help to advance their career.
What are Senior Project Manager Certifications?
Senior Project Manager Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates a project manager’s expertise in leading complex projects and managing resources. It is offered by a variety of organizations, such as the Project Management Institute (PMI), International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) and Scrum Alliance. This certification provides project managers with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to successfully lead projects.
Having Senior Project Manager Certification can help project managers advance their careers, as it demonstrates their commitment to the profession and their ability to effectively manage projects. With this certification, project managers are better equipped to handle complex tasks, such as developing budgets and schedules, setting goals, coordinating resources and teams, monitoring progress and making adjustments when necessary. This certification also enables employers to identify qualified candidates for senior positions within their organization.
In addition to providing tangible benefits for individual professionals, Senior Project Manager Certification can be beneficial for organizations as well. Companies that employ certified project managers may see an increase in efficiency due to improved processes and procedures that these professionals bring with them. As a result, companies may experience increased customer satisfaction rates due to successful completion of projects on time and within budget. Finally, having certified staff ensures that the organization is adhering to industry standards when it comes to best practices in project management.
Pro Tip: When considering a senior project manager certification, look for one that is accredited by an internationally recognized organization such as the Project Management Institute (PMI). This ensures that you will receive a comprehensive and rigorous training program that meets the highest standards of professional practice.
Related: What does a Senior Project Manager do?
Top 11 Senior Project Manager Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Senior Project Managers today.
1. Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification
Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification is a globally recognized certification that demonstrates an individual's expertise in project management. It is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), and is one of the most sought-after certifications in the project management field.
To become certified, applicants must meet certain educational and professional experience requirements, as well as pass an exam. The PMP certification requires a minimum of three years of project management experience, with at least 4,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of formal project management education.
The PMP exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within four hours. The cost for taking the exam varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of PMI. For members, the cost is $405 USD; for non-members, the cost is $555 USD.
In order to maintain your PMP certification status, you must earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years. PDUs can be earned through various activities such as attending conferences or workshops related to project management topics, publishing articles on project management topics, or teaching courses related to project management topics.
2. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is a certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of project managers who are new to the field. The CAPM certification provides an entry-level credential for those interested in a career in project management.
The CAPM exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions, and applicants must answer at least 103 correctly to pass. The exam covers topics such as project integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communications, risk management and procurement.
It typically takes between three and six months to prepare for the CAPM exam depending on the individual’s experience level. Preparation can involve studying independently or taking a course from an accredited provider such as PMI or other professional organizations.
In order to be eligible for the CAPM exam, applicants must have either: 1) a secondary degree (high school diploma or equivalent) plus 1,500 hours of project experience; or 2) 23 hours of formal education related to project management.
The cost of obtaining the CAPM certification varies depending on whether you take a course or study independently. Courses can range from $1,000-$2,500 while self-study materials can cost around $200-$400. Additionally there is an application fee of $225 for PMI members and $300 for non-members that must be paid when submitting your application for the exam.
3. Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) is a certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to recognize practitioners who have a deep understanding of Agile principles and practices, and the ability to apply them in real-world situations. The PMI-ACP certification is based on the Agile Manifesto and its twelve principles, as well as the PMBOK Guide, which provides guidance on project management processes.
The PMI-ACP certification requires applicants to have at least 2,000 hours of experience working on agile projects within the past five years. Applicants must also have 21 contact hours of training in agile methods.
To get your PMI-ACP certification, you must first complete an application that includes details about your work experience and education. Once approved, you will need to pass an exam that tests your knowledge of agile principles and practices. The exam consists of multiple choice questions and takes up to three hours to complete.
The cost for taking the PMI-ACP exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it can range from $435-$495 USD.
4. PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification
PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification is a professional certification that provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to successfully manage projects using the PRINCE2 methodology. It is based on the international standard for project management, which is used by government and private organizations around the world. The certification is designed to equip practitioners with the necessary skills to effectively plan, manage and control projects of any size or complexity.
The PRINCE2 Practitioner exam consists of two parts: a multiple-choice examination (Part 1) and an Objective Testing (Part 2). To become certified, you must pass both sections of the exam. The multiple-choice section consists of 75 questions and you have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete it. The objective testing section consists of 8 questions and you have 45 minutes to complete it.
To get your PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification, you must first register for an accredited training course with an accredited provider. These courses are typically 3 days long, although some providers may offer shorter courses depending on your experience level. During these courses, you will learn about the different aspects of project management, such as planning, risk management and change control. Upon successful completion of your course, you will be eligible to take the PRINCE2 Practitioner Exam.
The cost of obtaining your PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification varies depending on which provider you choose and where in the world you are taking your course. Generally speaking, however, expect to pay anywhere from $1000-$3000 USD for a 3 day course including all materials needed for certification.
5. Program Management Professional (PgMP) Certification
Program Management Professional (PgMP) Certification is a professional certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to recognize experienced program managers who have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and abilities to manage multiple, complex projects in order to achieve organizational objectives. The certification requires applicants to have at least four years of project management experience and 10,500 hours leading and directing projects.
The certification process typically takes between three and six months. To get certified, applicants must submit an application that includes their work history and references from current or former employers. They must also pass an exam that covers topics such as program management processes, governance structures, stakeholder management, resource optimization and risk management.
The cost for the PgMP Certification exam is $550 for PMI members and $760 for non-members. This fee does not include any study materials or other resources needed to prepare for the exam.
6. Project Management Institute Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)
The Project Management Institute Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) is a certification that recognizes an individual’s expertise in risk management. It is designed to help project managers identify, assess and respond to risks in order to keep projects on track and ensure successful outcomes.
In order to become PMI-RMP certified, individuals must have at least three years of project risk management experience or four years of general risk management experience. In addition, applicants must pass the PMI-RMP exam, which consists of 150 multiple choice questions. The exam covers topics such as risk management processes, tools and techniques, organizational influences on risk management, and stakeholder engagement.
The cost for the PMI-RMP certification varies depending on the country you are located in. Generally speaking, it costs around $500 USD for members of the Project Management Institute (PMI), and around $700 USD for non-members.
The entire process from start to finish typically takes about six months to complete. This includes studying for the exam, registering for the exam, taking the exam, and receiving your results. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your official PMI-RMP certificate within 4-6 weeks after passing the exam.
7. Certified Scrum Master (CSM) Certification
Certified Scrum Master (CSM) Certification is a professional certification program designed to teach Scrum methodology and its application in the workplace. It is offered by the Scrum Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the use of Scrum.
The CSM certification program consists of two parts: an online course and an in-person exam. The online course covers the basics of Scrum, including roles, events, artifacts, and principles. It also includes practice exercises and quizzes to help participants understand how to apply Scrum in their own organizations. The in-person exam tests participants' knowledge of the material covered in the online course.
The CSM certification typically takes between two and four weeks to complete depending on how quickly you can complete the online course and take the exam. To get certified, you must attend a two-day classroom training session or complete an approved online training program. After completing your training, you must pass an exam administered by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). Once certified, you will receive a digital badge that can be displayed on your website or social media accounts.
The cost of getting Certified Scrum Master Certification varies depending on where you take your training and which CST administers your exam. Generally speaking, it costs around $1,000 for both parts of the certification process (online course + in-person examination).
8. Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification
Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification is a certification program designed to help individuals gain the skills and knowledge needed to become successful in their Lean Six Sigma projects. This certification is widely recognized by employers as an indication of an individual’s ability to lead and manage projects using Lean Six Sigma principles.
The duration of the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification program depends on the provider, but typically takes between three and six months to complete. The program consists of classroom instruction, online modules, and practical application of the concepts learned. Upon completion, individuals must pass a written examination in order to receive their certification.
Individuals interested in obtaining a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification can find courses through various providers such as universities, colleges, professional organizations, or online programs. The cost for these courses can vary depending on the provider and length of the course. Generally speaking, most courses range from $500 - $3,000 USD.
In addition to completing a course, individuals seeking a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification must have at least three years of work experience in a related field before they can be certified. They must also demonstrate proficiency in key areas such as process improvement methodology, data analysis techniques, problem-solving skills, project management tools and techniques, and communication skills.
9. Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification
Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates a high level of expertise in the Lean Six Sigma process improvement methodology. It is typically held by professionals who have extensive experience leading and managing complex improvement projects, and it certifies their ability to identify and eliminate waste, reduce costs, and improve quality.
The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification typically requires a minimum of two weeks of training. During this time, candidates are taught the fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma, including the DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) process, how to use data for decision making, how to lead teams through change initiatives, and how to design experiments for continuous improvement.
To get certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, individuals must pass an exam administered by an accredited organization such as ASQ (American Society for Quality). The exam consists of multiple choice questions covering topics such as project management, process improvement techniques, data analysis methods, and problem solving skills. A score of 85% or higher is required to pass the exam.
The cost of getting certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt varies depending on the provider. Generally speaking, it can range from $2,000-$5,000 USD for the course materials and exam fees.
10. ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management
The ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management is an entry-level certification that provides a comprehensive understanding of the key concepts, processes, and terminology used in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). It is designed to provide individuals with an understanding of the principles and practices of service management as it applies to IT services.
The certificate typically takes between two to three days to complete, depending on the provider. The course can be taken either online or in a classroom setting. The cost of taking the course varies by provider but generally ranges from $800-$1,500 USD.
In order to obtain the certificate, individuals must pass an exam administered by an accredited examination institute such as PeopleCert or EXIN. The exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within 60 minutes. A score of 65% or higher is required to pass the exam and earn the certification.
11. Certified Project Director (CPD)
Certified Project Director (CPD) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and validate the skills, knowledge, and experience of experienced project directors. The CPD program is administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
The CPD program consists of two parts: an online assessment and a 3-day workshop. The online assessment is designed to test an individual’s knowledge of project management principles, processes, tools, and techniques. Once the assessment is completed successfully, participants are eligible to attend the 3-day workshop which provides hands-on training in project management concepts and practices.
In order to obtain the CPD certification, individuals must pass both the online assessment and the 3-day workshop with a score of at least 70%. It typically takes about 6 months to complete both parts of the certification process.
The cost for taking part in the CPD program varies depending on your location. Generally speaking, it can range from $1,000-$2,000 USD for both parts of the program.
Do You Really Need a Senior Project Manager Certificate?
The answer to this question depends on your individual career goals and aspirations. If you are looking to become a senior project manager, then having a certificate in the field may be beneficial. A certificate can demonstrate to potential employers that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the duties of a senior project manager. It can also help you stand out from other applicants who do not have such credentials.
However, if you already have experience in the field or have obtained a degree in project management, then it may not be necessary for you to pursue a senior project manager certificate. In some cases, employers may prefer candidates with more experience or who possess higher educational qualifications. Therefore, it is important for you to assess your current situation and determine if obtaining the certificate would be beneficial for your career path.
Related: Senior Project Manager Resume Examples
FAQs About Senior Project Manager Certifications
1. What are the requirements for becoming a certified Senior Project Manager?
Answer: The requirements vary depending on the certification provider, but typically include having a certain number of years of experience in project management, passing an exam, and completing any continuing education or professional development requirements.
2. How long does it take to become a certified Senior Project Manager?
Answer: It depends on the certification provider, but typically it takes between 6 months to 1 year to complete all the necessary requirements.
3. Is there an age limit for obtaining a Senior Project Manager Certification?
Answer: No, there is no age limit for obtaining a Senior Project Manager Certification.
4. What is the cost associated with getting a Senior Project Manager Certification?
Answer: The cost varies depending on the certification provider, but typically ranges from $500 - $5,000 USD.
5. Are there any prerequisites for getting a Senior Project Manager Certification?
Answer: Yes, most certification providers require that you have some previous experience in project management prior to applying for their certification program.