In 1969, the Project Management Institute (PMI) was established as a membership association for those working in project, program, and portfolio management. Today, with over 300 local chapters, PMI helps over 500,000 global members access the education and networking resources to be successful in their field. PMI offers workers the ability to obtain certifications and to receive additional education and training related to their jobs or desired jobs. 

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The Good

  • Certifications
  • Career Support 
  • Tools 

Certifications

To become certified with a PMI designation, you apply to become a candidate, study for the exam independently, then take the exam. The exams are developed by practitioners for practitioners based on high standards and ongoing research. Candidates who pass the exam are deemed able to meet the demands of projects and employers.

PMI members get discounts on PMI certificates but any individual meeting the minimum requirements for candidacy can apply. An exam purchase includes the course handbook, exam guidance, review tips, and a content outline. 

The following is a list of PMI certifications: 

  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Program Management Professional (PgMP)
  • Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
  • Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)
  • Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) 
  • Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)
  • Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)

Career Support 

PMI holds regular training and educational events for professionals. Project management professionals have access to webinars, publications, seminars and other events and resources through PMI.

PMI membership is fairly priced, especially considering what one gets from being a member. Membership costs $129 and is open to anyone. Initial application costs an additional $10; renewal is also $129. Students currently enrolled in an accredited institution may become a PMI member for just $32; renewal is also $32. Retired persons who in the past have been PMI members may renew for $65.

PMI's chief purpose is to help people advance and succeed in their careers. PMI offers a slew of seminars, webinars, courses, and events expressly designed to arm project managers with the knowledge to move forward in their careers and to achieve their professional goals. PMI's website also has a section where members can post their resume and showcase their skills to prospective employers. Members also feel connected, as they can belong to local chapters as well as an online global community. In these forums, members can exchange ideas, network and learn from and teach one another.

Tools

PMI members get access to PMI publications and global standards along with thousands of tools, templates, articles, guides, other resources. 

The Bad

  • Eligibility Requirements 
  • No Guarantees

Eligibility Requirements

PMI's certifications require that candidates obtain a certain degree type, number of hours of education, and amount of experience prior to applying. Requirements vary by certification. 

No Guarantees 

Those who take certification courses should be aware that certification does not guarantee higher salary and promotion. Certainly, certification and further education in the field enhances one's chance of advancement, but it would be misleading to assert that such things are bound to happen for those who certify. 

The Bottom Line

PMI claims that it is growing knowledge and opportunities for professionals with thought leadership, training, and tools. It appears that the organization is accomplishing just that: membership with PMI signifies a dedication to project management and certifying with PMI demonstrates competency and professionalism. 

Project management is a growing field and one that is critically important in a variety of industries. Where PMI is the foremost organization to provide continuing training, education, and certification in project management, anyone working in a project management job and looking for higher certification would be wise to check out PMI.

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User Reviews

Star Rating

1.6
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17 Reviews

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Debbie

May 29th, 2020 Sandy, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The absolute WORST customer service I have ever encountered. I sat for my test waiting for 90 minutes for an admin and then was told the test was cancelled. Two days later I got an email saying that I would be charged $270 to reschedule since I missed the exam time. I didn't miss it! Spent hours waiting for a chat person to clear this up. STILL don't have it cleared up. I can't wait to be done with this company.

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Eddie Rios

February 5th, 2020 Ogden, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Project Management Institute is high class all the way. It is reliable, legitimate and highly regarded. I am very impressed with its certifications and are well regarded in the workplace. I have worked with PMI to get certifications and feel they will improve my qualifications in the long run. I feel that PMI is well esteemed and professional. They are definitely worth the effort!

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Richard Lynch

October 19th, 2019 San Diego, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I am a 30 year construction worker who has moved up through the ranks from superintendent to project manager. In order to gain a top PM job you need college or professional training other than experience. So I joined the PMI, enrolled in and successfuly completed the course. During the application process since I had no college degree I had to record 7500 hours of management experience which was no problem. I completed and submitted my application and was immediately put into Audit. The audit process included having to send former employers or colleagues paperwork to fill out and sign for every hour I worked for them and to sign the sealed envelope flap. Two of my previous employers found this to be invasive and refused. I sent 2 emails to PMI but have not been responded to. I you have the similar situation be ready for it. I only gave a 1 star rating because the course instructor was good. I wasted 2,000 and 50 hours of my time.

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clint myers

July 25th, 2019 Danville, IN DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Poor customer service, money is the first thing they have to consider not the struggling worker trying to belter themselves with a certification. Costs are high testing centers are old, test is archaic at best. No full refunds even if you cancel greater than 30 days. Did I say horrid customer service. close my application because I wanted a full refund...

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John Schmitser

March 22nd, 2019 Nashua, NH DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The project management institute has the worst customer service I have ever experienced and their information is outdated.

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Lisa Ziebarth (Barry)

March 12th, 2019 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I have been a member of PMI since 1998. When I retired, I spoke to PMI about what would happen if I wanted to work in the field again and reinstate my PMP and membership. They said no problem just let us know and then start getting PDU's. Today I was told I need to reapply and re-take the PMP exam. They lied to me blatantly. What a money grab! LIARS!

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Pissed Off PMP

January 22nd, 2019 Las Vegas, NV DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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EVERYTHING this "organization" does is about getting more money out of your pocket. The certification test is a joke, with no real world value. They auto bill you an annual membership, then want another $60 to "renew your certificate". The membership is worthless. If you want to cancel your membership, there are no refunds or pro-rated fees returned. You're just SOL.

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Tola

August 31st, 2018 Houston, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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This is easily the worst customer care experience of my entire life. I cannot! I paid $257 for the CAPM and after weeks of studying, I can't seem to wrap my head around why it wouldn't let me finally schedule my exam. I have been on this for days now, back and forth trying to actually find a working link to schedule an exam. How hard should this be? Is this a plot to get people to request a refund and then register again? For an organization championing project management, y'all sure do one heck of a job living up to your name.

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David J Jones

August 20th, 2018 Dallas, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I have completed all of the required PDU's, I have met all of the prerequisites of a Bachelor's Degree, documented well over the 4,500 hours of actual project management, have paid all of the sign up and PMI test fees, have spent countless hours studying for the PMP Certification Test but I have failed 2 random audits performed by PMI and am in the process of submitting information for the 3rd time to convince PMI that I am for real. I have over 25 years of project management experience managing large scale telecommunications and construction projects. The audit details PMI provides are ambiguos and inconsistent and I really have no idea what they are asking for...shooting in the dark. I cannot speak directly or email directly with the person who is reviewing my audit material. You are limited to 550 characters or less to explain the 4 year project I am referencing in my audit to meet the 4,500 hour requirement. The auditor basically told me I was lying about the number hours I have worked on the project. I don't think very highly of PMI at all. In my opinion the program has very little merit and the testing is centered around tricking the applicant instead of teaching about project management or how projects work. PMI is absolute waste of time of money.

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Daniel Wilder

June 22nd, 2018 Needham Heights, MA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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PMI kicked me out mid-test after I paid $300 to take the CAPM test and took a 65-hour prep course (30 hours is required). They have not offered to reimburse me nor responded to customer service requests in two weeks. I was kicked out of the test for technical malfunctions with their program. The test uses security theater to being with, ie fake security measures to try to scare people into thinking its secure. They ask you to show the proctor a video of your room but don't have any check against some ******** as simple as taping a notecard to your screen.

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Dee Stevenson

April 4th, 2018 Aubrey, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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If I could give a negative star I would. The test as a whole is unfair. Getting my Masters degree was easier. You can study forver and still not be ready for their tricky questions. Why can't they write questions that are easy to read, and I can answer that. The more people that fail the more money they get.

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Andrew Johnson

March 13th, 2018 Exton, PA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Terrible customer service. Try calling them or using their online chat--can't get through.

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Paulette Duong

February 14th, 2018 Streamwood, IL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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It costs $70 to cancel the exam plus $100 processing fee. Non-refundable for membership. I canceled the exam 30 days before the exam and it shows in their system as 2 days before the exam and refused the refund. Customer service is horrible. What a scam.

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Shelly

January 4th, 2018 Missoula, MT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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PMI has a monopoly on the Project Management certifications and such. Initial cost is fair, but then the costs get very high and very many. The biggest complaint I have is contacting and getting help with issues regarding my certification maintenance. I have paid and taken all the required classes to renew my certification yet PMI has not awarded the points, which will eventually make my certification lapse even though I have fulfilled the requirements. This is a very expensive and time consuming certification needed for my field and PMI is the worst. Very difficult to communicate with, no answer of phone calls, customer chat is always down. very disappointed.

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Allen Bronson

December 18th, 2017 Idaho Falls, ID DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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They do a good job of encapsulating the project management field. They have good tools to help to get ready and pass the certification test. They also have good tools to help in different aspects of project management after certification

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Steven N Lacks

December 2nd, 2017 Lakeland, FL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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First, their certification is worthless, they've let complete frauds through their audits and then blocked valid professionals because the company seems to have little or no experience in actual PM. Second, their authorized classes are worthless. They authorized Grey Campus to do an ACP course that is a guy reading straight through what seemed to be copy pasted Google search results with no punctuation. A steady stream of words, a recitation, not a reading or lecture. When they authorize a program, they are endorsing it. Between those two things, and their pretentions of pretending to be a large organization, I gave up.

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Clifford Williams

November 17th, 2017 Vancouver, WA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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It is ironic that PMI teaches PM but when it came to using there system online for taking the CAPM they couldn't perform...they must have contracted out the proctoring online (http://www.pearsonvue.com). The system was painful and never worked. I didn't need the CAPM but I thought it might help in some way. I asked for a refund which was hard since I had spent many many hours studying for the exam. It was an aggravating and disappointing experience.

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