For a project management consultant, achieving a professional certification can be a big asset to your business. While getting a certificate isn't required to launch your practice, accreditations have many benefits, including building your credibility and allowing you to charge a higher rate.
The Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is among the certifications offered by the Project Management Institute. While you can succeed without a certificate, accreditation can help you in four key ways:
Contributes to Higher Billing Rate
Education and experience typically drive your base rate as a consultant, but adding a recognized certification to your name can also help bump up the dollar value of your services. This is fueled by an increased interest by medium and large corporations to hire consultants and employees who are certified, project managers. Companies seem willing to pay for that level of expertise and make it a hiring requirement.
It was reported in Baseline Magazine that the annual median salary for project managers specializing in applications is $161,474 when working with companies with more than 500 million dollars in annual revenue. In a study of 2,000 salaries, this number jumped 24 percent. This shows how valuable certification can be.
Opens Doors to New Clients
The number of certified project managers is increasing year after year. As of 2016, the Project Management Institute (PMI) had over 2.9 million members in countries all over the world. As these numbers continue to rise, so do the number of companies that recognize the value of working with certified professionals.
Having a certification from the PMI, or other types of project management certification often make the difference in getting the job or being passed over for someone else. It can also be an influential factor in a client deciding whether or not to hire you.
Offers International Recognition
If you work with international clients or companies who have a global presence, a PMI certification is now recognized as meeting international standards and requirements. In early 2007, the PMI was the first project management association in the world to earn ISO/IEC 17024 accreditation for its Project Management Professional (PMP) accreditation program from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
The ISO was launched in 2002 but is now recognized and endorsed by more than 85 countries and ISO is considered an important benchmark in the international business community. Hiring PMP-certified consultants is now especially beneficial to global organizations because they can reference the ISO 17024 certification.
Obtaining a Project Manager Professional (PMP) certification requires that you meet specific, stringent guidelines that measure your experience, education and professional knowledge. In addition to taking a test, you must also have three to five years of experience, depending on your educational background, as a project manager and have accumulated 4,500 to 7,500 hours leading and managing projects.
Certified professionals also agree to abide by an industry-accepted code of ethics and professional conduct. Becoming PMP certified is not simple or easy, but the designation represents a high level of professionalism and experience which immediately boosts your credibility as a consultant.