The Difference Between CAPM & PMP

The CAPM and the PMP are both certification tests.
The CAPM and the PMP are both certification tests. (Image: taking test image by Petro Feketa from

The CAPM is a certification for Certified Associate in Project Management. The PMP is a certification for a Project Management Professional. Both are certifications that the Project Management Institute offers to project managers.


The prerequisites for the PMP take significantly more time to acquire than the prerequisites for the CAPM. As of 2010, the PMP requires at least 4,500 hours of project management experience and 35 hours of project management education before professionals can attempt the test. The CAPM requires either 1,500 hours of project management experience or 23 hours of project management education.

Test Length

Compared to the PMP test, the CAPM is shorter and the project manager has less time to complete the test. The CAPM is three hours long with 150 questions, while the PMP is four hours long with 200 questions.

Cost and Recertification

The CAPM costs less to take and the recertification cycle is longer than the PMP. Project managers must renew the CAPM every five years and the PMP every three years. Costs vary from year to year, but historically the CAPM is slightly more than half the cost of the PMP. As of 2010, the cost for the CAPM was $225 and the cost for the PMP was $405.

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