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  PMI Membership Benefits: 10 Benefits for PMP Certification Aspirants

Benefits of PMI Membership for PMP Certification aspirants What are the benefits of PMI Membership? PMI Membership offers great benefits for PMP certification aspirants. Unfortunately, most people aren't aware of the benefits that the membership offers. People often question the value of membership and ask whether it's really worth the fee, which is $139 per year. I'm going to address this matter based on my experience. Here's an independent take on the benefits of PMI membership.

About Project Management Institute (PMI) The , USA is the leading global association for the project management profession. PMI's primary goal is to advance the practice, science and profession of project management throughout the world in a conscientious and proactive manner so that organizations everywhere will embrace, value and utilize project management and then attribute their successes to it.

Disclosure: I'm currently a PMI member, but hold no other affiliation with PMI.

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1. Save on Certification Exam Cost PMI Membership Save on Exam Fee
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I joined PMI for the first time 'before' I signed up for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam because it helped me save on the exam cost. Do you know that PMI Membership plus PMP certification exam fee for members is less than just PMP exam fee for non-members. Here's how:

PMI Membership = $139 (including $10 application fee)

PMP Exam Fee for members = $405

Total cost for Membership and Exam = $544 (Member cost)

PMP Exam Fee for Non-members = $555 (Non-member cost)

Even including the membership fee, you save $11 overall. So, joining PMI before signing up for the exam, is a no-brainer. Refer to the PMP Handbook for more details.

Note: All figures are in US Dollars.

2. Free Copy of all PMI Standards (including PMBOK® Guide) PMI PMBOK Guide and other Standards As a PMI member, you are entitled to a free copy of all the standards that PMI publishes. Members can download an electronic copy (PDF) from the Library of PMI Global Standards. Most importantly, PMP and CAPM aspirants can download a free copy of the PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition and save about $40 right there!

The standards include:
  • Foundational Standards
    • A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge PMBOK® Guide - Fifth Edition
    • The Standard for Program Management - Third Edition
    • The Standard for Portfolio Management - Third Edition
    • Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®) - Third Edition
  • Practice Standards and Frameworks
    • Practice Standard for Project Risk Management
    • Practice Standard for Earned Value Management - Second Edition
    • Practice Standard for Project Configuration Management
    • Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures - Second Edition
    • Practice Standard for Scheduling - Second Edition
    • Practice Standard for Project Estimating
    • Practice Standard for Competency Development Framework - Second Edition
  • PMI Standards Extension
    • Software Extension to the PMBOK® Guide Fift Edition
    • Construction Extension to the PMBOK® Guide Third Edition
    • Government Extension to the PMBOK® Guide Third Edition
3. Free Online Access to Project Management Books PMI Books24x7 As PMI member, you get free (online) access to over 250 Project Mngt books with free membership to Books24x7. I found some of the books very useful for my preparation. But to be honest with you, I haven't been using them much after passing my exam.

If you are preparing for the PMP or CAPM Exam, here are some links to useful resources on Books24x7 that may help you prepare for the exam. 4. Access to Specific Interest Groups (SIGs) PMI SIGs You can join PMI Specific Interest Groups (SIGs) depending upon your area of expertise and interest. There's a $15 or $20 fee for each SIG membership. Many of these SIGs conduct free webinars for their members that can be used to earn PDUs for PMP re-certification.

5. Benefit from your Local PM Community Networking, Cooperation and Teamwork
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Once you are a PMI member, you can further sign-up for your local PMI chapter. Local PMI chapters provide a good platform for learning from experts, information exchange with peers, and professional networking.

For PMP aspirants, local chapters conduct PMP Exam Prep workshops. Chapter members get discounts on these workshops. Usually, the discounts are more than the chapter fee itself.

For certified PMPs, the local chapters are even more useful. To meet PMI's Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR), every PMP needs 60 PDUs every 3 years in order to renew his/her PMP certification. The local chapters conduct Professional Development Events (seminars) and Focus Group Meetings. Each of these events fetch 2 PDUs on average. You can also take up roles in the local Chapter committees to further enhance your leadership and communication skills (and also gain additional PDUs in the process).

I'm based in Singapore and I joined the Singapore PMI Chapter "after" I achieved my PMP certification. Here in Singapore, we have more than 20 professional events a year. The catch is that you cannot join a local chapter unless you are PMI member. The events of the local PMI Chapter were my main reason to renew PMI membership after the first year.

If you want to get more detailed information on getting the 60 PDUs, read How to get my 60 PDUs for PMP Re-certification.

6. Free PM Magazines, Newsletters, Journals and more Free access to PMI Magazines, Newsletters, Journals, Research Studies and more Members also get free subscription to:
  • PMBOK Guide CD-ROM
  • PM Network - Monthly (hard copy): Magazine with the latest news and trends. It's quite useful and informative.
  • PMI Today - Monthly (hard copy): PMI's monthly newsletter
  • Project Management Journal - Quarterly (hard copy): PMI's Research Journal
  • Leadership in Project Management, an annual publication devoted to enriching leadership skills
  • PMI Community POST: A bimonthly electronic newsletter. I find this pretty cool.
  • and a few more ...

7. Gain Leadership Experience through Volunteer Opportunities
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Serving as a volunteer is not only an opportunity to earn Professional Development Units (PDUs) but also to gain valuable leadership experience. I have not participated in this so far but have all the intentions to do so in near future.

To find out more, check out PMI's Volunteer Opportunities page.

8. Access to Research Studies PMI Membership Research Studies
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As a PMI member, you get access to numerous research studies. One such study published recently is Researching the Value of Project Management.

9. Access to Career Development Programs PMI Membership Research Studies
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PMI also offers a host of career development programs, including:

Job Database: Find new jobs online.

PathPro: PMI's Career Development Framework, which provides tools and resources for identifying your skills, competencies, strengths and weaknesses and helps you carve a career development path.

PMI's new Career Portal

Career Central

10. Discount on Books, Software and other Merchandise PMI Membership Discount on Books
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Discount on all PMI published books, software, articles, research papers, and other merchandise. You also get discounts on PMI's Global Congresses, Research conferences, eSeminarWorld (virtual seminars), which can also help you earn PDUs.

Additional Benefits Apart from these "hard" benefits, there is another reason to support PMI that I learned from an article published in PMI Today. PMI is a leading advocate for the Project Management professional across the globe. It undertakes various initiatives to generate awareness about the value of Project Management and its practitioners. The membership and support of PMPs facilitates many of these initiatives, which indirectly benefit the members.

Hear Greg Balestrero (ex-CEO PMI) talk about PMI Membership Hear Gregory Balestrero, ex-CEO PMI, talk about PMI Membership and its benefits in this presentation.

Conclusion In conclusion, I believe that PMI membership is a good value for money. There's a massive value that all members can obtain from it. How much you extract from it depends upon you and your interest level.

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  1. Do you think it is worth getting the PMI Membership if you are prepping for the CAPM exam rather than the PMI Exam? I would love to hear your thoughts.

    1. Hello Anonymous,

      There are fewer benefits from PMI Membership for CAPM compared to that for PMP, but I think it's still worth going for it. Membership costs $139, but you'll get the following in return:

      1. Saving of $75 on the exam fee.
      2. Saving of about $40 on the soft copy of the PMBOK Guide. Note that you can't purchase a soft copy otherwise. With soft copy, you can search for terms throughout the guide (that can be very handy during preparation).
      3. Access to books24x7. You can find some free sample exams (example, Chris Scordo's guide).
      4. Saving of another $50 on reexamination fee, if God forbid, you don't pass on the first try.

      Hope that helps.


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