What are the benefits of PMI Membership? PMI Membership offers great benefits for PMP certification aspirants. For example, do you know that $139 PMI Membership can save you $150 (an $11 saving right away) on the PMP exam cost? 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.
Disclosure: I usually sign up for PMI membership around that time that my PMP certification is up for renewal. I hold no other affiliation with PMI and do not get compensated by them in any way.
1: Save on Certification Exam Cost
Image credit: Stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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) Net saving for PMI Members = $555 - $544 = $11 (yay!)
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)
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, 5th 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 Fifth 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 (discontinued by PMI)
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.
4: Access to Specific Interest Groups (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.
Note: SIGs have been discontinued.
5: Benefit from your Local PM Community
Image credit: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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 Certification Renewal.
6: Free PM Magazines, Newsletters, Journals 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
Image credit: ecastro / Flickr
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
Image credit: jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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
Image credit: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
PMI also offers a host of career development programs, including:
Job Database: Find new jobs online.
PMI’s Career Framework: 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
Image credit: arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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 of PMI Membership
Apart from these “hard” benefits of PMI Membership, 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.
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.