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The Importance of Program Management Certification in the USA


Program Management Certification in USA

Project Management is a critical skill required in almost every industry today. To get the intended results from this complex process, rigorous planning, execution, monitoring, and regulation are necessary. With the growing demand for project managers, many professionals seek ways to distinguish themselves and demonstrate their expertise. One such method is through the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

However, for those professionals who want to further advance their skills in project management, the Program Management Certification in the USA is the next step. This blog will explore the PgMP certification, its requirements, benefits, and how to obtain it. But first, let’s know what program management is.

What is Program Management?

Program Management involves managing multiple projects and “change initiatives” in a coordinated manner to achieve strategic benefits for an organization. However, a program is not just a collection of projects. It may also include changes in day-to-day business operations, such as local process improvement, upskilling, and product improvements.

Simply put, A project plan is typically built upon a business requirement, often targeted toward achieving specific success metrics. In contrast, a program requires multiple moving pieces to achieve results. For instance, you might have an agile transformation or team efficiency program.

The scale of program management usually makes it a part of larger organizations. An effective strategy must incorporate individual changes into larger, comprehensive visions, managed, controlled, and monitored holistically.

What is PgMP certification? Why Does it Matter?

The PgMP certification is a globally recognized credential that validates an individual’s expertise in managing multiple related projects and programs. It demonstrates that the individual has the skills, knowledge, and experience to manage programs aligning with organizational goals and objectives.

The Project Management Institute-PMI, the world’s leading professional association for project management, offers Program Management Certification in the USA. A senior-level program manager manages multiple complex projects and contributes to an organization’s success.

Importance of Program Management Certification in the USA

Effective program management is necessary in today’s fast-paced work environment, where time and resources are limited for every task. Regardless of the type or scale of work, Program management is crucial for successfully implementing complex and interconnected projects, achieving strategic objectives, and maximizing organizational performance. Obtaining a Program Management Certification in the USA can help individuals become experienced program managers skilled in organization, planning, scheduling, program strategy, reporting, proposal writing, budget planning, and other essential program management concepts.

What are the Requirements for Program Management Certification in the USA?

The Program Management Professional (PgMP) is a globally recognized certification for program managers.

To qualify for PgMP certification, candidates must meet the following requirements:

Educational Background:

-A four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or equivalent worldwide)


-A secondary school diploma (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or global equivalent) with at least four years of project management experience and seven years of program management experience.

Program Management Experience:

-Minimum of four years (6,000 hours) of program management experience within the last 15 years.

-At least four years (6,000 hours) of project management experience within the last 15 years.

Program Management Training:

-Completion of 35 hours of formal program management training.

PgMP Exam:

-Successful completion of the PgMP examination.

Note: Meeting the criteria for eligibility alone is not a guarantee for certification since obtaining a PgMP certification depends on a combination of factors such as education, experience, and passing an examination. Once you meet the eligibility requirements, you can register for the PgMP exam through the Project Management Institute (PMI).

What is the Program Management Certification Fee in the United States?

The PgMP certification exam fee is $800 for PMI members and $1,000 for non-members in the USA. Additionally, candidates with a PMI membership have to pay USD 44 to renew their PgMP Certification, while non-member candidates have to pay USD 146.

The PMI membership fee applies if you are a current and active member of PMI when you pay for your certification. If you plan to become a member right before applying for certification, get confirmation of your membership before paying for the certificate. You will be charged the non-member fee if your membership application is still in process.

In addition, there are additional costs related to getting ready for and completing the examination, which may include expenses for study resources and training programs. However, checking the official PMI website for the most up-to-date information on fees and any additional costs or requirements is always best.

Steps to Earn Program Management Certification in the USA

You must meet several requirements to obtain Program Management Certification in the USA. Here are the general steps to follow,

Step 1: Meet the eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the Program Management Certification, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum of 4 years of project management experience
  • Minimum of 4 years of program management experience
  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • 6,000 hours of program management experience or 10,500 hours of program management and project management experience combined

Check your eligibility with ProThoughts Eligibility Calculator :

The PgMP eligibility calculator is a tool that ProThoughts provides to help you determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for the certification.

Note: The calculator will help you check if you meet the eligibility requirements. The PMI will decide on your eligibility during the application review process. Refer to the PgMP Handbook for comprehensive information on the eligibility criteria.

Step 2: Apply for the PgMP certification

You can apply for the PgMP certification online through the PMI website. The application requires you to provide details about your education, work experience, and program management experience.

Step 3: Pass the panel review

After you apply, a group of program managers will examine your experience and qualifications to determine if you meet the requirements.

Step 4: Pay the certification fee

You must pay the certification fee to take the PgMP exam if your application is approved. The PgMP cost varies depending on your PMI membership status.

Step 5: Schedule and pass the exam

After your application is approved, you must pass the PgMP exam. There are 170 multiple-choice questions in the test. You have four hours to complete the test.

The exam covers five domains: program strategy alignment, program benefits management, program stakeholder engagement, program governance, and program life cycle management.

Step 6: Maintain your certification

Once you earn your PgMP certification, you must maintain it by earning 60 PDUs every three years. You must apply for certification renewal every three years and pay a fee to maintain your certification.

What are the Conditions for Reapplying for the PgMP Exam in the USA?

After you apply for the exam, you will have one year to pass it, and you can take it up to 3 times during that eligibility period. Many candidates don’t pass on their first attempt, so it is essential to manage your time and allow enough time to retake the exam. The fees for retaking the exam apply to the second and third attempts.

If you are unable to pass the exam after three attempts within the one-year eligibility period, you must wait one year from the date of your last attempt to reapply for the certification. However, if you fail the exam three times, you may apply for a different PMI certification, such as CAPM, PMI-ACP, PfMP, etc., at any time.

You must reapply for the certification if your eligibility period ends without passing the PgMP exam.

Certified Program Manager Salary in the USA

A Program Manager’s salary in the United States typically falls within a specific range, between $98k and $135k per year, with an average salary of $114k. However, the exact salary range can vary significantly based on various factors, such as educational background, certifications, skills, and years of experience in the field.

What is the General Demand for PGMPs Among Recruiters?

In program management, a survey found that 80% of job postings require a bachelor’s degree, 7.2% prefer a master’s degree, and 8.5% consider a high school diploma sufficient. This highlights the significant advantage a PgMP-certified individual can have in the current job market.

A Program Management Certification in the USA can lead to a higher salary as it is an additional qualification. Moreover, it can provide a job seeker with more knowledge and skills than those not certified in program management. Additionally, the salary can increase with the complexity level of program management, which is evident in the case of technical program managers who can earn an average annual remuneration of USD 2,950,000.

Earning a Program Manager Certification can be beneficial, considering the predicted job growth in this field. Surveys have shown that there will be a 40% increase in demand for technical program managers globally by 2027, resulting in 2 million job opportunities in program management across various industries. In the wake of the pandemic, it has become imperative for organizations to hire such professionals to achieve their business objectives.

While Enrolling in Program Management Training in a Particular Institute, What Aspects Should I Consider?

When considering enrolling in a PGMP (Program Management Professional) course at a particular institute, here are some aspects to consider:

  1. Accreditation: Ensure the institute is accredited and recognized by a reputable organization. For example, if considering a PGMP course, ensure the PMI authorizes the institute.
  2. Instructor credentials: Look for a course taught by an experienced and qualified instructor who is a certified PGMP professional.
  3. Course content: Ensure the course covers all the necessary PGMP knowledge areas and aligns with the current PMI PGMP Exam Content Outline. It should also include real-world examples, case studies, and practical exercises.
  4. Learning Format: Consider your preferred learning format, in-person or online. Also, consider the course duration, schedule, and flexibility.
  5. Course fees: Compare the PgMP course fees of different institutes and ensure you get value for your money. Check for additional costs, such as study materials or exam fees.
  6. Course reviews: To determine the course’s quality and the institute’s reputation, read reviews and feedback from previous participants.

Considering these aspects, you can choose the best PGMP course at an institute that suits your needs and helps you achieve your career goals.

Why ProThoughts?

ProThoughts collaborates with Michel Thiry and his renowned book on Program Management, which is considered one of the pioneers in this field. The focus of this book is not only to help you obtain the PgMP certification but also to equip you with the knowledge and skills to apply Program Management concepts in your organization and advance your career. The program manager certification exam evaluates your expertise in five key performance domains: Strategy Alignment, Stakeholder Engagement, Benefits Management, Governance, and Performance. As a PgMP-certified professional, you will be able to engage stakeholders more effectively and coordinate multiple projects for the overall benefit of the program.

Our Program Management (PgMP) course covers all the essential aspects of the certification and employs ProThought’s unique “Game-Based Interactive Methodology.” Furthermore, we take pride in our superior course material and expert delivery, with Ashish Sadekar, one of the first few to obtain the global PgMP certification, as our instructor. More importantly, we provide support until you acquire your PgMP certification, including application review and addressing any queries you may have. Our PgMP Certification Training is widespread globally, with participants mainly from the United States, the Middle East, India, and Australia.


What can we do to obtain a Program Management Certification? Michel’s collaborative philosophy is one solution. Michel Thiry’s written work has revolutionized the PgMP standard, which he developed independently in collaboration with ProThoughts. One of the main challenges of the PgMP is its complexity, as it needs examples and relatable content. However, offering examples and breaking down the standard can make it much easier to comprehend. ProThoughts can assist you in passing your Program Management Certification by utilizing their PgMP mock exams on their ProMOCK platform.

If you have any inquiries regarding the PgMP, contact us at [email protected]; we will gladly help.

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