How Many Years Is 4500 Hours?

Learning Mudra, Category - PMP


Dilemma of calculating 4500 hours for PMP?

While considering getting PMP certification one cannot help but face a dilemma. And this happens for almost everyone while going through the eligibility page. A dilemma of time. If you have a 4 years of graduate degree you will need 36 months experience leading projects. And if you are not a graduate and just have a high school diploma then you will need 60 months of experience leading projects just to be eligible. Many people who read this eligibility criteria are dissuaded into not applying. The criteria is quite harsh at first sight. But it has more to it than meets the eyes.

The number seems simple but has an intricate depth which we do not see. 36 months can be broken down to make it simple. So can 60 months. When Project Management Institute says 36 months what they actually mean is 4500 hours. And 7500 hours if you just have high school diploma. Confused? No problem. Another confusion is that it mentions “leading projects” in eligibility criteria. Let’s tackle these problems one by one. Here we will try to clear any confusion that you have regarding number of hour requirement and leading project. Basically the eligibility criteria of becoming a Project Management Professional.

Time as a factor of eligibility for doing PMP

Let’s first talk about time as a factor of eligibility. It requires 36 months or 4500 hours or leading projects. Simply put, it is estimated to be 3 years, right? Not really. Working 40 hours per week for 50 out of 52 weeks of the year, then you worked for 6000 hours in 36 months. It is safe to assume that you did not use all of that time leading projects. So on average a person does 75% of 6000 hours leading projects then it makes 4500 hours. This may vary if you lead for percentage of time. Similarly if you worked for 60 months that will be 40 hours per week for 50 weeks which is a total of 10000 hours. 75% of which will be 7500 hours. Same goes for this situation, it may vary if you lead for more time or less time.

how many years is 4500 hours

Calculation Simplified

Still confused? Let me summarise the time dilemma for you. An average work week is 40 hours. So multiply that by number of weeks you spent leading. The total of this should be of 4500 hours in case you have 4 years degree. And it should be 7500 hours in case you don’t have a 4 years degree but have a high school diploma. That is the fundamental dance that takes place which confuses most people who are looking to get into project management.

Another dilemma of “leading project”

Now that we have cleared the conundrum of time. Let’s talk about the leading project dilemma. The second most confusing thing which might make you question getting PMP certification.

PMI’s definition of leading project is an endeavour undertaken which is temporary in nature to create something unique. You could be thinking that you never actually led a project despite being part of them. But the fact of the matter is PMI eligibility criteria is simpler than it seem at first sight. Even if you were just involved in small projects leading them it counts as leading them. You could be someone who led a certain project for a short duration you can also include that. It is fair to say we need not be a leader on paper but a leader in action. Action is more important any day.

Furthermore, things that might qualify as soft projects like implementation of plans, execution of company strategy. On the surface these may not look like project management but this will qualify under project management too. The thing is simple. Just find things where you led, even remotely. PMI has a broad definition where projects are concerned. It just needs to have a deadline and a desired outcome. And you standing ahead of everyone taking them along you. That is what is required. To give an example, even if you were just implementing marketing strategy head on in a company and overlooking the entire process working for an organization with team members at the same level as you. This counts experience too.

Making it more simple

In case you are still unsure, you can do one thing. This is a hack used by many which we are about to tell you. Frame your experience in a way that portrays or uses words used by PMI. This is a hack that will help you get those few hundred hours you are short on. This should be done only if you lack few hundred hours. And remember one last point. It is always advisable to take the best PMP certification training who also guide you on your journey.

A right choice of company while doing PMP certification will become your unfair advantage. Reason you could be wondering? Because they will know the depth of the industry and know how to fill your application form properly to assess your eligibility for you. We at Learning Mudra have years of experience doing that for many project managers. We offer them customized solution to guide them from filling the exam to acing the exam. Contact us to Learn more.

The Author : Learning Mudra


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