High-Growth Careers for PMP Certified Small Business Owners

As an entrepreneurship consultant who assists small and medium enterprises, I often encourage business owners to obtain PMP certification. Beyond strengthening project management skills, it can boost income potential through consulting gigs, establish credibility with clients, and help win bids for bigger contracts.

Let‘s explore the top jobs a PMP credential can open up for entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals:

Project Manager

With PMP certification, entrepreneurs are well-qualified to take on project manager contracts from clients. It demonstrates your ability to oversee initiatives end-to-end, from planning to execution, while maintaining budgets and timelines.

Project managers are in high demand across many industries as organizations rely on them to spearhead business-critical initiatives. According to PMI‘s salary survey, project managers with a PMP credential make a lucrative median salary of $125,000 annually.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities

  • Develop project plans and track deliverables
  • Manage budgets, schedules, resources
  • Lead cross-functional teams
  • Implement risk management strategies
  • Ensure adherence to quality standards
  • Prepare status reports for stakeholders

Skills Required

  • Stakeholder management
  • Budgeting
  • Scheduling tools (MS Project, Asana etc.)
  • Risk analysis
  • Strong communication abilities

Industry-Wise Salary Ranges

Industry Salary Range
IT $100K – $148K
Construction $85K – $108K
Marketing $90K – $140K

The project management software market is expected to grow from $5 billion in 2020 to over $15 billion in 2030 as per Mordor Intelligence. This presents a massive opportunity for PMP certified consultants.

Program Manager

For entrepreneurs interested in more strategic high-level oversight, the role of program manager oversees multiple projects crucial to an organization‘s success. You lead project managers, resolve issues that arise, and ensure alignment with business goals.

Your PMP certification and holistic view of projects prove invaluable as a self-employed program management consultant to companies undertaking large initiatives.

Median Salary: $120,000

Expected Growth: According to PMI, companies will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management oriented roles by 2027 to meet the demands of the global economy.

Agile Project Manager

As dynamic, rapidly-changing business environments drive demand for agile project management, your PMP certification and agile expertise can set you apart as a consultant.

You can provide end-to-end agile project leadership, implementing iterative approaches like Scrum, facilitating standups, guiding adaptive planning etc.

Median Salary: $110,000

The agile project management software market is forecast to grow from $5.1 billion in 2024 to $12.9 billion by 2027 as per Mordor Intelligence. This creates substantial consulting and services opportunities for PMP certified agile practitioners.

IT Project Manager

Technology projects require specialized project management understanding. As an entrepreneur well-versed in PM best practices and IT/software development lifecycles, you can offer your expertise to assist companies in technology project implementations.

Whether it is overseeing cloud migrations, Agile software deliveries, or large ERP rollouts, your PMP credentials combined with IT/technical proficiency can further grow your consultancy.

Median Salary: $125,000

Day-to-Day Responsibilities

  • Manage software development projects using Agile
  • Oversee infrastructure upgrades and system transitions
  • Lead technical teams and subject matter experts
  • Ensure deliveries meet requirements

Skills Required

  • Technical knowledge
  • Understanding of SDLC processes
  • Agile methodologies (Scrum, Kanban etc.)
  • Stakeholder engagement abilities

Project Management Consultant

With industry recognition of the PMP certification, small business owners can leverage credentials to establish PM consultancy practices. Whether independent or as boutique firm with a group of PMPs, ample opportunities exist to provide specialized project management guidance.

You can offer services like:

  • Project audits, assessments and recovery
  • Tailored project management training
  • Project planning and scheduling
  • PM software/tool selection advisory
  • Project management staff augmentation
  • Interim project manager assignments

The global market size for management consulting services is projected to grow from $208 billion in 2021 to $287 billion in 2026 as per Statista. Project and PM consulting makes up a significant subset.

A PMP certification allows entrepreneurs to tap into this vast and rapidly expanding consulting market.

Median Salary: $110,000+

Day-to-Day Responsibilities

  • Conduct project audits and assessments
  • Create project plans, schedules and budgets
  • Deliver project management training
  • Advise on PM tools and system selection
  • Provide interim PM resources

Skills Required

  • Deep project management expertise
  • Business analysis skills
  • Technical capabilities
  • Communication and presentations

Why Get PMP Certified?

Industry credibility and recognition – The PMP designation is globally recognized and signals sound PM abilities. This provides credibility in securing consulting projects and commanding higher fees.

Enhanced project management skills – Preparing for the PMP exam requires extensive training in project management processes outlined in PMI‘s Standard for Project Management. Coupling this knowledge with your real-world expertise makes you a highly-skilled PM consultant.

Access to extensive professional network – As part of the certification process, you gain access to PMI‘s network of over 1 million professionals. This network serves as a means to connect with experts, showcase your services, and win business.

Higher bill rates and compensation – Across sectors, PMP certification holders command a median 20-25% higher salaries according to various industry surveys. For entrepreneurs offering PM consulting services, credential holders can justifiably bill higher rates.

Competitive differentiation – As a PM consultant, the PMP provides differentiation in a crowded marketplace, establishing your knowledge caliber and ability to guide complex initiatives. This can be a key competitive advantage in winning consulting projects.

Key Considerations for Obtaining PMP Certification

Factor Details
Eligibility
  • 4-year degree + 3 years/36 months PM experience
  • High school diploma + 5 years/60 months PM experience
Exam Content
  • Situational questions based on PMBOK principles
  • Emphasis on processes, resource management etc.
  • 200 questions over 4 hour duration
Costs
  • Exam fee – $405 for PMI members
  • Prep materials/courses – $500-$1500+
  • PMI membership – $129 to $279
Validity Certification renewals every 3 years by earning professional development units (PDUs)

Final Thoughts

For small business owners and solopreneurs pursuing management consulting careers, obtaining PMP certification can significantly boost your prospects and earnings potential.

It prepares you to effectively oversee critical projects, equips with globally recognized credentials, allows you to command higher consulting rates, and increases competitiveness.

By factoring key considerations around eligibility, exam preparation, costs and upkeep requirements, entrepreneur consultants can determine if and when pursuing PMP certification aligns with personal career strategies.

Leveraging project management expertise and credentials further allows small business owners to play a pivotal role guiding enterprises large and small toward successful strategic project outcomes.