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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding EM Professional Certifications

What is the difference between the Certified Professional in Engineering Management® or (CPEM®) and Certified Associate in Engineering Management® (CAEM®)

The CPEM® and the CAEM® are both based on the Engineering Management Body of Knowledge® (EMBoK®). The number of years an applicant has served in a professional environment is the primary difference between the certification levels.

Is there a bridge to move from being a CAEM® to becoming a CPEM®

Yes. Once an applicant has the required number of years of experience in a professional environment they may apply at the CPEM® level upon recertification. This would not require a second exam.

How long are the full and micro-credential exams for CAEM®/CPEM®?

  • The CPEM® / CAEM® exam has 150 multiple choice questions. You will have 3 hours to complete the full CPEM® exam.
  • The CPEM® / CAEM® Micro-Credentials (MC) contain 40 multiple choice questions. The time allotted per CPEM®-MC is 2 hours.

How long will it take me to prepare for the CAEM® or CPEM®

Preparation time is dependent on each individual’s investment of time and diligence.

Is it open or closed book?

The professional certification exams are closed book exams.

Have you found there to be material career benefits or advantages to having the CPEM® credential?

We have several testimonies of the certifications being beneficial to growing careers. Dr. Michael O'Connor, a recipient of the Engineering Manager of the Year Award, offers this endorsement The name of the certification has changed a bit since Dr. O'Connor was first certified, however the career implications remain as strong as ever.

What is the pass rate of an exam for first-time takers?

We currently have a 72% pass rate on the first attempt. If an applicant is unsuccessful at the first attempt, ASEM offers a 2nd attempt for no additional charge.

How is the exam proctored?

ASEM has partnered with ProctorFree to allow an approved applicant to sit for the exam wherever there is a strong internet connection and at a time most convenient for them. Once a date has been set, the applicant information will be sent to ProctorFree. Soon after, an approved applicant can expect to receive an email with instructions on how to proceed with service of the exam. A camera, microphone and small app from ProctorFree is required on the computer you use.

Have you found that those with a CPEM are more likely to get promoted to management roles?  

ASEM offers the CPEM® certification for those interested in improving their engineering manager skills through CPEM® knowledge-based training and discipline specific recognition via certification. ASEM does not have access to promotional success rates and recognizes that promotions are based on multiple factors such as job timing, job performance, emotional intelligence, potential, job centric skills and knowledge.

Achieving credentialing, or certifications, such as ASEM’s CPEM® are a reflection of an individual’s (professional) interest in learning and demonstrating knowledge and skills related to engineering management. It is unreasonable to expect CPEM® status to be primary basis for promotions.

Please consider Michael O’Conner, 2019 ASEM Engineering Manager of the Year, viewpoint on the ASEM YouTube Channel.

Are there training courses available?

ASEM CPEM® course, available through the University of Alabama Huntsville and other certified knowledge providers can be completed in 6 weeks based on scheduled delivery. 

To apply for the CPEM® exam does one necessarily have to have management experience?

The application does not require a demonstration of management experience. ASEM recognizes that the knowledge and skills of the engineering management discipline are applicable in a multitude of context. The expectation is that application have interest in pursuing the engineering management knowledge and skills base.

What if they have 10+ years of engineering design experience as well as project management?

Any role or responsibility set or context that demonstrates or can demonstrate application of the ASEM "A Guide to the Engineering Management Body of Knowledge" is recognized for the CPEM® certification and related PDH’s required for maintaining certification.

How does the CPEM compare to the PMP? Are they considered the same, how are they different?

They are very different. The CPEM® covers eleven management related domains needed for success in engineering and technology management. It is much more comprehensive than PMI and the PMP since this certification focuses on project management only. This is similar to INCOSE and the Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) designation which also addresses one of the CPEM® knowledge domains. Systems engineering and project management represent only two of the eleven domains of the EMBOK® and the CPEM®.

Is the PMP the next step in Certifications?

No, unless that is a particular emphasis of the individual. Our CPEMs go in many directions including CSEP, PMP, PE, and Six Sigma Green / Black Belt for example.

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