Frequently Asked Questions

Download the CPM handbook


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These are questions most prospective CPM® candidates will want to know the answers to.

  • How much more can I make as a CPM?

    Managers with an IREM CPM earn 144% more than the average property manager salary in the U.S. That’s based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor showing that property managers, in general, have an average base salary of $48,340 versus the average CPM salary with a base of $118,000. 2,3

  • Will my CPM designation qualify me for high-level positions?

    Yes, judging from the IREM Profile and Compensation Study – CPM edition which shows that a self-reported 53% of CPMs hold Officer/Director/VP, Regional/District Manager, Owner/Partner, President/CEO/COO positions. 1

  • Where do I take the CPM certification courses?

    Courses are available in the classroom in certain locations and also online. Ethics for the Real Estate Manager (ETH800) must be taken either live-online or in the classroom. View all courses to learn more

  • How do I get credit for the CPM certification courses?

    You must complete all courses and pass a final 50-question exam for each.

  • How long does the complete CPM certification process take?

    The total process from enrollment to graduation takes an average of 18-24 months.

  • Do I need to attend chapter events in order to graduate?

    Yes. You need to attend at least two IREM chapter events within the 12 months prior to graduation.

  • What do I need to know to pass the CPM Capstone?

    Refer to the CPM Handbook for detailed information about the CPM Capstone two-part final assessment.

  • Is there a mandatory sequence I need to take the eight CPM certification courses in?

    We highly recommend the following sequence:

    • Ethics for the Real Estate Manager (ETH800)
    • Budgeting, Cash Flow, and Reporting for Investment Real Estate (FIN402)
    • Marketing and Leasing Strategies for Investment Properties (MKL410)
    • Leading a Winning Property Management Team (HRS402)
    • Managing Maintenance Operations and Property Risk (MNT402)
    • Financing and Loan Analysis for Investment Real Estate (ASM603)
    • Performance and Valuation of Investment Real Estate (ASM604)
    • Asset Analysis of Investment Real Estate (ASM605)

    * Ethics for the Real Estate Manager (ETH800) is offered in the classroom or live-online and can be taken at any point in the process.

  • What is the average total cost of earning the CPM?

    Between $7,500 and $8,500. A breakdown of costs is included below

    CPM enrollment and graduation fees $695
    CPM candidate dues (annually after year 1) $530
    Chapter dues (annually) Average $250 (varies by chapter)
    Total course & exam tuitions $6,100+
    NAR Institute Affiliate dues $105

  • How do I know if my real estate management experience qualifies?

    Candidates need a total of 36 months of qualifying experience by the time of graduation. This means performing at least 19 of 36 real estate management functions on a real estate portfolio that meets minimum sizes.

    Learn more about this requirement in the CPM Handbook

  • Once I graduate, are there ongoing costs?

    To maintain the CPM designation, you will need to pay annual CPM dues, IREM chapter dues, and NAR dues.

  • After I complete and pass the CPM capstone, what’s next?

    Completing all 8 certification courses, and completing and passing the CPM capstone, plus being a CPM candidate for at least 12 months would make you eligible for CPM graduation. Once you are eligible for graduation, IREM HQ will contact you to provide you with the graduation and experience forms, when needed. Submission of these is your very last step in earning your CPM.

  • Can I use military funding to pay for certification courses?

    Certainly. If you would like to use military funding to pay for your courses, you will need to inform us at getinfo@irem.org of the courses you wish to pay for with the funding. Once you inform us, we will create an invoice for you so that you can get funding for the correct amount. Once funding is received, you will be registered for those courses. Since this process may take some time, we recommend you choose a course offering that is far enough in advance to give you leeway for the registration.

1 IREM Profile and Compensation Study – CPM Edition 2019
2 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

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