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Property Management Certifications That Set You Apart

If you want to become a property manager or advance your career in property management, you may consider obtaining one or more certifications. Property management certifications can help show your proficiency in the field and help set you apart from others. Today, we’ll go over whether or not specific certifications are necessary, which certifications property managers should consider, and how they help set you apart from others. 


Contents of This Article: 

What Are Property Management Certifications?

Property management certifications are credentials that individuals can obtain to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and expertise in property management. These certifications are usually offered by professional organizations, institutions, or industry associations, and they’re designed to enhance the credibility and competency of property managers in Baltimore

That said, while specific requirements may vary, property management certifications generally cover a range of topics related to real estate. Some popular include landlord-tenant relationships, legal requirements, and business operations. 

With an industry as large as property management, the more knowledge you have, the better. As such, while some certifications aren’t always necessary, they’re a great way to fine-tune your skillset and stand out from the competition. Next, we’ll go over how to become a property manager and which certifications may be necessary. 

Are Property Management Certifications Necessary?

If you’re thinking of becoming a property manager, it’s important to understand the requirements. First, you must be a legal US citizen or a permanent resident and at least 18 or 21, depending on the state. Additionally, you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent GED. 


Beyond a high school diploma, property management companies may require different levels of education or certifications from their property managers. For instance, some firms require undergraduate studies, including risk management, property management, finance, or business administration. 

Finally, you need to complete your Real Estate License Coursework and have a passing score on your Real Estate License exam, if necessary, in your state. In most states, you need to acquire a Real Estate Broker’s License to perform many activities surrounding real estate, like entering lease agreements or listing properties. 

In some states, such as Maryland, property managers don’t need a broker’s license or any certification to carry out their work. That said, it’s important to note that licenses typically come from the state level, while certifications relate to national real estate or property management accreditations. As such, there are several certifications to consider for those looking to enter the property management field. 

Certifications for Property Managers to Consider

It can be challenging to stand out in such a large and growing industry such as property management. So, even if your state doesn’t require you to complete any certain certifications, here are some that you may want to consider. 

  • Certified Apartment Leasing Professional (CALP)
  • Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)
  • Certified Property Manager (CPM)
  • Master Property Manager (MPM)

Certified Apartment Leasing Professional (CALP)

One of the first steps toward a property management career is applying for an entry-level position, like a leasing agent. Accreditation from the Certified Apartment Leasing Professional (CALP) can help beginner property managers develop the skills they need to become more proficient. To receive certification from the NALP, you must complete the following requirements. 

  • At least six months of experience in a property management position, such as a leasing agent
  • A provisional certificate until the 6-month time requirement is met
  • Complete seven CALP courses for a total of 25 total credit hours
  • Complete all requirements within one year of enrollment

Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)

After you learn the basics as a leasing professional, the next step is learning more about property management. To do this, you can obtain a Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) certification so you can further your skills, regularly interact with tenants, and become a reliable representative for property owners. To obtain this certification, you’ll need to complete the following. 

  • At least one year of onsite experience in a property management role
  • A provisional certificate until the 12-month time requirement is met
  • Complete seven CAM courses for a total of 40 credit hours
  • Complete all requirements within one year of enrollment

Certified Property Manager (CPM)

A Certified Property Manager, or CPM, is a highly regarded position among property managers. It’s offered by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and covers a wide range of topics that can help set you apart from the competition in the property management market. To receive this level of certification, you must complete the following requirements. 

  • At least three years of consecutive employment in a qualifying property management role
  • Hold a real estate license if the role requires it, or verify that you’re not required to have a license for your current role
  • Complete a minimum of 19 out of 36 CPM Function Requirement activities 
  • Complete all requirements within one year of enrollment

Master Property Manager (MPM)

The highest designation that a property can obtain in the property management field is a Master Property Manager or MPM. To become an MPM, you must work in the property management field for at least 60 months consecutively. Additionally, you must meet all the requirements of a CPM certification. Finally, you must have a portfolio with the right number of units, usually a minimum of 500 residential units at one or more sites or 100 units at five or more sites.

How Certifications Can Set You Apart From Others

Property management certifications can set property managers apart from others in several ways. For instance, undergoing training and demonstrating your knowledge in the field can give you a competitive edge in the job market and enhance your professional credibility. Here are some ways certifications can make a difference. 

  • Demonstrated Experience- Property management certifications help showcase that a property manager has undergone specific training and education in the field. For instance, they show a commitment to learning and developing expertise, helping you stand out as someone with in-depth knowledge.


  • Credibility and Trust- Certifications establish credibility and trust in a property manager’s profile. After all, clients, employers, and tenants are more likely to trust someone who proves they have extensive field knowledge.
  • Competitive Advantage- In a competitive job market, certifications can help your resume stand out. Employers usually seek candidates with relevant certifications, viewing them as individuals who’ve invested in their professional development and are well-equipped to handle the role’s responsibilities.
  • Networking Opportunities- Reputable professional organizations and associations often offer certification programs. So, completing a certification can provide access to networking opportunities. This lets you connect with other industry professionals and keep up with the latest news and trends.
  • Legal Compliance- Some certifications include training on legal regulations and compliance issues relevant to property management. This ensures property managers are well-versed in compliance issues, reducing the risk of legal challenges and ensuring that their practices align with local, state, and federal laws.

The Role of Experienced Property Managers

Property management is a competitive yet rewarding field to get into. It takes someone who is dedicated and knowledgeable about real estate to become a successful property manager. That said, completing certifications along with any required licensing can help set you apart from the competition in the job market. Expanding your knowledge and hands-on experience shows that you’re dedicated to becoming the best property manager you can be. 

If you’re looking to start your property management career, check out Bay Property Management Group’s current job opportunities. Whether you want to start as an assistant property manager or hop into a leasing agent position, look and see what we have to offer.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for dedicated property managers to manage your rentals in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, or Washington, DC, we’ve got you covered! Our team of reliable individuals can help you ensure your properties are well-maintained and cared for 24/7.