by Rahulprasad Hurkadli

In today's fast-paced and technology-driven business landscape, Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) has become a critical component for organizations to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of IT services. ITSM certification is a valuable way for IT professionals to demonstrate their expertise and advance their careers in this field.

Understanding ITSM Certifications

However, the cost of pursuing ITSM certification can vary significantly depending on various factors. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of ITSM certification costs, examining the different certification options, associated expenses, and the potential return on investment.



Understanding ITSM Certifications

Before diving into the costs, let's briefly explore the different ITSM certifications available and the significance of each:

  • ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library): ITIL is one of the most popular ITSM frameworks globally. ITIL certifications include Foundation, Practitioner, Intermediate, and Expert levels. The cost of ITIL certification exams typically ranges from $150 to $500 per exam, depending on the level. ITIL certifications are highly regarded and recognized worldwide, making them a valuable asset for IT professionals.
  • COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies): COBIT certifications focus on the governance and management of enterprise IT. The cost of the COBIT 2019 Foundation exam is around $325. COBIT certifications are particularly relevant for professionals aiming to enhance their skills in IT governance and risk management.
  • ISO/IEC 20000: ISO/IEC 20000 is an international standard for ITSM. The cost of ISO/IEC 20000 certification varies depending on the certification body and location but can range from $300 to $1000 or more. Achieving ISO/IEC 20000 certification can demonstrate an organization's commitment to delivering high-quality IT services.
  • HDI Support Center Certification: This certification is specific to support center professionals and is offered by HDI. The cost of the certification exam varies based on membership status, with non-members paying more. HDI certifications are ideal for those specializing in support center operations.
  • ServiceNow Certifications: ServiceNow offers a range of certifications related to their ITSM platform. Certification costs vary, with some exams costing around $150. ServiceNow certifications can be advantageous for professionals working with the ServiceNow platform.

Certification Preparation Costs

Aside from exam fees, ITSM certification candidates should consider the cost of preparation materials and training. These can include:

  • Study Guides and Books: ITSM certification candidates often purchase study guides and textbooks to prepare for exams. These resources typically cost between $50 and $150. Investing in comprehensive study materials can significantly improve your chances of passing the certification exam.
  • Online Training Courses: Online training courses offered by accredited training providers can cost anywhere from $200 to $1000 or more, depending on the certification and the quality of the course. Online courses provide flexibility, allowing candidates to study at their own pace.
  • Classroom Training: Some candidates prefer classroom-based training, which can be more expensive, ranging from $1000 to $5000 or more. Classroom training offers the benefit of direct interaction with instructors and fellow students.
  • Practice Exams: Practice exams and sample questions are invaluable for preparing for ITSM certification. These can cost between $50 and $200. Practicing with sample questions helps you become familiar with the exam format and question types.

Exam Retake Costs

Exam retake costs are an important consideration when pursuing ITSM (Information Technology Service Management) certification. While every certification body may have its own policies and fees regarding exam retakes, it's a crucial aspect to plan for when budgeting for your certification journey. Here's a closer look at exam retake costs:

  • Retake Fees: Most certification exams allow candidates to retake the exam if they don't pass on their first attempt. However, there is typically an additional fee associated with retaking the exam. This fee is often equal to or slightly less than the initial exam fee. For example, if the initial exam fee was $300, the retake fee might be around $250 or $275.
  • Waiting Period: Certification bodies often impose a waiting period between exam attempts. This waiting period can vary from a few days to several weeks, depending on the certification program. It's essential to factor in this waiting period when planning your certification timeline.
  • Retake Policies: Certification programs may have specific policies regarding the number of times you can retake an exam within a certain time frame. For instance, some programs may allow you to retake an exam up to three times within a year, while others may have different limits. These policies are designed to encourage candidates to adequately prepare before attempting the exam again.
  • Preparation: After an initial exam failure, candidates often invest additional time and resources in further exam preparation. This can include purchasing additional study materials, enrolling in additional training courses, or seeking guidance from mentors or instructors. These preparation costs should also be considered when budgeting for exam retakes.
Certification Preparation Costs

Membership Fees

Many ITSM certification bodies offer membership programs that provide access to additional resources, discounts on exams, and networking opportunities. Membership fees typically range from $50 to $250 per year, depending on the organization. Joining a professional ITSM association can help you stay updated on industry trends and connect with peers.

Continuing Education Costs

To maintain ITSM certifications, professionals often need to earn continuing education credits. These credits can be obtained through attending conferences, webinars, or additional training courses. The costs of these activities can vary widely. While continuing education is an ongoing expense, it's essential for keeping your certifications current and relevant.

Travel Expenses

For candidates opting for classroom-based training or exams at physical testing centers, travel expenses such as airfare, accommodation, and meals need to be factored in. These costs can significantly increase the overall expense of certification. Consider whether remote or online options are available to reduce travel-related expenses.

Return on Investment (ROI)

While the costs of ITSM certification can be substantial, it's crucial to consider the potential return on investment. Certified ITSM professionals often command higher salaries and have access to more job opportunities. Over time, the increased earning potential can offset the initial certification expenses. Additionally, certification can enhance your job security and open doors to career advancement.


ITSM certification is a valuable investment for IT professionals seeking to advance their careers in the field of IT service management. However, it's essential to carefully consider and budget for the various costs associated with certification, including exam fees, preparation materials, training, membership fees, and ongoing education. While the upfront expenses may seem significant, the long-term benefits in terms of career advancement and earning potential can make ITSM certification a worthwhile endeavor.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue ITSM certification should be based on an individual's career goals, current financial situation, and the potential benefits of certification in their specific industry or job role. By weighing the costs against the potential rewards, IT professionals can make informed decisions about their certification journey, ensuring they invest wisely in their future.

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