PHP Certification

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I’m guessing you are here because you’re interested in PHP certification. I can’t really see why anyone would ‘happen’ upon this page not knowing anything about PHP, but if you don’t, then check out our links section to find some useful websites that explain what PHP is.

For those already in the know, let’s get right into the main topics of PHP certification …

Why would I need PHP certification?

Certification Diploma ImageThe main benefit of holding a PHP certification is to become recognized as a top notch PHP developer and achieve a stamp of approval that demonstrates your knowledge of this widely used web programming language. It may not sound like much, but many PHP developers are self taught and have no real way of proving their abilities to potential clients and employers. You could show them some PHP applications you have produced, or the courses you’ve been on, but who’s to say who really wrote those scripts – maybe you just copied and pasted someone elses hard work? – and whether you did actually attend that course. By having a recognized certificate, it will prove that you are a capable PHP developer.

Becoming a certified PHP developer won’t instantly make you a better developer, but you may certainly expand your knowledge of PHP whilst training for the exam.

So, here’s a list of benefits to re-cap:

Career Benefits

  • Prove your abilities to potential clients and employers
  • Stand out amongst competitors when looking for a new job
  • Increase your value ready for your next salary review
  • Get your CV/Resume noticed

Personal Benefits

  • Find out whether your PHP skills are up to scratch
  • Become a recognized and proud supporter of PHP
  • Expand your knowledge whilst training for the PHP certification exam

Other Benefits

  • Some accreditation companies (such as Zend – see below) offer extra benefits once you’re certified with them, such as exclusive listings for PHP professionals and entry into groups which will showcase your talents to potential employers and recruiters.

What Knowledge will I need?

PHP Training Knowledge ImageBefore you take any sort of PHP certification course or exam, you will need to make sure your knowledge of PHP is up to standard.

There are many resources for training, which are described in more detail on our PHP Certification Training page. Here you will find books and training courses which will help you pass your exam. Even if you do not require certification, these training resources will help you become a great PHP developer, so do please check them out.

As well as PHP you will need some fairly decent knowledge in the following related topics:

  • HTML (and possibly CSS)
  • SQL (most commonly MySQL)
  • Web administration
  • XML

You can also find information on these topics in the PHP Certification Training section.

Where can I get PHP certified?

Where To Get Certified Map ImageThere are a few different web sites / companies that offer PHP certification, here is a list of the main ones:

Zend Certification

Zend - The PHP CompanyThis is the daddy of all the PHP accreditation certificates and is the best choice for anyone who is really serious about becoming PHP certified to boost their appeal to potential clients, employers and recruiters.

Zend offer their certification test worldwide, so it doesn’t matter if you’re in India, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan …  you’ll be sure to find an exam test center close to you. In fact India is probably the country where the majority of PHP certificates have been obtained, so you will be sure to find somewhere close to you whatever country you live in.

The Zend company are a main player in all things PHP related, and are even responsible for the scripting engine that PHP is actually based on, so they really do know their stuff. For more information on the company, look at our ‘About Zend’ Article here.

Zend has been running their industry standard PHP certification program for over 4 years now and has recently broken the barrier of 5000 certified developers. Quite an impressive milestone.

Zend currently run two different certification programs – one for PHP 5, which is the one most people will be interested in, and one for the Zend Framework, which is more specialized and specifically for the Zend Framework.

They have many resources to help you pass the exams. Everything from free study guides to complete guides and example exams which will unfortunately cost you a bit of money, but will be worth doing if you want to make sure your knowledge is good enough for passing. They will also include the cost of the exam in some of the training packages, so you don’t have to pay any extra if you take these training materials. You can sometimes find money off coupons for Zend products and training so please check our Money off coupons section to see if there are any currently running. For more information on PHP training for certification, have a look at our guides and reviews here.

To take the exam, you need to purchase a voucher from them for either $125 for the PHP 5 exam, or $160 for the Zend Framework exam (unless you have received the voucher as part of a training package). Once you have a voucher you can use it to arrange an exam date from one of many places worldwide at any time up to a year from purchase.

Once you achieve the certification, you will be listed in the Zend Yellow Pages, where many potential employers and recruiters look to find good PHP developers, and you will be able to set up a profile selling yourself on a special Zend group at Linkedin. You will also receive special discounts on Zend PHP conferences anywhere in the world, and be able to display the Zend certification logo on your CV/resume and on websites. So it’s definitely worth the price – just think how much more money you’ll be able to demand from your current/future employer by being PHP certified. You can see the benefits, right?.

If you’re already convinced then go straight to the Zend Certification website.

W3Schools Certification

W3Schools is very well known as a great web development resource and has been for a long time now.

They have recently rolled out a PHP Developer Certification exam that will give you a PHP developer certificate on successful completion. The exam can be taken online and, ideally, should be supervised by a suitable person, that you select, to add credibility to your certificate. This supervisor should be chosen wisely but, in my opinion, I don’t see how this can add a great deal of credibility – surely you can just get a friend to help you out, or bribe someone into doing it for a small fee.

The examination itself consists of 70 multiple choice and true or false questions primarily on PHP with a few basic MySQL questions. The time limit for the exam is 70 minutes. To pass and receive your certificate, you need to correctly answer at least 75% of the questions, and if you answer 95% of the questions correctly you receive an ‘excellency degree’, which would be a great achievement. The results are given immediately upon completion of the exam and, if you’ve passed, you will be sent the PHP developer certificate as a hard copy, along with a unique url image link that displays the certificate logo and points to the online version of your certificate confirming your status. If you involved a supervisor, they will need to sign the hard copy when it arrives.

The cost for the W3Schools PHP developer certification is $75, payable by PayPal or Credit Card.

In my opinion, if you are after a quick and easy certification logo that you want to display on your website, then have a look at this, but if you are really serious about becoming a PHP certified developer, then you should go for the Zend program discussed previously. The W3Schools certificate just doesn’t have the same clout in the real world, but it’s not too far off. For a $50 difference in price, you would get a lot more from the Zend certificate – submission to the Zend listings are worth at least this alone.

Others to consider

Here are some other players in the world of PHP certification and certification courses that I don’t have quite so much information on, which might suggest that they’re probably not worth looking at too seriously, but here they are for you to have a look at and decide for yourself …

Brainbench allows employees or potential employees to prove their worth in a range of job categories including PHP. You can prove yourself worthy by taking their PHP certification test priced at $49.95.


So you’ve seen what benefits PHP certification has to offer, what you need to know, and how to get PHP certified.

As I’ve already mentioned, the Zend Certification is the program you should go for if you are really serious about getting recognized as a top quality PHP developer. The worldwide nature of the Zend exam also lends itself well to PHP developers from around the world in countries such as India, USA, Canada, UK, Japan, etc. Take a look at our guides and reviews on PHP certification training in preparation for the exam also and get yourself PHP certified!

Good luck!

PHP Certification, 4.0 out of 5 based on 22 ratings