Education is critical to the success of community association management. The complexities of operating an association cover a broad spectrum of professions and require a working knowledge of federal and state statutes, association law, general accounting, financial reporting, budgeting, insurance, risk management, facilities maintenance, vendor management, project oversight, customer service, and much more.

Nine states currently require some type of licensing for CAMs: Alaska, CaliforniaColoradoConnecticutFlorida, Georgia, IllinoisNevada, and Virginia. Several more state legislatures are considering licensing requirements. However, this still leaves a large number of states and communities without minimum standards for community association managers.

One organization has successfully enveloped the national market with a uniform training program: the Community Associations Institute or CAI. CAI provides the equivalent of a state licensing requirement and, in some states, their CMCA certification (Certified Manager of Community Associations) is the required course to become licensed. CAI provides advanced levels of training and certifications beyond the CMCA designation that many management companies and community associations use as a criteria to find professional and experienced property managers.

Below is a list of the Community Associations Institute’s certifications and a link to each:

CMCA (Certified Manager of Community Associations

AMS (Association Management Specialist)

LSM (Large Scale Manager)

PCAM (Professional Community Association Manager)

CCAL (College of Community Association Lawyers)

CIRMS (Community Insurance and Risk Management Specialist)

RS (Reserve Specialist)


Most associations will go through multiple special projects during their existence. These may involve upgrades to common areas, construction defect mitigation, large scale repairs, amending CC&R’s and many others. While specialists such as attorneys, engineers, architects, and construction project management firms are retained for most projects, the association manager often has a significant role in the process in communications, organization, logistics, etc. Project management certifications can be helpful in these scenarios and for career advancement.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) provides the most recognizable certifications in the project management industry worldwide, and in particular the PMP (Project Management Professional) certification.

Below is a list of the Project Management Institute’s certifications that are most relevant to community association management and a link to each:

PMP (Project Management Professional)

CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management)


If you have a suggestion for other skilled training providers, please contact us to share your recommendation!