Learn The Benefits of HR Certification

Every day people of all ages are changing their careers to make a better life for themselves and their families. Getting an HR Certification is a great place to start when thinking about a career upgrade or change.


The Advantages of HR Certification

If you’ve ever looked through the HR Certification Institute’s (HRCI) and Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) various certificates and wondered what they’re all about, you’ve come to the correct spot. Every year, an increasing number of HR professionals pursue certification, and you’ve seen offers for recertification credits linked with HR industry events like our own HR Virtual Summit. Hopefully, this post will clarify any misunderstanding by explaining what HR certifications are available, why they’re useful, and which ones you should pursue. We’ve provided a list of HR certificates below, but first, let’s talk about who should consider HR certification in the first place.

HR Certification is available for both newcomers and veterans.

While an HR credential has never been required to work in human resources, it can be a valuable addition to your HR career, even if you’ve been in the field since the Stone Age. HR certification, particularly for newcomers, provides numerous educational and professional benefits. Even if you have years (or decades) of HR expertise, HR certification may help you by verifying your understanding, catching you up on the newest best practices, and freshening up your resume to future-proof your career—not to mention endless networking opportunities. So let’s get into the specifics.

Why Should You Get a Human Resources Certification?

According to Payscale, 34% of all HR professionals had one HR qualification in 2018. And it’s understandable that so many people want to be certified, given that HR professionals with credentials are more likely to be promoted and advance in their careers. “Certifications are quite beneficial for those just starting in HR,” says JD Conway, BambooHR’s head of talent acquisition. “They can help you demonstrate your knowledge base and show businesses that you know what you’re doing.” They’re a terrific approach to enrich your education and ensure you know what you’re talking about.”

Many vacant positions in human resources will list SHRM-CP or PHR as a “strong plus” or add “Certifications for Human Resource Professionals desired,” but they are rarely a formal necessity. While it may not be a deal-breaker for most HR jobs, it will give you an advantage over the competition and demonstrate to a recruiter that you are serious about a future in human resources.


Even if you already work in human resources, acquiring an HR certification may be worthwhile when it comes time to ask for a raise. In 2008, having an HR certification was correlated with a 17 percent higher income than not having one. However, in 2018, that figure jumped to 31.6 percent.

Perhaps you already have a terrific HR career but want to advance to a senior or management position. HR certification is one way to demonstrate that you have the knowledge and abilities to advance in your job, and it can enhance your chances of promotion by 29%.


While there is evidence that an HR certification can enhance your career, not every HR professional must obtain one. If you have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human resources, you should have the necessary certifications to begin your profession. Then, when you’re looking to refresh your skills later in your career, consider getting a certification. Similarly, employees in specialist HR professions may find that certification is not required. Many HR credentials are intended for HR generalists, so if you are a benefits specialist, for example, you may find many HR certifications overly broad.

What Kinds of HR Certifications Are Available?

HRCI and SHRM are the two most common and perhaps top HR certification providers for HR professionals. Each provides several sorts of HR certifications to help HR professionals learn new skills and advance in their jobs. There are certificates for every level of experience, but they always require an exam administered by the certification organization. The list of HR certificates below is not exhaustive, but they are the ones you’re most likely to see other HR professionals attaching to their names.

HR Certifications from HRCI

The HR Certification Institute offers eight different credentials. Still, the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) are the two most typically seen following people’s names (SPHR). According to the HRCI website, over 500,000 HRIS certificates have been awarded in over 125,000 countries over the organization’s 40-year history. HRCI has been in operation since 1976 and is recognized by The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Their complete list of available HR certifications includes the following: