Human Resources Associate Professional (aPHR)
This certification is intended for new HR professionals who are just getting started, and as such, no prior HR experience is required. An aPHR is designed for college students who want to work in human resources. Therefore it focuses on basic skills and HR knowledge such as HR operations, recruiting and selection, compensation and benefits, human resources and retention, employee relations, health, safety, and security. This is a good place to start if you’re new to human resources.
Human Resources Specialist (PHR)
This is considered an advanced certification and is intended to demonstrate proficiency in technical and operational elements of human resource management. To be eligible for the PHR, you must already have one of the following combinations of experience:
- One year of professional-level HR experience and a master’s degree or higher
- Two years or longer of professional-level HR experience and a bachelor’s degree
- At least four years of professional-level HR experience and a high school diploma
Employee labor relations, company management, talent planning and acquisition, overall incentives, and learning and development are all included in this certification.
Human Resources Professional – California (PHRca)
Work as an HR professional in California (or for a company that primarily services California). This certification will allow you to specialize in California-specific rules, regulations, and practices. The PHRca has the same prerequisites as the PHR and will help you develop employment and employee relations, wage and hour compensation, benefits and leaves of absence, health, safety, and workers’ compensation in California.
International Human Resources Professional (PHRi)
The contrast between the PHR and the PHRI is comparable to that between the aPHR and the aPHRi. The eligibility requirements are the same as a PHR, but the exam and credentials are geared toward working in a global setting. To be eligible for this certification, you must know about talent acquisition, HR administration and shared services, talent management and development, remuneration, benefits, work experience, employee relations and risk management, and HR information management.
Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) If you wish to advance to a manager role in your HR department or take on strategy-related responsibilities rather than implementation, this is the qualification for you. It would help if you met one of the following sets of criteria to be eligible for this certification: at least four years of professional-level HR experience and a master’s degree or higher, at least five years of professional-level HR experience and a bachelor’s degree, or at least seven years of professional-level HR experience and a high school diploma Leadership and strategy, employee relations and engagement, talent planning and acquisition, learning and development, and overall rewards are among the subjects covered on the SPHR certification exam.
Global Human Resources Professional (GPHR)
This certification is intended for HR professionals who work in a worldwide marketplace and have a position that promotes global organizational growth. Eligibility for this HR certification needs at least two years of experience in a global professional-level HR role and a master’s degree or higher, at least three years in a professional-level HR position, and a bachelor’s degree, or at least four years in a professional-level HR post. This certification will help you prepare for strategic HR management, talent and organizational development, global talent acquisition and mobility, global compensation and benefits, workforce relations and risk management, and workforce relations and risk management.
HR Certifications from SHRM
The Society for Human Resource Management, or SHRM, is an HR membership organization that offers less but still prominent HR certifications. SHRM used to deliver HRCI certifications, but in 2014, SHRM launched its certification program. While SHRM does not offer a specialized HR certification for novices, such as the aPHR from HRCI, the SHRM website reports that more than 5,000 employees seek out SHRM certificates each month, indicating that they are still in demand. SHRM provides the following list of competency-based HR certifications:
SHRM Accredited Professional (SHRM-CP)
This qualification is aimed at HR professionals that deliver and perform operational HR tasks and are involved in policy and strategy execution. You may qualify for this certification if you have one of the following qualifications: you are working on an HR-related bachelor’s degree and have three years in an HR role, you are working on a non-HR related degree and have four years experience in an HR role, you have an HR-related bachelor’s degree and one year in an HR role, you have a non-HR degree and two years in an HR role, you have a graduate degree in an HR-related field and are currently working in HR, you have
Senior Certified Professional (SHRM) (SHRM-SCP)
SHRM-SCPs are useful for HR professionals who want to design strategies, head an HR department, and contribute to organizational goals. Eligibility for this HR certification requires one of the following: that you are working on an HR-related degree and have six years in an HR role, that you are working on a non-HR related degree and have seven years in an HR role, that you have an HR-related bachelor’s degree and four years in HR, that you have a non-HR bachelor’s degree and five years in HR, that you have a graduate HR-related degree and three years in HR, or that you have a non-HR
How Long Does It Take to Obtain an HR Certificate?
Your timeframe will be heavily influenced by the certification you wish to obtain, the amount of time you have to devote to studying, and when the certification test is available in your area. HRCI and SHRM both feature study resources for sale on their websites. However, if the self-guided study isn’t for you, you can discover both classroom and online courses to help you prepare for your certification exam. In addition, the HRCI maintains a list of HR certification preparation providers, and SHRM provides its three-day training program that travels to various locations throughout the year and a list of SHRM-approved education partners.
You must apply to take an HRCI or SHRM certification exam to demonstrate that you meet all qualifications. HRCI examinations are administered at Pearson Vue testing centers; you can schedule your exam appointment online or by phone through their website. You must apply for a certification exam through SHRM during a certain window. You can arrange your test through Prometric once you’ve received an Authorization to Test email from SHRM.