How to Get Your Human Resources Certification


Getting certified as a human resource professional shows your expertise and mastery in the human resource field. Being certified may make you more attractive to employers. To become certified, you will either need to take the Professional in Human Resources exam or the Senior Professional in Human Resources exam.

  • You must meet the eligibility requirements for the exam. Human resource generalists take the PHR and SPHR exams. To be eligible for the PHR exam, you must have between one and four years of professional experience in human resources. Those with master's degrees may take the exam after having a year of demonstrated professional experience, those with a bachelor's degree need two years of experience and those with less than bachelor's degree need at least four years of demonstrated experience to take the certifying exam.

    If you have a master's degree you need four years of work experience to qualify for the SPHR certification exam. Bachelor degree recipients need five years of experience to qualify for SPHR certification, and those with less than a bachelor's degree need seven years of experience to qualify.

  • Apply for the exam through the HR Certification Institute. Applications for the exam are accepted twice a year.

  • Study for the exam. The certifications exams are challenging 225 multiple choice exams. You may get study guides through the HR Institute. You may also take an online assessment through their website to see how you measure up as you prepare for the exam. Check with your library for study materials as well.

  • Once you pass your test you become certified through the Society for Human Resource Management. You must recertify every three years. You may either retake the certification exam or fulfill recertification with 60 credits of continuing education.

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