HR Certifications To Advance Your Career

HR professionals can make more money by being certified, which has grown increasingly popular among businesses. Every HR certification serves as a highlight of your credentials and can help you stand out from other applicants. Consider seeking at least one kind of certification if you’re thinking about a profession in HR or are already employed in HR and want to advance your position. In this post, we identify some different HR certifications and examine the qualifications that each one sets for applicants.

What exactly are HR certifications?

HR certifications are professional designations that often require passing competency-based exams to receive a certain title. Although the majority of HR positions don’t necessitate certification to apply for or get the job, qualifying your CV can help you stand out to employers. An HR certification demonstrates your dedication to the industry and draws attention to the talents you have developed through your job in HR. You can pursue several HR certificates, all of which concentrate on various HR knowledge and experience levels.

Why obtain an HR certification?

In the realm of human resources, it’s important to have the ability to convince employers of your level of expertise. Also, it is ever-changing, so it is essential to stay current on HR best practices as well as employment rules. In reality, a lot of firms want HR certification as a qualification for employment.

Your long-term professional success may be supported by HR certification. According to studies, persons who complete certification programs to advance their education have a higher chance of making up to 44% more money overall throughout their employment. An HR certification might also give you a head start if you wish to begin a new profession.

The excellent thing is that HR certification may be obtained in a variety of ways, including the ease of online HR certification courses. We’ve included HR certificates in this article that are available to students everywhere.

HR certifications that demonstrate your HR abilities

The following are a few certifications that could advance your human resources professional life:

1. aPHR

The Associate Professional in Human Resources, or aPHR, certification is intended for recent HR graduates who desire to advance their qualifications as soon as possible in their employment. Because the candidates have no prior HR experience, aPHR training concentrates on the fundamental duties of an HR practitioner as well as some general strategies for effective HR work. This certification is available after taking a test that takes around two hours, and it is good for three years. You can either repeat the exam or submit 45 hours of renewal credits to renew it.

2. PHR

The HR Certification Institute offers PHR certification, which means Professional in Human Resources (HRCI). HR practitioners who report to an HR manager or other senior HR managers may find this credential useful. You must pass a three-hour exam covering topics including installing new programs and understanding American HR laws and regulations to become PHR certified. If you pass the examination, you are certified for three years. To renew your certification, you must either retake the test or provide documentation of your activities for professional growth.

3. PHRi

The HRCI offers the PHRi certification, which stands for Professional in Human Resources – International. This credential is best suited for HR practitioners that deal with workers from various parts of the United States or abroad on a global scale. The PHRi exam lasts slightly over three hours and covers topics like hiring, HR administration, and talent growth and management. If you possess the following qualifications, you are eligible to take the PHRi exam:

  • With a master’s degree and one year of experience
  • With a bachelor’s degree and two years of experience

You can obtain a three-year PHRi certification by completing the PHRi examination and supplying the required documentation. After three years, you must either retake the test or demonstrate that you have earned 60 recertification credits to maintain your credential.

A high school graduation and four years of experience


Senior HR managers can obtain SPHR or Senior Practitioner in Human Resources. In comparison to the PHR certification, the exam for this certification has multiple-choice questions about HR topics that are more complex, like preparing for long-term objectives and retaining accountability and power over an HR department. The SPHR certification is good for three years after passing the examination, but you can recertify yourself by passing the test again or demonstrating that you are actively pursuing continuing education.


HR practitioners who are interested in working in global human resources may find the GPHR certification to be extremely helpful. The required exam covers topics including multicultural HR duties and regulations that aid global personnel and corporate operations because candidates who want GPHR certification often have an interest in global HR practices. You must possess at a minimum one of the following combinations of qualifications to apply for this certification:

  • A master’s degree and two years of international experience
  • A bachelor’s degree and 3 years of work experience, two of which must be abroad
  • A high school certificate and 4 years of work experience, two of which must be abroad

Once your qualifications have been verified, you’ll pass an exam to get certification that will last for 3 years until you’re able to reapply by earning 60 hours of career development credits.

6. SPHRi

While PHRi certification is similar, SPHRi, or Senior Professional in Human Resources – International, is meant for applicants with more expertise in senior-level HR employment. The themes of the exam include corporate leadership, talent development, and HR quality management because applicants operate at an expert stage. Wherever you plan to practice, you need also be familiar with regional employment legislation. You will require one of the following combinations of HR certifications to apply for the exam:

  • A master’s degree and 4 years of experience
  • A bachelor’s degree and 5 years of experience
  • Completed high school and have seven years of professional experience

You obtain three-year certification after having your qualifications verified and passing the SPHRi exam. The credential will subsequently require renewal, which can be accomplished by demonstrating 60 hours of career development, 15 of which must be in business strategy and management, or by retaking the test.


Candidates who are just starting their HR careers might choose the HRBP, or Human Resources Business Professional, certification. The HRBP exam assesses your understanding of operational abilities, technical procedures, and operational customs for locations that are not part of the United States due to the basic degree of basic knowledge you may have. You must possess one of the following credentials to apply for HRBP certification:

  • A master’s degree and a year of experience
  • An undergraduate degree and two years of professional experience
  • A high school graduation and four years of professional experience

You can take the HRBP exam to receive your certification for three years once you have attained the requisite level of credentials. Following that, you can submit proof of 60 hours of career development or retake the test to seek recertification.


Human resources specialists with extensive expertise who serve as HR managers are targeted by the HRMP designation, which means Human Resources Management Professional. Exams for HRMP certification require knowledge of subjects including HR strategy, creating new policies, and understanding international employment regulations. You must possess one of the following credentials combos in to submit an application for this certification and pass the necessary exam:

  • A master’s degree and 4 years of professional experience
  • A bachelor’s degree and five years of professional experience
  • Completed high school and have seven years of professional experience

If you have the necessary documentation, you can pass the test and receive three years of certification. Following that, you will have to demonstrate 60 hours of career growth or retake the certification exam.


The SHRM-SCP, or Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional, is a certification program for HR professionals who are further along in their careers or have more senior roles within an HR department. The SHRM-SCP test covers topics including performance analysis and creating continuing goals for a business. Similar to the SHRM-CP certification, applicants for the SHRM-SCP do not need to be SHRM members to sit for the exam.


The Society for Human Resource Management offers the SHRM-CP certification, which stands for Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional. This qualification is often pursued by candidates early in their HR professions. The certification emphasizes the implementation of new employment policies and initiatives, engaging with employees, and carrying out fundamental HR services. The certification encompasses many aspects including leadership, morals, critical reasoning, and communication, much like the PHR. You must pass a test to become SHRM-CP certified, after which you must wait three years before reapplying.


The IPMA-CP certification, which confers the designation of Certified Expert on applicants, is provided by the International Public Management Association for Human Resources. Although most other credentials are created to help private industry businesses, the IPMA-CP certification stands out because it concentrates on HR in the government sector. For this certification, experience in the government sector is necessary at any level. You may offer any of the following qualification combinations:

  • A graduate degree, two years of work experience, and a minimum of one year of HR experience in the government sector
  • A bachelor’s degree and four years of work experience, a minimum of one of which must be in public sector human resources
  • An associate’s degree and 6 years of HR experience, at least one of which must have been spent in the government sector
  • A high school certificate and eight years of work experience, at least one of which was spent in human resources in the public sector

The IMPA-CP certification exam is available online, and once you receive it, you have three years to reapply for certification.


For HR professionals in California, there are two certifications available: PHR-CA (Professional in Human Resources in California) and SPHR-CA (Senior Professional in Human Resources in California). These credentials, which are identical to the PHR and SPHR certificates offered by the HR Certification Institute, also include knowledge about California-specific regulations. The SPHR-CA and PHR-CA certification exams place a strong emphasis on candidates’ familiarity with California law, rules, and HR practices. Before needing renewal, both SPHR-CA and PHR-CA certifications are good for three years.

13. CPTD

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) offers a specific certification program for corporate professionals, including HR staff, called CPTD, or Certified Professional in Talent Development. With the help of this certification, a professional’s interpersonal, practical, and organizational abilities will be enhanced. A few examples include handling benefits and compensation and managing problems at work. You must have at least one of the following combinations of certificates to be considered for the CPTD program:

  • 60 hours of career development over the previous five years and five years of professional experience
  • Having worked for four years and holding the Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) credential

Once you have the required documentation, you can sign up for and take the three-hour CPTD exam, which consists of multiple-choice and case administration questions. After passing the test, CPTD certification is valid for three years; however, you can renew it by demonstrating ongoing career development.

14. The Academy to Innovate HR (AIHR)

Online HR certification courses from AIHR are highly certified and offer certification and instruction in specialized fields. Students have the option of enrolling in the academy for the whole experience and several specialty credentials, or they can choose to concentrate on a single topic of their choice at a time. Among the nine HR certification courses are:

  • Organizational Growth
  • Leadership for Strategic HR
  • Inclusion and Diversity
  • HR and People Analytics
  • Digital Human Resources
  • Partner 2.0 for HR
  • Dashboarding and HR Metrics
  • Growing and Learning
  • Talent Identification

To prepare students for a career as an HR professional, all courses are given online using active learning, videos, and exercises. Top HR practitioners who impart practical expertise serve as instructors.

By fostering four essential HR competencies, the certifications want to assist you in developing into a T-shaped HR professional.

  • Literacy in data
  • Business savvy,
  • Electronic integration
  • Advocacy for the masses.

The duration of each HR certification program is between 30 and 40 hours. Students can take as long as 12 months from the time they join to finish each course at their speed.

Specialists in human resources have various backgrounds. Courses include everything from fundamentals to advanced topics.

15. The Human Capital Institute’s Strategic HR Leadership (SHRL)

The Strategic HR Leadership (SHRL) course and several other competency-based HR certification programs are accessible through the Human Capital Institute. The HCI Academy provides resources, instructions, sample exams, and mentor assistance to participants. Programs lasting two days are available to students, as well as a four-week virtual course with half-day sessions. To obtain the certification, applicants must complete the online test.

For those who are unfamiliar with HR leadership responsibilities and the difficulties they provide, the SHRL certification is an excellent fit. Anybody who manages a team aspires to lead by example, or wants to boost their team’s productivity is encouraged to take part, according to their website.

This training does not require any prerequisites. Students must pass the final test in addition to attending all sessions, taking part in group discussions, finishing all assigned readings, and submitting an evaluation to receive the certificate.

16. HRPA’s Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP)

The Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) certification is only available through the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA). They also provide the Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE) and the Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL), two more, more sophisticated qualifications.

To pass challenge examinations, students must finish a set of nine HR-related college courses at one of several Canadian colleges and universities. These courses must pass an approval review. Also, there is a scheme that assists people to get ready for the profession if they want to work in HR.

If you are already studying HR-related coursework or hold a degree, the CHRP seems to be a suitable option for you. Only HRPA members who are in good academic standing may use the credentials. For candidates to be qualified for CHRP certification, the HRPA has some specific requirements. You need to sign up and take part in their class and exam program.

17. The Talent Management Institute’s Talent Management Practitioner

The Talent Management Institute’s Talent Management Practitioner certification targets people who want to advance their careers in talent management. Currently, one of the HR disciplines with the highest income potential is recruiting. The course comprises of a TMPTM Resource Box with all the textbooks and other study materials required to pass the online exam.

Graduates from colleges and universities who want to specialize in HR and talent management might consider the TMI online certification. Before accepting candidates into the program, the program checks that they meet specific educational and professional requirements using a unique tool.

18. Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) from The Association for Talent Development (ATD)

The Association for Talent Development (ATD), which is renowned for providing the best education in career development fields, gives access to several certificates, along with the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP). It addresses a wide variety of issues related to the growth of talent across various skill sets and propensities. The course can be taken in person, online, at weekend seminars, or by using ATD materials for self-study. Students are urged to study extensively in the preparation for the demanding exam; many say it took them between six and nine months to prepare.

HR specialists who are committed to initiatives for education and professional growth will benefit from this HR certification. Five years of relevant work experience is required, as well as 60 hours of career growth and in-depth knowledge of the concepts of employee talent acquisition.


You can find several courses to fit your interests, whether you’re interested in studying one or the entire set to earn a certificate in human resource management. There are courses at every level if you wish to increase your knowledge before attempting a test at the HR Certification Institute. For individuals who have more experience, the HRCI offers the SPHR certification, in addition to basic certification for those who are fresh to the industry and renewal.

Frequently Asked Questions about HR Certifications

  • What does an HR certification entail?

HR certification enables you to demonstrate to your (possible) employer that you have acquired new knowledge, abilities, and experience. It is a well-liked method of job progression for HR specialists.

  • What makes HR certification essential?

Although obtaining any of these qualifications doesn’t replace education, professional experience, or college education, HR certification demonstrates to others your commitment to the human resources industry. It says a lot that you are interested in learning more to advance your profession if you obtain an HR certification from one of these organizations. A certification’s worth differs based on whether it was granted by a recognized educational institution and whether student credits were granted for it.

  • Which HR certification is the best?

The ideal HR certification depends on your unique needs and professional goals. No one solution works for all human resource specialists. Here are some suggestions, though. When you initially start, you might wish to get a certification that can help you learn the skills you need to get your first job in human resources. You will be well-positioned for any HR career with this additional effort. An expert HR certification can be very advantageous to your career development and income if you have more expertise. Remember that obtaining an HR certification today may be done much more easily online.

  • How much time is required to become certified in HR?

That again is dependent upon the course you are enrolled in. For instance, if a program requires 40 hours of study time and you commit 4 hours each week, you will finish in 10 weeks. Yet, some HR qualifications could take several months or years to obtain. Before choosing an HR certification program, determine what you can dedicate yourself to.

Make sure to dedicate yourself to studying to obtain an HR certification. You can achieve this by scheduling time blocks or by giving yourself progress markers.