Learn More about the Professional Human Resources Certificate

Many people working in the field of human resources often decide to enroll in a Professional Human Resources Certificate Program. When they have completed the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification or become certified, it is an acknowledgment within the industry of their commendable skills. It showcases them as someone with the required theoretical knowledge in the field, as well as having the hands-on experience to be able to use what they’ve learned in their work.

Achieving a PHR Certification is a personal milestone for a lot of HR practitioners. It brings honor and prestige coupled with a tough commitment to further their HR career, knowledge, skills, and abilities, and it allows them to commemorate their successes as well. Since their decision is often based on a career move, or the quest of higher advancement in their profession, PHR certification is recognized as an impressive indication of their competency in their field.

While most entry level positions available in human resources don’t require a major amount of experience to start, a person hoping to advance in that field usually needs to have additional training. There are quite a few in the HR industry that have Associates and even a Bachelor’s degree. Having additional education like this is usually sufficient to open doors for more advanced positions in the field of Human Resources.

However, there are a lot of employers who give greater merit to those who have achieved the Human Resources Certification than HR employees with other degrees, so going after that PHR certification helps the advancement of their careers or for them to locate more viable positions in the industry.

To be awarded the PHR certificate, an individual is required to meet specific criteria. The first major challenge each person faces is the certification exam. This examination is administered by the HR Certificate Institute (HRCI), in association with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) which serves at the main authority in the United States for human resources management and practice.

The exam itself takes four hours and is made up of 225 multiple choice questions that cover all of the basic functions in human resources. Receiving a passing score on this exam is only one of the several requirements for someone to earn their certification.

Anyone who is currently working in the human resources field has to have completed two years of salaried or exempt levels of HR experience before they are even considered qualified to take the PHR exam. However, they will waive this prerequisite for students who are already enrolled in a human resources degree program. Also, any students who will be completing their degree within 12 months are also allowed to take the exam before they graduate.  Unfortunately, HRCI is more stringent nowadays and has modified or amended its basic requirements for certification beginning 2011. For further details, please visit the HRCI website for the most updated information.

In addition to that, students who don’t have any exempt HR work experience, but have earned their degree in the past 12 months, are also eligible to take the exam. In both cases, though, it’s a requirement that the prerequisite 12 months of exempt-level HR work experience is obtained with five years after they’ve passed the test if they want to keep their certification. Due to regulations set forth by both SHRM and the PHR, these practitioners are required to complete a certain number of continuing education requirements on a yearly basis to keep their professional human resources certification. All of their continuing education units will be approved and then tracked by HRCI in compliance with the standards of SHRM.

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