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The Human Resources Certification Institute—or HRCI—is a credentialing organization that has offered learning opportunities, professional development and certifications for HR professionals for more than 45 years. Everyone from HR managers to administrators can test and qualify for up to eight global certifications in addition to sharpening their skills with webinars, conferences and speaking events, and more.
If you’re pursuing a career path as a human resource professional, it’s important to set yourself up for success when the time comes for you to get certified. Choosing a school that prepares you for the HRCI PHR® certification can make all the difference when it comes time to do your job search. To really make an impact on hiring professionals, the HRCI PHR® certification is the way to go.
The eight global certifications offered by HRCI are:
The HRCI Professional in Human Resources® (PHR®) is a certification that prepares HR professionals to advance their careers. Not only does it highlight your understanding of the technical and operational aspects of management, it also certifies your knowledge of U.S. regulations and laws. For HR professionals who already have a logistical or tactical orientation and experience in program implementation, this certification can be a great way to signal to managers that you’re ready to step into a leadership role. This certification is best suited to HR professionals who are focused on HR department responsibilities, as opposed to the overall company.
To obtain your PHR® certification, you’ll need to pay a $100 application fee, followed by an exam fee of $395. However, you won’t have to pay for the exam until your application is approved. Just remember: If you decide not to take the exam after your application has been approved, you won’t get a refund.
The PHR® exam is estimated to take two hours to complete, with 90 scored questions—most of which are multiple choice—and 25 pretest questions. The test can be taken via computer at a Pearson VUE testing center or you can do it at home with OnVUE.
The PHR® exam will test you on:
As you’re prepping for the PHR® exam, consider these study tips to help prepare you for test day:
Before you apply to take the PHR®, you’ll need to ensure you’re eligible by meeting one of these requirements:
By earning your HR degree at WGU, you’re setting yourself up for PHR® success. WGU’s online HR degree program has been recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) as fully aligned with their HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates. WGU has also aligned its curriculum to the body of knowledge created by the HRCI and prepares you for the PHR® exam.
“I received extremely high marks on both certification exams and have felt my WGU experience really helped prepare me for success.” —Brittney Vincent
B.S. Human Resource Management
Before you get started and take the PHR® exam, you’ll need to pay an application fee of $100. If your application is accepted, you’ll then pay an exam fee of $395. Any additional study guides or sample tests that you use to prepare for the exam may cost you extra.
HRCI stands for Human Resources Certification Institute, which is known as the premier credentialing and learning organization dedicated to the advancement and support of human resources professionals.
PHR® stands for Professional in Human Resources, which is a credential that shows off your deep knowledge of the technical and operational aspects of human resources management. This also includes your knowledge and understanding of U.S. regulations and laws.
Yes! PHR® certification is a great way to show off your knowledge of human resources management from both a technical and operational standpoint, which will impress your potential employers. Not only does this certification grab the attention of hiring managers, it can also result in 3% higher pay compared to HR professionals without certification.
While the PHR® exam takes approximately two hours to complete, you’ll want to factor in additional time just in case. For example, there may be travel time involved if you’re taking the exam at an approved testing location.
In an increasingly crowded employment field, anything you can do to make yourself stand out from other candidates is worth it—and certifications tend to grab the attention of hiring managers.
A competitive employment field also means that many companies require professional certifications before they even consider a candidate for a role.
Studies have shown that HR employees with a PHR® certification can see a 3% increase in salary compared to HR professionals without certification. While 3% may not seem like a lot, it can add up, especially as you advance your career, and your salary increases.