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Should Human Resources Professionals Get a Certification?

A certification isn't required for most Human Resources jobs. And yet, over 1/3 of HR professionals have one. So why do so many HR professionals spend their time, effort and money on getting a certification?

What can HR certification do for you?

There are a lot of good reasons why an HR certification might be a good investment, including:

  • Certified expertise: An HR certification shows employers that you have a particular set of knowledge and skills, validated by passing a comprehensive certification exam.
  • Increased pay: A 2018 survey of over 100,000 HR professionals found that those with an HR certification earned 31.6% more than those without a certification.
  • Career advancement: The same survey found that having an HR certification increased HR professionals' chances of being promoted.
  • Relevance: To renew your certification, you will usually need to complete additional professional development or training within a certain period of time. This helps ensure that your knowledge and skills remain relevant and up-to-date.

Which certification is right for you?

The certification you choose will depend on your goals, as well as the industry and location you work in (or want to work in). Do your research to see which credentials are in demand in your area, as well as the type of knowledge and skills employers want.

Your background and work experience will also factor in to your decision. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers two credentials for experienced HR professionals. Each credential requires a combination of education and work experience.

If you are interested in SHRM certification, review the SHRM eligibility criteria and decide which credential is right for you.

Credential

If you have less than a Bachelor's Degree If you have a Bachelor's Degree If you have a Graduate Degree
And your program of study is HR-related And your program of study is NOT HR-related And your degree is HR-related And your degree is NOT HR-related And your degree is HR-Related And your degree is NOT HR-relatedd
You will need the following work experience in an HR-related role to take the SHRM certification exam:

SHRM-CP

(Certified Professional)

3 years 4 years 1 year in HR role 2 years Currently in HR role 1 year

SHRM-SCP

(Senior Certified Professional)

6 years 7 years 4 years 5 years 3 years 4 years

Exams are offered only during certain time periods (SHRM calls them "exam windows"). So be sure to check the certification application and testing schedule, too.

Need help getting ready for the test?

Our online SHRM certification exam prep class can help you get ready to take the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP exam. The class is taught by a SHRM-SCP using the proven SHRM Learning System. And it's fully online, so you can learn at your convenience.

The next class starts February 18, so you can be ready for the May 1-July 15 SHRM spring 2020 Testing Window.

Learn More