Ngày cập nhật 2023-12-05 11:28;15

25 Best HR Certifications for Every Career Stage

In today's fast-paced and competitive business environment, the pursuit of the best HR certifications is paramount for HR professionals who are constantly seeking ways to stay ahead of the curve and demonstrate their expertise.

These certifications not only validate your proficiency in various HR disciplines but also provide you with a competitive edge in the job market. In this article, we delve into the realm of HR certifications, exploring the top credentials recognized by industry leaders and employers alike.

What is an HR Certification?

Human Resources

HR certifications are credentials that validate your knowledge and expertise in various aspects of Human Resources. They are typically offered by reputable organizations and certifying bodies, such as the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

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The 25 Best HR Certifications

1. Human Resources (PHR) Certification

  • Description: A widely recognized certification that validates foundational knowledge and skills in HR.
  • Offered by: HRCI
  • Areas covered: Talent acquisition, employee relations, HR risk management, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Increased job opportunities, higher earning potential, and enhanced professional credibility.

2. SHRM Certification

  • Description: A comprehensive certification focusing on HR competencies and behavioral skills.
  • Offered by: SHRM
  • Areas covered: HR strategic planning, talent acquisition, employee engagement, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Widely recognized certification, networking opportunities, and career advancement prospects.

3. Human Resources (SPHR) Certification

  • Description: Designed for experienced HR professionals, this certification emphasizes strategic HR management and policy-making.
  • Offered by: HRCI
  • Areas covered: HR leadership, organizational development, employee retention, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Senior-level HR job opportunities, higher earning potential, and industry recognition.

4. SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)

  • Description: Geared towards senior HR professionals, this certification focuses on strategic HR management and leadership.
  • Offered by: SHRM
  • Areas covered: HR strategy development, workforce planning, global HR considerations, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Executive-level HR positions, increased influence in organizational decision-making, and enhanced professional network

5. Human Resources (GPHR) Certification

  • Description: Designed for HR professionals working in global settings, this certification validates expertise in international HR practices.
  • Offered by: HRCI
  • Areas covered: Global HR strategies, cross-cultural HR management, international labor laws, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Global job opportunities, credibility in managing HR across borders, and higher earning potential.

6. Associate Professional Human Resources Certification

  • Description: An entry-level certification that establishes a foundation in HR knowledge and principles.
  • Offered by: HRCI
  • Areas covered: HR operations, employee relations, HR regulations, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Increased job opportunities in HR support roles, stepping stone to higher-level certifications.

7. Certified Compensation Professional (CCP)

  • Description: Focuses on compensation strategy, design, and implementation.
  • Offered by: WorldatWork
  • Areas covered: Job analysis, base pay structures, variable pay programs, executive compensation, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in compensation management, advancement in compensation-related roles.

8. Certified Benefits Professional (CBP) by WorldatWork

  • Description: Focuses on employee benefits strategy, design, and administration.
  • Offered by: WorldatWork
  • Areas covered: Health and welfare benefits, retirement programs, voluntary benefits, total rewards, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in employee benefits management, advancement in benefits-related roles.

Explore more: Best books on managing people

9. Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) by the American Payroll Association (APA)

Focuses on payroll principles, compliance, and administration:

  • Offered by: APA
  • Areas covered: Payroll calculations, payroll tax and compliance, payroll administration, record-keeping, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in payroll processing, advancement in payroll-related roles.

10. Certified Professional in Employer Branding and Talent Acquisition (CPEBTA)

  • Description: Focuses on employer branding, talent acquisition strategies, and recruitment marketing.
  • Offered by: Talent Brand Alliance
  • Areas covered: Employer brand development, candidate experience, sourcing strategies, social media recruitment, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in employer branding and talent acquisition, advancement in recruitment-related roles.

11. Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP)

  • Description: Focuses on learning and development strategies, instructional design, and training evaluation.
  • Offered by: ATD
  • Areas covered: Learning needs analysis, curriculum design, training delivery, evaluation and measurement, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in learning and development, advancement in training-related roles.

12. Certified Professional in Training Management (CPTM)

  • Description: Focuses on strategic training management, leadership, and program implementation.
  • Offered by: Training Industry, Inc.
  • Areas covered: Training needs assessment, training program design, implementation and evaluation, talent development strategy, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in training management, advancement in talent development roles.

13. Certified Professional in HR Information Management (HRIP)

  • Description: Focuses on HR technology, HR data management, and HR information systems.
  • Offered by: IHRIM
  • Areas covered: HR data privacy and security, HR technology implementation, HR analytics, HRIS administration, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in HR technology and information management, advancement in HRIS-related roles.

14. Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS)

Benefit Plans (IFEBP) and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania:

  • Description: Focuses on comprehensive employee benefits knowledge and management.
  • Offered by: IFEBP and the Wharton School
  • Areas covered: Health and welfare benefits, retirement plans, compensation strategies, benefits compliance, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in employee benefits management, advancement in benefits-related roles.

15. Professional in HR – International (PHRi)

  • Description: A global HR certification that demonstrates knowledge of HR practices in an international context.
  • Offered by: HRCI
  • Areas covered: International HR management, global employment laws, global talent management, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Global job opportunities, credibility in managing HR across borders, and higher earning potential.

16. Global Remuneration Professional (GRP) by WorldatWork

  • Description: Focuses on global compensation strategies and international reward programs.
  • Offered by: WorldatWork
  • Areas covered: Global compensation trends, expatriate compensation, global pay equity, global benefits management, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in global compensation management, advancement in global compensation roles.

17. Certified Talent Management Practitioner (CTMP)

  • Description: Focuses on talent acquisition, talent development, and talent retention strategies.
  • Offered by: TMI
  • Areas covered: Talent acquisition, performance management, succession planning, employee engagement, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in talent management, advancement in talent-related roles.

18. Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) by the Society for Diversity

  • Description: Focuses on diversity and inclusion strategies, cultural competence, and inclusive leadership.
  • Offered by: Society for Diversity
  • Areas covered: Diversity and inclusion best practices, unconscious bias awareness, creating inclusive work cultures, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in diversity and inclusion management, advancement in diversity-related roles.

19. Professional in Talent Development (PTD) by ATD

  • Description: Focuses on talent development strategies, performance improvement, and organizational learning.
  • Offered by: ATD
  • Areas covered: Learning needs analysis, instructional design, talent development planning, training delivery, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in talent development, advancement in talent-related roles.

20. Certified Human Resources Manager (CHRM)

HR Manager
  • Description: Focuses on comprehensive HR knowledge and skills for managerial roles.
  • Offered by: ACI
  • Areas covered: HR strategy, employee relations, performance management, HR policies and compliance, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Preparation for HR managerial roles, increased job opportunities in HR leadership positions.

21. Certified Professional in Organizational Development (CPOD)

  • Description: Focuses on organizational development strategies and interventions.
  • Offered by: IOD
  • Areas covered: Change management, organizational culture, team dynamics, leadership development, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in organizational development, advancement in OD-related roles.

22. Professional in HR Analytics (PHRA)

  • Description: Focuses on HR data analytics and metrics for evidence-based decision-making.
  • Offered by: HRCI
  • Areas covered: HR data analysis, HR metrics and reporting, predictive analytics, data visualization, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in HR analytics, advancement in HR analytics-related roles.

23. Certified Strategic Workforce Planner (CSWP)

  • Description: Focuses on strategic workforce planning and talent management strategies.
  • Offered by: HCI
  • Areas covered: Workforce analysis, talent gap assessment, succession planning, workforce optimization, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in strategic workforce planning, advancement in workforce planning roles.

24. Certified Professional in Employment Law (CPEL)

  • Description: Focuses on employment law principles and regulations.
  • Offered by: IAML
  • Areas covered: Employment contracts, discrimination and harassment laws, wage and hour regulations, workplace investigations, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in employment law compliance, advancement in HR roles with legal responsibilities.

25. Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP)

  • Description: Focuses on change management principles and practices.
  • Offered by: ACMP
  • Areas covered: Change management methodologies, stakeholder engagement, communication strategies, organizational culture, and more.
  • Potential career benefits: Expertise in change management, advancement in change management-related roles.

 Comparison of Top HR Certifications

Certification

Certifying Body

Focus Areas

Suitable for

Cost Range

Prerequisites

Professional in Human Resources (PHR) CertificationHuman Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)Talent acquisition, employee relations, HR risk management, and moreHR professionals with 2-4 years of experience$400-$595A minimum of 1 year of professional-level HR experience (or a master's degree) or a combination of education and experience
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)HR strategic planning, talent acquisition, employee engagement, and moreHR professionals at all levels$300-$400None
Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) CertificationHuman Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)HR leadership, organizational development, employee retention, and moreExperienced HR professionals with 6+ years of experience$495-$725A minimum of 4 years of professional-level HR experience (or a master's degree) or a combination of education and experience
SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)HR strategy development, workforce planning, global HR considerations, and moreSenior-level HR professionals$400-$500None
Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) CertificationHuman Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)Global HR strategies, cross-cultural HR management, international labor laws, and moreHR professionals working in global settings$495-$725A minimum of 2 years of professional-level HR experience (or a master's degree) or a combination of education and experience
Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) CertificationHuman Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)HR operations, employee relations, HR regulations, and moreEntry-level HR professionals$300-$400None
Certified Compensation Professional (CCP)WorldatWorkJob analysis, base pay structures, variable pay programs, executive compensation, and moreHR professionals specializing in compensation$1,800-$3,000None
Certified Benefits Professional (CBP)WorldatWorkHealth and welfare benefits, retirement programs, voluntary benefits, total rewards, and moreHR professionals specializing in employee benefits$1,800-$3,000None
Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)American Payroll Association (APA)Payroll calculations, payroll tax and compliance, payroll administration, record-keeping, and morePayroll professionals$440-$725None
Certified Professional in Employer Branding and Talent Acquisition (CPEBTA)Talent Brand AllianceEmployer brand development, candidate experience, sourcing strategies, social media recruitment, and moreHR professionals in employer branding and talent acquisition roles$695None
Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP)Association for Talent Development (ATD)Learning needs analysis, instructional design, training delivery, evaluation and measurement, and moreLearning and development professionals$1,700-$2,300None
Certified Professional in Training Management (CPTM)Training Industry, Inc.Training needs assessment, training program design, implementation and evaluation, talent development strategy, and moreTraining and development professionals$2,495None
Certified Professional in HR Information Management (HRIP)International Association for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM)HR data privacy and security, HR technology implementation, HR analytics, HRIS administration, and moreHR professionals specializing in HR information management$395-$595None
Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS)International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) and the Wharton School of the University of PennsylvaniaHealth and welfare benefits, retirement plans, compensation strategies, benefits compliance, and moreHR professionals specializing in employee benefits$2,450-$3,300None
Professional in HR – International (PHRi)Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)International HR management, global employment laws, global talent management, and moreHR professionals with an international focus$400-$595A minimum of 1 year of professional-level HR experience (or a master's degree) or a combination of education and experience
Global Remuneration Professional (GRP)WorldatWorkGlobal compensation trends, expatriate compensation, global pay equity, global benefits management, and moreHR professionals specializing in global compensation$1,800-$3,000None
Certified Talent Management Practitioner (CTMP)Talent Management Institute (TMI)Talent acquisition, performance management, succession planning, employee engagement, and moreHR professionals specializing in talent management$997None
Certified Diversity Professional (CDP)Society for DiversityDiversity and inclusion best practices, unconscious bias awareness, creating inclusive work cultures, and moreHR professionals specializing in diversity and inclusion$795None
Professional in Talent Development (PTD)Association for Talent Development (ATD)Learning needs analysis, instructional design, talent development planning, training delivery, and moreTalent development professionals$800-$1,400None
Certified Human Resources Manager (CHRM)American Certification Institute (ACI)HR strategy, employee relations, performance management, HR policies and compliance, and moreHR professionals aspiring for managerial roles$250-$350None
Certified Professional in Organizational Development (CPOD)Institute for Organizational Development (IOD)Change management, organizational culture, team dynamics, leadership development, and moreHR professionals specializing in organizational development$4,000-$5,000None
Professional in HR Analytics (PHRA)Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)HR data analysis, HR metrics and reporting, predictive analytics, data visualization, and moreHR professionals specializing in HR analytics$495-$725A minimum of 1 year of professional-level HR experience (or a master's degree) or a combination of education and experience
Certified Strategic Workforce Planner (CSWP)Human Capital Institute (HCI)Workforce analysis, talent gap assessment, succession planning, workforce optimization, and moreHR professionals specializing in workforce planning$1,095None
Certified Professional in Employment Law (CPEL)Institute for Applied Management & Law (IAML)Employment contracts, discrimination and harassment laws, wage and hour regulations, workplace investigations, and moreHR professionals with legal responsibilities$1,695None
Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP)Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP)Change management methodologies, stakeholder engagement, communication strategies, organizational culture, and moreHR professionals specializing in change management$650-$975None

Steps to Become a Certified HR Professional

HR Professional

Step 1: Research Different Certifications

Begin by researching the various HR certifications available in the industry. Explore reputable certifying bodies such as the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and other recognized organizations. Familiarize yourself with the certifications they offer, their requirements, and their areas of focus.

Step 2: Determine Eligibility and Prerequisites

Once you have identified the certifications that align with your career goals, carefully review the eligibility criteria and prerequisites for each certification.

This may include a minimum level of education, professional experience in HR, or a combination of both.

Ensure that you meet the necessary requirements before proceeding.

Step 3: Choose the Right Certification

Consider your career aspirations and the areas of HR that interest you the most. Select the certification that best aligns with your professional goals, expertise, and the specific HR discipline you wish to specialize in.

For example, if you have a passion for compensation and benefits, you may choose a certification such as the Certified Compensation Professional (CCP).

Step 4: Prepare for the Certification Exam

Once you have chosen your desired certification, it's time to prepare for the certification exam. This step involves studying the relevant material and resources provided by the certifying body.

Utilize study guides, practice exams, online courses, and other preparatory materials to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the exam content.

Step 5: Register and Take the Exam

After thorough preparation, register for the certification exam through the official website of the certifying body. Follow the registration instructions and guidelines provided.

On the exam day, be sure to arrive well-prepared, well-rested, and familiar with the exam format. Take the exam with confidence, applying the knowledge and skills you have acquired through your studies.

Step 6: Maintain Your Certification

Many HR certifications require ongoing professional development to maintain your certification status. Familiarize yourself with the recertification requirements set by the certifying body.

This may involve earning a certain number of continuing education credits, attending relevant conferences or seminars, or participating in HR-related activities. Stay informed about recertification deadlines and ensure you fulfill the requirements to maintain your certification.

Explore more: The beginners guide to human resources

FAQs

HR experience

How do I choose the right HR certification?

Choosing the right HR certification depends on several factors, including your current level of education, experience in the HR field, your career goals, and the specific HR areas you are interested in.

What is the eligibility criteria for these HR certifications?

Eligibility criteria for each certification vary. Generally, they require a combination of education and HR experience. Some certifications may require a specific degree or a certain number of years of work experience in an HR role.

How do I prepare for an HR certification exam?

Preparation for an HR certification exam can involve self-study using online resources, textbooks, and study guides. Many also opt for formal preparation courses offered by various institutions. Joining study groups and taking practice tests can also be helpful.

How often do I need to renew my HR certification?

Typically, HR certifications need to be renewed every three years. Renewal usually involves earning a certain number of recertification credits through continuing education, leadership roles, or professional achievements in HR.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the world of HR certifications is broad and diverse, offering a myriad of opportunities for HR professionals to hone their skills, advance their careers, and make significant contributions to their organizations.

The top 25 HR certifications we've discussed offer a broad range of focus areas, from strategic management and talent acquisition to compensation and benefits, ensuring you can find a certification that aligns with your career goals. Each one provides a unique set of knowledge and skills designed to equip you for the dynamic and evolving landscape of human resources.

We hope this article has been a helpful guide in your journey to becoming a certified HR professional. For more detailed information on each of these certifications and guidance on how to choose the right one for you, read more on our Tanca blog. Your journey to professional growth and advancement in the HR field starts here!

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