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How To Get An HR Certification

About HR Certification Programs

HR certification programs provide you with an opportunity to improve your skills, demonstrate your commitment to the HR profession, and increase your pay and value to your organization. This is especially true if you are searching for a job in HR, as companies typically prefer that potential employees have advanced strategic, financial, and organization development skills.

Though there are many, many HR laws, unlike the Insurance, Financial Services, and Real Estate industries that require you to take specific pre-licensing courses to work in that industry, there are no educational requirements to work in HR. You literally can get a job in HR and immediately - with some training or help from a co-worker - and handle payroll, benefits, FMLA and ADA compliance, or any of the myriad other HR tasks that require strict compliance and carry heavy fines and penalties for non-compliance.
certificate program for hr generalists
Bottom line, just like comparing the skill level and earnings potential of a high school vs a college education, an HR certificate program should help your HR training and development. So the question is, what type of HR certification program should you take?

Types Of HR Certification Programs

There are several types of HR certification programs ranging from the specifics of handling FMLA, ADA, Payroll, and other laws to high-level HR functions such as setting up and managing compensation and diversity programs, so the type of HR certification program you should consider depends on the type of work you will do. Recommendations for both in-person and online HR certification programs for each type of certification appears below.HR Certification Program Providers
  • The HR Certification Institute (HRCI)
    HRCI provides advanced professional development through its Professional in Human Resources (PHR), the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certifications, and the Associate Professional of HR (APHR). Applicants must qualify to take the PHR examination by having a Master's degree or higher and at least one year of professional-level HR experience, a Bachelor's degree and at least two years of professional-level HR experience, or less than a Bachelor's degree and at least four years of professional-level HR experience. Re-certification requires the completion of professional development courses and experience in the field.
  • The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
    SHRM provides advanced professional development through its two competency-based certifications, the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) for early- and mid-career professionals and the SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) for senior-level practitioners. Applicants with an HR-related Bachelor's degree must possess at least four years of experience in an HR role, while applicants with an HR-related Master's degree must possess at least three years in an HR role to qualify for this professional designation. Re-certification requires the completion of professional development courses and experience in the field.
  • provides more than 20 courses that provide guidance on complying with FMLA, ADA, COBRA, Payroll, and other topics. Each of these courses are extremely detailed, and contain numerous Administrative Tips and Procedural Recommendations to help ensure your organization is complying with applicable state and federal laws. Each course includes an exam for earning your certification.
Whether taking HR certification courses online, in-person, or self-study, the best HR certification courses are the ones that are simple and easy to use. With so many HR certification options available to you, make sure to review the requirements and benefits of each.

Other HR Training And Development Options

In addition to the HR certification courses listed herein, offers many HR training courses on handling reasonable accomodation requests, identifying and dealing with FMLA abuse, performing an HR investigation, and many others that are not certification courses, but do provide details on handling many of the problem areas that HR Departments see on a daily basis.

We also offer several "certificate' programs on topics such as Employment Law, Affirmative Action, and Internal Investigations (see for specifics. Keep in mind that, while still valuable, a 'certificate' program varies from a 'certification' in that the certification involves some form of testing, while a certificate implies you have taken the training, but no test was involved.
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