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How do I Earn PHR Certification?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 July 2018
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Professional human resources (PHR) certification is a credential that a person who works in the human resource management field may seek. A person may seek this type of certification to demonstrate to potential employers that he has extensive knowledge of human resource management as well as experience in the field. To earn this certification, a person usually has to pass an exam and gain experience in a related job. Typically, the certification lasts for about three years, after which a person in this field usually has to complete a re-certification process.

The PHR certification is offered by an organization called the Human Resources Certification Institute. This company certifies individuals in more than 70 countries. The PHR certification is the basic credential this organization offers for human resource professionals. Some people may seek advanced certification by taking the Senior Professional in Human Resources exam. The organization even offers its Global Practitioner of Human Resources certification for people who have gained multinational experience.

An individual must meet certain requirements to be eligible for the PHR certification exam. For example, he usually needs relevant experience in the human resource management field. An individual who wants to sit for this exam typically needs to have two years of professional level work experience. This basically means a person must have supervisory experience or experience with providing original work that serves to demonstrate an advanced level of knowledge of human resource management.

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While most people need two years’ experience to be eligible for PHR certification, there are some special rules for college students and those who have recently graduated. If a student is working toward earning a bachelor’s or graduate degree and is within a year of graduating, he may be eligible to take the exam without first gaining experience. He may not, however, use the PHR designation after his name until he has earned the two years of experience the organization requires.

To prepare for the exam, a person may complete a certification preparation course. An individual may contact the Human Resources Certification Institute to learn about such courses and study groups in his area. Some colleges may have information about preparatory courses as well.

An individual who seeks PHR certification has two testing windows available each year. The exam may be taken between May 1 and June 30 and December 1 and January 31 of each year. It covers six areas of human resource knowledge, including strategic management, human resource development, and labor relations. It also covers workforce planning, risk management, and total rewards, which are tools for attracting and retaining employees.

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