hr peopleSo, you’re considering a career in Human Resources, good for you! HR is an integral part of every single workplace, whether you realize it or not.  From making sure that staff are paid on time, to managing health and dental benefits and workplace accident claims, businesses would be lost (and most likely non-compliant with employment laws) without the help of HR.

If you’ve been considering certifications for HR like the PHR and SPHR, HRCI is the certifying body that you will most likely need to deal with.  In America, businesses recognize HRCI certification as the professional accreditation for HR professionals across our great nation.

There are many directions that you can take in HR.  Have you decided if you would like to specialize?  Perhaps you are interested in Benefits or Compensation?  Maybe you find that you would make a better recruiter?  Considered being a consultant, or maybe just an HR Generalist?  Here’s some helpful information that you should take into account when you’re getting ready to certify!

SHRM (the primary membership based Human Resources body) offers a learning center that helps HR professionals prepare for the state exams that need to be taken in order to become certified.  This exam is a mix of workforce planning, compensation and benefits, human resources development, risk management, employee relations (and labor relations where unions are involved) as well as business strategy.

The SHRM learning system breaks down the components of the PHR exam into modules, so that you can learn exactly what you will need in order to succeed in HR and pass that exam with flying colors.  You can access the modules with your iPad or even from your iPhone or e-reader, making learning on the go a snap.  If you are a SHRM member, a discount is available on the prep materials, which cost about $700.

HR training programs specifically designed for certification help are available through qualified providers. One example is, which guarantees your money back if you don’t pass your HR exams!  Their system, which is similar to SHRM offers a number of practice tests along the way and closely follows the curriculum for the PHR exam.  The information is up to date and easy to learn and covers all six areas of study required.  The HRCP prep program runs much less than SHRM at about $345 and also has a number of units that are sold individually as well as study aids.

Even if you intend to specialize, it is imperative that all of these areas are covered so that you have the best chance of success in the exam.  Before you take the test (which is 3 hours long and consists of 175 multiple choice questions), you need to meet the eligibility requirements.  Without a Bachelor’s degree, you must have 4 years of HR experience in your profession.  With a Bachelor’s you only need 2 years and if you hold a Master’s only a year is required.

Becoming an HR professional can be a difficult road, but at the end you will have a career that you will love and feel like you are truly making a difference in the lives of those around you.  It is worth it, and so are you!  Good luck with your certification!

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