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Career Designations For Human Resources Professionals

Human resources is a rewarding profession that can have tremendous impact on your organization. Many HR professionals’ careers begin in the entry level, but they quickly advance with both industry knowledge and technical skills.

Professional in Human Resources

The Professional in Human Resources (PHR) is the first-level credential for HR professionals. The PHR is offered by Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI), a nonprofit organization that administers certification exams and develops education curriculum for HR professionals throughout the world.

The PHR recognizes an applicant’s mastery of the six HRCI functional areas:

  • Business Management & Strategy
  • Compensation & Benefits
  • Employee & Labor Relations
  • Information Technology

Senior Professional in Human Resources

A Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) is a professional who has earned a minimum of five years of experience in the field, and has passed an examination provided by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The SPHR designation denotes expertise and experience within the human resources industry. It’s easy to see why many HR pros are eager to become recognized as SPHRs:

  • SHRM’s certification programs have been around for more than 50 years, so you know you’re getting a well-respected credential when you earn your SPHR.
  • Earning the title increases your credibility among peers, managers and clients alike.
  • You can use this title on business cards and social media profiles—the recognition will help open doors that might otherwise be closed!

Global Professional in Human Resources

If you’re looking to advance your career in human resources, the Global Professional in Human Resources (GP-HR) designation can help. The GP-HR is a professional certification that recognizes human resources professionals who have demonstrated their knowledge base and skills through education and experience. Once earned, this designation demonstrates your commitment to the profession as well as your capabilities within it.

There are three different levels of GP-HR: bronze, silver and gold—each level has its own requirements for both education and practical experience.

Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional

The Society for Human Resource Management has two different certification programs. 

SHRM-SCP is the more advanced of the two certifications. It requires at least 3 years of experience of performing strategic HR responsibilities. Test is 4 hours with 134 questions. 

The SHRM-CP  is for individuals with some working knowledge of HR field.This designation is earned after completing a test with 134 questions in different areas of HR. 

SHRM requires that candidates who are interested in pursuing this designation must be currently working full time as a member of an organization’s HR department and have at least five years’ experience within their organizations’ HR departments. Candidates may also be required to possess an undergraduate degree, or higher education equivalent, in a relevant discipline, such as business management or organizational behavior.


WorldatWork is a non-profit association that provides certification and education in human resources focusing on compensation. The organization offers a variety of certification programs for human resources professionals, as well as continuing education opportunities for those who are already certified by WorldatWork or other associations.

Keep learning to increase your knowledge base.

HR professionals need to stay current on the latest trends, emerging technologies and new laws and regulations. You should also learn from others by reading books, blogs, articles and attending conferences or webinars. Ask questions when you don’t understand something so that you may expand your own knowledge base even further.

A career in HR can be a rewarding endeavor.

As the HR industry continues to grow, there is an increasing demand for skilled and experienced human resources professionals.

HR professionals can have a positive impact on the world by helping people achieve their goals, whether it be at work or in their personal lives. They enable organizations to reach their full potential by supporting employees with their personal development and fostering an environment where they feel valued and fulfilled. This can lead to better decision-making, increased productivity levels and reduced employee turnover rates within companies.

The human resource career path is a long-term one that often begins in entry-level HR positions. As you gain experience and knowledge, you can advance to higher positions within the industry. You may also seek opportunities with other companies or organizations where your skills can be used to help grow their business.

If you need any assistance with navigating your career, contact us for a customized approach to your needs. 

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