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25 Best HR Certifications in 2022 (Online, Free, & Paid)

We’ll answer which certifications are right for you and more in this detailed guide.

Jawad Khan
Technical Writer
April 29, 2022
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According to the US Department of Labor Statistics, the employment of human resources specialists is projected to grow 10% between 2020 and 2030. However, the job market is highly competitive. And that’s because there’s no shortage of well-qualified HR professionals in the global talent pool. 

In such a scenario, one may wonder, “What can I do to stand out from the crowd as a human resources expert?”

One solution? Level up with the help of some of the best HR certification courses. 

Projected employment of human resource specialists in 2030

But which certifications are right for you? Are they really worth it? Should you pay for a certification course, or would a free one suffice? 

We’ll answer all those questions and more in this detailed guide.

Let’s dive in.

What is an HR Certification? 

An HR certification is a professional title or credential that highlights your deep understanding and mastery of topics related to human resource management. 

Earning a HR certification usually involves taking a course and passing an exam. In most cases, these credentials are valid for a specific duration and require renewal once their validity lapses.

HR certifications are typically valid for three years. After that, you can either retake the exam or renew your accreditation with recertification credits. You can earn these credits through various means, such as:

  • Going to conferences
  • Attending webinars
  • Taking online courses
  • Volunteering

HR certifications aren’t an absolute must-have to work in HR. However, they demonstrate your knowledge of industry standards and best practices to potential employers and internal stakeholders. Some certifications also help you operate HR software more efficiently.

Therefore, these certifications are a great way for HR professionals to increase their chances of landing their desired job or getting a promotion at their existing one.

Best HR Certifications - Paid & Professional Courses

HR certifications are a great way to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry and prove your expertise to your organization or a potential employer. The best HR certification for you would depend on several factors such as your experience level, industry, budget, time constraints, etc.

Here’s a list of HR certifications that we believe will help you take the next big step in your career. For your ease, we’ve classified the certification courses into the following categories:

  • Paid & professional certifications
  • Entry-level certification courses
  • Free certifications
  • Certifications without a degree

Let’s discuss them one by one.

Global Professional in Human Resources course homepage

1. Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)

Who’s it for: The Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) certification is designed for HR professionals who work in the global space. 

The course is for HR professionals with 

  • at least two years of experience in a professional-level HR position and a Master’s degree or higher
  • at least three years of experience in a professional-level HR position and a Bachelor’s degree
  • at least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position. 

Institute: Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)

Duration of the Course: 10 hours

Cost: $595 →  Exam Fee: $495 + Application Fee: $100. 

Participant Testimonials: According to a survey by Indeed,

  • 65% of job seekers said it helped their career progression
  • 78% said it helped them make more money
  • 70% said it helped them get a job
  • 87% said they would recommend the certification to a family member or friend 

Why We Love This Course: 

  • The certification is valid worldwide and can work as a sole qualification for HR professionals. 
  • Demonstrates your expertise in multinational HR responsibilities.
  • Doesn’t only cover regular topics like strategic HR management and organizational development, but also explores more niche concepts such as global talent acquisition, mobility, compensation, and benefits.

SHR senior certified professional course

2. SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)

Who’s it for: The SHRM-SCP is an advanced certification intended for executive-level and senior HR roles.

The exam is designed to assess the competency level in HR work at the strategic level. Applicants with at least 1000 hours/year of HR-related work at the strategic level can apply for the SCP certification.

The eligibility for the SHRM-SCP requires at least one of the following combinations of education and experience:

  • An HR-related bachelor’s degree (in progress) and six years in an HR role
  • A non-HR related bachelor’s degree (in progress) and seven years in an HR role
  • An HR-related bachelor’s degree (completed) and four years in an HR role
  • A non-HR-related bachelor’s degree (completed) and five years in an HR role
  • An HR-related graduate degree and three years in an HR role
  • A non-HR-related graduate degree and four years in an HR role

Institute: Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)

Duration of the Course:120-160 hours

Cost: The self-study version of the SHRM Learning System costs $725 for military and SHRM members and $950 for non-military and non-members.

The SHRM-SCP exam has two fee structures. 

  • Early-Bird Exam Fee: 

SHRM member: $300 USD | Non-member: $400 USD

  • Standard Exam Fee: 

SHRM member: $375 USD | Non-member: $475 USD

The SHRM Foundation also offers professional grants to SHRM members seeking to complete their SHRM-SCP certification. 

Why We Love This Course:

  • Focuses on strategic matters such as aligning HR strategies with organizational goals, managing people who implement HR operations, and policy-making based on performance metrics analysis.
  • A great way to keep yourself and your business up to date with the latest in HR best-practices.
  • Can open doors to a higher salary and earn you recognition from your fellow professionals.

HRIP certification course homepage

3. Human Resources Information Program (HRIP)

Who’s it for: The HRIP exam evaluates the competency and knowledge of HR professionals working in the information management field.

Institute: The International Association of Human Resources Information Management (IHRIM)

Duration of the Course: 6 hours

IHRIM offers live HRIP review courses for exam preparation. 

After passing the exam, your HRIP credential will be active for three years. You need a total of 60 recertification credit hours during the 3-year period starting from the date the certification is granted to maintain your qualification.

Cost: The cost of the certification differs based on membership.

Members: $445 →$75 Application Fee and $370 Testing Fee

Non-Members: $555 →$75 Application Fee and $480 Testing Fee

Non-Members with Membership Fee: $790 → $75 Application Fee, $480 Testing Fee, and 12 months IHRIM membership (you save $60 off the regular new member rate)

Why We Love This Course: 

  • It is not a commonly pursued certification by HR Generalists. Therefore, being HRIP certified will give you an edge over other HR generalists/managers.
  • You can take the HRIP exam via Live Online Proctoring (LOP). This allows you to complete the exam at a time that suits you best. The HRIP certification also covers all the latest trends and best practices.
  • Offers great value with cost-effective application and test fees.

Wharton University HR Management and Analytics course

4. HR Management and Analytics: Unlock the Value of Human Capital

This program includes strategic HR topics like HR management and data analytics.

Who’s it for: This course can be taken by mid to senior-level human resources professionals. 

Institute: Wharton Aresty Institute of Executive Education

Duration of the Course: 2 months, 4-6 hours/week. The course comes with both live and recorded video lectures as well as individual assignments and feedback.

Cost: The total cost is $2,800. They offer a few different payment options.

  • Payment in installments
  • $280 off the course price if you refer a colleague
  • $20 discount if you enroll a team. 

Participant Testimonials: “Most modules helped me gain knowledge and confidence in building a new organizational design.” — Sumiko Evans, Office Manager, Prestige Validation Services LLC, United States.

“Case studies and assignments forced us to apply the concepts learned, think logically, and reason with ourselves.” — Achuthan Kutty Prabhakaran, Consultant, United Arab Emirates.

Why We Love This Course: 

  • Course material is easily accessible via PC, tablet, or phone. Great for busy professionals.
  • Explores practical applications with case studies at a flexible pace.
  • Includes numerous insights on people management with interactive video sessions.
  • Explains HR issues with practical, data-driven actions that students can apply in real-life scenarios.
  • Will help you become a more strategic HR partner by providing a holistic understanding of how HR management and data analytics intersect.

Do check our HR analytics certification guide if you’re looking to grow in this area. 

Hompage of ASA Certified Staffing Professional course

5. Certified Staffing Professional (CSP)

Who’s it for: The CSP certification is a great credential to have on your CV if you’re a staffing professional. It certifies your expertise in managing employees and clients in the context of federal and state laws and regulations.

Institute: American Staffing Association (ASA)

Duration of the Course: 4 to 6 weeks, 1 to 2 hours of weekly study

Cost: $250 for members, $500 for non-members

Why We Love This Course: 

  • CSP is the premier certification for staffing professionals. The program is unique because no other industry certification deep-dives into the topics relevant to staffing professionals and their clients the way CSP does.
  • Only five percent of all staffing professionals in the United States hold a CSP certification through the ASA.

HRCI Senior Professional in Human Resources homepage

6. Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

This course is designed for planning rather than implementing HR policy.

Who’s it for: 

The eligibility criteria for this course is,

  • At least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position with a Master’s degree or higher
  • At least five years of experience in a professional-level HR position with a Bachelor’s degree 
  • At least seven years of experience in a professional-level HR position.

Institute: Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)

Duration of the Course: 18 hours

Cost: Total $595 →  Exam Fee: $495 + Application Fee: $100

Why We Love This Course: 

  • SPHR certified professionals are much sought after by organizations for their proven ownership of HR department goals, for their vast knowledge in all areas of HR, and for having an in-depth understanding of business issues beyond the HR domain.
  • Demonstrates mastery of the strategic and policy-making aspects of HR management as practiced in the U.S.
  • Helps HR professionals develop strategies to attract and engage new talent, build training programs, and retain employees within the organization. 

HRCI course for professional in human resources homepage

7. Professional in Human Resources (PHR)

Who’s it for: The PHR certification is for HR professionals who possess theoretical knowledge and practical experience in HR management and want to advance their careers. 

The course is for HR professionals with

  • At least one year of experience in a professional-level HR position with a Master’s degree or higher
  • At least two years of experience in a professional-level HR position with a Bachelor’s degree
  • At least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position.

Institute: Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI)

Duration of the Course: 60 hours

Cost: $495 →  Exam Fee: $395 + Application Fee: $100

Why We Love This Course: 

  • Demonstrates your mastery of the technical and operational aspects of HR, especially with regards to U.S. laws and regulations.
  • Best for HR professionals who have experience with program implementation, have a tactical/logistical orientation, report to another HR professional, and have responsibilities that focus solely on the HR department.
  • Teaches HR professionals how to use information about the organization to influence decision-making and minimize risk.

HCI Strategic HR Leadership Certification course homepage

8. Strategic HR Leadership (SHRL)

Who’s it for: The Strategic Human Resource Leadership certification is a good fit for professionals who are new to HR leadership roles and want to prepare themselves for the upcoming challenges.

Institute: Human Capital Institute (HCI)

Duration of the Course: Two-day program or a virtual series with half-day sessions delivered over four weeks

Cost: $1995 for both virtual and in-person sessions.

Why We Love This Course: 

  • To earn the SHRL certification, you'll do real work in class, including linking your team's work to business strategy, analyzing your team's design and mapping rolls, and creating learning plans for your team. 
  • You'll also practice giving feedback and coaching to your team to improve their performance and engagement.
  • The course has both virtual and in-person sessions. It teaches participants to improve their leadership skills and their team's performance. Those who attend this training also earn 12 HCI, 12 HRCI, 12 SHRM, and 12 ATD recertification credits.  

HR Management Certification course from HR University

9. Human Resources Management Certification

Who’s it for: If you’re an HR Manager, then this is the course for you, because it covers all the skills and responsibilities of your role. The topics taught in this course include the key responsibilities of an HR Manager, HR tasks, administrative tasks, and more. 

Institute: HR University

Duration of the Course: One week

Cost: $199

Participant Testimonials: "This program allows me to finally gain a more holistic understanding of human resources - resulting in more strategic conversations with stakeholders and empowering more informed decision making." - Allie C., HR Manager

"While I started the program with zero experience, I realized learning the fundamental concepts isn't as insurmountable as I initially expected as long as I put in the effort to learn. This program is the one-stop-shop for all HR Manager resources." - Angie O., HR Assistant.

Why We Love This Course: 

  • The course trains the modern-day HR manager on issues such as sexual harassment, racial and gender discrimination, etc. This empowers HR to raise awareness around these sensitive issues and make a positive difference in the organization’s culture.
  • Only one week long and has over 90 lectures and 30+ case studies.

ATD Certified Professional in Talent Development course

10. Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD)

Who’s it for: This certification is for HR professionals in the talent development field. It focuses on their skills application and decision-making.

The requirement eligibility for this course is at least five years of professional work experience in talent development or related fields and 60 hours of professional development in talent development within the last five years.

Institute: The Association for Talent Development (ATD)

Duration of the Course: 80–100 hours of exam prep

Cost: $900 for members and $1250 for non-members

Participant Testimonials: “I wanted a certification that was widely recognized in the industry not only for the accreditation but also for the learning experience. The [CPTD] was the only certification that consistently stood out to me as the gold standard in my field.” - Denée D'Andrea, Senior Learning Manager, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

Why We Love This Course: 

  • CPTD is the premier credential that tests the breadth of skills needed for success in the talent development profession.
  • Provides a great growth opportunity for HR professionals, allowing them to demonstrate the ability to add value through talent development strategies and solutions.
  • CPTD certified professionals report having a better understanding of the scope of their work, having broadened their skill set, and being more effective in creating and evaluating action plans.

Best Entry Level HR Certification Courses

Associate Professional in HR course by HRCI

1. Associate Professional in Human Resources (APHR)

Who’s it for: 

  • The certification is an excellent entry-level course for anyone looking to fast-track their career in HR. It is a knowledge-based credential, and no experience is required for it.

Institute: Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)

Duration of the Course: 2 hours 15 minutes of exam time

Cost: Total $400 →  Exam Fee: $300 + Application Fee: $100

Participant Testimonials: According to a survey by Indeed: 

  • 78% of job seekers said it helped their career progression
  • 45% said it helped them make more money
  • 47% it helped them get a job
  • 92% said they would recommend the certification to a family member or friend

Why We Love This Course: 

  • This is the first-ever HR certification designed for two distinct types of individuals - HR professionals who are starting their careers in HR, and non-HR professionals who manage people.
  • The course is a good opportunity for young HR professionals who are just starting their careers. It does not have any eligibility criteria, so non-HR professionals who manage teams can also appear for the APHR exam.

Udemy's Administrative HR for Beginners course

2. Administrative Human Resources (HR) for Beginners

Who’s it for: This is an introductory course for those who are interested in Human Resources. The course explores the roles and duties of HR. It also teaches you how to recruit great talent with job analysis and interview questions.

Institute: Udemy Inc.

Duration of the Course: 1 hour 10 minutes - 11 lectures

Cost: $34.99

Participant Testimonials: “Very knowledgeable course for beginners. The slides are very thorough and precise. The speaker explained the concepts very well through examples.” - Abhishek C.

Why We Love This Course: 

  • This course is an excellent introduction to the roles and duties of an HR professional. It comes with lifetime access and a money-back guarantee, and you can access it on mobile and TV.
  • In addition to exploring HR from an administrative and compliance perspective, the course also helps you learn how to recruit great talent, conduct an HR audit, and implement performance management processes.
  • Participants report having found the course particularly valuable because it addresses real-life scenarios.

SHRM Certified Professional course

3. SHRM CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL (SHRM-CP)

Who’s it for: This certification is for people looking to pursue a career in HR management or have general HR-related duties.

It does not require an HR title, a degree, or previous HR experience. Basic working knowledge of HR practices and principles is enough to pursue the certification.

Institute: Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)

Duration of the Course: 60 hours

Cost: Early-Bird Exam Fee: 

SHRM member: $300 USD | Non-member: $400 USD

Standard Exam Fee: 

SHRM member: $375 USD | Non-member: $475 USD

The SHRM Foundation also offers professional grants to SHRM members seeking their SHRM-SCP certification. 

Why We Love This Course: 

  • Great course for beginners to help sharpen their skills and gain new perspectives. 
  • No need to hold a current HR position.
  • No previous experience required.
  • The certification is relevant and accepted all over the world.
  • Proves your competency in the areas of HR policy implementation, day-to-day HR function support, and being the HR point of contact for staff and stakeholders.

CIPD's Foundation Certificate in People Practice course

4. Foundation Certificate in People Practice

Who’s it for: This certification is perfect for junior HR professionals and people already working in a support role. It provides a solid foundation in all the areas of HR and helps you develop the essential skills required to progress in your career. No experience or qualifications are needed to enroll in this course. 

Institute: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

Duration of the Course: 6 months

Cost: Between £1,750 and £2,500

Why Do We Love This Course: 

  • Recognised by employers as a global standard of excellence.
  • Participants get accredited by CIPD, the only organization globally that can award Chartered status to individual HR and L&D professionals.
  • The qualification makes you a CIPD member, connecting you to an influential network of people professionals worldwide.
  • In addition to exploring the essentials of people practice, the course will help you learn more about the principles of HR analytics, and core behaviors for people professionals.
  • Flexible study plans. Choose from online, in-person, and blended study modes.

People Analytics Certificate Program homepage

5. People Analytics

Who’s it for: This certification is for HR professionals who would like to identify and align people analytics with the overall business strategy. 

Institute: Academy to Innovate HR (AIHR)

Duration of the Course: Online self-paced, study 4 hours/week to finish in 10 weeks

Cost: $975 for one certificate program from AIHR

Participant Testimonials: “This is an excellent, robust program with a mix of course content for complete beginners and some pointers for mid-level practitioners who want to know how to get into an advanced level in People Analytics. Highly recommendable.” - Guillermo Alcalá Alamillo (Alumni).

Why Do We Love This Course: 

  • Features in-depth, real-life examples to teach data analytics. 
  • Does not require any prior statistics or technical knowledge.
  • Provides 12 months of access to the student portal, all lessons, and learning materials.
  • Provides a full analytics skill set that would enable you to drive data-driven decision-making throughout HR.

Best Free HR Certification Courses - For Beginners

University of Minnesota's Preparing to Manage HR course

1. Preparing to Manage Human Resources

Who’s it for: This 4-week long course is for beginner to intermediate level HR professionals. It takes an in-depth look into some of the most critical aspects of successful HR management, including:

  • Talent acquisition
  • Talent management
  • Employment law

Institute: University of Minnesota

Duration of the Course: 4 weeks

Cost: Free

Why Do We Love This Course:

  • Offered by the well-renowned University of Minnesota.
  • Provides a basis for developing customized approaches to managing employees by illustrating alternative HRM strategies, highlighting the importance of the legal context, and exploring employee motivation.

Allison's Diploma in HR course

2. Diploma in Human Resources

Who’s it for: If you’re looking to develop a solid understanding of HR fundamentals, this is the course for you. In 10 hours, you can gain a solid understanding of recruitment, interviewing, communication, training, organizing, management, employee retention, compensation, and benefits.

Institute: Alison

Duration of the Course: 8-10 hours

Cost: Free

Why Do We Love This Course:

  • Self-paced
  • Taught by world-renowned experts
  • In-depth coverage of the subject matter
  • Great value in a short amount of time for those new to HR or professionals looking to brush up on their skills.

MIT People and Organizations course

3. People and Organizations

Who’s it for: This course is for HR professionals who would like to understand HR theory from a historical perspective and frame today’s challenges in that context. Offered by the world-renowned MIT, it covers essential topics such as negotiations, teamwork, and leadership.

Institute: MIT

Duration of the Course: 37.5 hours

Cost: Free

Why Do We Love This Course:

  • Provides an understanding of the human and organizational contexts that HR professionals can expect in the workplace.
  • Teaches the skills required to be productive and successful as an HR professional.
  • Explores how to put the scientific, technical, and organizational knowledge gained at MIT to use in taking on the issues facing modern-day organizations.
  • Part of both the Sloan School’s Minor in Management and the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program.

HR Fundamentals course by CIPD

4. HR Fundamentals

Who’s it for: Designed for new HR professionals, this course may also be of interest to professionals responsible for people operations. This free course talks about:

  • The best practices that an HR professional should follow
  • The top skills that HR professionals should develop
  • A foundational understanding of business and strategic goals

Institute: Future Learn

Duration of the Course: 3 hours per week for 5 weeks

Cost: Free

Why Do We Love This Course:

  • Excellent at imparting foundation principles to apply across your HR development.
  • Well structured for easy learning.
  • Taught by top HR professionals.
  • Great for beginners.
  • Out of over 60,000 students who have already taken this course, many said that it proved to be super insightful.

Oxford Home Study short course in HR Management

5. HR Management Short Course

Who’s it for: This free course is designed for professionals who are interested in gaining a solid understanding of recruitment and employee training.

Institute: Oxford Home Study Center

Duration of the Course: 20 hours

Cost: Free

Why Do We Love This Course:

  • Get CPD credit.
  • OHSC endorsed.
  • Taught by industry experts.
  • Effectively teaches the objectives, functions, and scope of HRM.
  • Explores what Strategic Human Resources Management involves.
  • Great value offered in a free course.

Best HR Certifications for Professionals Without a Degree

Associate Professional in Human Resources International course

1. Associate Professional in Human Resources - International

Who’s it for: The aPHRi certification can be obtained by anyone without a degree or experience because this is a knowledge-based credential. aPHRi is an excellent certification for those outside the United States or working with a diverse workforce.

Institute: HRCI

Duration of the Course: 42 hours

Cost: Exam fee:$300, application fee: $100

Why Do We Love This Course:

  • The first-ever HR certification designed for professionals who are just beginning their HR career journey outside of the United States.
  • Prepares you to work with people from all around the world
  • HRCI certifications are world-renowned 
  • No work experience required

ATD's Associate Professional in Talent Development course

2. Associate Professional in Talent Development Credential (APTD)

Who’s it for: The APTD certification is for Talent Development professionals with at least three years of experience. The certification mainly focuses on developing the capabilities required by early-career professionals to succeed in their job roles.

Institute: Association for Talent Development

Duration of the Course: 60 hours

Cost: Members: $499, Non-members: $699

Why Do We Love This Course:

  • Only three years of work experience required
  • 15% of APTD certified professionals are in managerial roles
  • Participants report having a better understanding of their scope of work, having increased confidence in implementing training solutions, and think more strategically instead of just getting the job done.

Certified HR Professional course by HRPA

3. Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP)

Who’s it for: The CHRP certification is ideal for entry-level professionals. It prepares them for roles in administration or small HR functions, such as a Human Resources Assistant, Staffing Coordinator, or Human Resources Coordinator.

Institute: HRPA

Duration of the Course: 13 weeks

Cost: $185

Why Do We Love This Course:

  • Well-suited to the needs of new HR professionals
  • No HR degree required
  • Helps in understanding the traditional and strategic way of implementing HR processes in a world dealing with a pandemic.

Diversity and Inclusion Certification course by HR University

4. Diversity and Inclusion Certification Program

Who’s it for: This program is for professionals looking to build a diverse and inclusive culture in their organizations. It covers a wide variety of DEI topics, such as:

  • Biases
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Social Identities
  • Types of Diversity

Institute: HR University

Duration of the Course: 1 week, 10 hours

Cost: $199

Why Do We Love This Course:

  • Explores how to create an inclusive workplace.
  • Aimed at making a real-life impact in workplaces for minorities.
  • Teaches the exact responses to handle hard conversations in the workplace.

Certified Diversity Executive course by IDC

5. Certified Diversity Executive (CDE)

The CDE credential is designed to help organizations remove impediments to inclusion and develop a healthy acceptance of diversity. The certification is suitable for professionals working in large, multinational organizations.

Institute: Institute for Diversity Certification

Duration of the Course: 2 weeks

Cost: $3000. 20% discount for members, 30% discount for groups of 3 or more.

Why Do We Love This Course:

  • Certification is based on the completion of a candidate project, which ensures practical learning.
  • The candidate’s work is peer-reviewed.

What’s The Best HR Certification Course For You?

Human resources is a diverse field with many specializations and industry-specific roles. That’s why you can find many HR certifications to prepare HR professionals to tackle specific problems and challenges. 

However, the best certifications for you depend on your current position, long-term career goals, and the skills you’re looking to develop.

What’s clear is that HR certifications help professionals move forward in their careers. This may be in the form of improved pay, promotions, or more lucrative job opportunities. 

So, whether you’re an experienced professional or just starting out, we hope this guide has helped you better understand your certification options and the doors they may open for you.

Now, in case you were wondering who all these associations are, here’s a bit of info on each of them: 

SHRM – Society for Human Resources Management

Founded in 1948, SHRM, or Society for Human Resources Management, is the most prominent HR association globally. The association has over 285,000 active members who enjoy access to various online resources, promotions on educational programs, and personalized content. In addition, SHRM offers globally-recognized courses and certifications.

NHRA – National Human Resources Association

NHRA is a volunteer-run organization founded in 1951. It positions itself as an all-encompassing organization for its members, catering to everyone from the intern to the executive level. NHRA focuses on forming strong interpersonal relationships between its members and organizes small-scale meetings, conferences, and seminars to achieve this objective.

AHRD – Academy of Human Resources Development

The Academy of Human Resources Development is a global organization focused on continuing education in HR. It offers its members excellent online resources and networking opportunities through conferences and various events.

ATD – Association for Talent Development

ATD is a renowned training and development association. The organization holds various conferences and events throughout the year and helps HR talent connect with businesses for potential employment opportunities.

IHRIM – International Association for Human Resources Information Management

IHRIM was founded in 1980 to help members stay up-to-date with the latest HR technology, share and learn about the latest best practices in HR, and acquire certifications. In addition, the association also holds an annual conference, helps members with job opportunities, and provides access to credible vendors and HR systems.

CFGI – Council for Global Immigration

CFGI is an association mainly focused on employment-based immigration and the laws and policies around the topic. Members benefit from the association’s immense knowledge base on acquiring top talent worldwide.

CUPA-HR – College and University Professional Association for Human Resources

CUPA-HR is an association focused on human resources management in education institutes like colleges and universities. With over 6000 members, the organization focuses on policy issues that may affect human resources and higher education.

APA – American Payroll Association

Founded in 1982, the APA is the top payroll association in the United States. Its 20,000+ members enjoy access to various publications, conferences, seminars, and certification opportunities.

HCI – Human Capital Institute

The Human Capital Institute has over 190,000 members worldwide and is growing fast. The association consistently shares valuable HR knowledge through videos, webcasts, articles, case studies, and blog posts with its members to help them optimize their human capital for maximum benefit.

HR People + Strategy

HR People + Strategy is an exclusive network under SHRM that offers exclusive content, conferences, and knowledge to HR professionals with 10+ years of experience. The network focuses on strategic HR issues and engages members with insights into complex areas of HR strategy.

Bottom Line: Is an HR Certification Worth It?

As mentioned earlier, HR certifications aren’t necessary to work in HR. You may be someone just starting out and still trying to make up your mind about whether you’d like to pursue a career in HR. 

But for professionals who have spent a few years in the field and want to advance in their careers, HR certifications are vital stepping stones toward promotions and new job opportunities.

According to a recent study by PayScale:

  • 36.4% of the HR professionals surveyed had at least one certification.
  • Only 5.2% of the respondents had a certification at the HR Assistant level, but that number goes up to 35.5% at the managerial level and over 50% for VP and C-level executives.
  • After earning an HR certification, pay increases may vary between 3%-28%, depending on the certification type and the individual’s professional profile.
  • Your chances of getting a promotion improve by as much as 10% to 25% after earning at least one certification.

The above numbers suggest that getting at least one HR certification should be on your list of ways to improve your career prospects as an HR professional. We hope one of these ends up being the next stepping stone to a productive career! If you’re looking for other advice and resources for HR professionals of all experience levels, check out the SSR newsletter.

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Jawad Khan

Jawad is a marketing major and content creator with over a decade of work experience with B2B, SaaS, and eCommerce companies including HubSpot, Shopify, Loom, and SEMRush. He also shares his thoughts about entrepreneurship and self-employment on his blog and Twitter.

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