A Comprehensive Guide to HRIS Featured Image

A Comprehensive Guide To HRIS Certifications

Have you considered becoming HRIS certified but aren’t sure what’s available and what’s the best option for you? If so, you’re in the right place! Here we’ll discuss why HRIS certification is an important career step, types of certifications available, certification requirements, and how to choose a program.

Read on to find out how HRIS certification is an imperative step in your HR career.

What’s The Benefit Of HRIS Certification?

HRIS certification increases your knowledge and comprehension of HR-related technology, trends in the field, and evidence-based practices—and it tells your organization or future employers you’re serious about your work as an HR professional.

When searching for jobs in the HR field, you’re likely to see job postings listing a human resources certification as a strongly preferred qualification. It might not be a requirement, but it certainly puts your application above competitors who haven’t obtained it. Getting certified shows you’re dedicated to your career as an HR leader, which is attractive to potential employers. 

But, an HR certificate program doesn’t just help you land a job—it also gives you the ability to advocate for a salary increase. Your HR certification is a major accomplishment and the value it brings to your company warrants higher compensation. In fact, in 2018, those with a certification in an HR department earned 31.6% more than employees without a certification. 

If you’re in line for a promotion, an HRIS certification will help you stand out from the crowd and demonstrate you’re ready to take on more responsibility. Now let’s dive into the details of all the HR certifications available to you, so you can make the next step in advancing your HR career.

6 Types of HRIS Certifications and Eligibility

HRIP

The International Association of Human Resources Information Management provides the Human Resources Information Program (HRIP) certification. The HRIP is a comprehensive review of HRIS functions, including technology and trends. The exam evaluates the proficiency and knowledge of HR professionals working in the information management field. Obtaining this certification demonstrates your comprehension of the specific knowledge of HR information management. If you’re interested in learning as much as you can about basic HRIS functions and the administration of HRIS, this certification may be right for you.

How to Get HRIP Certified:

Requirements:

  • IHRIM delivers the HRIP exam using recorded proctoring via webcam. This format allows you to complete the exam at a time best for you.
  • But, passing the exam is just one requirement of certification. Your HRIP credential will be active for three years. In order to maintain it, a total of 60 recertification credit hours are required during the 3-year period starting from the date the certification is granted.

IHRIM offers live HRIP review courses to help you prep and be as prepared as you can be at exam time.

Exam Details:

  • The exam is comprised of 90 multiple-choice computer-based questions

Cost:

  • Member: $445 (Fee includes non-refundable $75 Application Fee and $370 Testing Fee)
  • Non-Member: $555 (Fee includes non-refundable $75 Application Fee and $480 Testing Fee)
  • Non-Member with Membership: $790 (Fee includes a non-refundable $75 Application Fee, $480 Testing Fee, and 12 months IHRIM membership – which is $60 of savings off the regular new member rate)

PHR

A Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification illustrates your knowledge of both the technical and operational components of the HR world. It’s for HR professionals who have knowledge of U.S. laws and regulations and experience in program implementation. 

A PHR is focused specifically on an organization’s HR needs and not necessarily the organization as a whole. If you’re engaged in the day-to-day functions of HR and want your future focus to be in operational aspects, the PHR certification may be best for you.

The PHR exam consists of these topic areas:

  • 39% Employee and Labor Relations
  • 20% Business Management
  • 16% Talent Planning and Acquisition
  • 15% Total Rewards
  • 10% Learning and Development

How to Get PHR Certified:

Requirements:

  • Have at least one year of experience in a professional-level HR position + a master’s degree or higher, 
  • Have at least two years of experience in a professional-level HR position + a bachelor’s degree, OR
  • Have at least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position.

Exam Details:

  • Exam time: 2 hours
  • Exam length: 90 scored questions (mostly multiple-choice) + 25 pretest questions

Cost:

  • Application Fee: $100
  • Exam Fee: $395 

PHRi

A Professional in Human Resources—International (PHRi) certification is for HR professionals outside of the United States. When you obtain a PHRi, you illustrate your knowledge of generally accepted technical and operational HR principles in a single international setting. If your job requires international travel, or you’re planning on moving abroad, this certification may be a fitting option.

The PHRi exam consists of these topic areas:

  • 19% Talent Acquisition
  • 19% HR Administration and Shared Devices
  • 19% Talent Management and Development
  • 17% Compensation, Benefits, and Work Experience
  • 16% Employee Relations and Risk Management
  • 10% HR Information Management

How to Get PHRi Certified:

Requirements:

  • Have at least one year of experience in a professional-level HR position + a master’s degree or global equivalent, 
  • Have at least two years of experience in a professional-level HR position + a bachelor’s degree or global equivalent, OR
  • Have at least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position.

Cost:

  • Application Fee: $100
  • Exam Fee: $395 

SHRM-CP

The Society for Human Resource Management – Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certification is for those HR professionals who work in operational positions. If you perform daily HR tasks, implement policies, and serve as the point-person for staff and other stakeholders in your organization, then this SHRM certification program may be the right fit for you.

How to Get SPHR-CP Certified:

Requirements:

SHRM-CP ELIGIBILITY CHART

Less than a Bachelor’s DegreeBachelor’s DegreeGraduate Degree
CredentialHR-Related ProgramNon-HR ProgramHR-Related DegreeNon-HR DegreeHR-Related DegreeNon-HR Degree
SHRM-CP3 years in HR role4 years in HR role1 year in HR 
role
2 years in HR roleCurrently in HR role1 year in HR role

Cost:

  • Application fee: $50
  • Exam fee: $475

SHRM-SCP

The Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) was developed for senior-level HR professionals. So, this certification is for leaders who work on policy development, strategic planning, and overall HR operations.

The SHRM Foundation offers different types of professional development options, and certification scholarships are awarded by the Foundation as well. You can learn more about scholarships, grants, and awards you might qualify for here.

How to Get SHRM-SCP Certified:

Requirements:

SHRM-SCP ELIGIBILITY CHART

Less than a Bachelor’s DegreeBachelor’s DegreeGraduate Degree
CredentialHR-Related ProgramNon-HR ProgramHR-Related DegreeNon-HR DegreeHR-Related DegreeNon-HR Degree
SHRM-CP6 years in HR role7 years in HR role4 years in HR role5 years in HR role3 years in HR role4 years in HR role

Cost:

  • Application fee: $50
  • Exam fee: $475

GPHR

The Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) certification is for HR professionals with a focus on global HR experience. Obtaining this certification shows proficiency in multinational policy development and organizational global growth. If your organization has branches across the globe, then this may be the best certification for you.

How to Get GPHR Certified:

Requirements:

  • Have at least two years of experience in a professional-level HR position + a master’s degree or higher, 
  • Have at least three years of experience in a professional-level HR position + a bachelor’s degree, OR
  • Have at least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position.

Exam Details:

  • Exam time: 3 hours
  • Exam length: 140 scored questions (mostly multiple-choice) + 25 pretest questions
  • Computer-based exam at a testing center, your home, or office 

Cost:

  • Application Fee: $100
  • Exam: $495

How to Choose the Right HRIS Certification for You

The world of HRIS certification can feel overwhelming and confusing. To help you choose between all the available certifications and decide what’s best for your HR career, ask yourself these clarifying questions:

  • What certifications are you eligible for?
  • How much time do you have to spend on preparing for the certification?
  • How much are you able to spend on an HRIS certification program and exam?
  • What types of HR roles are you looking to advance to in the future?

Getting an HRIS certification will be beneficial for your HR career long-term as long as it matches the path you’re planning to follow. 

So, if you’re unsure whether an HRIS certification will benefit you, consider whether it’s relevant for you and your long-term plan. And remember, there are other ways to bolster your resume without investing in certification, such as:

  • Attending a conference to learn more about the HR profession
  • Growing your own knowledge base through independent research
  • Choosing a mentor in your field who can teach you what you want to know
  • Taking another type of HR professional certification or HR course more suited for your future goals

You have the power to decide what your next move is.

We’re Here To Support You

Deciding on your next career step, like getting an HRIS certification, has far-reaching effects. And with all the options and requirements, finding what will work best for you can feel like wandering through a maze.

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