The Top HR Certifications That Are Most In-Demand

Summary:Discover top HR certifications that are most in-demand, including HRCI and SHRM programs, to boost your career in the competitive HR industry.

The Top HR Certifications That Are Most In-Demand

Summary:Discover top HR certifications that are most in-demand, including HRCI and SHRM programs, to boost your career in the competitive HR industry.

Table of Contents

As an HR specialist, you recognize the necessity of keeping up with current industry standards and optimal practices. One way to achieve this is by obtaining top HR certifications that are most demanded in today’s competitive job market. There are two major bodies of HR Certification: HRCI and SHRM, and they both have a range of different certifications tailored to each HR path. These are the aPHR, PHR, PHRi, SPHR, SPHRi, and GPHR certifications from HRCI, and the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP from SHRM. 

If you’re looking to have a better understanding of which certification path may be right for your professional goals as well as how they can contribute to your credibility and recognition within the field, this is the right post for you. Keep on reading!

The Top HR Certifications That Are Most In-Demand


HRCI Certifications Overview

The HR Certification Institute (HRCI) offers various certification levels catering to professionals with different experience levels, from entry-level students to senior global leaders. These certifications include the aPHR, PHR, PHRi, SPHR, SPHRi, and GPHR. Obtaining these credentials requires passing an exam with current pass rates ranging between 55% – 70%. Over 160,000 HR professionals hold HRCI certifications worldwide.

aPHR Certification

The Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) is designed for those who are just starting their career in the human resources field or have minimal prior experience. This certification demonstrates foundational knowledge of HR practices and principles.

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PHR Certification

The Professional in Human Resources (PHR) covers technical aspects of human resource management as well as strategic HR leadership skills required by mid-level practitioners within the industry. Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher education level and at least two years of professional work experience to be eligible for the PHR certification.

PHRi Certification

The Professional in Human Resources – International (PHRi) is specifically tailored for non-US-based HR professionals looking to showcase their understanding of international HR management practices.

SPHR Certification

The Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification is created for experienced HR professionals with expertise in strategic human capital management, who are responsible for developing policies and strategies and overseeing the HR department of an organization.

SPHRi Certification

The Senior Professional in Human Resources – International (SPHRi) focuses on global HR practices and caters to those with international experience or responsibilities within their organizations. This certification emphasizes cross-border talent development, acquisition, and management skills necessary for success in today’s global business environment.

GPHR Certification

The Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) is intended for senior-level practitioners who develop and implement multinational HR programs across different countries. Candidates must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of worldwide employment laws as well as cultural differences that impact organizational effectiveness.

HRCI certifications are essential for any HR professional looking to gain recognition and credibility in the industry. Earning these certifications not only validates your commitment to professional development but also enhances your credibility among peers within the industry. 

SHRM Certifications Overview

The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) provides competency-based certification programs designed to help HR professionals showcase their dedication toward professional growth and highlight their expertise within the organization. The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications are offered by the Society for Human Resources Management, designed to demonstrate a commitment to professional development and proficiency in HR.

SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)

The SHRM-CP certification is aimed at HR professionals who are involved in implementing policies, delivering HR services, and performing operational functions. Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher in human resources management and have at least three years of HR-related work experience to qualify for the SHRM-CP certification.

SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)

The SHRM-SCP certification was designed for HR professionals with at least six to seven years of experience working in HR, who create strategies, oversee the HR department, cultivate influence in the community, examine performance indicators, and match HR strategies to organizational goals. This certification evaluates an HR practitioner’s knowledge and skills at a more strategic level and covers organizational performance, global HR management, and HR strategy.

SHRM Certifications provide a more comprehensive overview of the skills and knowledge required to excel as an advanced-level HR professional. They are a great way to demonstrate your commitment to the HR profession and further enhance your career. 

Benefits of Pursuing Top HR Certifications

Earning top HR certifications can be advantageous for career development by increasing income potential and credibility within the industry. They allow individuals to stay updated with the latest trends while honing essential skills that can be applied directly to daily work responsibilities. Some of the key benefits include:

– Career Development: Obtaining an HR certification, such as a PHR certification, demonstrates your interest in professional growth and expertise in human resources management. This helps you stand out from other candidates when applying for new positions or promotions.

– Increase Income Potential: Certified professionals often command higher salaries than their non-certified counterparts due to their specialized knowledge and skills. A study conducted by Payscale found that certified HR professionals earn up to 31% more than those without a certification.

– Credibility & Recognition: Holding an HR certification from reputable organizations like HRCI or SHRM showcases your dedication towards continuous learning, and builds a solid reputation with colleagues, employers, and clients.

– Better Job Opportunities: Many organizations now require specific certifications as part of their eligibility criteria for hiring senior-level roles in talent management, strategic HR leadership, or human capital institute functions. For example, having an SHRM-SCP Certification may open doors to executive-level positions within large corporations.

– Broadened Skillset: Achieving these certifications enables you not only to develop advanced technical competencies but also soft skills like communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving which are crucial for HR leaders.

The benefits of pursuing top HR certifications are immense and can help open up many opportunities for advancement in the field. Obtaining an HR certification can be a great way to remain ahead of the curve as the role of human resources professionals evolves in response to shifting business conditions and technological progress. By investing in your professional development through certifications, you will be better equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to support organizations effectively.

FAQs in Relation to Top HR Certifications That Are Most Demanded


What is the best certification to get for human resources?

The best certification for human resources professionals is the one that suits your needs and skill sets best. 

For example, if you’re looking to demonstrate your technical knowledge, the PHR credential by HRCI is the right option for you. This certification requires a degree plus three years of experience as an HR professional and passing an exam to show proficiency in relevant concepts related to human resource management. The PHR provides recognition that demonstrates mastery of core principles in business strategy, workforce planning, and employment law. With this certification, you will be able to gain access to exclusive networking opportunities with other certified professionals while demonstrating your commitment to excellence in the field.

Which HR certification is best for no experience?

For those with no experience, the best HR certification is the aPHR. This certification requires a basic understanding of core HR principles and practices, such as recruitment and selection, employee relations, benefits administration, payroll processing and compliance. It also provides an introduction to key areas of employment law. The aPHR can serve as an entry point into more advanced certifications like PHR or SPHR for those who wish to pursue further professional development.

What is the easiest HR certification to get?

The easiest HR certification to obtain is the aPHR credential. To qualify for the aPHR credential, one must demonstrate an understanding of fundamental HR concepts and have at least one year of professional experience. To get the aPHR certification, you must pass an exam that tests comprehension of basic HR concepts such as recruitment, selection, compensation, and benefits. With successful completion of this exam, you will be awarded with your aPHR designation and have access to recertification activities from HRCI.

What types of certifications can you achieve as an HR expert?

As an advanced-level professional, you can achieve certifications such as the PHR, SPHR, and SHRM-SCP, which require a certain amount of experience as an HR professional. Once obtained, these credentials demonstrate that you have achieved mastery of the essential knowledge required to succeed at higher levels within the human resources field.


The top HR certifications that are most demanded are those from HRCI and SHRM. These credentials exhibit an HR expert’s aptitudes, capacities, and knowledge in their particular territories. With these credentials comes increased credibility, higher income potentials, as well as a greater understanding of how to support organizations through effective human resource management practices. Investing in one or more of these high-demand certifications is sure to pay dividends for any aspiring Human Resources leader.

Take the time to research and understand which HR certifications are most demanded in today’s job market, then take advantage of HRCI recertification credit activities for the aPHR, PHR, SPHR, and GPHR certifications to stay ahead of your competition. Investing in yourself is an investment worth making!

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