What’s the Difference Between the PHR and the PHRi? 

What’s the Difference Between the PHR and the PHRi? 


What is the PHR? 

PHR stands for Professional in Human Resources. The PHR is for the HR professional who is experienced with program implementation, has a tactical or logistical orientation, is responsible for other HR professionals within the organization, and has obligations specifically to the HR department rather than the whole organization.

What is the PHRi? 

The PHRi certifies professional-level expertise, knowledge, and abilities for practitioners based outside of the US, helping to further your HR career.

What is the Difference Between the PHR and the PHRi? 

PHRi is oriented towards HR professionals who work in a worldwide or multinational context, whereas PHR is made for HR professionals who work predominantly in the United States. This is the fundamental distinction between these two credentials.

In addition, the PHRi certification is meant for HR professionals who have worked abroad and are familiar with international HR standards, whereas the PHR certification is for those who have expertise in HR within the United States.

Both the PHR and PHRi are issued by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

Frequently Asked Questions About HR Certification


What is a passing exam score with HRCI and SHRM? 

A passing score with SHRM for their SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams is 200. A passing score with HRCI for their aPHR, PHR, and SPHR exams is 500. Both use weighted scoring meaning that every test question is worth an unknown and different number of points for getting the correct answer. There is only one correct answer per exam question. 

What is the average HR certification exam pass rate for your course? 

Our average pass rate for our Ace the HR Exam with Workology is 95% – meaning that 95% of students who complete our course pass their exam. This includes exams for HR certifications with SHRM and HRCI including the aPHR, PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP, and SHRM-SCP exams.

How many hours do I need to study to pass my HR certification exam? 

How many hours you need to study depends on your exam type whether it be the aPHR, PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP, or SHRM-SCP exams. The aPHR with HRCI averages 20-40 hours of review. The PHR with HRCI averages 40-60 hours of review. The SPHR with HRCI averages 60-80 hours of review. The SHRM-CP with SHRM averages 80-100 hours of review. The SHRM-SCP with SHRM averages 80-100 hours of review.

Workology’s Ace the HR Exam program allows you to customize your review based on your unique needs!

What is the best HR certification prep course for HRCI and SHRM?

The best HR management certification preparation course depends on your needs. For example, if you are an individual looking for an on-demand HR certification exam developed by an HR professional with over 20 years of experience, Workology’s Ace the HR Exam course is a great choice for you. We recommend it because it provides a custom and comprehensive exam review for HR certification exams including the aPHR, PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP, and SHRM-SCP exams. 

Is an HR certification worth it?

HR certification with SHRM or HRCI offers lots of benefits for HR leaders. Obtaining your HR certification will help you in increasing your income in your current role and in obtaining promotions in as little as 6 months. 

According to a study from PayScale.com, those who earn HR certification make $10,000 or more per year every year and get promoted 14% faster than their non-certified HR peers.

How much does it cost?


Exam Fee: $395

Application Fee: $100

What is the passing rate? 

The PHR exam pass rate is 65% while the PHRi pass rate is 78%. You can learn more about pass rates here

How many hours should I study? 

We recommend at least 12 weeks of studying 3-7 hours a week.

What study materials do you recommend for the PHR and PHRi?

Our most robust offering is our comprehensive Ace the HR Exam Suite which includes digital and on-demand resources for all types of learners who are preparing for the PHR and PHRi Exams.

When is the testing window for the PHR and PHRi?

Testing periods for the PHR exam are normally available in January, March, May, July, September, and November. It’s crucial to remember that the precise testing times and windows may change depending on the location and testing facility availability.

The testing windows for the PHRi exam are normally available in January, April, July, and October. Again, depending on the location and testing center availability, the test dates and times may change.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell is the founder of Workology, a digital resource that reaches more than a half million HR and workplace leaders each month and host of the Workology Podcast. Jessica lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, daughter, and an assortment of furry family members.

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