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Things You Need to Know to Get a PHR Certification

Buzzle Staff
A PHR certification is a special certification in Human Resources that signifies the highest level of knowledge in the field. This story enlists some things you need to know to get a PHR certification.


The PHR certification is an entry-level certification, say for management professionals in the threshold of their career. An advanced certification to be taken at a higher level is the SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources), which offers a much more advanced and strategic approach to HR.
PHR stands for 'Professional in Human Resources'. It is a certification offered by the HRCI (Human Resource Certification Institute) and equips students/professionals to obtain an infinite knowledge in HR.
While it is an optional test, it is always better to be a PHR-certified professional, as it helps you understand the intricacies of the field. The test is challenging, and it may be slightly difficult to obtain good grades if you do not put in a sufficient amount of hard work. In the paragraphs below, you will learn how to get a PHR certification.

A Background of the Human Resources

  • The basic responsibility is to help the people/organization in every way possible, making it easier for them to carry out their assigned tasks.
  • The field of 'Human Resources' (HR) is a vast island with a myriad of job responsibilities.
  • An HR manager can help create a good work atmosphere by helping to recruit and train the right employees.
  • It also involves being a people's person, identifying the related skills in different recruits, and helping to combine the same with the technical aspect of the job.
  • HR managers hire people, get them settled in the organization, help assign responsibilities, and manage the overall administration process.
  • They help formulate compensation strategies and other methodologies that benefit the organization.
  • They assist the company in achieving its goal and strive hard to maintain its mission.

Eligibility Criteria

Professional Qualifications

  • There are some basic PHR certification requirements you need to fulfill. These include certain personal skills apart from professional degrees.
  • The qualifications for a PHR certification range from a basic Diploma to a Master's degree, and the other requirements vary accordingly.
The basic requirements are given below:
  • If you have a high school diploma and have been working ever since, you will need 4 years of experience (or more) in an HR position.
  • If you have a Bachelor's degree, you will need 2 years of experience in an HR position.
  • If you have a Master's degree, you will need a year of experience in an HR position.

Other Requirements

  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Excellent command over language
  • Brilliant decision-making policies
  • Pragmatic approach
  • Been in a position where one has to report to the seniors
  • Good strategy implementation techniques

Course Content

  • The HR body of knowledge consists of six functional areas, which will be elaborated in this certification.
  • The areas are risk management, employee and labor relations, HR development, strategic management, workforce planning, and total rewards.
  • Your course will consist of stringent practices and methods related to HR.
  • You will be taking the PHR test at an entry-level; therefore, it will help you understand and organize higher grade activities at an executive level.
  • There are a number of books you can refer, and of course, your coaching institute will provide you with the necessary study material.
  • You will be studying a lot of business jargon, abbreviations, and enough acronyms to last you a lifetime.
  • You will understand the legal aspects of training and development.
  • You will learn a variety of management strategies and their implementation with examples.
  • You will need to score above average in all the six arenas so that you can pass the certification successfully.

Other Course Details

  • This certification is awarded by the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI).
  • The cost of the PHR certification is USD 400 for the exam, along with a processing fee of USD 75.
  • You can give the exam twice a year, between December-January and May-June.
  • The exam can be given at most of the computer-based testing centers.
  • There are many universities, private coaching organizations, and schools for the PHR certification.
  • The exam duration is for three hours, and it consists of 175 multiple-choice questions.


  • You must be aware of how to prepare for the PHR certification exam; it involves following certain rules and tactics.
  • Concentrate on the heavy-weight areas, to begin with. You will find them difficult to learn, but once the difficult part is over, the easier topics will be a cakewalk.
  • You can organize study groups, if group study is your strong point. Some people find it easier to study in solitude, while some prefer a cacophony of noises―discussions, debates, mixed revision, etc. Identify your strength and study accordingly.
  • You will need to put in an extensive amount of hard work; begin studying at least 6 months prior to the exam.
  • There are many online courses and tests you can take. And now comes a tip―take as many mock tests as possible.
  • Like most other exams, this one requires time management too. Allot a minimum time for every question. If you cannot answer the same, move on to the next.
  • Leave some time to review your paper.
  • Remember that you have to take a re-certification every three years, otherwise the certificate is of no value.
A career in HR is enhanced by means of a PHR/SPHR certification. It not only adds a feather in your cap, but helps you rise up in the ranks, probably faster than you would have done otherwise. Moreover, it is always essential to keep updating your knowledge, whatever the career path is.