June 11, 2021

Top 5 Human Resources Certifications in 2021

The Top 5 Human Resources Certifications in 2021. Find the perfect certificate to advance your HR career today!

Certifications are a set of credentials gained through the completion of a certification exam issued by a Human Resources (HR) authority.The top 5 HR certifications are:

  1. One Week HR manager ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  2. Certified Professional ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  3. Senior Certified Professional ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  4. Professional in Human resource ⭐⭐⭐
  5. Associate Professional in Human Resource ⭐⭐

Human Resources Certifications are a set of credentials gained through the completion of a certification exam issued by a Human Resources (HR) authority. They are used to indicate an improvement or gain of an individual’s knowledge of HR strategy and management techniques. While they are voluntary, these types of certifications indicate your drive to further your personal and professional development through improving your HR expertise. Therefore, helping advance your career.

Benefits of gaining Human Resources Certificationsℹ️

Below we have outlined the benefits of gaining a Human Resources certification:

  • Increased pay and job prospectsResearch by PayScale has shown both large increases in the pay differences and job progressions of those who are certified compared to those who are not.
  • An advantage in the recruitment and promotion process: HR certifications can be viewed as a recommended addition to your HR career. This is due to many companies looking for certified professionals in their job requirements, particularly for those HR managerial and senior roles.
  • Improving your knowledge: This can be done through maintaining your core competencies, gaining a new understanding
  • Boost your confidence: Through gaining recognition from your colleagues.

Check out our 20 amazing ideas for employee recognition here👈

Which Human Resources Certifications should I choose?

This will depend on where you are in your career and what aspects you would like to improve on. There are many options on the market each with different strengths, price points, and learning styles - it can be a little overwhelming.

Therefore, to help you choose we have gathered the top 5 Human Resources Certifications to give you the best returns on your investment. Explore the following and see which one suits your needs:

The 5 best Human Resources Certificates (US) 🔝

1. HR University - One Week HR Manager ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

HR university

Duration: 7 days

Learning Style: self-paced online (e-learning)

Rating: 5/5

We rated this 7-day certification as the top course available in 2021 for several reasons. Firstly, it covers all the relevant managerial skills, allowing you to stand out from other candidates. It is also inexpensive in comparison to many other courses at $199. Finally, it has a flexible learning style allowing you to work comfortably at your own pace. Your learning will be supplemented with over 70 lectures, interview videos, and many other resources all online to help you:

✅ Ace the HR interview

✅ Improve your HR resume and online presence

✅ Expand your HR network

✅ Enhance your HR skillset and experience

Who should take the HR generalist certification?

Individuals aspiring or already in managerial roles. It allows you to maintain all of your competencies with up-to-date resources applicable to the HR world in 2021. It can also assist with the filling of that skills gap preventing you from applying to those sought after managerial roles.

Read about some of these essential managerial skills on our blog. 👈

To learn more visit, One Week HR Manager 👈

2. Society for Human Resource Management - Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Price: $475 for non-members & $375 for members ($50 application fee for both)

Duration: 4 hours

Learning style: one online exam, no course included

Rating: 4/5

If you are a busy individual with work experience already in place this course is perfect for you! With a single 4-hour exam to certify your HR expertise, it offers a less rigorous process than some of the other courses. It only has 130 questions based on knowledge and situational judgement items.

It includes all the typical HR understanding as well as a particular focus on policy implementation, strategy and service delivery. The high price tag may produce some concerns which can reach up to $525 for non-members. Nonetheless, with its pass rate over 70%, this does offer some insurance that its money well spent.

Who should take the SHRM-CP certification?

The main drawback with this certification is the specific work/education requirements outlined by SHRM:

QualificationHR-related ProgramNon-HR related Program
< Bachelor’s Degree3 years in a HR role4 years in a HR role
Bachelor’s Degree1 year in a HR role2 years in a HR role
Graduate DegreeCurrently in a HR role1 year in a HR role

Therefore, it depends on your eligibility if this is accessible to you. It was also developed in mind for employees primarily involved in operational roles.

To learn more visit, SHRM-CP👈

3. Society for Human Resource Management - Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

shrm scp

Price: $375 for member & $475 for non-members ($50 application fee for both)

Duration: one 4 hour exam

Learning Style: one online exam, no course included

Rating: 4/5

A recognized certificate due to its impressive credibility. This course focuses on developing leadership strategies and is greatly recommended for a senior professional in HR. It helps improve the analysis of performance metrics and organizational goals.

It is very similar to the SPHR: Senior Professional in Human Resources certification, however unlike SPHR the requirement for recertification is not necessary. SHRM-SCP has a four-hour exam containing 150 scored multiple-choice questions based on knowledge and situational judgement. However, their pass rating is at about 50% indicating the need for further revision before sitting it.

Who should take the SHRM-SCP certificate?

Due to it being designed for senior HR professionals this should be taken later in your HR career once you have gained other credentials. It also has eligibility requirements such as the need for four years of work experience with a Bachelor’s degree and 3 years of work experience with a graduate degree.

To learn more visit, SHRM-SCP 👈

4. HR Certification Institute - Professional in Human Resources (PHR) ⭐⭐⭐


Price: $395 + $100 application fee

Duration: one 3 hour exam

Learning Style: one online exam, no course included

Rating: 3/5

The PHR focuses on workforce planning and the recruitment process as well as employee relationships, compensation, and benefits. Using just one 3 hour examination with 175 questions which are mainly multiple-choice, this certification offers no learning experience like the other certifications offered by SHRM. However, with a pass rate of 71%, this is not a concern for many of the applicants.

Who should take the PHR certification?

The HR professional who is looking to progress to those mid-career roles would be best suited to this certification.

To learn more visit, PHR 👈

5. HR Certification Institute - Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) ⭐⭐


Price: $300 + $100 application fee

Duration: one 2 hours 15-minute exam

Learning Style: one computer-based exam, exam prep available through aPHR website (extra fees)

Rating: 2/5

This certification aims to help new learners understand tactical and operational tasks concerning HR. It consists of 100 scored (mostly multiple choice) questions as well as 25 pre-test questions. The certificate is only valid for three years after testing, therefore, the 45 credits must be earned within that time.

Who should take the aPHR certification?

Anyone! With no previous experience or knowledge required aPHR is perfect for people who are taking their first steps in becoming a certified HR professional. This is also a suitable certification for non-HR professionals who manage people.

To learn more visit, aPHR 👈

HR certifications: The key to your new career 🔑

There are many options on the market, but picking that perfect Human Resources Certification for your needs will get you that one step closer to your dream HR career. With this insightful top 5 guide hopefully, we have made this choice much easier.

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