HR Leads Business

Sep 10, 2018 | Barry Lawrence, MBA, aPHR, HRCI Staff Writer

Payscale Study Finds HR Certifications Are Valuable, HRCI Credentials No. 1

HR certifications are becoming more valuable to professionals, a new study finds.

HR credentials from HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®) lead the way, and credentials often are the catalysts for increased pay and improved career trajectories, according to the 2018 Payscale survey of more than 100,000 professionals.

“In the HR profession, getting an HR certification is generally seen as a good way for HR pros to learn new skills, earn more money and move up in their careers,” Payscale says.

HRCI Is the No.1 Choice of HR Professionals

HRCI remains the top place to earn HR certifications, with 30.4 percent of survey respondents having at least one HRCI certification. 2018 has been an especially banner year for HRCI with a noticeable uptick in HRCI credential applications and certifications awarded.

The study evaluated 10 certifications from four organizations, including HRCI, SHRM, World at Work and the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. The Professional in Human Resources®(PHR®) from HRCI is the most prevalent overall, earned by 16.9 percent of respondents. This compares to 15.4 percent for the SHRM-CP. Another 7.9 percent report having a Senior Professional in Human Resources®(SPHR®), compared to 5.3 percent for the SHRM-SCP.

Although not studied by Payscale, HRCI has also seen tremendous interest in its new Associate Professional for Human Resources™ (aPHR™) certification. The aPHR is for students, and HR and non-HR professionals who are just starting out in HR careers. International certifications from HRCI have also been on the rise.

Overall, HR certifications remain the most popular among high-level HR professionals. The Payscale study notes that 55.7 percent of Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) have an HR certification, while more than half of Vice Presidents of Human Resources have HR credentials.

HRCI Certification Means Higher Pay

“We found that for the most part, having an HR certification is beneficial from a pay perspective

and a career advancement perspective,” Payscale says.

Payscale notes that those who have earned a Global Professional in Human Resources® (GPHR®) from HRCI saw a 16 percent increase in pay. Those with a Professional in Human Resources - California®(PHRca®) reported a 14.3 percent bump. PHR recipients also indicated a 2.9 percent pay boost.

The survey also found that the media salary for someone with a PHR is higher than that for someone with a SHRM-CP. Those with an SPHR also earn more than those with a SHRM-SCP. Meanwhile, professionals with a GPHR have the highest earning power of all, with a median salary of $155,000.

Why do you think there is growing interest in HR certifications? What is/was your experience after earning an HR certification? What advice would you give others who are thinking about HR certification? Please share with the HRCI community.