How to Become a Certified HR Professional - Qualities & Certification

Discover how to become a certified human resources professional. Learn about job duties, education and certification requirements, average salary and employment outlook to determine if this is the right career path for you. Schools offering Human Resource Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Certified human resources professionals are responsible for managing the critical stages of the hiring and onboarding process. They are often involved in recruiting, screening, interviewing and placement of workers. They can also be responsible for tasks related to employee relations, compensation, benefits and training. Check out the table below for quick info on the requirements and responsibilities of this career.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Educational Field of Study Human resources or business administration
Key Responsibilities Communication skills, decision making skills, interpersonal skills and detail orientation
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 7% growth (all human resources specialists)
Median Salary (2017)* $60,350 (all human resources specialists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do Certified HR Professionals Do?

Certified human resources professionals generally manage the processes of recruiting, screening, interviewing and placing new employees. It is also common for them to manage tasks related to employee relations, benefits, compensation and training. Specific tasks might include interviewing prospective employees, conducting new employee orientations and processing paperwork.

What Are the Education and Certification Requirements?

Those seeking a career as a certified human resources professional are generally required to possess a bachelor's degree in human resources, business administration or a similar field. Certification requires passing an exam that assesses human resources knowledge and practical application of that knowledge to various situations. Two professional organizations that offer this type of certification test include the Society for Human Resource Management, which offers the SHRM Certified Professional and SHRM Senior Certified Professional, and the HR Certification Institute, which offers an array of certifications to accommodate various levels of expertise.

What Are the Skill Requirements?

Certified human resources professionals are required to have prior work experience in human resources, customer service or a similar background. Vital skills one must possess to thrive in this role include strong communication skills and decision-making skills. Additionally, interpersonal skills and detail orientation are also beneficial skills that allow individuals in this role to have success.

How Much Can I Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that the median salary for all human resources specialists was $60,350 per year as of May 2017. The top industries in which certified human resources professionals work include government, manufacturing, healthcare and employment services, as well as professional, scientific and technical services. Most of these professionals work full-time time during normal business hours.

What Is the Expected Growth Rate?

Job prospects for certified human resources professionals are expected to be favorable. This will especially be the case in companies that provide human resources services to other companies. The BLS projects a growth rate of 7% for human resources specialists between 2016 and 2026, which falls in line with the average growth rate for all occupations.

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