PHR Certification

What is the PHR Certification?

PHR stands for Professional in Human Resources. It is offered by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). The HRCI is a premier credentialing organization for HR professionals. The Human Resources Certification Institute offers seven certifications. The Professional in Human Resources (PHR) is one of the most popular certifications.

“The PHR demonstrated your mastery of the technical and operational aspects of HR management, including US laws and regulations.”

What topics are covered in the PHR test?

The PHR exam covers the following areas of Human Resources knowledge:

  • Employee and Labor Relations
  • Business Management
  • Talent Planning and Acquisition
  • Total Rewards
  • Learning and Development

How do you take the PHR test?

Pearson|Vue administers the PHR test. Pearson|Vue partners with and certifies testing facilities around the world to administer proctored exams in a variety of industries. Pearson|Vue also offers a remote testing option. It cost $495 to take the test. This includes an exam fee of $395 and a $100 application fee. Testing appointments are available year-round.

What is the PHR test format?

The PHR certification exam is a computer-based test. It currently has 150 questions. The questions are mainly multiple-choice. There is a 3-hour time limit.

What is the pass rate for the PHR test?

From February 2018 to January 2019, 13,994 examinees took at least one of HRCI’s eight exams. During that period, there was a 59% pass rate for the PHR. This is a sobering statistic for PHR candidates.

500: To pass you need a scaled score of 500. There is no partial credit for any of the questions. Those who take the test and fail can’t find out which questions they failed.

How many people have the PHR certification?

As of February 15, 2020, 73,170 people held the PHR certification.

Do you have to renew the PHR certification to keep it valid?

The PHR is valid for three years after taking the initial exam. To keep it current, certification holders must earn 60 recertification credits or retake the test.

How do you qualify to take the PHR test?

The HRCI lists the following eligibility requirements:

  • Have at least one year of experience in a professional-level HR position + a Master’s degree or higher,
  • Have at least two years of experience in a professional-level HR position + a Bachelor’s degree, OR
  • Have at least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position.

How does the PHR certification influence salary and career advancement?

According to, pay levels for PHR certificate holders could be up to 3% higher. Research reported by SHRM indicates that HR professionals are more likely to be promoted if they have a credential. The same research reveals that HR credentials are most valuable in the healthcare, retail, accommodation and food services industries. They are worth the least in the technology, engineering and science industries.

See also

Additional resources

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