How Getting an HR Certification Increases Your Salary

HR Certification, HR, shaking hands

As an HR professional, you’re probably on the lookout for opportunities to advance your career, and with it, your salary. You can always choose to bide your time, focusing on building up work experience at your HR department, helping your company achieve its goals. But, you may want to explore ways to prove your worth, raise your market value and get the raise you deserve sooner rather than later. Start by seeking out HR certification and recertification programs that promote continuing education and professional development.

Still need convincing? Check out the findings from Payscale’s 2018 U.S. Market Value of HR Certifications For HR Pros report. 

What the report says about HR certification

To determine if HR certification made a difference in salary, PayScale collected salary and demographic information from more than 102,000 HR professionals who completed an online salary survey. 

The study evaluated 10 HR certifications from four major HR organizations that included the Human Resource Certification Institute, Society for HR management, World at Work and the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.  

PayScale developed a statistical model to estimate the expected salary increase from earning an HR certification while controlling the results for other factors that might also impact compensation like job title, HR experience, industry, and job location. 

The Findings

A significant share of respondents– 34 percent — reported they have at least one HR certification. A the time of the survey, almost 17 percent of respondents held an HRCI Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification, making it the organization’s most popular HR certification program.

The survey also found SHRM’s Certified Professional Certification (SHRM-CP) was the second-most popular HR certification program in the field, with 15.4 percent of all HR professionals having earned the certificate. 

This was followed by the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Certification, held by almost 8 percent of all HR professionals, and the SHRM-SCP Certification, held by rover 5 percent of all HR professionals who participated in the survey.

Higher level HR professionals were more likely to have at least one HR certification. That includes over 35 percent of all HR managers and over half of all Vice Presidents of HR. Those in entry-level or mid-level positions held fewer certifications. For example, just 13 percent of HR administrators reported holding one HR certification.

A fair number of HR professionals have more than one HR certification. For example, half of SHRM Certified Professionals (SHRM-CP) also had a Professional in Human Resource (PHR) certification. 62 percent of SHRM Senior Certified Professionals (SHRM-SCP) also had a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification, while almost 42 percent of Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) certification holders also have a SPHR certification.

Show Me the Money

Those who make the effort reap the rewards and, in this case, those rewards come in the form of a significant boost in salary. Of the available HR certifications, the CPC, GPHR, and PHRca gave certification holders a double-digit increase in salary, the report found. 

Those who have the Certified Professional Coach (CPC) certificate saw the biggest salary increase, coming in at a almost 29 percent. This was followed by those HR professionals with the Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) certification, who enjoyed a 16 percent salary increase upon earning their certificate. Those HR professionals with SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, HRCI’s PHR, and SPHR certifications also saw a boost in salary, albeit on a much smaller scale.   

This increase in salary comes as part of a trend that’s held true over the last decade, and it’s a trend that’s on the rise. In 2008, PayScale found a 17-percent boost in pay associated with HR certification. By 2016, the pay boost climbed to close to 40 percent before dropping slightly over the last two years. In 2018, those who gained a new HR certification gained, on average, a 31.6 percent salary increase. 

It’s important to note that not all industries value HR certifications the same way, and so salary increases may vary, depending on years of experience. PayScale found that Healthcare, Retail & Customer Service, and Accommodation & Food Services value HR certification holders the most. Those industries appeared to offer the largest salary increases once an individual becomes HR certified. 

CalChamber Supports Your Salary Goals

As studies clearly show, getting certified and recertified in human resource management can have a significant effect on your HR career. Moreover, participating in these certificate programs can have a profound impact on your financial wellbeing. CalChamber is ready to help you get the salary you deserve. 

CalChamber offers online courses as part of your membership program, helping you earn the HR certifications (and recertifications) that have proven valuable for so many across the industry. 

You’ll be able to earn recertification credits at your own pace, leveraging these CalChamber benefits that are recognized by both the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for HR management (SHRM). Register for HR certification courses today, or to sign up for a free trial membership, click here.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

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