HR Assistant Certification Online

May 20, 2020

Overview of Online Human Resource Assistant Certification and Certificate Programs

There are several human resource-related organizations that offer professional certification for those interested in working in the field. For example, the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) offers a number of professional certifications in the field of human resources, including Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), as well as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) that offers the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certifications. These certifications typically require an exam, which can sometimes be taken online, and in order to qualify to take the exam, students usually need a combination of professional work experience and education. For example, depending on the exam, students who have only a high school diploma and do not have a degree in human resources may need up to 4 years of work experience in the field to qualify for certification exams.

For students looking to begin an entry-level position in human resources, there are a number of human resource assistant certificate programs available. Some of these programs help prepare students for professional certifications. While most human resource assistant certificate programs are on-campus, there is at least one certificate program available fully online. Some of these accelerated programs can be completed in as little as 1 semester, but others may take 2 semesters to complete. Applicants to these programs usually need a high school diploma and may be required to take some placement tests for the school.

Requirements for Online HR Assistant Certificates

Human resource assistant certificates are designed to give students an overview of topics in the field, including employment laws, human resource management, and various safety and legal issues in human resources. Students in these programs may also further develop their leadership skills through online or on-campus coursework.

General Requirements

An online, accelerated human resource assistant certificate program may require as little as 15 credits, while some on-campus programs may require between 18 and 20 credits. Generally, students take core courses and may have the option to choose between a couple different course options. Some on-campus programs may also include an internship experience to give students hands-on learning opportunities in a human resource office. There are also some schools that allow students to count credits from the certificate program towards an associate's degree in human resources.

Common Courses

Human Resources Management

Courses in human resources management explores the role of a supervisor in the field and the various behavioral and legal techniques used. Students examine the different tools and strategies needed to help an organization reach its goals and may receive hands-on training in conducting interviews, writing job descriptions, developing policies, and more.

Relations in Business

Depending on the program, students may take a course that explores employee relations, customer relations, and/or the broad topics of human relations in business. In general, these courses explore human relations theories in concepts in the business world and factors that affect these relationships, such as policies and communication. Students in these courses may also further develop skills in conflict resolution and/or further understand the value of diversity in an organization.

Written Communication/Composition

Courses in composition or written communication focus on further developing students' writing skills and may focus on writing specifically for the business field. Students in these courses may learn about different types of writings, such as business letters and reports, and how to draft and edit their writing based on knowledge of who their audience is. Students also practice critical analysis and may examine how organizational procedures affect communication in the workplace.

Career Outcomes with a Certificate in HR Assistant

Human resource assistant certificate programs may not qualify students for a specific job, but typically help prepare students for entry-level positions in the field as human resource assistants, technicians, or clerks. These professionals are usually responsible for maintaining employee records and helping prepare various reports concerning employee files. As of 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that human resource assistants, except those in payroll and timekeeping, made a median annual salary of $41,430. Although the level of education may range for these professionals, some human resource assistants may have as little as a high school diploma.

Students wishing to advance their career and earn a bachelor's degree in human resources may go on to work as human resource specialists. Earning an associate's or bachelor's degree in human resources may also help reduce the required work experience needed to qualify for professional certification exams. Human resource specialists may perform more of the hands-on duties of human resources, such as interviewing and placing workers, conducting orientations, and contacting references. The BLS reported that these specialists made a median annual salary of $61,920 as of 2019.

Online certificate programs in HR assistant are rare, but may be offered in an accelerated format that can be completed in as little as 1 year. HR assistant certificate programs usually help prepare students for entry-level positions in human resources; after gaining a few years' experience, HR professionals can sit for certification exams.

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