HR Certification Programs and Courses

Essential Information

Assembling and keeping a workforce together requires a human resource department with keen judgment, persuasive people skills, legal acumen, and no small amount of intuition. HR professionals would benefit from training not only in basic business skills and employee regulations, but also in psychology, contract law, ethics, and education.

HR certification is available from educational institutions such as business colleges, technical schools, continuing education programs, adult education programs, and occupational training centers. Certification is also offered by professional associations of human resource workers as a way to codify and regulate a body of standards for the HR industry. Program length varies and prerequisites to enroll include possession of a high school diploma or GED and possibly two years of HR experience. These associations often provide training and administer exams for several levels of certification, and some of these certification programs are offered collaboratively with educational institutions for college credit.

Human Resources Certification Program

Human resource programs are generally offered as part of a business curriculum. At the college level, many of these interdisciplinary courses would be offered in conjunction with other schools and departments. These program typically cover topics pertinent to the HR job duties, including recruiting and placement, compensation and benefit packages, employment regulations, and employee training programs. Courses offered include:

  • Human resource management
  • Training and development
  • Management practices and organizational behavior
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Labor relations and employees
  • Conflict and dispute resolution

Popular Career Options

Large human resource departments may hire staffers who specialize in only one of these roles. Smaller departments necessarily require their personnel to perform multiple functions. Some potential careers may be:

  • Recruiter
  • Payroll & benefits specialist
  • Training & development manager
  • Employee relations analyst
  • Labor relations specialist
  • Safety manager
  • Affirmative action officer
  • Workers' compensation analyst

Continuing Education Information

To encourage HR professionals to keep abreast of current trends, some programs require recertification every three years to remain valid. Certified professionals can opt to retake the original exam again or accumulate continuing education hours by taking courses, publishing articles, conducting research, or making presentations. A certain number of hours are also given in return for work-time hours. Credits earned in HR certification are sometimes applicable to higher degree programs at business schools, technical schools, and community colleges.

Earning a HR certificate will give students access to a litany of job opportunities including recruiter or employee relations analyst, among many others. Students will likely be required to keep certification update by retaking the certification exam or taking continuing education hours.

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