Study Shows HR Certifications Can Increase Salaries by More Than $20,000

PayScale Inc., a provider of compensation data and software, has released a report showing that human resources professionals with certifications can earn up to 93 percent more overall than their colleagues without the credentials. The study, entitled “The Value of PHR and SPHR Certifications: Sugar Coating or Career Sweetener?” also looked at the impact of certification in 20 major metro areas across the United States.

Below are other highlights from the report:

  • HR professionals with an SPHR make 93-percent more overall than those without any certification (overall median annual pay without any certification is $45,600 versus $87,900 with SPHR).
  • Holding either a PHR or SPHR will boost salaries for HR professionals by more than $20,000, across various metro markets in the United States.
  • HR certification has a greater positive impact on salary for HR professionals in cities located on the East Coast than it does for West Coast cities.
  • Certified HR professionals tend to advance to senior roles more quickly; 63 percent of HR assistants with certification received a promotion within five years, compared to only 34 percent of those without certification.
  • The likelihood of holding HR certification increases with seniority; nearly half of HR vice presidents are certificated, with 25 percent holding a SPHR and 19 percent holding a PHR.

For more information, visit