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PHR Certification Overview

PHR Certification


The PHR exam focuses on the technical and operational aspects of human resource practices, U.S law, and regulation based knowledge. 

The PHR Certification is designed for the HR professional who:

  • Wants to further their career and income opportunities 
  • is focuses on program implementation
  • has tactical/logistical operation management
  • is accountable for hiring other HR professionals
  • typically has 2-4 years experience of professional work in HR, BUT whose experience lacks the breath of a senior level partner
  • may not have had progressive and complicated HR work experience


 Exam Content

The Exam is divided into six areas:

  • Compensation and Benefits (19%)
  • Employee and Labor Relations (20%)
  • Risk Management (8%)
  • Business Management and Strategy (11%)
  • Workforce Planning and Employment (24%)
  • Human Resource Development (18%)


Exam Format

  • 175 Multiple Choice Questions
  • Exam Duration is 3 hours

Eligibility Requirements

  • 1 year of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Master’s degree or higher, OR
  • 2 years of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Bachelor’s degree, OR
  • 4 years demonstrated professional HR experience with less than a Bachelor’s degree





The PHR is a computer based exam, administered twice a year at testing centers around the world.

Testing centers can fill up quickly, so be sure to apply as early as possible.





2013 Exam Application Submission Dates



PHR Certification

Testing Dates

May 1-June 30th

Applications Accepted

Jan. 22-Mar.22


Late Apps Accepted

Mar.23- April 19th





PHR Certification

Testing Dates

Dec. 1- Jan 31st

Applications Accepted

July 15th- Oct 4th

Late Apps Accepted

Oct. 5th – Nov. 8th


The fee for the PHR Exam is $400. Any applications submitted late will be charge a non refundable $75 fee. 


 PHR Exam Requirements 




In order to be eligible to take a PHR Certification  

exam candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a Masters Degree or higher AND 1 Year experience in a professional HR position
  • Have A Bachelor’s Degree AND a minimum of 2 years experience in a professional HR position
  • Have A High School Diploma AND minimum 4 years experience in a professional HR position 


How is “professional experience” defined? 


Professional-level work is defined as work that includes activities in which you work independently in a planning and decision making role. In depth work requirements including data gathering, analysis and interpretation.  Interacts with a broad spectrum of contacts, including decision makers. Ultimately responsibility and accountability of your work. 

Test requirements