How do I Become a PHR?

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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 20 January 2020
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Many organizations now recognize that its employees are an important asset, which has led to an increase in the hiring of professionals in human resources (PHR) to ensure that an organization employs qualified individuals who are able to work together as a team. In order to become a PHR, you will generally need to be a well-organized administrator who is able to communicate effectively with other people. In addition, a degree, certificate, or diploma in human resources or business management is usually required for an entry-level PHR position.

Prospective employers typically look for someone who also has some type of relevant work experience from a previous job or internship. You will also need to possess solid social skills and excellent leadership abilities in order to become an effective PHR.

With the growing emphasis on recruiting and retaining high-quality personnel, organizations are increasingly turning to a PHR for assistance. As a PHR, you will not only have the opportunity to recruit and hire new employees, but you will also provide a variety of services to existing employees. These services often include providing information and assistance with employee benefits. In larger organizations, you may be utilized as a specialist in one of several different areas of expertise such as recruiting, employee benefits, and employee welfare. Although specialization in this field typically occurs at the a master's level university degree, you should give some consideration to what your potential specialty might be before beginning your formal education.


An interdisciplinary educational background is usually more suitable for a career as a PHR. You should probably choose courses of study that combine both business and social sciences. Business courses might include organizational structure, management principles, and public administration, as well as employee recruitment, compensation, and training and development. Social science courses in sociology, psychology, statistics or economics may also be useful. Certain jobs may even require a more specialized educational background in finance, engineering or labor relations.

An associate's degree in business administration with a focus on human resources combined with a sufficient amount of related work experience might qualify you to become an assistant in human resources. An assistant position may be a good way to begin building seniority with a large company while continuing education in this field.

A bachelor's degree is most often required for an entry-level PHR position, however. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree will help you to gain a better understanding of employee training, development, compensation, and safety issues. This degree should also help to prepare you for one of several different certifications issued by the Society of Human Resource Management.

If you are employed by a small organization, you will probably be responsible for all human resources management tasks, however in a larger organization you will likely be expected to specialize in a single area of expertise. Becoming a human resources professional can offer you a special opportunity to focus your attention on the human aspect of an organization, while also playing an important role in its overall productivity and growth.


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