The Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification is for people already working in positions in human resources management, and getting certified may lead to such careers as human resources assistant, human resources director, human resources generalist, human resources manager and vice president of human resources. Taking the PHR exam requires 1 year of experience with a master's degree, 2 years with a bachelor's degree and 4 years with only a high school diploma, states Nova Southeastern University. There's also the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) option for those who are more experienced.
The PHR exam covers the areas of employee and labor relations, risk management, human resources development, business management and strategy, compensation and benefits, and workforce planning and employment, as of 2015. Those taking the exam must have an understanding of human resources strategy, employment laws, benefit programs, workplace safety, compensation systems, training, performance management and employee recruitment, among other topics.
Certified professionals can also seek careers in such fields as leadership development and change management. Leadership development specialists help managers improve their skills so that they can more effectively lead a company, while change managers help a company's leadership and employees with issues like outsourcing and workforce planning.