Professional in Human Resources® (PHR)

NOTE: Revisions to the exam content outline go into effect for all PHR exams delivered on or after August 1, 2018. If you plan to test on or after this date, please prepare using the revise2018 PHR Exam Content Outline.

Target Audience?

Advance your HR career by earning the Professional in Human Resources® (PHR®) from HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). The PHR demonstrates your mastery of the technical and operational aspects of HR management, including U.S. laws and regulations. The PHR is for the HR professional who has experience with program implementation, has a tactical/logistical orientation, is accountable to another HR professional within the organization, and has responsibilities that focus on the HR department rather than the whole organization.


To be eligible for the PHR you must meet one of the following conditions for education and experience:

  • Have at least one year of experience in a professional-level HR position a Master’s degree or higher,
  • Have at least two years of experience in a professional-level HR position a Bachelor’s degree, OR
  • Have at least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position a high school diploma.

Exam Format & Fee?

  • Exam time: 3 hours
  • Exam length: 150 scored questions (mostly multiple-choice) + 25 pretest questions
  • Computer-based exam at a Pearson VUE testing center

Exam Fee*: $395 + Application Fee: $100

*Once an exam application is approved, no refunds will be made whether a candidate withdraws or no longer wishes to take the exam.

Course Outline?

Review the PHR and SPHR Exam Content Outline for details.

When Can I Take the Exam?

Testing for the PHR is available year-round, subject to test center availablity.

How Do I Remain Certified?

Your PHR certification is valid for three years after testing. To maintain your PHR credential, you must earn 60 recertification credits over a three-year time span or retake the exam. Learn more about HRCI recertification requirements.