SOURCE: PayScale


June 16, 2013 15:00 ET

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

HR Practitioners With PHR or SPHR Credentials From HRCI Earn up to 93% More and Are Promoted Faster Than Colleagues Without Certification

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Jun 16, 2013) - Today, at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2013 Annual Conference, PayScale, Inc. -- the leader in cloud compensation data and software -- released a report showing the impact of human resources certification on annual salaries and career progression. Entitled The Value of PHR and SPHR Certifications: Sugar Coating or Career Sweetener?, the research shows certified HR professionals can earn up to 93% more overall than their colleagues without the credentials. This year's study also looked at the impact of certification in 20 major metro areas across the United States.

"In today's ever-changing work environment, many professionals are wondering whether there is real value in pursuing professional certifications," said Katie Bardaro, lead economist at PayScale. "Our research shows there are tangible benefits for HR professionals to attain PHR and SPHR credentials that will positively impact their compensation and career growth throughout their entire career." Bardaro added, "As with many functions, the business of HR is rapidly evolving. Professionals who continuously enhance their learning and add new skills are likely to maintain an edge in earning power."

Below are other highlights from PayScale's Sugar Coating or Career Sweetener? report:

  • HR professionals with an SPHR make 93% 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 US.
  • 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% of HR assistants with certification received a promotion within five years, compared to only 34% of those without certification.
  • The likelihood of holding HR certification increases with seniority; nearly half of HR Vice Presidents are certificated with 25% holding a SPHR and 19% holding a PHR.

"This research from PayScale is exciting because it showcases data -- the true market value in real dollars -- reflecting the value of certifications for HR professionals," said Lisa Rowan, Research Vice President, HR and Talent Management at IDC. "If you're looking for an example of big data and its relevance to HR -- this is it."

To view PayScale's entire Sugarcoating or Career Sweetener? report on the value of HR certifications, visit or check out PayScale's infographic at In addition, PayScale's interactive map showing the impact of certification on salary in 20 US major metro areas is located at For more information about the value of PayScale's cloud compensation software for today's businesses, please visit: . For more information about the SHRM 2013 Annual Conference, visit:

About PayScale:
Creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world, PayScale provides an immediate snapshot of market salaries to employees and employers through its online tools and software. PayScale's products are powered by innovative search and query algorithms that acquire, analyze, and aggregate compensation information for millions of individuals in real time. Publisher of the quarterly PayScale Index and the PayScale Compensation Best Practices Report, PayScale's cloud compensation software is used by more than 2,500 customers including Mozilla, Tully's Coffee, Clemson University, and the United States Postal Service. For more information, please visit: or follow PayScale on Twitter: and Facebook:

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