PHR VS SPHR: Which Is More Useful To Take In 2024?

4 min read

The trends and processes in the field of HR keep on changing from time to time. It is essential for the candidates to develop the most updated and useful trends in human resources. Companies and industries would rather favor taking in those individuals who hold the top HR certifications. Professional in Human Resource (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resource (SPHR) are two of the most outstanding certifications that every candidate can add to his career goals. 

In this fast-paced era, one would prefer to earn the most appropriate credential that is fruitful both professionally and economically. Both these certifications are based on the rules and regulations of the US, so they are a good fit for US-based candidates. This blog covers a detailed comparison of PHR and SPHR certifications. You will be learning about the purpose, eligibility criteria, exam length and questions, learning domain, maintenance criteria and exam difficulty. 

Purpose

PHR SPHR
Earning the PHR demonstrates your technical and operational knowledge of HR management, including U.S. laws and regulations. The PHR is for the HR professional with experience in implementing programs with tactical/logistical orientation. The PHR certification emphasizes a practitioner's operational responsibilities for the organization’s HR department. The credential is designed for leaders responsible for planning rather than implementing HR policy in the U.S. SPHR professionals tend to be accountable for HR department goals, planning and executing business strategies and technology while understanding the overall HR needs of the organization.

Eligibility Criteria

PHR

You must have:

  • At least one year of experience in a professional-level HR position and a Master’s degree or higher

OR

  • At least two years of experience in a professional-level HR position and a Bachelor’s degree

OR

  • At least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position.

SPHR

You must have:

  • At least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position and a Master’s degree or higher

OR

  • At least five years of experience in a professional-level HR position and a Bachelor’s degree

OR

  • At least seven years of experience in a professional-level HR position.

Exam Length

PHR SPHR
2 hours (plus 30 minutes administration time) 2 hours and 30 minutes (plus 30 minutes administration time)

Click here to download: the PHR Exam Content outline

Exam Questions

PHR SPHR
90 scored questions + 25 pretest questions 115 scored questions (mostly multiple-choice) + 25 pretest questions

Exam Cost

PHR SPHR
Exam Fee: $395.00 + Application Fee: $100.00 Exam Fee: $495.00 + Application Fee: $100.00

Learning Domains

PHR

  • Functional Area 01 | Leadership and Strategy (40%) 
  • Functional Area 02 | Talent Planning and Acquisition (16%) 
  • Functional Area 03 | Learning and Development (12%) 
  • Functional Area 04 | Total Rewards (12%) Functional Area 05 | Employee Relations and Engagement (20%)

SPHR

  • Functional Area 01 | Business Management (20%) 
  • Functional Area 02 | Talent Planning and Acquisition (16%) 
  • Functional Area 03 | Learning and Development (10%) 
  • Functional Area 04 | Total Rewards (15%) 
  • Functional Area 05 | Employee and Labor Relations (39%)

Click here: To get the Certification handbook

Maintenance Criteria

PHR SPHR
To maintain your PHR credential, you must earn 60 HR recertification credits over a three-year time span or retake the exam. To maintain your SPHR credential, you must earn 45 HR and 15 Business recertification credits (60 total) over a three-year time span or retake the exam.

Exam Difficulty

PHR SPHR
Professional in human resource is comparatively less difficult as it has the fundamental learning topics. Senior Professional in Human Resource is harder. It has in-depth study topics which would help you to elevate your future.

Time to Choose Your Pathway!

Till this section, you have learned the key differences between PHR and SPHR; you might still be at sixes and sevens. This is because there are pros and cons of each of them. The advantages of both of them are great. You have to meet the eligibility to take the exam. If you are a beginner in the HR field, PHR is a good go. On the other hand, if you have a few years of experience, SPHR would benefit you the most. Taking both credentials may be harder and costly, so it is more advisable to earn the appropriate certification according to your needs and requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Both PHR and SPHR are valid for 3 years.

There are many study resources offering study material for PHR and SPHR. Dumpsgate provides the best exam practice material that has provided excellent results for thousands of candidates.

PHR and SPHR certification increases the market demand for the HR candidates. They would elevate the chances of landing a good job position. You would be able to learn the most up-to-date and appropriate learning outcomes in Human Resources.

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