skip to Main Content

Please login to access your account. Need technical support? Click here.

Person Learning How To Become A Human Resource Manager Online

How to Become a Human Resource Manager

Human Resources Managers are hot commodities in today’s ever-evolving labor market, especially as business leaders strive to prioritize DE&I and nurture company culture. If you’ve been wondering how to become a human resource manager, look no further. We are happy to share some information and tips to help you achieve your goals!

What Characteristics Do You Need to be an HR Manager?

Typically, HR managers require some blend of a higher education degree and real-world experience, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Degrees that might easily transition into the role of an HR manager include human resources itself, as well as, business, communications, and psychology, just to name a few. 

 While there is no exact “formula” for an HR manager–there are several key skills and characteristics shared by most successful candidates. Experience in or with conflict management, interpersonal relations, or negotiation, attention to detail, keen ability to prioritize and stay organized, and problem-solving skills are crucial to navigating the many facets of the HR manager role.

What Degrees/Certifications Do You Need to Be Eligible for an HR Management Role?

First and foremost–HR is a diverse and varied field, and no two HR Managers look alike in terms of experience and education. However, you will find that increasingly there are specific educational and certification requirements that are more likely to land you an HR Management role. Generally, companies hiring for management roles often seek candidates with advanced degrees. And you’ll now find many collegiate programs offer a degree or specialization in Human Resources. That is obviously a great place to start if you find yourself at the beginning of your career. That said, it’s not the only path to HR. In most cases, extensive years of experience in the HR field can be comparable to a specialized HR degree. 

You’ll also find that an HR Certification is helpful. There are several options for HR Certification, but the most widely recognized and respected are those through HRCI (Human Resource Certification Institute) and SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management). They offer entry level, Professional level, and Senior level certifications. Those who are seeking management roles would likely be best served by the Professional or Senior level certifications. 

While pursuing these certifications is really up to you, know that the certifications can set you apart as a viable candidate, showcase your interests, and enhance your credibility as you pursue job opportunities and HR projects. You’ll also find that, increasingly, companies “prefer” or even “require” certain certifications. Beyond the actual certification, the knowledge and understanding you’ll gain from the certification test preparation will help to equip you to assume a management role and a seat at the executive table.

Ready for HR Management but Not Sure How to Start?

Pursuing a certification is a great “next step” for many HR professionals. But how do you decide which one is the right certification for you? First, you’ll need to consider your eligibility. Each exam has specific requirements based on your level of education and experience in HR. Take a look at this chart for a detailed look at the requirements for each exam. But we’ll break down the relevant exam information below as well.

High School Diploma 1 year of professional-level HR experience + a Masters OR 4 years of professional-level HR experience + a Master’s degree OR Currently in HR role + a Masters (1 year in HR role for non-HR program) OR 3 years in HR role + a Masters (4 year in HR role for non-HR program) OR
No HR experience required 2 year of professional-level HR experience + a Bachelor’s OR 5 years of professional-level HR experience + Bachelor’s degree OR 1 year in HR role + Bachelor’s degree (2 years in HR role for non-HR program) OR 4 year in HR role + Bachelor’s degree (5 years in HR role for non-HR program) OR
4 years of professional-level HR experience + High School Diploma 7 years of professional-level HR experience + High School Diploma 3 years in HR Role + Less than Bachelor’s Degree (4 years in HR role for non-HR Program) 6 years in HR Role + Less than Bachelor’s Degree (7 years in HR role for non-HR Program)

PHR/SHRM-CP Test Preparation

The Professional level exams are designed for established HR professionals with 1-4 years of experience. The HREN programs cover a broad range of essential information that students must be able to comprehend and apply. Our programs incorporate the Human Resource Certification Preparation materials that are designed around the HRCI® exam content outlines. It also prepares students for the Society for Human Resource Management exams which cover areas of People, Organization, Workplace, Business, Leadership, and Interpersonal.

SPHR/SHRM-SCP Test Preparation

The Senior level certification exams are designed for seasoned HR professionals with 4-7 years of experience. Our preparation program will focus on all of the exam content areas including Talent Planning & Acquisition, Learning & Development, Total Reward, Employee & Labor Relations, and an emphasis on Business Management and Strategy.

Already Certified? How Do You Advance Your Career?

There is always more to learn and employers are invariably impressed by continuous or life-long learners. If you’ve achieved your certification, your work isn’t done! You’ll need to maintain your professional credential through recertification courses like those offered by HR Education Network. Not only will these programs help you fulfill your educational requirements, but you can choose topics of interest or topics in which you need to grow! This will ensure that you are always on top of the newest legislation, technology, and theories you’re encountering in the ever-changing workplace. 

Also, you may want to consider micro-credentials. These specialized learning experiences provide continuing education credits and a micro-credential with a digital badge for those who complete the required courses and successfully pass the associated exam. This is another excellent way to differentiate yourself in the workplace and build your resume to secure an HR Manager position.

Still not sure how to take the next step? Contact and set up a time to discuss your HR journey!

Person at their computer completing a certification from HREN

Back To Top