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A big endorsement for CHRP?

HR professionals with designation make more money and promoted faster: Survey

By Todd Humber

Have you ever wondered what the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation is worth?

Will those four initials next to your name that you worked so hard to get (and retain) really, truly help your career?

If you don’t have a CHRP, is it worth going after?

The answer to those question appears to be yes, according to the results of a national study conducted by Payscale on behalf of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA).

Of course, one would expect a survey commissioned by a professional association to lend credence to its designation. But even through a skeptical lens, crunching the data on professionals with and without the CHRP designation tells a compelling story — regardless of how you slice it.

So what did the survey find? I won’t spill all the beans here — you can look for extensive coverage in the Feb. 27 issue of Canadian HR Reporter in senior editor Sarah Dobson’s story — but the bottom line is this: Professionals with the CHRP designation earn more and are promoted faster.

In addition to padding your bank account and getting you a corner office, the CHRP is also a foot in the door for professionals starting out. The number of job postings requesting applicants to have a CHRP has nearly doubled in the last five years, from 36 per cent in 2007 to 67 per cent in 2011.

More money

What premium do employers place on HR professionals with a CHRP? It ranges from three per cent to 16 per cent, depending on job title, according to Payscale.

The most striking difference is on the paycheques of HR managers. The median annual pay for an HR manager without a CHRP is $63,100. For HR managers with the designation, the median pay jumps to $72,900.

The differences are less pronounced at the higher and lower end of the scale. An HR assistant without a CHRP takes home $38,200 while one with the designation earns $39,400. A vice-president of HR without a CHRP earns $171,000, while one with a CHRP takes home $177,000.

Faster promotions

Having a CHRP might not be the traffic equivalent of zooming down the HOV-lane of a busy rush-hour highway, but the data shows it can propel a career.

One stat cited in the report is “45 per cent of HR generalists with CHRPs became HR managers in five years whereas only 21 per cent of HR generalists without CHRPs became HR managers.”

Here’s another — 69 per cent of HR assistants with a CHRP in 2007 had received a promotion by 2011. In comparison, 52 per cent of HR assistants without a CHRP had received a promotion in that same time period.

Does an HR professional need a CHRP to be successful? Clearly, no. There are plenty of talented, high-flying professionals at all ranks who are having successful careers without it.

But there’s always been an assumption HR professionals would be better off with the designation, though questions lingered about whether those outside the profession actually saw much value in the designation or if they just paid it lip service.

The Payscale data certainly seems to suggest more than just lip service — organizations see value in the CHRP, they want candidates to have it and are paying a premium to get and keep HR professionals who hold it.

That’s a pretty strong endorsement of the designation, and a sign the HR profession is on the right track with the CHRP.

Todd Humber is the managing editor of Canadian HR Reporter, the national journal of human resource management. He can be reached at 

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Todd Humber

Todd Humber is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Canadian HR Reporter, the national journal of human resource management. Follow him on Twitter @ToddHumber
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