Ramya Shankar | 01 Nov, 2023

5 Best PHP Certifications you need to learn in 2024


There is always a debate in our head – should I go for professional certification or is the hands-on experience (like a project or more) is sufficient to prove my knowledge of a topic?

While many people argue that PHP is best learned through experience and projects, a certification surely gives you an edge over others when you seek a raise or apply for a new job. It is an assurance to the employer that you have mastered some level of the language and can work on more challenging projects. It is also a motivation for your self, as certifications require a good amount of studying and learning.

There are many professional certifications and PHP courses available online, and, in this article, we are going to discuss the most popular and dependable ones. You can also do some free courses and tutorials (we will share the links later in this article) and then do these certifications for a better understanding and faster completion of the courses.

Best PHP Certifications and Courses

1. Zend Certified PHP Engineer

Zend certified PHP Engineer

Zend certification is recognized worldwide and is a good measure for ranking and selecting candidates for PHP roles. The exam is for intermediate (experienced) PHP programmers. Zend also conducts classes at all levels to help candidates prepare for the exam. There are 3 levels of the course which is prepared and monitored by the PHP advisory board. You can self-study too if you already have some experience – practice strings, arrays, file I/O, OOP concepts, pass by reference, etc. in detail. It is good to purchase the Zend official guide e-book for $19.95 from their official website, and it helps you judge whether you are ready for the exam or need more time to prepare.

Exam Details

Exam pattern 75 questions in the following format :
  • Multiple choice with one correct answer.
  • Multiple choice with more than one correct answer.
  • Question for which answers should be typed.
Duration 90 minutes
Passing score Not known. Zend gives only a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ grade
Language English
Certification cost $195, for re-exam (in case of failure) $125
Prerequisites Basic knowledge of SQL (database), regular expressions

Exam syllabus

  • PHP Basics – basic syntax, operators, variables, namespace, constructs, functions, config, etc.
  • Functions – arguments, references, returns, type declarations, anonymous functions, the scope of variables.
  • Data types and format – XML, web services, SOAP, JSON, DOMDocument, DateTime.
  • Web features – sessions, forms, get, post, cookies, HTTP header, HTTP authentication, status codes.
  • OOP – inheritance, interface, return type, reflection, autoload, static binding, SPL, traits, magic methods.
  • Security – configuration, SQL injection, cross-site scripting, session security, filter input, encryption, hashing, password hashing API, etc.
  • I/O – Files, reading, writing, file system functions, contexts, streams.
  • Strings and patterns - Quoting, Matching, Extracting, Searching, Replacing, Formatting, PCRE, NOWDOC, Encodings.
  • Database and SQL – SQL, joins, prepared statements, transactions, PDO.
  • Arrays – iteration, functions, associative arrays, objects as arrays, casting, SPL.
  • Handling exceptions and errors.

You can signup here.

2. W3Schools PHP Certification

W3schools PHP Certification

This is a certificate for beginners and can give you a good boost of knowledge. Although it may not act as proof of your knowledge outside the company you work for, it will certainly give you an edge over others when you move teams or for promotion in the same company. You wouldn’t give it to an exam centre, but at your choice of place, you will need to appoint a supervisor, who will be monitoring you during the exam, and whose name will also be mentioned in the certificate. It would be a good idea to choose your manager or mentor to be your supervisor for more credibility. W3Schools provides a lot of resources like tutorials and quizzes so you can prepare for the exam well.


Exam pattern 70 multiple-choice questions
Duration 70 minutes
Passing score 75%, candidates scoring more than 95% are given ‘excellency degree’ mention
Language English
Certification cost $95
Prerequisitesrequisites Basic knowledge of MySQL (database), fundamentals of PHP

Exam syllabus

  • Installation and set-up, introduction
  • Syntax, comments, variables, print statement
  • Data types, strings, arrays, numbers, constants
  • Operators, control statements, switch loops.
  • Functions
  • Arrays
  • Form handling, validations
  • Date/Time, basic I/O operations
  • Basic OOP concepts – inheritance, abstract classes, traits, static methods and properties

You can signup here.

3.Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Certification Courses from Udemy

The best part of doing a certification course from Udemy is that you can learn at your own pace. Here are some good courses you can take up for PHP. With each course completion, you will get a certificate that is widely acknowledged.

You can signup here.

3.1 Beginner Course

PHP & MySQL - Certification Course for Beginners

This is a certification course for beginners and covers PHP as well as MySQL. Through this course, you will be able to build database-driven web applications.

Course details
  • 3.5 hours of on-demand video, lifetime access to the course
  • No prerequisites
  • Available in the English language
  • Cost: Depends on on-going offers and discounts
Course syllabus
  • Overview of PHP – variables, syntax, strings, keywords, operators, conditional and switch statements, loops, functions, form handling, and validation, outputting data, arrays, database administration
  • Overview of MySQL – administering and defining database users and roles, Prepared Statements, updating records, insertion of multiple records, select, where clause, etc.
  • Integration of PHP and MySQL (PhpMyAdmin)

You can signup here.

3.2 Advanced Course

Object Oriented PHP & MVC

If you have done one or more projects with PHP and understand the basic concepts of PHP, you can go for this course. This course will take you through creating a custom MVC framework, and build an application over it using PHP. The course touches upon some basics, but it mostly covers advanced topics like security, session, workflow, configuration, etc.

Course details
  • 6.5 hours of on-demand videos covering 44 lectures, along with 37 downloadable resources
  • Lifetime access to the course
  • Prerequisites: basic PHP and programming knowledge
  • Available in English subtitles with French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish
  • Level: intermediate to advanced programmers
Course syllabus
  • Introduction to OOP
  • PHP, MVC Core, MVC workflow
  • Set up and authentication of the user
  • Session data, posts controller, forms, app deployment
  • CRUD access

You can signup here.

4. PHP Certification Course for Intermediate Learners

Building Web Applications in PHP

Coursera certification courses are provided by learned professors of various prestigious universities and companies. Many colleges and universities prefer and recommend Coursera courses for their students. The mentioned course is a part of the 4-course web development series offered by the University of Michigan. We will be giving the details of the first course of the series, which is most relevant for PHP.

Course details

  • Instructor based but self-paced learning
  • Graded assignments and quizzes with feedback
  • Cost: Monthly subscription
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Available in the English language

Course syllabus

  • Introductory knowledge about HTML, CSS, HTTP request/response, GET, POST
  • Syntax and data structure of PHP, variables, functions, arrays, iterations, error handling, superglobal variables, forms, etc.…
  • Installation of integrated PHP/SQL environment like XAMPP or MAMP

The costing with Coursera is not per course but a monthly charge. You can start with a 7-day trial period as well.

You can signup here.

5. PHP Developer Certification

Become a PHP Developer

This certification course from LinkedIn teaches PHP from scratch with loads of videos and learning content. In LinkedIn, you will earn a badge of completion, which you can use in your professional LinkedIn profile to showcase the achievement. Just like Coursera, payment in LinkedIn is per month and not per course, which includes access to many other courses and features of LinkedIn.

Course details

  • 45 hours of expert-created videos, including 12 learning items
  • Teaching language is English
  • Prerequisites – basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Git

Course Contents

  • Programming algorithms and fundamentals
  • Introduction to PHP, PHP & MySQL
  • Adding dynamic content using Ajax
  • OOP
  • MVC framework for building PHP web apps
  • Basics of GitHub, PHPUnit
  • Creating secure websites with PHP

You can signup here.


PHP has been consistently ranked as one of the top languages at par with Java, C++, or Python, especially for web development. It is a powerful, free, and popular dynamic scripting language. PHP, along with SQL, is a powerful combination to get your dream job. Certainly, certification in one or both can land you a great advantage over others, be it in getting a promotion, job, or a challenging project, not only in your own country but anywhere in the world. Hackr.io has the choicest selection of resources for you to learn PHP on your own. Refer to our tutorials and courses on our PHP page.

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By Ramya Shankar

A cheerful, full of life and vibrant person, I hold a lot of dreams that I want to fulfill on my own. My passion for writing started with small diary entries and travel blogs, after which I have moved on to writing well-researched technical content. I find it fascinating to blend thoughts and research and shape them into something beautiful through my writing.

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