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The power of Salesforce lies not just in the platform itself but in the hands of its architects: the administrators and developers.

Though united by their dedication to optimizing the CRM experience, these two roles offer distinct paths for your tech career.

Salesforce Administrators work with stakeholders to define system requirements and customize the platform. Most importantly, they enable users to get the most out of Salesforce technology.

Whereas Salesforce Developers design and implement new plans to execute services successfully to improve the business. They extend the platform with code when it cannot be done declaratively.

Both profiles are crucial in an organization that uses Salesforce CRM. Deciding which one to pursue can be a head-scratcher, so let’s dive into the differences and help you find your perfect Salesforce career path!

Who are Salesforce Administrators?

Behind the scenes, Salesforce Administrators are the ones who make sure everything functions properly. They set up the platform, automate processes, control user access, and modify features to meet company requirements.

Consider them as intermediaries who assist in bridging the gap between technical solutions and business requirements.They are often called platform experts, as Salesforce Administrators are in charge of the system’s regular configuration and upkeep. They provide excellent speed, data integrity, and a seamless user experience. They are passionate about technology, solving puzzles, and getting things to function smoothly.

Are you curious about their specific duties, the qualifications they require, and the prospects they have? Read on for an additional exploration of the exciting world of Salesforce Administrators!

Role and Responsibilities

For your reference, the Salesforce admin roles and responsibilities are summarized here. If you go down this path, these will be your everyday responsibilities.

  • Customizing Salesforce to match business processes
  • Building and managing workflows and automation rules
  • Creating and managing reports and dashboards
  • Integrating Salesforce with other systems
  • Managing user accounts and permissions
  • Providing user training and support

Key Skills Required to Become a Salesforce Administrator

Salesforce Administrators do many tasks, including evaluating business procedures, converting those requirements into detailed specifications for the Salesforce system, successfully collaborating with technical experts and business stakeholders, verifying and testing the outcomes, and assisting users in navigating the new platform. Here are some essential skills needed for this position.

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Understanding of business processes and CRM systems
  • Proficiency in Salesforce configuration tools and workflows
  • Ability to learn quickly and adapt to new technologies

Certifications for Salesforce Administrators

Although certifications are not mandatory, they can validate your existing skills and help you climb the career ladder. Here are some valuable Salesforce Admin certifications.

  • Salesforce Administrator Certification: This certificate suits people with experience using Salesforce. You will learn additional features to resolve issues and help your company use the Salesforce CRM to its full capability.
  • Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification: This is an advanced certification which can only be attempted if you already have the Salesforce Administrator Certification. 
  • Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder: Although designed for developers, this certification can also be helpful for Admins. You can switch profiles or progress in your career once you possess this certification.

Who are Salesforce Developers?

Salesforce Developers are the builders who craft custom applications and push the boundaries of what’s possible within the platform.

They write code, extend functionalities, and create integrations to achieve specific business goals.

Think of them as artists, molding Salesforce into an instrument that uniquely suits each company’s needs.

Developers typically create unique business apps and solutions when working with Salesforce technologies. They accomplish this using Heroku or the Salesforce Platform, including the Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Experience Cloud communities.

Although some developers have specialized areas of expertise, most can be classified as full-stack developers handling both front-end and back-end development tasks.

Role and Responsibilities

Below is a summary of some of Salesforce Developers’ primary functions and duties. If you go down this path, these will be your everyday responsibilities.

  • Developing custom applications and extensions
  • Integrating Salesforce with external systems
  • Writing Apex code and building custom reports and dashboards
  • Creating Visualforce interfaces for applications
  • Testing and deploying code
  • Managing application lifecycle and performance

Key Skills Required to Become a Salesforce Developer

Salesforce Developers should possess some necessary knowledge of Apex, Visualforce, JavaScript, HTML, application lifecycle, development environments and deployment. Here are some additional critical skills they must have.

  • Strong programming skills (Apex, Visualforce, JavaScript)
  • Understanding of web development principles
  • Experience with APIs and integrations
  • Problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Attention to detail and ability to write clean code

Certifications for Salesforce Developers

Certifications can certify your current skills and help you advance in your job, even though they are not required. These are some helpful Salesforce Developer certifications you can consider in your journey as a developer.

  • JavaScript Developer I: This certification suits you if you have experience developing front-end and back-end JavaScript applications for the web stack. You will learn to use JavaScript-related technologies like Salesforce LWC (Lightning Web Components).
  • Platform Developer I: The Salesforce Platform Developer I certificate is designed for experienced developers. Consider this certificate if you can demonstrate skills and knowledge in designing, building, and implementing custom applications.
  • Platform Developer II Certificate: You will be able to use Visualforce, Apex, Lightning Platform, and Data Modeling to develop complex business logic and interfaces after clearing the credential. These will also help you transition to an advanced career profile. However, the Salesforce Platform Developer I certificate is a prerequisite.

Salesforce administrators and developers are greatly needed since they provide attractive prospects in different industries. A peek into their job areas is provided here.

Start Your Salesforce Developer Journey CTA

Job Opportunities for Salesforce Administrator

There are various career profiles that a Salesforce Administrator can explore once they have some experience in working with the Salesforce platform.

Start with Salesforce Administrators who manage and supervise Salesforce instances, including security, data maintenance, and user management. Once you have garnered enough experience and certifications, you can move on to Salesforce Business Analyst.

In this profile, you will use insights and recommendations from Salesforce data to make business choices. Further down the road, you can progress to the following profiles:

  1. Salesforce Consultant
  2. Salesforce Project Manager
  3. Sales Operations Manager

Job Opportunities for Salesforce Developer

A Salesforce Developer has a vast pool of opportunities waiting for them. The possibilities for career progression are impressive, and you can pursue these after a few years of experience as a Salesforce Developer and earning some applicable Salesforce certifications.

You can explore some roles which are beyond the development profile. Salesforce Application Architect crafts the technical roadmap for large-scale Salesforce projects, defining integrations, data models, and security best practices to ensure a robust and scalable architecture.

Salesforce Integration Specialist is also an option where you become the bridge between Salesforce and other systems, specializing in APIs, data integrations, and creating seamless workflows across platforms.

Once you have a few years of experience, you can also explore some specialized opportunities such as: 

  • Marketing Cloud Developer
  • Commerce Cloud Developer
  • Tableau Developer

Overall, both paths offer excellent job prospects and career growth potential. The key is identifying your strengths and interests, choosing the role that aligns with your goals, and continuously developing your skills through certifications and experience.

Check out some factors below to make an informed decision.

Salesforce Admin Vs. Developer

There are always some pros and cons to every choice. Here, we have discussed some crucial differences between a Salesforce Administrator and a Salesforce Developer. These factors can help make your decision. 

  • Salesforce Admin is the pro at tailoring the system to the business’s goals. They essentially handle everything to give the customer an error-free project. Salesforce Developers run an organization’s technological aspects concurrently.
  • While Salesforce Developer has the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology and create customer-facing interfaces, Salesforce Admin assumes the role of problem solution.
  • With current certificates and experience, the Salesforce Admin and Salesforce Developer profiles provide a stable future with consistent salary growth.
  • There are no requirements to acquire Salesforce Admin certification. The Salesforce Developer certification, on the other hand, has specific prerequisites.
  • Mason Frank conducted a recent study on Salesforce career trends. He found that while the annual salary range for Salesforce Developers in the US is 99,250 – 126,750 for juniors and 126,750 – 174,500 for seniors, the average salary range for Salesforce Administrators in the US is 90,000 – 111,500 US Dollars for juniors and 111,500 – 144,500 US Dollars for seniors. For further information, see the Salesforce Salary Guide. 

The role that most thrills you and lets you use your unique talents and interests is ultimately the “better” one. Remember that both routes lead to rewarding professions in the fascinating Salesforce industry, so pick the one that speaks to your spirit!


Now that you understand the differences between a Salesforce Administrator and a Salesforce Developer, you can start your journey. Salesforce Developers need admins’ knowledge and platform understanding; thus, you must begin with a Salesforce Admin Course

Frequently Asked Questions

What tasks are typically handled by Salesforce Developers?

Salesforce Developers focus on building custom applications, extending platform functionalities, integrating Salesforce with external systems, writing Apex code, testing and deploying code, and managing application lifecycle and performance.

What skills are crucial for becoming a Salesforce Administrator?

Essential skills for a Salesforce Administrator include strong analytical and problem-solving abilities, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, understanding of business processes and CRM systems, proficiency in Salesforce configuration tools and workflows, and the ability to adapt to new technologies quickly.

What certifications are recommended for Salesforce Administrators?

Valuable certifications for Salesforce Administrators include the Salesforce Administrator Certification, Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification, and Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder Certification.

What opportunities are available for Salesforce Developers?

Salesforce Developers can explore roles like Salesforce Application Architect, Integration Specialist, Marketing Cloud Developer, and Commerce Cloud Developer based on their expertise and experience.

Shrey Sharma

Shrey Sharma

The youngest Salesforce MVP in the world in 2019, is a successful serial entrepreneur and CEO of Cyntexa - a prominent global Salesforce Consulting and Implementation Partner. He's also the driving force behind Salesforce Hulk, a popular YouTube channel providing valuable insights to Salesforce enthusiasts. As a thought leader in the Salesforce ecosystem, Shrey is committed to driving business growth through technology.

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