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Have you been learning about the Salesforce platform and have developed the master skills during your journey? Why not put your skills to the test and earn a Salesforce certification?

A certification from Salesforce is a licensed credential to prove your knowledge and understanding of the CRM platform. Contrary to popular belief, a certification is not a requirement to work on any Salesforce profile but is a valuable addition to your resume.

Now, there are multiple certifications in each profile that Salesforce offers. Navigating through these options and selecting the one that will boost your career is a crucial step. To make this easy for you, we have covered all the vital certification paths leading you to your blooming future in Salesforce.

We will also uncover some Salesforce certification exam preparation tips and address your concerns about maintaining these credentials. But before we jump into the guide, let’s first see why these certificates are significant.

Significance of Having Salesforce Certifications

As we said before, a certificate is not a requirement for any job profile, so why must you take one? Well, there are various reasons for this. Such as : 

  • Earning a certification from Salesforce will require you to pass an exam. This exam is a testament to your skills and understanding of the Salesforce platform and its features relevant to the certification. While preparing, you will be equipped with the skills to design, configure, and maintain the Salesforce CRM for the benefit of your organization.
  • Whether you are a junior developer or an experienced professional working with Salesforce, certification will bolster your resume. It will allow you to make smooth transitions within Salesforce career profiles and progress rapidly.
  • The Salesforce credential is awarded directly from Salesforce. This fact adds to your credibility as a Salesforce professional. It will also allow you to be a part of the Trailblazer community, where you can learn from other Salesforce giants and grow your network.

From an array of options, which certification is suitable for you and your career in Salesforce?

Refer to the guide below before choosing any credential as you do not want your energy and the Salesforce certifications cost to go down the drain.

Salesforce Certification Paths and Levels

Salesforce-Certification-Paths-and-Levels

Before you start preparing for your certification exam, you need to figure out the Salesforce certification path you want to take. You can take the help of this best Salesforce certification list and determine which certificate is suitable for you according to your experience and skill set.

There’s something for everyone, so let’s explore!

Salesforce Associates

New to Salesforce? Well, Salesforce has just launched their beginner-friendly certificates for people with 0-6 months of Salesforce experience and knowledge. If you are invested in using Salesforce 360, then you should explore this certification path.

Understanding reporting, user administration, sharing, customization, and data management at a foundational level is also beneficial, but technical expertise is not required. The Salesforce Associate certifications cost $75 each with 40 MCQ type questions and up to 5 unscored questions. They can take 6 months to 2 years to complete.

Certifications Path

There are two entry-level credentials for the Salesforce Associates. You can choose the one that aligns with your interests and skill set. Let’s take a look.

  1. AI Associate: With existing knowledge of AI, this certification will help you build the foundational skills. You will learn the application of AI in Salesforce CRM while ethically and responsibly handling data.
  2. Salesforce Associate: The Salesforce Associate certification is designed for individuals with sound knowledge of how an integrated CRM platform works. If you are aware of CRM’s help in connecting departments and customer data, then consider taking this certification.

Related Certifications

Once you are a Salesforce Certified Associate, there are some certifications you can take to advance in your Salesforce career. A Salesforce Administrator certificate is the most popular option without any prior requirements. It will help you explore the opportunities that lay ahead in the Salesforce domain.

Prerequisite Certifications

There is no prerequisite certification needed to start any of these certificate courses. However, up to 6 months of Salesforce user experience is usually preferred.

Understanding reporting, user administration, sharing, customization, and data management at a foundational level is also beneficial, but technical expertise is not required.

Salesforce Administrator

To become a Salesforce certified Administrator, you can opt for various certifications. The Salesforce Certification is for seasoned Salesforce admins who have mastered Salesforce features. These certifications cost $200 each and can take 2-3 months to complete. Take a look at some of the paths below.

Certifications Path

The only path to enter the admin status in Salesforce is to get started in Salesforce. You can consider the following certification to smoothen your Salesforce journey.

  1. Salesforce Administrator certification: This certificate is suitable for 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. It will test you with 60 multiple-choice/multiple-select questions and 5 non-scored questions. Take the help of the Salesforce admin certificate exam guide to prepare for this credential test.

Related Certifications

Once you have gained some experience as an administrator, consider taking the next step with the Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certificate. It will help you progress in your career and add more functional knowledge needed to manage a business as an admin.

Prerequisite Certifications

As there are no prerequisite certifications for this profile, you should be able to define requirements, customize the platform, and help users get the most out of Salesforce.

Salesforce Designer

Salesforce Designers are the visualizers of the CRM platform. They assess the business needs of a company and provide a strategic design as a solution. Suppose you are a creative developer working in Salesforce and have experience with UX designing.

In that case, you can consider the following certification paths each of which costs $200 and may take up to 2 years to finish. The exam consists of 60 MCQs. Let’s take a look.

Certifications Path

There are two paths to earn a certificate as a Salesforce designer. Choose your pick and get ahead in your Salesforce career.

  1. Salesforce Strategy Designer: If you like designing compelling experience strategies using the Salesforce platform, then you can earn this certificate to validate your skills. It’s a combination of business, innovation, design, and delivery skills packed into one credential.
  2. Salesforce User Experience Designer: The Salesforce UX Designer credential deals with building and incorporating human-centred design into customer solutions on the Salesforce Platform. If you aspire to become a UX Designer specializing in the Salesforce platform, then consider taking this certificate.

Related Certifications

To get a deeper understanding of designing, building, and implementing custom applications on the Salesforce platform, consider taking the Salesforce Platform App Builder certification. It will help you explore the development of applications and utilize Salesforce CRM.

Prerequisite Certifications

There is no prerequisite certification required for Salesforce Designer certificates. A few months’ worth of experience with Salesforce and business innovation skills are needed.

Salesforce Consultant

A Salesforce Consultant is a professional Salesforce Business advisor. They analyze a business need and provide a solution using the Salesforce CRM.

Suppose you have experience working in any specialized field, such as administration or business analysis. In that case, consider taking a consultant certification costing $200 each and make progress in your career.

Certifications Path

A Salesforce consultant can take specific certifications to enter a specialized field and progress in their career. It takes from 2 to 5 years to pass the exam which consists of 60 multiple-choice/multiple-select questions and up to five non-scored questions.

  1. Salesforce Sales Cloud Consultant: If you have experience in working with the Sales Cloud, then this credential is worth investing in. You can learn to design and implement Sales Cloud Solutions and contribute to long-term customer success.
  2. Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant: This certification will test your skills in designing end-to-end service processes from inbound case to resolution. You should know all Service console features and case management.

Related Certifications

If you do not already possess Salesforce Business Analyst Certification, then this is your opportunity. To work as a consultant, you can get help from a validated certification for business analysts.

Prerequisite Certifications

To complete any of the Salesforce Consultant Certification above, you will require a Salesforce Administrator certification. If you do not have it already, then consider starting with an admin certificate and then moving up to a consultant credential.

Salesforce Developer

A Salesforce Developer is the foundation of the platform. It is the most asked-about profile in the Salesforce industry, and thus, there are various certifications in this category.

However, not all of them are a necessity. You can find the required certification for $200 each and will test you with 60 MCQs. If you have been working as a developer for a while, then you should earn these beginner credentials.

Certifications Path

Salesforce certification for developers usually includes the following paths: 

  1. JavaScript Developer I: This certification is suitable for you if you have experience developing front-end and back-end JavaScript applications for the web stack. You will learn how to work with JavaScript-related technologies like Salesforce Lightning Web Components. You can finish this course in 3-6 months.
  2. Platform Developer I: The Salesforce Platform Developer I certificate is designed for experienced developers. If you can demonstrate skills and knowledge in designing, building, and implementing custom applications, then consider this certificate. Learn using the declarative customization features of the Salesforce Platform and earn this certification in about 2-4 years.

Related Certifications

Suppose you already have the Platform Developer I Certification. In that case, you can upgrade with a Platform Developer II certificate. You will be able to use Visualforce, Apex, Lightning Platform, and Data Modeling to develop complex business logic and interfaces. These will also help you transition to an advanced career profile.

Prerequisite Certifications

There is no prerequisite certification for Salesforce JavaScript or Salesforce Platform Developer I certificate. However, If you want a Platform Developer II credential. In that case, you need the Platform Developer I credential as a prerequisite.

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Salesforce Architects

There are various types of Salesforce Architects, such as Technical Architect and Solution Architect. You can be one by choosing one of the many Salesforce certification paths. Let’s take a look at the options.

Certifications Path

  1. Salesforce Technical Architect: If you possess broad knowledge across multiple development platforms, then consider this certificate. You will develop your existing skills to assess customer requirements and architecture in order to design secure, high-performance technical solutions. These solutions will maximize the potential of the Salesforce platform. In this certification exam The exam costing $6000 will require the candidate to review and solve a hypothetical scenario and present it to a panel of CTA judges. The presentation is followed by a Q&A session with the judges.
  2. Salesforce Solution Architect: The objective of this certificate might seem similar to the Technical Architect credential. However, a solution architect certification is for experienced professionals to design solutions utilizing the Salesforce Platform. The motive is to deliver a personalized and valuable customer experience to the user. There are two variations of this credential, B2B and B2C, each costing $400. The exam tests you with 60 MCQs.

Related Certifications

Although not required, if you wish to enhance your knowledge and gain more confidence in your architectural skills, Then you can consider a Salesforce Heroku Architect or Salesforce Data Architect credential.

Prerequisite Certifications

  1. For Salesforce Certified B2C Solution Architect following certification are required.
    1. Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification 
    2. Salesforce Integration Architect Certification 
    3. Salesforce Data Architect Certification 
  2. For Salesforce Certified B2B Solution Architects following certifications are required.
    1. Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification 
    2. Salesforce Platform Developer I Certification 
    3. Salesforce Data Architect Certification 
    4. Salesforce Sharing and Visibility Architect Certification 
  3. Salesforce Technical Architect certification, on the other hand, requires both an Application Architect and System Architect certificate.

Salesforce Marketers

Salesforce marketers are marketing specialists who utilize the features of the Salesforce CRM to track their campaigns. They also build and maintain high-end customer relationships.

There are multiple certification paths for a marketer in Salesforce. All of these can cost you $200 each, and take up to a year to complete. The exam to earn these certifications will test your knowledge with 60 MCQs.

Certifications Path

A Salesforce Marketer can consider taking the following certifications to boost their resume.

  1. Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant: If you know how to set up and implement the Salesforce Marketing Cloud email application tools to carry out email campaigns, then you can take this credential. Before you start, you must possess broad knowledge of configuring and managing Salesforce applications. 
  2. Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Specialist: If you wish to specialize in Marketing Cloud Email activities and have experience with email marketing, then this certification is fit for you. It will test you on message design, subscriber and data management, inbox delivery, and external integrations with the Marketing Cloud email application.
  3. Salesforce Marketing Cloud Developer: You can upgrade with this Salesforce Certification if you have hands-on experience developing across the platform. This certification is required to create personalized, dynamic messages and landing pages using Marketing Cloud scripting languages. It will help you gain experience in advanced segmentation, reporting and analytics, and data configuration.

Related Certifications

The Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator certification is a popular certificate in the Marketing domain. It is also a prerequisite for many certificates in the Salesforce Marketer profile.

Prerequisite Certifications

  • For the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant certification, you need to earn the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administration Credential.
  • There is a requirement for a Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Specialist credential to get the Marketing Cloud Developer certificate.

Maintaining and Renewing Certifications 

Once you have earned your Salesforce Certification, it will require continuous maintenance from your end. If you do not complete the procedure, your precious certificate will expire. So, how do you keep track of expiration and maintain your credentials? Well, let’s find out.

  • Check your expirations: Visit the Trailhead profile and look at all your certifications. If your certificates are updated, then there will be a green mark beside them, indicating the credential is active. If you see a red mark instead, that means your certification is due for maintenance.
  • Complete Modules: In case your Salesforce certification is not up to date, you will be able to see a link below your credential. It will direct you to complete a module exercise in order to push the expiration further. These modules are available once a year, so you only need to go through the maintenance process once every year.
  • Advanced certification: If you have a high-level certification, then you will not need to maintain them. The Salesforce Advanced Administrator certificate is automatically updated if you have completed the maintenance process for your Salesforce Administrator certificate.

Now that you have gone through the process of earning and maintaining your certificate, it is time to become a Salesforce Certified Professional.

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Benefits of Choosing the Right Certification

Salesforce offers a variety of certifications in each domain, and these choices can be confusing. Thus, choosing a suitable certificate that aligns with not only your skills but also your understanding of and interest in the Salesforce Platform is crucial.

Suppose you wander too much and end up mismatching. In that case, it will cost you money, effort, and your future career opportunities as well.

Benefits-of-Choosing-The-Right-Certifications

So, let’s understand what are the benefits of choosing the proper certification so that you can make a wiser decision.

  1. Validation in the industry: After working with Salesforce for a while and gaining meaningful experience, you need to validate your skills. A certification from Salesforce will help you showcase proof of your experience, skills, and understanding of the platform in your respective domain. So, picking the certificate that matches your work experience is a beneficial step towards your future.
  2. Be a Trailblazer: The Trailblazer community has millions of Salesforce-certified professionals. This community is where you can network with like-minded people. The certificate earns you a spot in the community and makes it possible for you to advance in the industry. You can learn from your fellow certified professionals, take part in discussions, and find new positions.
  3. Climb the ladder to success: The proper Salesforce certification will help you progress in your career rapidly. Suppose you are a Salesforce Admin; then the Advanced Administrator credential will help you in getting a promotion. It will help you demonstrate the skills required for a senior position and attract job opportunities.
  4. Make smooth transitions: If you have developed relevant skills for a different Salesforce profile, then achieving a certificate will open doors to transitioning opportunities for you. You can earn a certificate from Salesforce and make a smooth transition in any profile you desire. But make sure the core responsibilities and experience of your previous profile are in alignment with the certificate as well as the future goal.
  5. Better pay opportunities: According to a Mason Frank poll, 43% of Salesforce employees who responded, agreed that becoming certified in Salesforce does significantly affect their salary. As Salesforce is in high demand, you can make more money than with any other professional degree. It allows you to earn significantly more money because you’ll have solid Salesforce platform-related abilities at your disposal. 

Are these benefits tempting enough? To enjoy the journey after being certified, you need to complete the journey of earning a Salesforce certification.

We have some tips for you to start your Salesforce Certification preparation.

How to Prepare for the Certifications?

Each Salesforce certification requires you to take a test and excel at it. This test will ask multiple questions relating to the certification domain and its features.

It’s designed to test your Salesforce knowledge, understanding, and proficiency in using it as per your profile. Here are some tips to get started with your preparation for the certificate.

  • Get your basics down before you start your preparation. Do you have a basic understanding of every function that you will use in your profile? If not, then do a self-assessment and go through the CRM to make revisions effectively.
  • Salesforce provides small video lectures to start your preparation for any certificate. You need to open the certificate page, and you will find multiple sources to begin. Use them to get an understanding of the fundamentals and practice what you miss.
  • To get an understanding of the test patterns and type of questions you will face, you can take the help of a certification guide. These guides are available for each credential on the official Salesforce website.
  • Attend boot camp to learn from professionals and solve quiz questions with other students. These bootcamps are organized by Salesforce as well as many other institutions for candidates like yourself.
  • Take the help of certification courses. Training Companies like S2 Labs provide courses to prepare for the Salesforce certifications. Consider taking these free tutorials to get started with your preparation strategy.

Beyond Certification: Building a Salesforce Career

As we have said before, a certification is an addition to your resume and validation of your Salesforce experience. It is not a mandatory requirement to work in the Salesforce Industry.

And it is definitely not a necessity to progress in your career. If you are a beginner and wish to build your career in Salesforce, then you do not need to start with earning a certification.

Working in the industry, getting exposure, and earning valuable experience is the only way to get started. It is essential to focus on learning continuously and expand your Salesforce knowledge.

Once you have experience working with the platform and your specific domain, then you can enhance your skills with a credential. It will provide you with insights into what the following profile holds and how you can make a transition.

Start your journey and then earn a certificate to prove your experience. It will help you in achieving new heights with your existing passion for Salesforce.

Conclusion

A Salesforce certification is a beneficial asset and addition to your resume. Once you have the required experience, you can take the certification test to validate your Salesforce understanding.

It is not a necessity to move your career forward. However, it presents you with immense growth opportunities and career progression possibilities. So, start your journey to becoming a Salesforce-certified professional by taking a course with S2 Labs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Salesforce certifications differ based on your career path. Here is a list of different types of Salesforce credentials based on career profiles.

  • Salesforce Associate certificates
  • Salesforce Designer certificates
  • Salesforce Administrator certificates
  • Salesforce Developer certificates
  • Salesforce Consultant certificates
  • Salesforce Marketer Certificates
  • Salesforce Architect certificates

If you are a beginner you should consider taking the Salesforce Associate certification. You can also consider the Salesforce Administrator Certification from S2 Labs.

Each salesforce certification serves a purpose thus there is no best. However, the most preferred certification is Salesforce Administrator.

Salesforce Technical Architect certification is considered the most difficult one due to its prerequisites of 5-6 certificates. This certificate is suitable for experienced professionals with a few years of experience.

About Author

Shrey Sharma

Shrey is the CEO of S2 Labs and Cyntexa. He is also the Youngest Salesforce MVP of the year 2019. He started S2 Labs as the first Salesforce Training Institute in Rajasthan at the young age of 19. He believes in passing on knowledge and a professional learning experience to people. This belief inspired his training journey, and today, S2 Labs has mentored over 50k students with a diverse range of courses.

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