The Ultimate Salesforce Certification Guide For A Lucrative Career

Complete Salesforce Certification Guide Covers The Reasons to Acquire Salesforce Certifications, Various Certifications Along with Prerequisite Knowledge & Fees:

Salesforce is the world’s # 1 CRM software and is in much demand for IT professionals all over the globe. There are no signs of decline in the demand for the Salesforce professionals but on the contrary, it is growing at a rapid pace.

With the stagnation of the employment rates, the aspiring professionals are always on the lookout for a dream job. To get a dream job it is critical to acquire some skills that would give you an edge over the fierce competition. This guide is meant to provide complete information about Salesforce Certification which is a hot skill to acquire in the job market.

Salesforce Certification Guide

A Complete Salesforce Certification Guide

Salesforce offers certifications to make you stand out in the crowd and land a great job. However, there are various reasons for aspiring IT professionals to embark on a Salesforce career.

In this article, we will cover the reasons for opting for Salesforce Certifications, the various certifications offered along with prerequisite knowledge and fees.

Let us dive into the benefits offered by the Salesforce Certifications!!

Why Salesforce Certifications?

Salesforce was one of the earliest companies to embrace Cloud Computing. It is heartening today to find that, Cloud Computing is one of the hottest among the technologies in the world.

Given below are some of the interesting facts stated by Forbes:

The number of cloud computing positions available in the U.S today is 50,248 and this is out of 3,701 employers and 101,913 open positions worldwide today.

In addition to this, as per Burning Glass, the Salesforce certifications are growing at a 1.3 X faster rate compared to similar job roles. To be precise there were 300, 000 job postings in 2015-2016 alone.

Other reasons for Salesforce Certifications are:

  • Offers Higher Salary with Benchmarking
  • Sustain with Education
  • Improve Process
  • Offer Gifts in Events

Recommended Reading =>>  Study Guide – Salesforce Admin Certification

Offers Higher Salary With Benchmarking

According to, the Salesforce Certified Administrators can earn up to $40,000 to $100,000 a year and this is bound to increase for the experienced people among the certified professionals.

The below image displays the Pay By Experience Level For Salesforce Administrators.

Pay for Experienced Salesforce Adminisistartor

[image source]

Give below is a glimpse of the average Salesforce Developer Salary.

Avg. Salesforce Developer Salary

The certifications offer a means to the prospective companies to benchmark the skills against other potential applicants. It acts as a means to show your proven knowledge on the platform to the employer. The salary increases as you possess more certifications.

Sustain With Education

If you are already earning a decent salary as a professional but still would like to gain further knowledge, then Salesforce certifications have an option for you.

The words of Douglas Ayers, MVP, Salesforce, are worth mentioning here to make things clear.

“I have benefited by studying up on topics that I don’t use as often and so become aware of features and options I might otherwise not come across in my daily job”

He adds that as you gain a specific certification, then acquiring the other certifications has almost a snowballing effect.

Improve Process

The user groups in the Salesforce Community help in sharing, learning and improving the platform. The Salesforce Community members are the ones to use the platform more powerfully and effectively. However, nothing works better than practical experience and Salesforce certifications feed off to the knowledge gained by you while working on a project.

Moreover, Salesforce has its own Salesforce University and Trailhead which offers you knowledge in the form of training courses. It extends the knowledge as you can earn Superbadges and also complete projects in the trailhead.

Offer Gifts In Events

Salesforce is famous for conducting its events at regular intervals and the most noteworthy among them is Dreamforce. Salesforce gives away a whole lot of stickers, books, socks, etc at the Dreamforce conferences for the certified Salesforce Community.

Who among the Salesforce Community will not love to receive these gifts? Additionally, such events help to promote the Salesforce brand.

Salesforce Gifts

Let us now explore the Salesforce Certifications, which are vital for accelerating your career in Salesforce.

What Are The Various Certifications?

There is an array of certifications offered by Salesforce and the most critical skills among these are for administrators and developers. Whatever is your job role in your organization, you can achieve your goals easily by simply getting Salesforce certified.

The various certifications include:

  • Administrators
  • Developers
  • App Builders
  • Architects
  • Consultants
  • Others

Given below is a figure that explains all the certification paths that are possible to be taken by the aspiring Salesforce professionals.

Job Roles

Salesforce Administrator Certifications

It includes two categories i.e. The Certified Administrator and The Advanced Administrator. These certifications focus on customization, managing and configuring the Salesforce platform as well as fully utilizing the features and capabilities of the same.

Salesforce Certified Administrator

The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 90 minutes. This certification is intended for all those experienced professionals who have gained knowledge in the administrative functions.

The applicant needs to answer questions on all the options available for the Creation of Reports & Dashboards, Data & Users, Automation of workflows such as identifying a specific workflow solution, etc.

Moreover, Knowledge of Security and Accessibility is also required. In addition to this, they must possess knowledge of Sales Cloud and Service Cloud applications.

Prerequisite Knowledge: None
Registration Fee: $200
Fees For Repeating Exam: $100
Recommended Training: Administrator Essentials For New Admins, Administrative Essential For New Administrators and Certifications, Administrative Essentials For Service Clouds.

Salesforce Advanced Administrator

The exam is of the same 90 minutes duration and comprises of 60 questions. You need to have a mastery over configuration maintenance in Salesforce.

You must be highly proficient in some of the advanced level skillsets such as designing advanced levels of reports and dashboards as well as other advanced forms of automation processes. All these must be useful to solve a specific business problem. This is a certification where you have to demonstrate the capabilities of administrative best practices.

Pre-requisite Knowledge: Salesforce Certified Administrator
Registration Fee: $200
Fees For Repeating the Exam: $100
Recommended Training: Administration Essentials For Experienced Admins

Salesforce Developer Certifications

There are two types of certifications under this category i.e. Platform Developer Certifications and Application Builder Certifications. It is about testing your skills in customizing applications and using your declarative and programmatic skills.

Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I

The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 110 minutes. The applicant must have prior knowledge of the development of custom business logic and interfaces with the programmatic capabilities of the Lightning platform.

On top of this, the applicant will be tested on a series of skillsets such as Extending Salesforce with Visualforce and Apex and must have an understanding of Lightning components, Know-how of Mobile App Capabilities of Salesforce and Applications of Lightning Process Builder vs Apex Triggers.

Registration Fee: $200
Fees For Repeating The Exam: $100
Pre-requisite Knowledge: None
Recommended Training: Programmatic Development Using Apex and Visualforce, Certification Preparation for Platform Developer I

Salesforce Certified Platform Developer II

This is a 3-step certification process and has 60 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 120 minutes. This comprises a multiple-choice exam, an essay, and a programming assignment.

This tests the candidate’s advanced knowledge of programmatic capabilities with the Salesforce platform and the creation of data modeling for building complex interfaces as well as business logic.

Moreover, you need to demonstrate skills in design, development, testing, and deploying various types of programmatic solutions. These solutions must have a reusable and maintainable nature and adhere to the design patterns and the other best practices on Object-oriented programming.

Registration Fee: $400
Fees For Repeating The Exam: $200
Pre-requisite Knowledge: Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I Certification
Recommended Training: Developing for Digital I, Developing for Digital II, SOAP API Developer Guide, Visualforce Developer Guide:apex: page, Apex Code Developer Guide.

Please refer to here for more details.

Salesforce Certified B2C Commerce Developer

This is meant for all those with proficiency in Full-stack development in Salesforce. There are 60 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 105 minutes.

It tests the developers if they are capable of developing solutions in E-commerce, along with their proficiency to set up a development environment while using B2C Commerce Digital.

Suggested reading =>> Salesforce Commerce Cloud Tutorial

Moreover, the candidate must possess the know-how on the elements belonging to a digital site interact, troubleshooting issues related to site configurations or site code, etc. In addition to all these, the applicant must be adept at adding business logic to a site.

Finally, the developers must be able to open commerce APIs as well as web services and adept in the digital script API packages for arranging the site elements.

Registration Fee:  $400
Fees For Repeating The Exam: $200
Pre-requisite Knowledge: None
Recommended Training: Demandware Platform Architecture Overview, Developing for Digital I, Developing for Digital II

Salesforce Application Builder Certifications

This is a certification that is applicable for all those who design, build and implement customized applications by using the declarative customization of the Salesforce platform.

Salesforce Certified Platform Application Builder

The exam includes 60 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 90 minutes. The applicant must know the declarative development and customization functions with the platform.

Also, the candidate must have in-depth knowledge of the various aspects of customized applications i.e. The Design of Data Models, User Interface, Business Logic, and Security.

The applicant must also have the ability to customize for mobile users along with the design of the reports and dashboards. Finally, they must have proficiency in the deployment of custom applications.

Registration Fee: $200
Fees For Repeating The Exam: $100
Pre-requisite Knowledge: None
Recommended Training: Declarative Development for Platform App Builders

Salesforce Architect Certifications

Salesforce offers Architect certifications in 3 steps.

The lowest level of the pyramid of architect certifications comprises of designer certifications for the architects and these include:

  • Certified Data Architecture and Management Designer
  • Certified Sharing and Visibility Designer
  • Certified Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer
  • Certified Identity and Access Management Designer
  • Certified Integration Architecture Designer
  • Certified Mobile Solutions Architecture Designer

Salesforce Architect Certifictaion Pyramid

The Salesforce Architecture Designer certifications are on testing knowledge in specialized areas. Next, comes the certifications for the professionals with expertise and experience in various domains i.e. Salesforce Application Architect and System Architect.

The highest point in the pyramid comprises of the Salesforce Technical Architect, who has the capabilities to design and build technical solutions demonstrating higher performance capabilities.

Salesforce Certified Application Architect

The certification requires capabilities to model data model, role hierarchy as well as sharing mechanisms. There is a need to have an in-depth knowledge of Salesforce functionalities, and Features.

The aspiring candidate can attain this certification, on completion of four certifications as mentioned in the Recommended Training below.

Registration Fee: No additional exam fee is required.

Pre-requisite Knowledge: Salesforce Certified Data Architecture and Management Designer, Salesforce Certified Sharing and Visibility Designer, Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I, Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder.

Salesforce Certified System Architect

The skillset required for attaining this is Salesforce Lifecycle development in the Lightning platform. They must be able to convert a business decision into a well-architected solution.

Additionally, this track has a focus on system integration and establishing access between systems as well as the management of testing capabilities for deployment. The candidate must be aware of the ongoing requirements of modifications.

The candidate has to fulfill four requisites before becoming a certified System Architect. However, each certification has its exam and associated fees.

Registration Fee: No additional exam fee is required.

Pre-requisite Knowledge: Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer, Identity & Access Management Designer, Integration Architecture Designer, and Certified Platform Developer I.

Salesforce Certified Technical Architect

This is the ultimate certification that is meant for all those who have acquired certifications in all specialized domains. The candidates are expected to have expertise on multiple platforms. They must possess excellent presentation skills and in-depth technical expertise.

In addition to these, the candidate must be able to read the customer requirements and architecture and deliver high-performance technical solutions to achieve the maximum potential of the Salesforce platform.

The candidate must demonstrate the ability to design high-performance and secure technical solutions. They must convey the design trade-offs to the stakeholders of your business and offer a delivery framework that translates in quality.

The exam comprises of a fictional client with hypothetical requirements and the candidate is required to design a technical solution for the same. The candidate has to explain why and how the solution offered is built.

Registration Fee: $6,000
Fees For Repeating The Exam: $3,000
Pre-requisite Knowledge: Salesforce Certified Application Architect and Salesforce Certified System Architect.
Recommended Training: Certified Technical Architect Preparation Workshop

Salesforce Consultant Certifications

Salesforce offers six certifications for the customer-centric consultants who offer a solution with the various Salesforce products in search of new opportunities.

These certifications include:

Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant

The candidates must have the ability to design and implement Sales Cloud solutions that are maintainable and scalable. The candidates must have the proficiency to manage and design analytics for tracking purposes.

Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant

This is for all those with the required experience to design and implement Service Cloud Solutions, that follow the business requirements of the client. This certification is for design solutions for contact centers as well as for analytics metric tracking.

Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Consultant

This is for all those who have experience in setting up and implementing the Salesforce Marketing Cloud email marketing tools. It offers solutions for strategic and tactical email campaigns.

The candidates are expected to have a broad knowledge of Salesforce applications & configuration and management of Salesforce while working on the requirements from the various stakeholders.

Salesforce Certified Community Cloud Consultant

This is meant for those who have experience in implementing and consulting on the community Cloud product from Salesforce. The candidates must offer troubleshooting of platform related issues.

Salesforce Certified Field Service Lightning Consultant

This is for all those consultants who have proven expertise in the administration and configuration of Salesforce. They have capabilities to render services in field service operations.

Salesforce Certified Pardot Consultant

This is for all those consultants with experience to offer Pardot solutions to the clients. They must be capable to design and implement Pardot solutions as per the business requirements.

Einstein Analytics And Discovery Consultant

The candidates must be adept in the design and implementation of the Einstein Analytics and Discovery platform from Salesforce. This must adhere to the business requirements of the client.

Education Cloud Consultant

The candidate must have the experience to offer an implementation solution for Salesforce Education Cloud.

Other Certifications

These certifications are based on Pardot – the marketing automation platform of Salesforce and Salesforce CPQ (Configure, Registration Fee, Quote). This is directed towards all those professionals, consultants and marketing cloud professionals.

Salesforce Certified CPQ Specialist Certifications

This is a certification that is meant for all those with experience in the implementation of Salesforce CPQ solutions and needs to answer 60 multiple-choice questions in 105 minutes.

The candidates must have prior knowledge in Designing, Building and Implementing Quoting flows on Salesforce CPQ platforms. They must have demonstrated their abilities to Create bundle configurations, Renewals & Amendments, Output documents as well as Pricing.

Registration Fee: $200
Fees For Repeating The Exam: $100
Pre-requisite Knowledge: None
Recommended Training: Salesforce CPQ Admin Essentials for New Administrators

Salesforce Pardot Expert Certifications

This certification includes both the job roles of Pardot Specialists and Consultants and has to answer 60 multiple-choice questions in 90 minutes.

The specialists must be able to build strategic marketing processes while incorporating tools such as email marketing, lead scoring and lead generation. The candidates must have the ability to generate reports for all data-driven decisions.

Moreover, the candidates must be proficient in Designing, Building, and Implementation of the marketing workflows within the Pardot platform. Finally, they must have the ability to troubleshoot platform issues.

Registration Fee: $200
Fees For Repeating The Exam: $100
Prerequisite Knowledge: None
Recommended Training: Pardot Administrators, Salesforce Connector: Setup and Syncing, Email Marketing for Pardot.

Salesforce Certified Marketing Certifications

Salesforce offers three credentials for Marketing professionals. The certifications include Certified Marketing Cloud Consultant, Certified Marketing Cloud Social Specialists which is on Salesforce Social Studio and those with the expertise of Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email applications.

How And Where To Appear For The Salesforce Certification Exams?

Refer here to know how and where to appear for the above certification exams.

You can even locate the nearest centers here.

How To Prepare For Salesforce Certifications?

I would like to offer the following tips if you are planning to take these Salesforce certifications.

These are:

  • Take help of the Reliable Exam Study Guide, Salesforce Help and Training.
  • Get hands-on experience with a Developer organization.
  • Plan a suitable exam date for yourself.
  • Make meaningful notes.
  • Do enough practice.


Salesforce offers certifications based on the various job roles in the organizations.

These certifications offer an overall mastery over a specific job role and are a sure way for the organization to choose a candidate for a specific job role or a project. The certifications offer a tell-tale of your expertise on a specific area of interest.

The more certifications are added to the Salesforce professionals’ profile, the higher are the chances of drawing enhanced hourly rates.

Suggested reading =>> Best Salesforce Consulting Companies

The certifications add value to your profile and increase the chances of resolving complex problems with Salesforce. The certifications help to increase your insights on the Salesforce platform and add value to your employer’s business.

I hope this article helped you gain knowledge about various Salesforce Certifications!!