What Is a Salesforce Certification? Discover the Certifications Offered + How to Get One

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn about the 40 main Salesforce certifications, their benefits, and the recommended steps to get and maintain a Salesforce certification.

[Featured image] A sales rep with a Salesforce certification works on a desktop computer.

What is a Salesforce certification? 

A Salesforce certification is a globally recognized credential that qualifies you to implement Salesforce best practices on behalf of your organization. Salesforce offers 40 primary certifications (some requiring prerequisite certifications) to demonstrate your expertise in different Salesforce roles. 

Below, see the Salesforce certifications list, organized by the roles to which they correspond.

Salesforce RoleCertifications

Salesforce Administrator

Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Business Analyst•, CPQ Specialist, Marketing Cloud Administrator•, Platform App Builder

Salesforce Architect

Application Architect, B2B Solution Architect, B2C Solution Architect, B2C Commerce Architect, Heroku Architect, System Architect, Technical Architect

Salesforce Developer

B2C Commerce Developer, Industries CPQ Developer, JavaScript Developer I, Marketing Cloud Developer•, Platform Developer I, Platform Developer II

Salesforce Marketer

Marketing Cloud Administrator•, Marketing Cloud Consultant•, Marketing Cloud Developer•, Marketing Cloud Email Specialist, Pardot Consultant, Pardot Specialist

Salesforce Consultant

Business Analyst•, Education Cloud Consultant, Experience Cloud Consultant, Field Service Consultant, Marketing Cloud Consultant•, Nonprofit Cloud Consultant, OmniStudio Consultant, Pardot Consultant, Sales Cloud Consultant, Service Cloud Consultant, Tableau CRM & Einstein Discovery Consultant

Salesforce Designer

User Experience (UX) Designer, Strategy Designer

These certifications apply to more than one Salesforce role. 

Read more: What Is a CRM? And How Does it Help Businesses?

3 entry-level Salesforce certifications 

In this section, you’ll find breakdowns of three entry-level Salesforce certifications. We classify entry-level certifications as ones that don’t require prior certifications or other prerequisites beyond a general working knowledge of the Salesforce platform.   

These certifications span different roles—Administrator, Developer, and Marketer—to give you an idea of possible starting points for pursuing a credential. For each breakdown, we’ve included the Salesforce certification cost, the exam outline, exam format, passing score, and a link to the exam guide, as provided on Trailhead, Salesforce’s academy for building skills and getting certified.  

Use these breakdowns as a model for your research process. 

1. Salesforce Certified Administrator 

  • Cost: $200 

  • Exam outline: configuration and setup (20 percent), object manager and Lightning app builder (20 percent), sales and marketing applications (12 percent), service and support applications (11 percent), productivity and collaboration (7 percent), data and analytics management (14 percent), workflow/process automation (16 percent)

  • Exam format: 105 minutes to complete 60 multiple choice/multiple select questions and five non-scored questions 

  • Passing score: 65 percent 

Read more: What Is a Salesforce Administrator? And How to Become One

2. Marketing Cloud Email Specialist

  • Cost: $200 

  • Exam outline: email marketing best practices (10 percent), content creation and delivery (24 percent), marketing automation (26 percent), subscriber and data management (26 percent), insights and analytics (14 percent)

  • Exam format: 90 minutes to complete 60 multiple choice questions and five non-scored questions 

  • Passing score: 67 percent 

3. Platform App Builder 

  • Cost: $200 

  • Exam outline: Salesforce fundamentals (23 percent), data modeling and management (22 percent), business logic and process automation (28 percent), user interface (17 percent), app deployment (10 percent) 

  • Exam format: 105 minutes to complete 60 multiple choice/multiple select questions and five non-scored questions 

  • Passing score: 63 percent

4 reasons to get Salesforce certified 

In addition to the fact that Salesforce certifications are globally recognized credentials, there are several career benefits to getting certified, as explored below. 

1. Salesforce skills are in demand across a variety of industries. 

Salesforce software is customizable to meet the needs of many types of businesses. In your job search, you may find that employers across a variety of industries are looking for candidates with Salesforce skills. 

For example, here’s what’s happening on LinkedIn, as of August 2022:

  • There are over 106,000 job listings in the US for people who have a Salesforce certification or at least some experience using this software. 

  • There are over 3,800 job listings specifically for Salesforce Administrator.

  • Industries hiring Salesforce professionals include consulting, auditing and tax services, IT management, career support services, athletic manufacturing, and more.    

Given these figures, your Salesforce certification may increase in value over time and qualify you for a variety of job opportunities.

2. A Salesforce certification keeps your skill set up to date. 

While you can build skills through regular use of Salesforce’s tools, getting Salesforce certified—and maintaining your certification—means your skills reflect the latest updates to the tool. In addition, preparing for a certifying exam can help to structure your learning process so that you cover all areas of the software’s functionality for your desired role. 

3. You can enhance your job performance. 

Just as getting Salesforce certified can help you find employment, getting a certification while employed can help you do your job more effectively. Your employer may have ideas for integrating a Salesforce certification and the skills that come with it into your role.  

4. There is potential to earn a competitive salary.

You may be able to earn a salary that is competitive in today’s marketplace. The average Salesforce Administrator salary is around $87,656 per year. Salesforce Architects earn $125,740 on average. 

How to get Salesforce certified 

Follow the five steps below to earn your Salesforce certification. 

1. Select a Salesforce certification. 

The first step in getting Salesforce certified is researching and selecting a certification that best fits your desired role, career goals, and the skills you want to build. 

Refer to the table above as a starting point, and then study Trailhead’s information page in more depth to discover the skills you’ll learn in certifications you’re considering, as well as any requirements or prerequisites for taking a certifying exam. For example, the Marketing Cloud Administrator certification is a prerequisite for getting the Marketing Cloud Consultant certification. 

2. Register for the exam on Trailhead. 

When you’re ready to register for a Salesforce certification exam, you’ll need to create a Webassessor™ account. Then, you'll be able to schedule the exam and pay for registration. Here are two important pieces of information to review: 

  • Location. The other is the procedure for taking the exam onsite or remotely. For either option, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the requirements. For example, to take an exam online, you’ll need a built-in webcam, microphone, and Kryterion Sentinel Secure software downloaded onto your device. 

3. Prepare for your exam. 

Before taking the exam, you’ll want to spend time preparing and learning as much as possible about using Salesforce in your role. You can prepare in several ways:  

  • Sign up for a Salesforce certification training webinar through Trailhead.

  • Review the guide for your chosen exam. 

  • Learn through Trailhead’s library of modules and projects.  

  • Join the Trailblazer community to connect with other Salesforce learners, ask questions, and learn skills. 

4. Take the Salesforce certification exam.

Arrive online or onsite for your scheduled exam. Make sure you are well-rested and prepared to take your exam. 

5. Maintain your certification. 

To maintain your certification after passing the exam, you’ll need to complete Trailhead maintenance modules, demonstrating your skills are current with the latest software updates. 

Read more about Salesforce certification updates here

Get started in Salesforce with Coursera. 

Online courses can be a great way to gain skills and knowledge in Salesforce, discover career opportunities, and start your Salesforce certification journey. Explore these course options: 

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.