Are Salesforce certifications worth it?

Are you looking to change careers or broaden your tech knowledge? Then you might want to know more about Salesforce and Salesforce certifications.

As the #1 CRM platform globally, Salesforce is set to create 9.3 million jobs over the next five years, as companies around the world seek to hire professionals who are trained to wield the tools Salesforce offers.

It’s no surprise that the number of Salesforce jobs increased by 475% in Australia and New Zealand and by 170% in the UK between 2013 and 2018. Or that Salesforce was named one of the world’s most innovative companies by Forbes magazine in 2020.

And with this recent salary survey showing that Salesforce Developers can earn up to $166,200 per year (depending on their experience and location), it’s also no surprise that so many people cross-training into Salesforce to earn their first few certifications. Ithat doesn’t sound quite like your thing, Salesforce offers plenty of other career paths to explore.

The certifications themselves have become increasingly valuable within the Salesforce ecosystem, and some surveys estimate that over 70% of professionals hold at least one. They can dictate what role you hold within Salesforce and even make an impact on your salary.

But what’s the quickest and most effective way into the industry? With so many Salesforce certification programs on offer, which one will lead you to the right career path? If you’re interested in learning Salesforce, understanding which Salesforce certifications are right for you is an important first step. So let’s find out!

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Certification breakdown and salary

To help you choose the right Salesforce certification, here‘s a summary of top three specialist careers within Salesforce, complete with expected salaries for certified individuals, and the certifications you’ll need to get there. 

What is Salesforce? At a glance

Over 150,000 organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, use Salesforce to streamline their operations. Adidas, T-Mobile, IBM, RBC, PayPal, and Herman Miller are just a few to mention.

Mercedes-Benz, for example, has teamed up with Salesforce to deliver highly personalized customer experiences. The German automotive brand experienced a 160% increase in email click-through rates per year just by implementing Salesforce Customer 360.

The group ENGIE, on the other hand, uses Salesforce to connect its teams around the world and grow customer relationships, while reducing its carbon footprint.

Salesforce has been a leading provider of customer relationship management (CRM) services for seven consecutive years, with a market share of 19.8%. Adobe, its closest competitor, has a market share of just 5.3%. What makes Salesforce stand out is its wide range of CRM solutions aimed at small businesses and large companies alike.

Why? Because, first of all, the platform is easy to use and customize. Second, it relies on a secure cloud infrastructure that allows you to access and retrieve data from anywhere at any time. Third, it offers some of the most advanced reporting and automation tools on the market.

Companies of all shapes and sizes can use Salesforce to:

Salesforce also offers custom solutions for businesses in financial, manufacturing, retail, and healthcare industries. Plus, it can be used along with Slack, Zendesk, SAP Business Suite, and other apps, allowing companies to access and manage their data in one centralized location.

Why start a career in Salesforce?

In today’s digital market, most organizations are seeking ways to optimize their workflows and manage data more effectively, which is something that Salesforce is exceptionally good at.

As the world’s #1 CRM choice, Salesforce has plenty of customers. So if you have a  good understanding of the platform, you can build a career in just about any industry, through Salesforce.

Put simply, the demand for Salesforce professionals currently outstrips the supply. So the Salesforce ecosystem is a candidate-driven market.

This is great news for job seekers, as those with a strong knowledge of the platform can earn amazing salaries, plus other perks! 

On top of this, Salesforce professionals can develop the skills needed to transition to other roles, while on the job.

For example, if you are a digital marketer, you may pursue a Salesforce certification program that would allow you to work as a Marketing Cloud Developer or Salesforce Consultant.

As you gain experience, you may pursue further certifications and specialize in other areas. This would not only increase your earning potential but also open doors to new career pathways.

If you’re self-employed, Salesforce certifications can allow you to expand your services and even charge higher rates.

Are Salesforce certifications worth it?

What is the average Salesforce certification cost and, more importantly – is the training actually worth the effort?

If you have a background in Salesforce applications, you may be wondering whether you need a certificate to prove your worth in the industry. Equally, if you’re new to Salesforce, you may be asking yourself if the time and effort invested in the training will actually pay off in the long run?

The recent Mason Frank Salary Survey surveyed more than 78,000 professionals within the Salesforce ecosystem. Out of all respondents, 75% held at least one certification. What’s more, 43% of the certified respondents got a pay rise after becoming certified. The same survey asked freelancers if being certified gave them a competitive advantage; 83% said that it did. And it’s not only Salesforce experts who benefit. Full-time employees who had just earned their first Salesforce certification reported a 25% increase in annual salary.  

The respondents were seeing benefits not only in terms of salary expectations but also their skillset. Nearly half of respondents said they acquired new skills and industry knowledge after earning their certifications. Others reported improved work performance and efficiency, higher productivity, and greater confidence. Overall, 64% agreed that investing in Salesforce certifications helped them grow their careers.  

While certifications are essential, if you really wish to stand out in the job market and build an amazing career in Salesforce, then gaining hands-on experience is crucial. The huge demand for Salesforce professionals means that you don’t even have to pay to get certified or spend months applying for jobs in Salesforce that match your skills.  

At Revolent we specialize in finding and cross-training motivated professionals, all while securing a job placement. So, you get to earn while you learn, applying and developing your fresh skills on the job! We’ll give you full help and support to tackle your Salesforce certification exam with confidence.

And that’s not where the journey ends. With hubs located in the US, Canada, UK and Australia, you’d be joining a growing global community of ‘Revols’ with ongoing opportunities for skills development and networking.  

Salesforce Administrator

Certification breakdown and salary

What does the Salesforce Administrator role involve?

As a Salesforce Administrator, you’d be the person who bridges the gap between tech specialists and people within the business. You’d be working with key stakeholders to define requirements and then customize Salesforce to their needs. It’s a hugely varied role that can include training other users, sharing best practices, and perfecting admin tasks, such as creating client reports and dashboards. And you don’t necessarily need a technical background to pursue this career path.

What are the Salesforce Administrator salary expectations?

In the US, you can earn around $87,500 to $107,200 in a junior role, or up to $137,500 in a senior role.

In the UK, you could expect to earn between £47,300 to £58,500 in a mid-senior role.

In Australia, the same role would pay in the region of $110,000 to $130,000.

Which Salesforce certification should I get?

Salesforce offers nearly 40 certifications aimed at different levels of experience and job functions for Salesforce Administrators. Most programs require some experience in IT/tech.

However, if you’re a fresh grad or someone looking to change careers, you could apply for Salesforce Administrator, an entry-level certification, to build up your skillset. Depending on your current experience, you can choose from five main certification programs:

 

Once you have earned the Salesforce Administrator certification, you may enrol in the Advanced Administrator program. Later, you can even take steps to become a Marketing Cloud Administrator, Platform App Builder, and so on.

Salesforce Developer

Certification breakdown and salary

What does the Salesforce Developer role involve?

The focus of this role is on building coded solutions. Generally speaking, the best Salesforce Developers love solving problems, can present multiple solutions to fix issues, and have some background in IT. Depending on the job, you may have to create and optimize workflows, analyze project outcomes, suggest software upgrades, test applications, and more.

As this is a more technical role, experience with Java, JavaScript, C#,
PHP, Python, C and C++ is highly desirable. However, you don’t need to be an expert to learn something new. If you have a background in IT and a passion for learning, then becoming a Salesforce Developer might be the right path for you.

What are the Salesforce Developer salary expectations?

In the US, a junior Salesforce Developer can expect to make between $96,600 to $121,800 per year. Senior Developers often earn up to
$166,000 or higher. If you are self-employed, you can charge around $88 to $149 per hour.

In the UK, a Mid-senior Salesforce Developer can expect to earn anywhere between £69,100 to £84,900.

In Australia, this equates to $145,000 to $165,300.

Which Salesforce certification should I get?

There are 8 types of certifications on the Salesforce certifications list for aspiring Salesforce Developers:

 

Each certification has different requirements and will provide a different specialism. After you complete your training, you should have the skills and expertise to build Salesforce apps across various platforms. This will allow you to design custom solutions for different types of businesses.

Salesforce Consultant

Certification breakdown and salary

What does the Salesforce Consultant role involve?

Salesforce Consultants are in high demand too. Their role is to find technical solutions to complex business challenges. As a Salesforce Consultant, you’ll map out business processes, identify risks, as well as design and/or implement solutions. The ideal Salesforce Consultant has a good understanding
of the cloud and marketing automation tools. Having strong communication and interpersonal skills is also very important. This is a highly technical role, and the salary reflects that. So be prepared to work with cutting-edge tools, such as the OmniStudio platform and DataRaptors.

What are the Salesforce Consultant salary expectations?

In the US, Junior Consultants have a median wage of $127,700 to $158,000 per year. Those in senior positions can make up to $174,400 per year. Independent contractors, on the other hand, can charge anywhere between $103 and $165 per hour, depending on their expertise.

In the UK, a Mid-weight Salesforce Consultant can make anywhere
between £59,800 and £79,300.

In Australia, the salary expectation for the same role is $130,300 to $150,000.

Which Salesforce certification should I get?

There are currently 11 options on the Salesforce certifications list for aspiring Salesforce Consultants:

 

Most of these certification programs require previous work experience in a customer-facing role or a broad knowledge of Salesforce applications.

Which Salesforce certification should I get first?

With so many Salesforce certification programs on offer, it’s only right to ask which Salesforce certification is best for you. The answer to that question depends on what type of Salesforce career you wish to enter and grow.

Having said that, the Salesforce Administrator certification will form the basis of more advanced training courses. Your professional background matters too. For example, it’s much easier to become a Marketing Cloud Consultant if you already have some knowledge of Salesforce apps.

But no matter your experience, you have the freedom to design your own career path and work your way to the top. If you’re not sure, consider your salary expectations and your strengths, as well as what you enjoy doing day-to-day. To help you choose, we’ve put together this handy Salesforce careers guide. Our talent team, located in a range of geographical regions, are always happy to chat through your requirements and experience to set you on the right Salesforce certification path. 

How long do Salesforce certifications last?

Since Spring 2020, all Salesforce certified professionals are required to undertake one maintenance module per year to keep their certification valid and current.

So, if you currently hold a certification, it’s important to check your Salesforce certification expiration date. But don’t worry; Salesforce will contact you to let you know when it’s time to complete your maintenance module, and you’ll get plenty of notice.

If you fail to complete your maintenance module by your assigned date, your certification will expire. It’s also worth noting that the expiry of one certification can affect the status of another.

For example, the Salesforce Administrator certification often serves as a prerequisite for many other, more advanced certifications.

If your Salesforce Administrator certificate expires, then any certifications supported by this module, such as Advanced Administrator or Sales Cloud Consultant, will automatically expire too. Head over to the Salesforce Trailhead website to find out more.

If you’re a Revolent graduate, you don’t need to worry about doing your own research to stay up to date. Our Learning and Development team hold regular ‘Release Meets’ where we demo platform changes and clearly explain how they’ll impact your daily workload. We also advise on the certifications you may need to renew.

How to earn your first Salesforce certification

The Salesforce certification path can serve as a roadmap for career development. If you’re interesting in earning your first certification, we fully recommend that you assess your skills to determine where you are at right now, and plan your next steps.

In our opinion, the best Salesforce certification for beginners is the Salesforce Administrator credential. This tracks with the findings of the Mason Frank Salary Survey, which were that 90% of professionals held an Administrator certification.

Once you have completed this certification, you’ll be on a good path. You could complete further training to become an Advanced Administrator, Marketing Cloud Administrator, or CPQ Specialist, which can lead to a career as a Salesforce Platform App Builder.

Most organizations using Salesforce need an Administrator to maintain the platform and keep things running smoothly. So being a Salesforce Admin is a great job in its own right.

However, nothing would be stopping you from taking your learning further and working towards a new role in Salesforce. As a certified Administrator, you’ll have the foundation skills needed to work towards whatever role most suits you.

If, say, you have a background in app development, you can take the steps needed to become a B2C Commerce Developer. The certification program requires a broad knowledge of customizing Salesforce—and that’s something every Administrator is familiar with.

The courses can be completed online, which allows you to study at your own pace. Except for the Salesforce Architect certification, all programs have a registration fee of $200 (US dollars) and include everything you need to prepare for the exam. If you don’t pass the test, you can try again.  

The Salesforce Administrator certification program, for example, features user guides, self-study materials, tip sheets, and other helpful resources. You can also join the Trailblazer Community and find a mentor or study buddy. Another option is to enroll in the Trailhead Academy and attend in-person or virtual classes.

Once you have completed training, you may take the exam online. The test consists of multiple-choice and open-ended questions, with a time limit of 90 minutes or longer, depending on the credential you are seeking.

Salesforce certifications are globally recognized, meaning that you can use them to find work anywhere in the world. Just make sure you complete at least one Trailhead maintenance module per year to keep your credentials current.

How to land your first role in Salesforce

It’s true that Salesforce offers excellent career opportunities, regardless of your professional background or work experience. But if you’re interested in a career in Salesforce, you’ll need training and placement as well as certifications.

While many organizations offer Salesforce training, few provide the all-important commercial experience that companies look for in a new candidate.

And while Salesforce certifications are definitely a requirement, you’ll still need practical experience to truly stand out in the Salesforce hiring crowd. Employers want to see how you can leverage your skills to grow their business and bring value to the team.

At Revolent, we offer the best of both worlds. Our mission is to recruit, cross-train, and place top talent in technology-driven roles.

All new hires complete an intensive 10-12 week paid training program, led by our expert Salesforce training team. After which, they will sit their exams for their first few Salesforce certifications – which are fully funded by us.

Once certified, our trained Salesforce professionals (known as Revols) get the opportunity to gain valuable practical experience working with our world-class client list, to gain hands-on experience as a Salesforce professionals. Our clients include FTSE 500 companies, luxury retail brands, and giants of the tech ecosystem.

The training is paid for by us, as are the costs for sitting your certifications. And, of course, you’re paid a proper salary while working with clients.

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