11 Jun Becoming a Certified Salesforce Administrator
If you’re familiar with Salesforce, you should know that obtaining any of their twenty-five (25) certifications can be a game-changer in your personal and professional life. Through their specialized training, you can become a certified Salesforce Administrator, App Builder, Architect, Consultant, Developer, Specialist, or all of the above.
Over the past seven years, I’ve been hired to help with Salesforce Administrative duties for multiple companies. I am 100% self taught and oddly passionate about learning everything I can about the platform. Finally, in early 2020, I decided it was time to make it official and get my official Salesforce Administrator certification.
What does a Salesforce Administrator do?
Salesforce Admins, in my opinion, are the creative geniuses that take their client’s ideas and make them come to life. Admins work to understand business requirements and challenges, then come up with technical solutions that save time and increase efficiency. They automate complex business processes to help cut back on manual labor resulting in a happier workforce of users. They create reports and dashboards to give you the insight you always needed with the push of a button. Generally speaking, it’s the admin’s job to help users get the most out of Salesforce and make them as efficient as possible.
Salesforce customers pay thousands of dollars in subscription fees every year just to use the platform. It’s not cheap! At the time this article was written, Salesforce is being used by 99 out of 100 companies on the Fortune 100! The software is so powerful and robust that it can pretty much do anything that any company would need. The problem is, if these companies aren’t knowledgeable in the backend and inner workings of the software, they don’t know how to use it to its fullest potential. That’s where administrators come in. To dumb it down, Salesforce admins set up, customize and maintain the platform. They make it easier for end-users, especially for those who lack technical experience. Admins also stay up to date on the platform’s newest tools, capabilities and updates. They’re like your trusted advisor who always works to bridge the gap between your business needs and technology.
Here are a few examples of how I customized Salesforce for two companies in completely different industries:
Example 1: I implemented Salesforce for a destination management group in Las Vegas called The Walford Group. They needed a way to better manage their business and wanted to move away from pen and paper. They agreed to try Salesforce, and over time, I successfully built a robust system that let them:
- Input new customers or lookup previous customer reservations.
- Log reservation details and automatically book reservations with 3rd party vendors.
- Track the payment status and commissionable items on past reservations.
- Send automated confirmation emails, birthday emails, and stay-in-touch messages.
Example 2: I recently implemented Salesforce for a training and development company based out of Reno Nevada called Guardian Quest. This awesome company has trainers who live all over the country that travel to teach diversity and inclusion to their clients. They needed to collaborate as a team and relied on Dropbox, Google Sheets and other online tools to survive. After setting them up with Salesforce and customizing their platform, I built them a system that let them:
- Input data on their client accounts.
- Input data on each class they train and tie those class records to the appropriate client account record.
- Manage their class roster and automatically send emails to their graduates on graduation day.
- Keep track of trainer schedules, class schedules, travel itineraries, training supplies, and more.
What does it mean to be certified?
When you’re certified in any of Salesforce’s roles, it means you’re a pro. The certification legitimizes you and lets potential employers know that you were knowledgeable and patient enough to complete their rigorous training. Being certified means new job opportunities doing something you love, more job security, remote work opportunities, and great pay. The Salesforce software is no walk in the park, so obtaining any of these certifications is something to be proud of.
“Salesforce Certification is the ultimate benchmark that recognizes the skills, expertise, and real-world know-how of today’s cloud specialists. Whatever your role, achieving your goals starts with getting Salesforce certified.” – Salesforce.com
The potential of being a certified Admin.
The average salary of a Salesforce Administrator in the U.S. is $95,000. In doing a quick glance over job sites, you’ll find related positions paying as much as $125,000+ annually. In 2019, there were over 4500 Salesforce Admin jobs added with an annual growth rate of 37%. That’s huge! Take a look at Salesforce Administrator jobs on Glassdoor and see for yourself!
“According to a recent report from Burning Glass, “Salesforce is now the seventh most in-demand software skill, up from No. 18 just four years ago. That puts the demand for Salesforce [skills] ahead of IT stalwarts such as Python, .Net and C++, and in line with commonly used applications, such as Adobe Photoshop.” – GeoPointe.com
Needless to say, being a certified Salesforce Admin is low risk with very high rewards.
Preparing for the certification exam.
As they say, nothing worth having comes easy, and that includes these certifications. If you’re serious about getting certified in any Salesforce role, you have to study…for a long time. The good news is, there’s a ton of amazing resources available to you, some of which I’ll share below:
Salesforce Trailhead is a free learning experience platform that gives you access to a library of educational content that you can access whenever you like. It’s designed around what you need to learn, rather than around what a training department wants to teach. You can choose from various topics to learn new skills at your own pace. They even make a game out of it so you earn badges and points as you complete different trails. Head over to Trailblazer.me to sign up for free!
Practice Exams have been very helpful for me. There are a ton of free practice exams out there that emulate the real thing. You can take them at home then study what you get wrong to make sure you’re as prepared as possible for the real deal. I’ve included links to three completely free practice exams in the section titled “Useful Links & Resources” above.
Exam details below:
- Content: 60 multiple-choice/multiple-select questions and 5 non-scored questions
- Time allotted to complete the exam: 105 minutes
- Passing score: 65%
- Registration fee: USD 200 plus applicable taxes as required per local law
- Retake fee: USD 100 plus applicable taxes as required per local law
- Delivery options: Proctored exam delivered onsite at a testing center or in an online proctored environment. Click here for information on scheduling an exam.
- References: No hard-copy or online materials may be referenced during the exam.
When you think you’re ready, you can click here to schedule your Salesforce Administrator Certification exam.
Not interested in the Administrator certification? Download this Salesforce certification guide called “Salesforce Made Simple – a guide to certification path”s.
If you’ve already taken or plan on taking a certification exam, please share your experience in the comments below.