If you’re serious about building your career in Salesforce, you first need to get certified. It’s one thing to understand and use the Salesforce platform, but it’s another thing if you can back it up with concrete proof. And according to a 2013 Denver User Group salary survey, a Salesforce expert with no certification commanded an average salary of $69,600, while someone with one certification, two certifications, and three certifications made $86,850, $91,750 and $122,250, respectively.
The good news is a well-designed training and learning program, like the one offered by Salesforce’s Salesforce University, offers access to everything you need to understand Salesforce in a holistic manner, promising to promises to “turn [our] customers into Salesforce experts.”
But what exactly are the steps to obtaining a Salesforce certificate?
Choose a Certification
Most Salesforce specialists start with the Administrator, Advanced Administrator and Developer certifications. These three certifications will help you develop a complete understanding of the features and functions of Salesforce. Most pros start with a DEV401 or ADM201 certificate, but it’s a good idea to gun for additional certificates like ADM211 and DEV401.
But make no mistake, your choice of certification is entirely up to you. Choose a certificate you’re comfortable with; ideally, one that aligns with your goals.
Sign Up for a Training Class
Now that you’ve narrowed down your choices to one or two certifications or credentials, you need to study. Salesforce offers great training classes for each one of its certifications. However, taking these classes won’t guarantee you’ll pass the certification exam—you’ll still need to self-study to fill in gaps in your training.
It’s also worth noting that official Salesforce classes are not cheap. An ADM201 class, for example, will set you back $4,500. Luckily, there are cheaper alternatives from organizations like Udemy and Simplilearn. These may not be as comprehensive as Salesforce University, but they’re still a worthwhile investment.
Study at Your Own Pace
Aside from signing up for a training course, it’s also a good idea to supplement your learning through self-study sessions, Salesforce offers free resources like Trailhead, touted as “The Free, Fun Way to Learn Salesforce.” These resources will help you focus your attention on concepts briefly touched on in class, or lessons you didn’t quite understand the first time around.
Register for an Exam
If you feel you’re ready for the certification exam, click on the register button, which will take you to the Webassessor registration page. You can take the proctored exams in an on-site facility or opt to do it remotely on your own computer with a web camera.
Take your time when studying for the certification exams—aim for an intensive training period of at least six hours before taking any exam. If you need more tips on Salesforce certification, talk to the staffing specialists at The Crevalle Group to learn how our services can help you.