5 Questions to Help Decide if a Salesforce Certification is for You

5 Questions to Help Decide if a Salesforce Certification is for You

Ben McCarthy

Last updated November 6, 2017


Salesforce is used in nearly every industry and countless companies today, and it's reach continues to expand. The technology is amongst the most advanced in the world, the products are pushing the entire CRM industry forward, and the careers are amongst the most desirable out there. A few months ago, Indeed.com carried out an analysis of the best jobs in the U.S., and Salesforce managed to bag two of the top 10 spots. 

A prerequisite for attaining one of these prized jobs is a Salesforce certification. These certifications prove to your peers and prospective employers that you know Salesforce inside-out. Certification training defines:

  • The differences between workflows and the process builder
  • Master-detail relationships
  • Lookup relationships
  • Standard and custom objects

There are many avenues to take delving into the world of Salesforce training, and you should understand what is involved before venturing down one. These simple questions should help you understand if training for a Salesforce certification is right for you.

1. Are you dedicated and willing to put the work in to reap big rewards?

Salesforce courses designed to attain certifications aren’t to be taken lightly. Everyone that has managed to achieve the base level certifications has had to work extremely hard to achieve “certified” status. It requires research, trailhead tutorials and a lot of revision in your free time!

Though the certifications are not easy, they are highly achievable for everyone that puts the level of dedication needed for them. There are a huge amount of resources out there, both free and paid, to help take you to the next level. As well as resources, there are many members of the Salesforce community ready to help you at the drop of a hat. You just need to ask!

2. Are you willing to invest in yourself?

Salesforce is one of the most fantastic careers I have ever come across. Speak to any member of the Salesforce community and ask them if they have ever looked back, I’m sure you will get an overwhelmingly positive response. But everyone that has managed to get far in this career has had to invest early on.

The initial Salesforce certification will cost you $200, but you have to be prepared to pay the retaking fee if you don’t initially pass the exam. To increase your odds, consider additional resources like Simplilearn to help you prepare for a successful exam.

While there are many free resources out there to help you, if you do not have colleagues or a mentor to help you navigate the initially murky waters, you might want to invest in a Salesforce course to keep you motivated and on track to reach your goals. Plus a course gives you the opportunity to gain clarity and ask questions in areas where you aren’t completely clear. Simplilearn provides 24-7 teaching assistant support and forums for students to share questions and concerns.

Introductory video

3. Are you prepared to maintain your knowledge?

You will have to learn a great deal to conquer the entry level exams of Salesforce, but the battle isn’t over at the first hurdle.

Because the Salesforce platform is ever changing and evolving, you will have to ensure you keep up with all the latest changes to maintain your certification. Salesforce does this in the form of Maintenance Exams. These exams come out three times a year inline with Salesforce product releases (Spring, Summer, Winter). They will test your knowledge on the upcoming features and changes to ensure that you can impart this knowledge onto your team members, users and/or customers.

Don’t be alarmed, these exams are open-book tests and the content is readily available. But the consequences of not maintaining your certification? You will have to retake it!

4. Are you willing to undertake real life scenarios?

Salesforce certifications are all about revision and learning as much about the platform as possible. One sure-fire way to make sure you pass this all important certification is with real life scenarios. The Salesforce entry level exams are heavily based on scenarios, giving you business requirements and leaving it up to you to choose the correct solution in the eyes of Salesforce.

A couple of great ways to get used to these questions is either to volunteer with non-profit facing business challenges that allow you to practice your Salesforce skills, or find a training resource that relies on real life scenario projects.

Simplilearn’s Salesforce Administrator Certification Training infuses two real-world projects into the course. The first challenges students to implement an end-to-end recruitment process, while the other requires them to implement customer service process management.

Both of these options give you a great exposure to “solutionizing” which will better prepare you for the exam.

5. Are you prioritizing the right Salesforce certification?

The two most popular foundation level certifications are the Certified Administrator Exam and the Platform App Builder. These exams, while both complimenting each other, are aimed at a specific type of role. The Administrator exam is focused more on maintaining and administrating the Salesforce platform, while the Platform App Builder is focused on extending the Salesforce platform with custom applications.

Read our free eBook: Salesforce Platform Developer 1 Study Guide

Both exams require a lot of revision and hands-on tinkering with the Salesforce system, so make sure you choose wisely! Here are some of the most common roles for each certification:

Salesforce Administrator Certification

Salesforce App Builder Certification

   System Administrators

   App Builders

   Sales Operations Professionals


   IT Managers

   System Administrators

   Product Manager

   Sales Representatives


   Product Manager

Looking for more information on the Salesforce Admin Certification? Read How to become a Certified Salesforce Admin

About the Author

Ben McCarthy is the founder of the world's most popular Salesforce blog, SalesforceBen.com, as well as the founder of U.K-based EMPAUA, a Salesforce consultancy. During his years as a Salesforce professional, Ben has achieved 7 certifications including Administrator, Developer, and Platform App Builder.


{{author.author_name}} {{author.author_name}}



Published on {{detail.created_at| date}} {{detail.duration}}

  • {{detail.date}}
  • Views {{detail.downloads}}
  • {{detail.time}} {{detail.time_zone_code}}



About the {{detail.about_title && detail.about_title != null ? detail.about_title : 'On-Demand Webinar'}}

About the {{detail.about_title && detail.about_title != null ? detail.about_title : 'Webinar'}}

Hosted By





About the {{detail.about_title && detail.about_title != null ? detail.about_title : 'Ebook' }}

About the {{detail.about_title && detail.about_title != null ? detail.about_title : 'Ebook' }}

View {{detail.about_title && detail.about_title != null ? detail.about_title : 'On-Demand Webinar'}}


Register Now!

Download the {{detail.about_title && detail.about_title != null ? detail.about_title : 'Ebook'}}!

First Name*
Last Name*
Phone Number*

View {{detail.about_title && detail.about_title != null ? detail.about_title : 'On-Demand Webinar'}}


Register Now!

{{detail.about_title && detail.about_title != null ? detail.about_title : 'Webinar'}} Expired

Download the {{detail.about_title && detail.about_title != null ? detail.about_title : 'Ebook'}}

{{ queryPhoneCode }}
Phone Number

Show full article video

Name Date Place
{{classRoomData.Date}} {{classRoomData.Place}} View Details

About the Author


About the Author