Whether you are new to Salesforce or have been using it for years, you might be wondering if it is worth your time to pursue a Salesforce Administrator Certification. Or perhaps you have already decided that you would like to become certified but are unsure of how the process works. Here is a basic overview to get you better acquainted with what certification entails and why it may be useful for you.
Why Become a Salesforce Certified Administrator
Going through the process of Salesforce Administrator certification can bolster your skills and knowledge so you can take better advantage of all that Salesforce provides and be a stronger champion in your organization. It can help you solidify your understanding of basic concepts, introduce you to new features, and also help connect you with the broader community of Salesforce Admins and users.
How to Become a Salesforce Certified Administrator
To become a Salesforce Certified Administrator, you’ll need to take the Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam. This exam is 105 minutes long and contains 60 multiple choice questions that focus on the features and functionality of Salesforce. There are no prerequisites to take the exam and it can be completed either online or at a testing center. The Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam Guide has more detailed information about the exact topics covered and the percentage of the exam that is based on those topics.
Resources to Prepare for the Exam
Even if you’ve been a Salesforce administrator or user within your organization for some time, it can still be helpful to do some preparation work, especially on the features that you have less experience and familiarity with. If you are solely a nonprofit Salesforce user, there will be material covered on the exam that is foreign to you, so don’t pass on the resources below.
If you would like to learn in a classroom setting with a live instructor, the Trailhead Virtual Bootcamp for New Admins (TVB201) is a wonderful resource. This is an in-depth course that will give you functional knowledge of Salesforce basics. It is an interactive course taken in real time over a period of six weeks. The class consists of a series of trailhead modules to be completed at your own pace, one 30-minute Q&A session per week, and one 90-minute lecture session per week. You can ask the instructor questions during these live sessions or submit a case to ask questions after hours. All modules listed in this class are available on Trailhead for free so you can continue to do them after the class ends (and you may have already done some before the class even starts if you’ve been on Trailhead before).
There are so many modules on Trailhead, it’s hard to know what’s helpful for the exam and what’s not. This class serves as a guide to help you navigate to the most relevant modules. Having a live instructor who expands on and explains the topics beyond what’s written in the modules is also incredibly helpful. The structured study framework and the accountability of weekly meetings helps to keep you on track and moving toward your goal.
Aside from the class, there is also a free webinar aimed at helping people prepare for the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam. The webinar is five hours long and it is a very high-level overview of the main topics that will be covered in the exam. These fill up fast so register early!
Practice tests can also be helpful when preparing for the exam and while there are many websites that offer practice tests, there are two that I found to be the best. The first is the Salesforce Administrator Official Certification Practice Test. The tests are $20 each and at the time I took the Virtual Bootcamp for New Admins class, it included a voucher for one free test. If you’re looking for an unlimited bank of official practice tests, this is it.
The second website that has great practice tests is Udemy. Be sure to look for the most recent version of these practice tests. The list price is $20 for 5 exams but Udemy classes are almost always on sale so you will likely not have to pay full price. These tests are very similar to the Salesforce Administrator Official Certification Practice Tests and are worth the investment if you’d like to take a few more practice tests but at a lower cost.
Preparing for and taking the Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam can open you and your organization up to new possibilities. More and more of our client organizations are supporting their internal admins to get certified or looking to hire certified Salesforce admins and we definitely recommend it!