Which Salesforce Certifications Are Best Suited for Beginners?


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Are you new to salesforce and wondering which the best certification for you is as a beginner?

If you are, then you are probably a little bit confused about where you can begin your journey. Passing a salesforce exam and getting the certification is of course not all that you should be after. You also have to find where your best talents and temperaments lie so that you will be able to be most natural when pursuing your salesforce career.

So, in order to answer this very important question of ‘which salesforce certification is best suited for beginners?’ let us first of all start by taking a look at what salesforce credentials are on offer. There have been a few changes in the Salesforce exam which you should take note of.

The different salesforce credentials

There are basically 7 credentials in salesforce most of which you can get one or more certifications for. These credentials include roles for:

Administrators: The administrators should have a broad knowledge of salesforce and its applications. They should also be able to manage and configure salesforce and continuously look for ways to maximize features and capabilities for their users.

APP Builders: App builders should be able to design, build and implement custom applications for salesforce using the Force.com platform.

Developers: Developers have skill, knowledge and experience building custom declarative and programmatic applications using Force.com. At a more advanced level they can also do data modeling and develop complex business logic and interfaces.

Implementation Experts: The implementation experts should be able to design and deploy Sales Cloud solutions and Service Cloud solutions to meet specific business needs in a scalable manner and in a way that will fulfill long-term goals and success of their clients.

Marketers: Salesforce marketers should have skills in best design and practices for email marketing especially using the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Application. This includes setting up and implementing the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Application. Additionally, having skills and knowledge using Social Studio for post creation, analysis of conversations, management, and reporting should also be attained.

Pardot: With salesforce Pardot credentials, you should be able to design, build and implement marketing workflows using the Pardot platform. You should be able to build strategic marketing processes using tools like email marketing and lead generation. All this should be done with a view to meet customers’ requirements and fulfill their long-term goals for success.

Architects (Architect Academy): As for Salesforce architects, there is a whole Architect academy that is designed to build an ecosystem to promote and recognize skills in three basic tiers including; Technical architects, Domain Specialists, and Domain architects.

These three tiers include 9 domains that allow an individual to delve deeper into each area based on their needs, expertise, and proficiency. The domains include:

  1. Development Lifecycle and Deployment
  2. Application Architecture
  3. Apex and Visualforce
  4. Sharing and Visibility
  5. Integration
  6. Data Architecture and Management
  7. Identity and Access Management
  8. Mobile Strategy
  9. Communities

For more detail on each or any of the credentials listed above be sure to use the links on the credential titles above.

What’s best for you as a beginner?

As alluded to in the introduction, the best certification for you will be based on what you have an aptitude for, your temperament and what you want to get into in the future. That being said, there are certain certifications that are quite popular for most beginners.

salesforce certification beginners

The best place to start you career path is often the Salesforce Administrator. More details about the certification and the exam are in the image above. Depending on whether you want to get more into developing and coding or not, you can then take two general paths.

salesforce admin

Figure 1: Brent Downey is a Salesforce Admin Expert and Consultant

Before 2016, the next step was quite easy. You almost automatically had to do the Force.com Developer (DEV401) exam, either before or after doing the Salesforce Administrator (ADM201) and or the Advanced Administrator (ADM211).

After 2016, there were changes made to Force.com Developer. The changes were necessitated by the fact that up to that point (late 2015), no actual coding was necessary for the developer certification. All development was click based and you did not need to know any line of APEX-the coding language used in Salesforce.

Today, this click based development is done through the APP Builders certification. In essence, the app builder certification is similar to what the older developer certification was.

salesforce prerequisites

Of course, if you decide to dive into coding, you could then go for the new developer certifications that were split into two; Salesforce Platform Developer I and Salesforce Platform Developer II where you will need to learn actual coding.


As a beginner, the best certification to start with is the Salesforce Administrator certification. This will give you a good base for digging deeper into salesforce either on the customer-facing side or later on for the developer side.

You could then choose to do the Advanced Administrator certificate or go ahead and do the Platform App builder certification.

After this point, you should be in a better position to figure out what specific salesforce career path you would prefer to follow whether it is; coding, marketing, cloud deployment, and implementations or Salesforce Architecture.

Mohammad Farooq
Mohammad Farooq is a Social Media Analyst who loves to write. He has been a professional blogger for years and loves reading (and Writing) everything Digital. When not doing anything Digital, he is busy backpacking around India.


  1. interesting analysis Mohammad.

    It does not give a certification but it is also pretty useful to take advantage of trailhead (https://trailhead.salesforce.com/) where Salesforce offers a good number of free and interactive/hands-on courses, combined with a trial instance, to get fingers dirty and learn.

    2 ct from Down Under


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