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Get Certified: 91% of Salesforce Professionals Consider Certifications a Factor Impacting Earning Potential

When you work with a technology as fast-moving as Salesforce, it’s incredibly important to read independent research on the ecosystem to ensure you’re steering your career in the right direction.

As a Salesforce education provider, it’s really helpful for us to find out where a typical professional struggles in their learning journey and how we can help. Focus on Force was recently featured in the 2019/20 Mason Frank Salary Survey as one of the ‘top Salesforce learning resources’, alongside influencers such as Salesforce Admin Evangelist Mike Gerholdt and community blogger Salesforce Ben to name just a couple. 

The independent report was compiled using survey responses from thousands of Salesforce professionals across the world, so it’s great to be held in such high esteem by members of the Ohana. The report itself actually provides a wealth of knowledge for both Salesforce professionals and employers to benchmark their circumstances against the industry average, whether that’s the products they’re using or how they’re being compensated.

Here are a few of our selected highlights from Mason Frank’s survey:

Which certifications are the most common?

Salesforce is a technology that places a lot of value in its certifications, and it’s no surprise to see that 71% of respondents to Mason Frank’s survey were Salesforce-certified. As you would expect, the Certified Salesforce Administrator credential is held by more professionals than any other, with 88% of certified respondents being Admin-certified.

The Platform App Builder certification was held by 46% of certified respondents, while Platform Developer I was held by 36%. Only 10% of certified pros held Platform Developer II however, suggesting opportunity for talented dev professionals willing to work towards the advanced certification.

Which certifications are the most valuable?

While certifications are a great way to learn and upskill in Salesforce, they’re also a brilliant tool for justifying a salary increase. Of the certified respondents to Mason Frank’s survey, 44% experienced a pay rise after achieving one of these prestigious credentials, with the average increase being around 24%.

When pros were asked which certifications would be most likely to increase their earning potential, topping the list was the Technical Architect certification (50%), followed by the System Architect (42%) and Application Architect (31%) certifications. 

The use of Salesforce Trailhead

Trailhead is one of the most celebrated open learning platforms in the world, and is responsible for launching the career of thousands of Salesforce professionals. Unsurprisingly, 94% of survey respondents use Trailhead, with most people holding an average of 82 Trailhead badges.

The survey found that 35% of respondents held over 100 Trailhead badges, while only 2% held no badges at all. 

Here is a breakdown of Trailblazer ranks based on the responses of over 2,500 Salesforce professionals:

  • Scout (0 badges) – 2%
  • Hiker (1-4 badges) – 4%
  • Explorer (5 to 9 badges) – 5%
  • Adventurer (10 to 24 badges) – 14%
  •  Mountaineer (25 to 49 badges) – 17%
  • Expeditioner (50 to 99 badges) – 24%
  • Ranger (100+ badges) – 35%

Despite the prominence and use of Salesforce Trailhead, only 38% of respondents considered Trailhead badges likely to increase your chances of gaining future employment. This is interesting given what professionals consider likely to impact earning potential.

Factors impacting earning potential

We’ve previously discussed the value of certifications in shaping a Salesforce career, and respondents to Mason Frank’s survey also think they’re important. In fact, 91% considered certifications to be a factor impacting earning potential, with 62% of those going as far to say they’re an important factor.

Years of experience working with Salesforce was the factor considered most important to earning potential (86%), while exposure to large products came in second at 76%. On the topic of Salesforce experience, the average number of years spent working with Salesforce among respondents was five years, while only 13% of respondents had over ten years of experience.

Working habits and benefits

Over half (51%) of survey respondents spend their full day working with Salesforce, while the average number of working hours was 44 per week. 

Interestingly, 27% of respondents had cross-trained into Salesforce—meaning they worked with a competitor product before entering the Salesforce ecosystem. This is great news for anyone currently working with another CRM or a developer who has knowledge of different coding languages. Salesforce is very accessible and a career in the technology has never been more viable.

The Mason Frank Salary Survey is the world’s largest independent exploration of the Salesforce ecosystem, with unique insights and sentiments on salaries, technology, and culture. It can be downloaded for free from the Mason Frank website.

What Certification are you studying for now?

Focus on Force currently provides practice exams and study guides for sixteen certifications


  1. Susie Turpin

    Any chance of you adding Field Service Lightning Consultant exam? What other one’s do you have in the works? Thanks! I use your service and it has helped me a lot!

    1. Zrna Anicic Focus Team

      Hi Susie, we still don’t have any special plan for the next course, as we’re busy with updating existing ones. We’re considering FSL, but we can’t tell for sure will it be the next one, or when will it be released.