Excel as a Salesforce Administrator

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My Journey with the Salesforce Admin Certification

When my boss from my first company told me in 2012 that I would be attending the Salesforce Administrator course at the Sydney HQ, little did I know the Salesforce Admin Certification would catapult my career.

Salesforce has emerged as a leading force in customer relationship management (CRM) and cloud-based solutions. With its extensive suite of products and services, mastering Salesforce has become increasingly important for professionals seeking to excel in technology.

In the Salesforce ecosystem, the Administrator certification stands out as the most fundamental and advantageous certification as it offers a comprehensive understanding of Salesforce. It provides individuals with a holistic understanding of the Salesforce platform. This certification covers a wide range of topics, including data management, security & access, automation processes, user interface customization, and basic reporting. This knowledge forms the bedrock upon which other certifications and advanced skills are built. 

For me, as someone who knew nothing about Salesforce, this opened the tap slowly from the big Salesforce ocean.

How to get the Salesforce Admin certification

How to get the Salesforce Admin certification?

The Salesforce Administrator 201 certification is an official credential offered by Salesforce for professionals who demonstrate proficiency in administering Salesforce applications. It is designed to validate an individual's knowledge and skills in managing and customizing Salesforce environments to meet specific business needs. 

To earn the Salesforce Admin certification, candidates need to pass the official Salesforce Administrator certification exam. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and is timed. The passing score and other exam details may change over time, so it's essential to check the Salesforce website for the most up-to-date information.

How hard is the Salesforce Admin certification?

This question is highly subjective and depends on one’s experience. For those with technical background, this will be easy to grasp. If you are good with logic and have an idea of how business processes are implemented in software, this will be a piece of cake. 

But for someone from a non-technical background, it is indeed not easy to get the hang of the terminologies or how things work. However, one should not assume it is a non-reachable target, especially if the first attempt isn't successful. Improve your understanding and try again.

And no matter what, well-planned preparation is the key to success.

Many would wonder, "Isn't the Salesforce Associate certification the actual beginner cert?"

Not necessarily. If you are new to Salesforce, someone new to a tech position, or unsure where to begin, then yes, Salesforce Associate is the one. But if you have experience in the IT industry (though not Salesforce) or have been working on Salesforce for a few days or months, go ahead with Salesforce Administrator Certification instead. 

You reap more benefits due to its advantages over Associate certification.

In what way is it advantageous to start with the Admin 201 cert?

The Administrator credential empowers professionals with a versatile and flexible skill set. 

The skills acquired by preparing for the Salesforce Admin Exam are highly transferable and applicable across various industries. Administrators are responsible for configuring and managing Salesforce instances, making them valuable assets to any organization utilizing Salesforce as their CRM system. With this, I could work across different departments and gain more insights into sales, marketing, customer service, and more. 

Moreover, the versatility of the Administrator certification paves the way for further career growth in diverse Salesforce roles.

Will it allow for career growth?

Yes! More career opportunities, varied projects, higher demand, better salary, a handful of offers on LinkedIn! 

Starting with the Administrator certification opens up numerous career opportunities within the Salesforce ecosystem. Organizations across industries are seeking professionals with the skills to manage and optimize their Salesforce environments. The demand for certified administrators is high, and holding this certification can significantly boost resume and credibility. Whether working as a Salesforce Administrator, Consultant, or Business Analyst, the Administrator certification lays a strong foundation for career advancement. 

In fact, it was one of the first certificates launched by Salesforce to help provide the 'seal of approval' for Salesforce professionals. I got instant recognition from partners and customers!

Career growth with the Salesforce Admin certification

How to prepare for the Salesforce Admin certification?

In those days, there was limited access to materials. My previous company helped me by signing me up for instructor-led training, which was the only way back then! 

Now, Salesforce study materials are available everywhere! But be careful on how you search for the materials. Always remember that Salesforce Admin Certification Dumps is a big NO-NO! It is not only cheating to go through these real questions ahead, but it also hampers your ability to learn Salesforce, which is actually the point of getting certified. Imagine being certified and unable to create a basic Opportunity report – total embarrassment and absolute failure!

Fret not, the most popular ways to learn for those attempting today:

1. Salesforce's very own Trailhead — Offers gamified learning (imagine our excitement when it was first launched!)


2. Focus On Force Salesforce Admin Study Guide and Focus On Force Salesforce Admin Practice Exams — Offers structured learning for concepts relevant to the exam. It was prepared by experts who took the exam, and the content is always up-to-date. Admin Practice Exam questions come with an explanation to clarify both the correct and incorrect answer choices.


3. Salesforce Admin Certification Practice Test — Offered in the Webassessor for a small fee, it gives the test taker an idea of how the actual questions would be.


4. Instructor-led courses — Offers those looking for a classroom-like learning experience. 

5. Information by other bloggers who offer periodic content on Salesforce helps gain knowledge from a different perspective.

How long does it take to get the Salesforce Admin certification?

This is also subjective as it can be as short or as long as your experience and study time allows. It took me 4 weeks, starting from my preparation, to reach the point of taking the exam.

Here are some fast details about the Salesforce Administrator exam:

How many questions are in the Salesforce Admin certification?

Number of questions in the exam: 60 multiple-choice/multiple-select questions and 5 non-scored questions

Time allotted to complete the exam: 105 minutes

Passing score: 65%

Registration fee: USD 200 plus applicable taxes as required per local law

Retake fee: USD 100 plus applicable taxes as required per local law

Mode of test taking: Proctored exam delivered onsite at a testing center or in an online proctored environment.

There are no prerequisites for this exam. No reference materials can be used during the exam.

How being a Salesforce Certified Administrator helped me grow further

The Administrator certification was a stepping stone for me to pursue specialized certifications within the Salesforce ecosystem. I acquired the prerequisite knowledge and expertise required to undertake more advanced certifications, such as the Sales Cloud Consultant, Experience Cloud Consultant, Advanced Administrator, and Platform App Builder certifications.

Functional Career Path

Functional Admin Certification
  • Aligns more with an Admin or a Consultant role
  • Great to start with Admin, followed by Advanced Admin

Technical Career Path

Salesforce Technical Career Path icon
  • Admin is the foundation, followed by App Builder
  • Important to understand how you can declaratively build applications

Whether or not a user plans to take the functional or technical path, by obtaining the Administrator certification, individuals embark on a journey of continuous learning and growth, ensuring they remain valuable contributors to organizations leveraging Salesforce as their CRM platform. 

Not just knowledge, I also gained more confidence from the Salesforce Administrator certification, and it encouraged me to deepen my understanding of specific Salesforce functionalities. I am what I am today because I started with Salesforce Administrator that day. I could not have asked for a better pathway! 😀


Are you preparing for the Salesforce Admin 201 Certification?

Focus on Force provides a study guide and practice exams for the Salesforce Administrator credential.

Vidya Srinarayana Product Owner for Focus on Force

Vidya Srinarayana

Vidya's background in software engineering has instilled in her a passion for developing educational materials. Along with her current role as a Product Owner, she has earned 9 Salesforce certifications, demonstrating her proficiency in the field. In her personal life, she enjoys indulging in hobbies such as watching movies, listening to music, working out, and preparing vegetarian dishes, alongside her responsibilities as a mom of two naughty boys.


  1. Dorian Sabitov

    Hi Vidya,
    Thank you for your insightful post on the Salesforce Admin certification. Your personal experience adds valuable depth to the discussion.
    To contribute, I want to share a blog about Salesforce admin certification challenges – https://www.sfapps.info/how-hard-is-salesforce-admin-certification/ . Here are additional insights for those pursuing their Salesforce journey. This blog will be helpful also for non-technical individuals 😉.
    It complements your focus on preparation and continuous learning.