Best Salesforce Certification Courses

Certification Preparation for Administrator is the best Salesforce certification

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Finding the best Salesforce certification course for you will depend on your professional aspirations and technical specialty. There are 30 Salesforce certifications available in five different tracks, including Administrator, Architect, Consultant, Developer, and Marketer.  

The best Salesforce certification courses offer a cutting-edge curriculum, learning flexibility, expert instruction, and great value for your learning investment. Read on to see our picks for the best certification training.

Best Salesforce Certification Courses of 2021

Best Overall : Certification Preparation for Administrators


Trailhead Academy Logo
  • Cost: $900
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Level: Intermediate
Why We Chose It

The Certification Preparation for Administrators course is hosted by Trailhead Academy which is Salesforce’s official training arm. Led by an expert Salesforce instructor, this course offers a highly efficient yet thorough way to prepare for Administrator certification.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Live, interactive training

  • Expert instructor

  • $200 Exam fee included in tuition (N. and S. America locations)

Cons
  • Training limited to exam prep

  • No guarantee offered

Overview

The Certification Preparation for Administrators course will help you get ready for the actual certification test. The course is designed for Salesforce administrators with at least six to 12 months of experience. 

Before sitting for the exam, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of Salesforce basics and platform configuration skills as well as have hands-on experience managing users. Topics covered in this course include Salesforce setup, data management, security, data modeling, and activity management. 

The Certification Preparation course introduces you to various exam objectives and likely areas of focus. This training is just one of 20 courses offered by Salesforce for its Administrator Track. The class will also help you identify areas where you may need to shore up knowledge gaps before you take the certification test.

If you have less than six months of Salesforce administrator experience, it’s unlikely that you are ready for this exam prep course just yet. You can build foundational skills by attending Trailhead Academy’s five-day Administrative Essentials for New Admins in Lightning Experience training.

Best Value : Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification


Udemy

Udemy

  • Cost: $139.99
  • Duration: 19 hours
  • Level: Beginner
Why We Chose It

Udemy’s self-guided certification course for beginners provides a thorough review of all concepts covered on the Platform App Builder Certification Exam. The low price and in-depth training combine to make it an exceptional value. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Low price

  • 19 hours of instruction 

  • Includes interactive quizzes

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons
  • No learner support community

  • No practice exam

  • No interaction with the instructor  

Overview

Udemy’s Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification Course requires no previous developer or coding experience, though familiarity with Salesforce is a plus. 

The training is taught by three instructors including Mike Wheeler who holds several Salesforce certifications and has received over 25,000 five-star reviews from more than 140,000 students on the Udemy platform. The Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification Course is also one of the most popular courses for developers with a total enrollment of over 23,000 students. 

The standard fee for this program is $139.99, which is quite reasonable for Salesforce training. Udemy often offers steep discounts where you can save 80% or more on this course. As of May 2021, the course was on sale for $14.99.

Best for Architect Certification : Certified Technical Architect Preparation Virtual Workshop


Trailhead Academy Logo
  • Cost: $900
  • Duration: 9 hours over 3 days 
  • Level: Advanced
Why We Chose It

This training features a thorough review of architect essentials plus hands-on exercises that prepare participants for the challenging Salesforce Certified Technical Architect Exam.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Intensive 3-day program

  • Virtual, interactive training

  • Expert instructor

Cons
  • No in-person training option

  • Limited workshop dates

  • No guarantee offered

Overview

The Technical Architect is one of the most advanced certifications Salesforce offers. We like this training because it’s split into three-hour training modules over three consecutive days which allows plenty of time for students to process complex concepts. It also offers ample time to ask the instructor questions and discuss Salesforce architecture challenges with classmates. 

Participants in this training learn how to design architecture solutions that involve multiple platforms, manage the development lifecycle, build secure solutions optimized for high performance, and articulate design considerations for technical architecture. 

Trailhead Academy recommends taking the workshop at least six to eight months before sitting for the actual Technical Architect Certification Exam. This long period between this training and testing allows ample time to put the concepts covered into practice. Before attending this workshop, you’ll need to have your Application Architect and System Architect Salesforce credentials.

Best for Consultant Certification : Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant


Certstaffix Training Logo
  • Cost: $1,895
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Level: Intermediate
Why We Chose It

Learn over three intensive days along with others who are studying to become Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultants. This training is taught live by a remote instructor who is available to answer your specific questions throughout the course.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Train from your home, work, or a Certstaffix location

  • In-depth course

  • Personalized instructor assistance

  • Hands-on learning

Cons
  • Limited class schedule

  • Remote instructor

  • Certification practice exam not included

  • High price

Overview

This Certstaffix Training is more than a test prep class; it’s an in-depth course that covers the skills you must master to be a Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant. It’s also an excellent course for developing essential skills while also preparing for the certification exam.

The training covers service cloud automation, custom indexes, customer portals, customer service goals and concepts, data migration and integration, record security, service relationships, and visual workflow. You can take the training from home, work, or at a Certstaffix Computer Lab in one of dozens of locations around the United States. 

Certstaffix provides all required software for the training. While this course has no prerequisites, you need to hold a Salesforce Administrator Certification before taking the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification Exam.

Best for Administrator Certification : Certification Preparation for Advanced Administrator


Trailhead Academy Logo
  • Cost: $900
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Level: Advanced
Why We Chose It

This course packs a review of the full breadth of concepts covered in the Advanced Administrator Exam into one fast-paced day of training. It’s also taught by expert instructors who work for Salesforce, the company behind the Certification Exam. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Virtual, interactive training

  • Expert instructor

  • $200 exam fee included in tuition (N. and S. America locations)

Cons
  • No in-person training available

  • Limited class schedule

  • No guarantee offered

Overview

If you’ve been a Salesforce Administrator for a couple of years, it may be a good time to start prepping for the Advanced Administrator Certification Exam. Trailhead’s course will give you an edge-up by teaching you what to expect before you sit for the exam.

This training brings important concepts to life through lectures, class discussions, and simulated Salesforce administrator problems. Course modules include configuring data, applying security, implementing business logic and process automation, building advanced reports, advanced dashboards, and best practices in data management.

You’ll need to pass the Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam before taking the exam for Advanced Administrator. If you haven’t done that yet, check out Trailhead Academy’s Certification Preparation for Administrators training, which tops our list for best overall Salesforce Certification courses.

Best for Developer Certification : Certification Preparation for Platform Developer I


Trailhead Academy Logo
  • Cost: $900
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Level: Beginner to intermediate
Why We Chose It

Trailhead’s one-day virtual training program delivers the essentials you need to prepare for the Salesforce Developer I Certification Exam. The program even concludes with a mock exam so you can evaluate your readiness for the real test.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Virtual, interactive training

  • Expert instructor

  • $200 exam fee included in tuition (N. and S. America locations)

Cons
  • No in-person training option available

  • Limited class schedule

  • No guarantee offered

Overview

The key objective of this course is to prepare you for the certifying test for Salesforce Developer I. In this training, your expert Salesforce instructor will review the full breadth of topics you can expect to see on the actual certification exam. 

Training modules include Salesforce fundamentals, database modeling and management, logic and process automation, Salesforce programming languages, user interface, testing, and debugging and deployment tools. Expect to sharpen your problem-solving skills while deepening your understanding of foundational developer concepts. 

There are no prerequisite courses for Platform Developer I Certification. However, Salesforce recommends that you have three to six months of experience developing and deploying business logic and user interfaces on the Salesforce platform before attending.

Best for Marketing Certification : Prepare for Your Marketing Cloud Administrator Certification Exam


Trailhead Academy Logo
  • Cost: $900
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Level: Intermediate
Why We Chose It

Trailhead Academy’s prep course offers an intensive review of core concepts included in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator Certification Exam. The training is an efficient way to test your exam readiness while getting all your questions answered by your expert Salesforce instructor.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Virtual, interactive training

  • Expert instructor

  • $200 exam fee included in tuition (N. and S. America locations)

Cons
  • Limited class schedule

  • No in-person training option

  • No guarantee offered

Overview

Marketing Cloud Administrators collaborate with technical teams and end-users to help execute customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives using the Salesforce platform. If you’ve ever thought about becoming a Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator, this may be the prep course for you. 

While there are no prerequisites for this course, you don’t want to jump into the certification examination process as a pure beginner. Salesforce recommends that you have at least six months of experience with the platform, as well as understand end-user features and configuration options available through its Marketing Cloud before sitting for the certifying exam. 

This prep course provides an overview of what you can expect in the certification exam. The course covers a broad range of topics, including governance and compliance in digital marketing, best practices in security, subscriber data management, user account setup, integrations configurations, channel management, and data extraction and report solutions.

At the end of the day of training, you’ll take a practice test that will help you evaluate your readiness for the actual Salesforce exam.

Best for Pardot Specialist Certification : Drive Sales with the Pardot Lightning App


Trailhead Academy Logo
  • Cost: $1,800
  • Duration: 3 full days
  • Level: Beginner to intermediate
Why We Chose It

If you’re ready to pursue your Salesforce Certified Pardot Specialist credential, take a closer look at this course. It’s the most comprehensive course on the Pardot Lightning App for digital marketers that we found.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Comprehensive training

  • Learn with and from other class participants

  • Class is available live virtually and in-person

Cons
  • Extremely limited schedule

  • No guarantee offered

  • Heavy pre-work recommended

Overview

This program features three intensive days of training that will arm you with the skills you need to build and implement marketing workflows and reports using the Pardot platform. This course was developed for relative beginners, though three to six months of experience working with the platform prior to taking this training is helpful.

In this foundational course, you’ll learn how to enable the Pardot Lightning App, use the App’s lead generation and management tools, and tap into Pardot’s engagement tools that allow for personalization and dynamic content. You’ll also learn how to qualify leads using the App’s lead scoring and grading functions. 

Trailhead Academy asks that you complete the Essentials of Pardot Lighting App for Digital Marketers pre-work before attending the live training. The free Pardot Lightning pre-work training involves a little over 12 hours of self-study. 

The focus of this course is on mastering Pardot so you can drive sales, but it’s also an excellent way to sharpen your skills in advance of taking the Pardot Specialist Certification Exam. Currently, Trailhead does not offer a prep course for its Pardot exam.

Final Verdict

Mastering the technical side of the Salesforce customer relationship management platform can be a lucrative career move. The best Salesforce Certification course for you depends on your technical interests, experience, and career goals. While the administrator track is the most popular, you may find the best training for you is a developer, consultant, architect, or marketing certification class.

The Trailhead Academy’s Certification Preparation for Administrators course tops our list primarily because it was created by the makers of the examination itself, i.e., Salesforce. The Salesforce Administrator certification is also a prerequisite for several other Salesforce certifications. 

Compare the Best Salesforce Certification Courses

Company Location Program Format Cost Duration Level
Certification Preparation for Administrators  
Best Overall
Virtual and in-person options  Instructor-led $900 1 day  Intermediate  
Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification
Best Value
Virtual Self-study $139.99 20+ hours Beginner
Certified Technical Architect Preparation Virtual Workshop
Best for Architect Certification
Virtual Instructor-led $900 1 day  Advanced
Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant Class
Best for Consultant Certification
Virtual    Instructor-led $1,895 3 days Intermediate
Certification Preparation for Advanced Administrator
Best for Administrator Certification
Virtual    Instructor-led $900 1 day  Advanced 
Certification Preparation for Platform Developer I
Best for Developer Certification
Virtual  Instructor-led $900 1 day  Beginner to Intermediate
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator Certification Exam
Best for Marketing Certification
Virtual  Instructor-led $900 1 day  Intermediate
Drive Sales with the Pardot Lightning App
Best for Pardot Specialist Certification
Virtual and in-person options Instructor-led $1,800 3 days Intermediate

How to Choose the Best Salesforce Certification Course  

To get the absolute best experience from your Salesforce certification training, it’s important to choose the program that best aligns with your specific needs. Here’s what to consider when selecting your Salesforce certification program. 

  • Instructor’s Expertise: You need to trust that your instructor knows what they're talking about. Choose a certification course taught by an expert, preferably a multi-certified Salesforce professional.
  • Your Level of Expertise: Choose a course that matches your level of expertise, whether that’s beginner, intermediate, or advanced.  
  • Overall Value: Will the training deliver on its learning objectives for a fair price? Select a course that offers a good value for the enrollment fee. 
  • Course Length: Never commit to a program you don’t have enough time to complete. Consider course duration relative to your scheduling availability.
  • Instructor Interaction: Are you the type of person who likes to ask your teacher lots of questions? Think about how much support you may need and whether live instructor interaction is important to you. 
  • Course Format: Determine whether the Salesforce Certification program matches your learning preferences. For example, do you prefer to learn along with others in the same course at the same time or does self-study work better for you?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Worth Getting a Salesforce Certification?

Becoming Salesforce certified is a terrific way to prove your expertise on this popular CRM platform. Certified professionals also have an advantage over non-certified people in job searches. A Salesforce certification can also translate into higher earnings and accelerated career growth, too. For example, the average salary for a Salesforce Administrator is $88,798, while a Salesforce Developer’s pay averages $115,403.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Salesforce Certification?

The most common jobs you can get with a Salesforce Certification are as a Salesforce Administrator, Developer, or Architect. There are also employment opportunities as a Salesforce Consultant or Salesforce Marketing professional.

What Is the Typical Path to Salesforce Certification?

The path to Salesforce certification typically is a combination of hands-on experience and instructor-led or self-guided training. The Trailhead Academy offers a total of 242 trails or learning paths for those interested in building their skills and pursuing a Salesforce certification. The Salesforce Certification programs include on our list represent the best courses available for helping you become Salesforce certified.  

Which Certification Is Best for Salesforce?

The Salesforce Administrator role is the most common in workplaces that use Salesforce, and hence the Salesforce Administrator Certification is the most popular certification. The Salesforce Certified Technical Architect commands a higher salary than other Salesforce credentials. The annual salary for a Salesforce Architect is $158,768. 

Methodology

To find the best Salesforce certification courses, we began by making a list of the certification tracks offered by Salesforce. Next, we closely evaluated which specific certifications within each of the five tracks were most popular in terms of employment opportunities as well as career growth and earnings potential. 

Once we identified the most promising Salesforce certifications, we evaluated more than 50 training programs that prepare learners for their certification exams. We considered price, course curriculum, learner reviews, instructor qualifications, course availability, and learner support. We also evaluated how well each course prepared learners to take the certification exam relevant to the training.

Article Sources

  1. ZipRecruiter. "Salesforce Administrator Salary." Accessed May 19, 2021.

  2. ZipRecruiter. "Salesforce Developer Salary." Accessed May 19, 2021.

  3. ZipRecruiter. "Salesforce Architect Salary." Accessed May 19, 2021