There are many different Salesforce career paths. For many people, finding a starting point can seem overwhelming and confusing. We believe that anyone can choose or make the pivot to a career within the Salesforce sphere. We tackle some of the most asked Salesforce career-related questions in this post. 


Which Salesforce certification would be best to kickstart my Salesforce journey?

This is one of the common questions that newcomers to Salesforce ask and it is a great question. From our experience, the Salesforce Certified Administrator certification is a solid foundation on which to start your Salesforce journey. While it is not necessarily a prerequisite for other certifications, it is increasing becoming a prerequisite. It's expected that you have this basic administrative knowledge and this certificate is proof of that. Earning a Salesforce certification proves to you, recruiters, employers, and the world at large that you are serious and have got skills.

Often times, administrators would have the Salesforce Certified Administrator as well as Platform App Builder. The latter is sometimes referred to as Admin 1.5.

Salesforce has recently introduced the Salesforce Associate certification. This is a great and easier launching point to get your feet wet. This exam is simpler and cheaper than the traditional Salesforce Certified Administrator, but demonstrates that you have foundational knowledge in how Salesforce works.

How do you choose the Salesforce career path right for you and what are the best certifications to start with on these paths?

Certifications are important, but it is incredibly helpful to gain some hands-on experience to see what you like and what you don't like. A Salesforce admin's core responsibility is Salesforce implementation, while a Business Analyst's function is to interpret business needs to possible technical solutions. A developer in the Salesforce space is usually familiar with Apex code and acts in support of admins and expanding Salesforce functionality for your org. Generally, it is about what you like to do. Do you like be client facing, or would you prefer to be in back?

For Salesforce related role in consulting, as a Business Analyst, or an Administrator, the role usually involves working with stakeholders to gather requirements, create user stories and come up with solutions. Often times, the role include some element of user training and overseeing User Acceptance Testing. Administrators and consultants should be able to build automations using Salesforce's declarative tools.  For this path, following this path the recommended certification to start is the Salesforce Admin and Platform App Builder. It is recommended to get the Sales Cloud Consultant and/or Service Cloud Consultant Certifications. An advanced certification would be the Salesforce Advanced Administrator certification exam. This final exam requires knowledge and wisdom with Salesforce beyond many beginner admins experience, including Territory Management and complex automations.

If you feel comfortable with code and enjoy working on the technical side, a career path as a Salesforce Developer might be for you. A Salesforce Developer's job role tends to involve validating business requirements and any considerations (security, scalability, limits), integrations, custom UI, etc. An Salesforce Admin could have many responsibilities of a Developer, but it is expected that a developer is experienced with programming languages. The role involves practical experience in apex classes and triggers,  Visualforce code. This career path can lead to becoming a Solutions Architect. 

It is recommended that on top of the Salesforce Admin certification and the Platform App Builder certification, an individual should work towards Platform Developer I and II. It is possible to earned specialized certificates such as Industrial CPQ Developer and B2C Commerce Developer.  

There are many more specialized certifications and roles within the ecosystem that are in high demand, from marketing cloud, to CPQ, to non-profit cloud. You can leverage your previous experience and knowledge to find your niche.  It is worthwhile to just get stated. 

What are salaries like in the Salesforce space? 

Average salaries vary by experience, certifications, and geography. There are a lot of numbers floating around out there, with some averages given in the six figures for any Salesforce related role. The competition is fierce for candidates with the right skillset.  From our experience, a new Salesforce administrator with less than a year of experience based in the United States can expect a starting salary of around 75,000 USD. Within the US job market, it is possible to be earning a six figure salary with a year of experience and some job hopping. The same applies to most consulting, BA, and developer roles. 

A quick note: a misconception about the Salesforce Admin role is that it is similar to an administrative assistant, that is not so. As an Admin, you need to know and how to say no to users and identify opportunities for improving business processes. You will find salaries reflect the need and understanding for business process as well as technical know-how.  

The bottom line

One of the greatest things about the Salesforce ecosystem is that there are a lot of space for professional growth. If you don't know where to start, it is best to start with the Salesforce Administrator Certification. It shows employers your commitment as well as furnish you with broad knowledge of Salesforce functionalities.  

We are excited about your Salesforce journey. Come and share your experiences in the comments or live in our free Q&A session. to register for our Live Q&A Sessions.


Additional Resource

Salesforce Trailhead - Prepare for Your Salesforce Administrator Credential 

Salesforce - Interactive Practice Test 

Salesforce Certification Days 

Salesforce Administrator Overview

Salesforce Trailhead - Prepare for Your Salesforce Platform Developer I Credential

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