Salesforce is a hot product and has created quite a stir in the technology industry. New customers are signing contracts every single day, and that means that more and more Salesforce Administrators, Developer and Consultants are needed.

Getting your Salesforce career started isn’t difficult, but it may take time. Salesforce has matured enough that companies are looking for experienced individuals with a proven knowledge of the platform and hands-on experience. However, by taking the appropriate steps to learn and network, you can find your Salesforce dream job.

Below are the five steps I think you should take to jump-start your career. I have also included some of the frequent questions I get about starting a career at the bottom of the post.

1. Create a Free Admin Playground Account

Anyone interested in learning Salesforce should create a free #AwesomeAdmin edition account. This provides you access to all of the features and functionality of Salesforce, which allows you to explore and play with the newest features and get hands-on experience with the application.

Admin orgs are 100% free forever, and will remain active as long as you login once every six months. I personally still have and use my original admin org that is now four years old!

With this org, you can do the following.

  • Install AppExchange packages to test them and become familiar with the install process.
  • Build new features and functionality in Salesforce (like custom fields, objects, and workflow rules).
  • Create and execute APEX code (for those who are developers) including Visualforce.
  • Access the Salesforce Success Community, which provides an endless supply of Salesforce documentation produced by Salesforce and the community.
  • and much more.

The Admin account is your portal to learning and playing with Salesforce. It’s easy to setup so take a moment to that before you do anything else.

Click here to create your free admin playground account.

2. Get Your Hands Dirty

Once your admin account is created, it’s time to start playing! There are multiple resources available which I recommend for getting started.

Salesforce Trailhead is an interactive learning tool developed by Salesforce. It’s very similar to Code Academy in that it has modules you’ll work through using your admin org. Along the way, you’ll learn the basics of Salesforce while earning points and badges. It’s phenomenal (and totally free). Take the custom Admin Hero Trailmix specifically designed for this blog post which will help you get started!

Force.com Platform Fundamentals is the “old school” way of learning Salesforce. This large book is very detailed and thorough. It’s still an excellent resource and provides some in-depth content that will get you even deeper into the fundamentals of the application. This PDF version is updated with each of the three Salesforce releases.

If you are interested in the true documentation style training guides, check out this page that links to all of the Force.com books currently available for reference. If you attend Dreamforce, and you prefer printed books, be sure to go to the Developer Zone to get a hard copy of the most recent version.

Salesforce Cheat Sheets are also available. These quick reference guides can be printed and hung in your office. Even as an experienced Administrator, I still reference these on occasion for a quick reminder of how to leverage specific functionality. These too can be found at Dreamforce as a nice printed and laminated hard-copy.

Zero to Hero is a post series right here on Admin Hero that aims to simplify some of the official Salesforce documentation and provide an easy way to learn the basics of Salesforce.

Salesforce’s YouTube channel is also a great resource for those of us who like video learning. Between Salesforce produced topical how-to videos to hour-long Dreamforce session videos, this is an excellent resource.

3. Join a User Group and Network

Networking is one of the single best things I have personally done for my career, and most of the people I have met have been through my local user group.

With over 200 users groups around the world, there is bound to be one in your area. These groups are 100% by the community, for the community. They provide a way to learn new features of the platform, learn how other customers are using Salesforce, and meet local Salesforce talent who can help you find jobs or answer questions you have on a regular basis.

To get the most out of these meetings, you need to overcome any fears you have with networking. Make it a goal to engage in a conversation with at least one person and trade contact information. You’ll find that this will slowly build your network and you’ll perhaps find a mentor or job opportunity.

Click here to find a user group in your area.

4. Leverage Your Social Networks

Social media is a great way to build your network and engage with others in the community. Salesforce users tend to prefer Twitter, but you’ll find Salesforce users sharing information on nearly every social network.

Jump into the conversation. Follow people or topics that are interesting to you. Begin to get on the radar of those in the community. I have learned a lot from users on Twitter and the Success Community. Find a channel that you can quickly engage in and have at it.

5. Volunteer

Once you have a baseline knowledge of Salesforce, it’s time to apply that knowledge to a real-world scenario. If you’re needing to build your resume with projects before getting a full-time job somewhere, volunteering is an excellent way to do that.

Nonprofits all over the world are finding the value of Salesforce and due to limited resource, they are also looking for talented individuals to help set up or maintain their Salesforce orgs on small projects.

There are multiple places to find volunteer opportunities. Check out the Salesforce Foundation or Community Corps for virtual or local pro bono volunteer opportunities.

Now that we’ve covered the steps to get started let me address some common questions.

Do I have the skills to become a Salesforce Administrator?

I get asked this question a lot. Many people are looking to make a career change, and there is concern that they don’t have the experience or background the become a successful Salesforce Administrator.

It’s important to remember that Salesforce is a tool, and any tool can be learned. It’s similar to learning Facebook, or Outlook or how to pay a bill online. To learn Salesforce does not require any particular background. Anyone can learn it.

A Salesforce Administrator is a business process expert. Administrators work closely with business stakeholders to learn and understand issues happening in existing processes or to gather requirements for new processes. The skill to being a Salesforce Administrator comes in knowing how to take those process requirements and implement them successfully in Salesforce.

There are multiple characteristics that successful Salesforce Administrators should possess. You should note that these characteristics are my opinion and not a requirement. But the really good Salesforce Administrators that I’ve met possess these characteristics.

  • Ability to listen and empathize with users. This is a “customer facing” position. Users are your customers. They deserve great customer service. If you have the ability to listen and learn about their problems, issues, and needs, you’ll do great.
  • Exceptional communicator. Communication is critical. Not only are the best administrators great at listening, but they are great at communicating. This role tends to work with individuals at all levels; from the CEO to the end user. Knowing how to communicate effectively with each at each level will bode well.
  • Ability to think outside the box. There is not a set way to do anything in Salesforce. That’s part of the beauty of the tool. That also means that for any one process or set of requirements, there are multiple solutions. You’ll need to think outside the box to ensure that all possibilities are captured and that the needs of the business are being met. This requires creative and critical thinking.

Should I become an Administrator or Developer?

Another common question is, should I become an Administrator or Developer?

This question is hard to answer because everyone is different. But, there is some basic information I can provide that may help you make a decision.

Administrators tend to be more customer-facing. We work with the business directly on a more regular basis. This requires a different skill set as a result. Administrators focus on declarative development (meaning we develop with clicks, not code).

Developers are typically knowledgeable in another coding language or have the ability to learn a coding language. While they do work directly with business users and stakeholders, they tend to operate more in the background; working more closely with the Administrator than the internal customer.

If you are interested in becoming a Developer, it is still recommended that you learn Salesforce as an Administrator. Ideally, you should not create code for something that can be done declaratively with the application. The only way to know what can and can’t be done with the platform using declarative development is to learn it! The best developers will validate this as well.

If you are still unsure of where to go down the track of Admin or Developer track, read this post, Beginner’s Guide to Salesforce Certification, to learn more.

Remember, you can do this! You just need to want it bad enough.

Admin Hero Trailmix

I’ve put together this Jumpstart Your Salesforce Career Trailhead Trailmix just for you! It’s a fun and easy way to get started with your Salesforce learning journey. Sign up for a free Admin Playgroup or Dev Org, and you’re off to the races!

Photo Credit: Oscar Rethwell via Flickr

270 thoughts on “ 5 Steps to Jump-Start Your Salesforce Career ”

  1. Hi Brent,

    Is salesforce service consultant good career option for an IT professional with 18+ years experience in Program Management, Testing and PMO

    Regards,
    Vinay

    Like

    1. While those skills will be extremely helpful in a consulting career, the key is to learn Salesforce as a platform from a solution perspective. The best consultants I have seen were system administrators first before getting into the world of consulting.

      Like

  2. This page is so helpful. Thank you
    I am hearing so much about salesforce and want to get training as I am not from the tech world. Could you suggest if I start as admin or developer. Is the Term functional consultant ( in SAP) same as admin consultant in salesforce. Since there are many modules, could you suggest what module should be the stepping stone

    Thanks

    Like

    1. Hello Rohit! I don’t know much about SAP and how that translates to Salesforce. I think that the best Salesforce consultants start out as administrators so my suggestion would be to get familiar with the Administrator position first. Plus, the administrator position will allow you to get a better understanding of the platform and the basic functions of the tool. Good luck!

      Like

      1. hi Brent, first of all, thank you very much to make available such page.
        I was just reading the Q&A here and I figure i could get the meaning of the question of ROHIT – i see that functional consultant has focus more in busines process so that the consultant indentify which changes would imply to make the system fit to end user processes, i also see that this role of functional would be focused in business processes, but not much in technology. I myself was wondering if there would be another start point in SalesForce in CRM processes, like for Business Analysts, would there be something likely?

        cheers
        MassaBR

        Like

  3. i am Cross-Platform Mobile Application developer . i want to getting in SalseForce. What should i have to start ? Is there Mobile Apps developing ?

    Like

    1. Salesforce has a lot of APIs that allow companies to create 3rd party applications for Salesforce. I don’t know what the market looks like for mobile applications. Salesforce1 mobile app has taken over as the defacto mobile app for the enterprise. But I have seen some really cool applications made for specific organizations. Good luck!

      Like

  4. Hello Brent,

    I am having 2 years of experience in Oracle CRM, Sales Logix, Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Digital marketing & Web designing. I want to learn Salesforce from the ground level to start my career as a salesforce consultant.I have done my B.Tech in Computer science and MBA in marketing. Will it be a good career option to enhance my job growth? then kindly tell me for learning, what would be my first step?

    Like

    1. Hello Saswat. If you are interested in learning Salesforce, follow the above steps to get all of the initial training and hands-on learning you need to get started. Good luck!

      Like

  5. Hi Brent , your post is very helpful.just wanted to take your advice really .well I have been in the tourism industry fir the past 10 years worked in sales and then business development. Was working in UK and recently moved to USA.have found that my industry is not flourishing and the jobs I m finding are like going back 7 years in my career (salary wise).Then someone mentioned salesforce to me and advice to change my career path. Do you think with my background if I get the admin certification it will really help me. I have no IT degree or experience. Would really appreciate your guidance.In the beginning what kind of salary packages I m looking at.it feels you know this industry really well.
    Regards
    Neha

    Like

  6. Hi Brent,
    I start a new job as a Project Manager for a major Salesforce partner in London soon which I’m really happy with! I would like to start my own consultancy from scratch one day. How many projects/years would you recommend and what would you recommend that I might not have thought of? Is it getting big in europe? I have no previous Salesforce experience but am an experienced Project Manager. Is it good to hire contractors first?
    Rgds Ryan

    Like

    1. Hello Ryan! Congratulations on your new job. Sounds very exciting! I hesitate to give you a time-frame or specific number of projects before getting into consulting. What I would say is that you want to have enough hands-on experience to know the system well (including limits, some basic creative solutions and work-arounds) and that you can articulate business requirements into the Salesforce solution well. I have seen some consultants who have great PM skills but never had hands-on experience with Salesforce (as an end-user or administrator) and the resulting solutions weren’t that great. While it can be done, the most effective consultants tends to be the ones that have a really good understanding of Salesforce in the past. Good luck!

      Like

      1. Hi Brent,

        Greetings!!!!!!!!!!

        I am a fresher..i dont have an proramming skills,but i am very much interested in salesforce admin job..kindly guide me form where should i start.

        Regards
        Bineet

        Like

  7. HI Brent,
    I’m having 2 years of work exp of IT product sales and MBA in Mktng and Bachelor of Engg.
    Which module of sales force is best for me.
    some one suggest mi SAP SD so please suggest

    Like

  8. Hi Brent,

    Great Post. I was thinking about a career in salesforce. You have answered several of my questions in the above posts. I have SharePoint experience and was pursuing a career as a SharePoint Admin, but SP is a monster and difficult to learn all there is to learn and you need to have experience to find a job. Do you have an opinion RE: SP vs Salesforce? Would it be easier to find a SF job and is the SF job Market prevalent?

    Like

    1. Thanks JRR! SharePoint is a monster indeed. I think that many organizations are using SharePoint, but I am biased to Salesforce. The job market is exploding in a lot of areas; Admins, Developers and Consultants are in high demand right now. The platform isn’t difficult to learn but where I think that Salesforce has a leg-up on Microsoft is the community support. If you go to http://www.success.salesforce.com you’ll see just how engaged people are in the Salesforce community. This is where I did most of my learning – it’s a great resource. Salesforce does a great job of providing everything you need to become successful and that goes for new and old admins alike. Good luck!

      Like

  9. Hi Brent,
    Thanks for your response. What would you recommend as a career path and certification. I heard taking exams in this order: 201 401 301. I am sure this depends on what you want to do, but classes are expensive. Do you start off becoming an admin and then work from there. What do you start finding an entry level job.

    Like

    1. You could get right into consulting if this is what you wanted to do, but I believe that the best way to start is down the admin path. This gives you the most hands-on experience (in my opinion) in an environment that would allow you to learn and make mistakes without worrying about feeling bad about charging a client to do this!

      Like

  10. Brent,

    Great information and your website is a wonderful resource. My goal is to be a guru Admin.,. I looked at some videos and know I would really like it! I am looking for the quickest way to get education and experience under my belt so I can start in the real world and grow from there. I do not have the money to take classes now for cert., but later on plan to save up. Baby steps. Using the tool is the best way I learn. What suggestions do you have. I want to get involved in the community and network too.

    Thank you for your time !

    Like

    1. Thanks for the comment Tim! Follow the links above to access the Force.com workbook and setup your free developer org. These two items will be a very valuable resource for you. I still have and use my first developer org – you’ll have it forever! Find information on your local user group and be sure to join the meetings. You can find information at success.salesforce.com and click on User Groups. Also, go to YouTube and find the Dreamforce channel. You can see all of the past sessions. Take some time to watch the videos and learn that way as well. Good luck!

      Like

  11. Thanks Brent ! I have taken your advise and am using the SalesForce interface everyday. The You-tube and the help menu are great resources too. Back to learning !

    Like

  12. I did masters in MBA and would like to work as a Salesforce administrator. I have basic knowledge of few concepts,I used Salesforce demo tool for 20 days to understand the system by following few videos and documents. I am planning to apply for few contract jobs to start my career as a salesforce admin. Can I start working for some “X” company using this min experience? If I want to perform well in the organisation what all topics do I need to understand. Can you please suggest what all concepts I should know before getting into entry level job?

    Like

    1. Hello Robin – thanks for reading! There are two things that I think every administrator/consultant needs to understand: general knowledge of the platform and best practices. Thankfully, the general knowledge is a relatively easy one. Salesforce does a great job of providing resources that help users learn the system (such as the extensive documentation in Help & Training and videos on YouTube). Best practices can be learned through some of these channels as well, but this is where living the life of an admin comes into play. There is so much knowledge that one gets by working with a real-life company that can’t be learned through other means. This is why I encourage folks to become an administrator in an organization before becoming a consultant. Some of the best consultants I have worked with were administrators in their previous life and it showed. The quality of work and the critical thinking that was applied was all done through an extensive amount of hands-on knowledge. Good luck with everything!

      Like

  13. Hi Brent,

    I am a .Net professional with 9 years of experience. I am working in IBM. There was an initiative in my organization for some useful training on SFDC. Do you think it can be a good decision if I start thinking moving my career to SFDC now? What would be the best area which suits my career shift and progress well.

    Like

    1. Hi Debabrata! I can’t say if moving into Salesforce right now is the right move for you personally, but I can say that if you wanted to move into the world of Salesforce, now is a good time. To get started, I would suggest setting up your dev org and going through the Force.com Fundamentals book (see links above). This will give you the base knowledge and understanding of Salesforce functionality and help you determine if Salesforce is the right move for you. Good luck and thanks for reading Admin Hero!

      Like

  14. Hi,

    I am MCA graduate and wanted to start my career in salesforce.
    what all are the basic steps for a fresher to start career in salesforce and from where should i start.
    Please suggest it will be really helpful..
    Thanks in advance.

    Like

    1. Thanks you for reading! I would start with the above suggested resources. They will prove the building blocks for learning the system and give you the ability to communicate in Salesforce language. Good luck!

      Like

  15. Brent, great article. We are having our NPSP customized and after that I’ll be the admin. I’m trying to learn as much as possible. Helpful hint on Step 1 was a great idea, I’ll get my personal login after this comment! Bummer is I was at Dreamforce last week and didn’t pick up the free books. Are they still available from somewhere? Thanks

    Like

  16. Hi Brent,
    Im working as a Business analyst for the past 4 years. I do not have any technical skills. I did my graduation in science, and then did my masters in business administration. I do want to learn SFDC, but I’m not sure if I can pick it up, considering I have always worked on the functional side, and have no experience in coding. Can you please advise. Or suggest what courses I could take up to improve my standing in the IT industry.

    Thanks,
    Bujji

    Like

    1. This sounds like the perfect job for you then! In my opinion, a successful Salesforce Administrator needs to have had hands-on experience in the functional side of the business. The reason is that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the pain-points that need to be solved using Salesforce. You know what questions to ask. The beautiful thing about Salesforce is that you don’t need to have any prior knowledge of coding. In fact, in my day-to-day world, I have not written a piece of code! Stay tuned to the blog because in 2015, I will be publishing some additional content around getting started with Salesforce in a series of posts which will hopefully provide you with additional insights.

      Like

    2. Hi Vasantha,

      i have more than 11 years of Sales and business development experience and currently working with an IT company as an Advisor to VP(Sales). i have zero technical knowledge but wish to make my career in Business analyst or Functional consultant as all experience is in field.
      could you help me in this..

      Like

  17. Hi Brent thanks for the great advice. I’ve been a stay at home dad since 2011 but want to get back in the IT field, I was a network administrator from 1997-2002 and sales from 2003-2011 I think I would be a great fit for Salesforce. I will defintely follow your steps above for getting started, just wondering about being off for so many years if this is going to be a realistic option for me?

    Thanks Mike

    Like

    1. Hello Mike. I think you past experience – especially in Sales will help out here. Salesforce isn’t so much about technology as it is process. The aim is to bring efficiency to users so that they are more effective at driving sales and servicing customers. Salesforce happens to be the tool that we use to drive that efficiency and effectiveness. I personally know many administrators and consultants who started out in sales, marketing or who have degrees in liberal arts who are awesome admins. Good luck!

      Like

  18. Hi Brent, thanks for the great write-up. I am .NET Technical Lead with 8 years of experience. I am based in New Delhi, India. With a move from .NET to Salesforce, will my .NET experience help in retaining the Salary Package and job role? What’s your thoughts?

    Like

    1. I’m not familiar with .NET from a professional standpoint, but I know that careers in Salesforce are very competitive and have salary ranges that are comparable to many IT professions. There isn’t a single location for salary information or ranges so perhaps talk with your local Salesforce User Group leader and see if they might be able to shed some light on that.

      Like

  19. Hi Brent,

    I have recently passed my salesforce Admin 201 and i am not sure where to start. I have a developer account and i am practicing building apps and getting us to the system. I have realized that Salesforce is a wide ocean and there is loads of different job roles out there. I am not that experienced with salesforce therefore it is hard to find a job and gain experience. I am confused on what to do, what directions to take and i really could do with some guidance from you if possible. I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you

    Bella

    Like

    1. Bella – congratulations on passing your certification exam! Sounds like you are on the right track. I would work your network hard to see what possibilities are available. There are many organizations that would hire entry-level Administrators but it may take some leg work. Also, consider doing some small consulting jobs on the side. Some companies need someone to do some basic configuration for them. This can be added to your resume and provide a little extra spending money. Check out the post here to learn more: https://adminhero.com/become-freelance-salesforce-consultant/

      Good luck!

      Like

  20. Hello Brent,

    I thank you for all the information you gave. I’m thinking to start my career in salesforce. i had few doubts and confusions which are cleared after reading your article.
    one quick question..is there any order for sfdc admin certification? if so can you please tell that. is that certification valid for lifetime?

    Thank You,
    Sharanya.

    Like

  21. Hi Breant,

    i am currently having 3.6 yr’s of experience in mainframe tech. so i went to sales force coaching. Now i am in confusion like did i took correct decision on changing my skill.

    Can you please provide me your guidance on this.

    Thanks,
    Srinivas

    Like

    1. Hello Srinivas. Since I don’t know all of the circumstances and the context of your decision, I’m afraid I can’t speak to your specific situation. However, I will make a general suggestion. If you are feeling uncomfortable about a transition into Salesforce, slow down a little bit. There is no reason to make your decisions quickly. More than likely you are feeling anxious about such a major life decision. Give yourself time to think about it. I would continue to work in your current position while learning Salesforce as a hobby. Once you feel like you want to go all-in with Salesforce, then make the transition. Do what works best for you.

      Like

  22. Hi Brent, great article, thank you! I’ve been in sales for 15 years and looking for a new career path, never been involved in IT sales but salesforce has grabbed my attention. I’m based in Dubai now and there’s a number of companies selling salesforce. What’s the best way to tackle this to enter a job in sales? Many thanks, Steven

    Like

    1. Hi Steven. Thanks for the comment. I’m probably not the right person to suggest how to get a job in sales with Salesforce, but I can totally help with how to get started as a Salesforce Admin. I know several Administrators who have had a background in Sales and it can actually help in your understanding of Salesforce and proper processes going forward. I would suggest following some of the materials above to help you get an understanding of Salesforce. Get involved with the Salesforce Community on social networks and the official Community pages (www.success.salesforce.com). Also, join your local user group if one exists. Good luck!

      Like

  23. Hi Brenk,very useful article for me. I started learning salesforce for my career change and I found interesting. I am learning theory but I have no idea how to practise it. Please suggest me how can I learn and get hands on with salesforce.

    Like

    1. One of the best ways to learn is to find a use case in your personal life and build Salesforce to accommodate it. In the next Zero to Hero post, we are going to start the building process and I will be showing you how to build an app to track your automobile expenses using Salesforce (and Salesforce1)! If you’re looking for additional inspiration, check out . It’s a site that has tons of great ideas on using Salesforce to track and manage every day things. Good luck!

      Like

  24. Hi Brent,

    I wander if you can help. I signed up for a free dev Sandbox a few months ago but didn’t login that often. I just tried to login by requesting a new password but I am not receiving any emails. do you know why this is? the email address is correct.

    Thanks in advance.
    Laide

    Like

    1. Hello Laide! The developer orgs are free and don’t expire, but there is a footnote to that. If the org went unused for 6 months (or you didn’t at least log in during that time), it can be closed. If you are unable to login, I would suggest creating a new dev org. Remember, the username just has to be in the form of an email but you can still use your real email address so that notifications get sent to you. So, for example, your username could be laidedevorg@gmail.com (even though this is a fake email address) but your user profile can have your real email address. This is what I’ve done with all of my orgs.

      Like

  25. Hi Brent,

    Your sharing of knowledge was too good and I appreciate you.I have 10yrs of java/j2ee experience and
    Currently I am playing the role of project manager(no technical).
    I want to learn Salesforce but confused whether to go for developer or admin . As I want to have a consulting career in Salesforce which one should I target for admin/developer.
    And also if I opt for Technical project manager which one to choose. Kindly guide me. Awaited for your reply.

    Thanks
    Asif

    Like

    1. If you are looking at becoming a consultant, I would work towards the Admin certifications first. This covers the basics of Salesforce and touches nearly every piece of functionality in the tool. Knowing how the system functions will allow you to have a better hands-on experience and as a result, be able to provide a better consulting experience for your future clients. Once you have the Admin certification, I would then work towards Developer. Please note this is just my professional opinion. There really isn’t a set track to follow. Good luck!

      Like

  26. Hello Brent. Thank you for creating this page. I’m currently in sales, looking to make a career change to Salesforce Admin. I have some basic knowledge as a user, but would like to ask about the importance of taking a class. I’ve seen posts where a self study could be done as opposed to the classroom. What do you suggest? Also, do you know of any financial assistance programs to assist with the cost of selecting the classroom option?

    Like

    1. Hello Ray! Certification classes do provide some value, but they are expensive. I did take the admin and advanced admin courses and found them very helpful. While I learned some great tips and tricks, the classes don’t cover all of the content that will be on the exam. So, even with the class, you may need to do some self study. The only discounts for classes that I know of are for non-profits. Typically, there are discounts at Dreamforce as well but prices very and are only valid during Dreamforce. Depending on the topics you aren’t as familiar with, self-study may be just as good. If you have more than 6 months of Salesforce experience, check out the certification study group on the success community. The study group is a big commitment, but it’s free and 96% of folks who go through the study group pass the exam. . Good luck!

      Like

  27. Hi,

    I have 2 year of exp as a .NET developer, post which I did my MBA and currently am working as an Assistant Manager in a Project Management Role in IT/ITES market. I am confused whether to go for AWS or Salesforce as SFDC is a leader in SaaS and AWS is in IaaS, and CRM is the only Application where Salesforce in earning right now. I want to be a consultant. Kindly provide your inputs.

    Like

    1. Hello Karan! Both AWS and Salesforce are great options and in some cases, there are folks who know both. You can do some amazing things using both applications so I would suggest that it is really a matter of what platform you enjoy working with. Having not personally worked with AWS, I can’t compare and contrast the two platforms, but I would suggest talking with folks in both areas to determine if the type of work is what you would enjoy. Who would you be working with and what would be the primary job function in both? After knowing that you may be able to come to a decision one way or another. Good luck!

      Like

  28. Hi Brent,

    I have recently started learning Salesforce and I am finding it very interesting. I have 9 years of PeopleSoft CRM Experience and almost all the functionalities that we code there are available in Salesforce with a simple click or drag and drop tool! I have also passed the Salesforce Admin certification and am raring to give more certifications.I am currently looking for jobs in Salesforce Admin but all the employers are looking for job experience. How would you suggest going about to gain more experience in this case.

    Like

    1. Hello Reema! Thanks for reading. Good for you in getting certified. It’s a great accomplishment. I would suggest continuing to find full-time positions but while doing so, see if you can find some “freelance” style work that would allow you to get your hands dirty and produce some results. While not necessarily full-time work, it is experience nonetheless and will go a long way in helping you in your experience while building your resume. You’ll find that asking folks in your local user group or via LinkedIn will generate some good leads to work from. Good luck!

      Like

  29. Are there jobs for people who are beginners with Salesforce Admin? You mentioned trying to find freelance work? Are such types of jobs advertised in a special place? My concern is going into these training courses but not being able to find employment. Thanks.

    Like

    1. Hello Jan! Yes, there are jobs to be had! It may take a little bit longer for you to find a position that fits your experience level, but they are out there! Depending on your background, it may not take you too long to learn the platform. Either way, you would be surprised what type of opportunities pop up when you have a little bit of knowledge. I use personally prefer LinkedIn to source freelance work and it has worked out well for me. Good luck!

      Like

  30. Hi Brent,

    I have recently heard about SalesForce and from that day everyday i am going through different SalesForce sites to explore more about it.

    I have 5 years of Experience in IBM Mainframes and i feel like, i should change my Technology area for better future oppertunities. so i thought of Learning SalesForce for a good career options. I have few queries , Please clarify me

    1. Is it a better choice to move to SalesForce from Mainframe with respect to future Career opperunities?

    2. What would be the scope of SalesForce Professionals down the line 10 years?

    3. Which one is a better option for me SF Admin or SF Developer to start my SalesForce career ? , i have worked as a developer in last 5 years.

    Thank you in Advance…

    Like

    1. Hello, Praks! Thanks for the comment. These questions are somewhat hard to answer since I don’t know much about you or your area of expertise. So, I am going to provide some general comments that will hopefully help you make a decision one way or another.

      Career opportunities in the cloud computing industry, including Salesforce, are growing and outpacing some other industries. I don’t know how it compares to your specific industry, but from what I understand cloud computing (in general) is a great place to be from a career perspective.

      The 10-year plan again depends on what you love to do. I know some Administrators who have been Admins for that long and don’t want to do anything else. I know some folks who work in every area of Salesforce (Administration, Developer, Consultant). There are various options and it will really depend on what you love. Personally, I see myself as a consultant long term but that is based on me and what I love to do.

      The Admin versus Developer question is one that you will need to determine and it will be based on the type of work you want to do and your comfort level with code. Administrators are business analysts and work closely with users. You’ll need to have a personality that works well with other people, have patience to work with users etc. This role is more of a people-person role. Developers tend to work more in the background. While they may have interaction with the business (depending on the organization), they tend to work more with the Administrator or business lead than with the users directly.

      I hope that was helpful! Good luck in your career.

      Like

      1. Hi Brent,

        Thanks a lot for your answers on my queries. Now i am cleared on the SF Admin/Developer part.
        Now i am confident, that i am going on right track.. 🙂

        Hopefully we will get your Guidance/Help in future as well .

        Cheers SF !!!

        Like

        1. Hi Praks,

          I am in the same boat and have 6 years of exp. in mainframe. What did you decide finally and how did it go? Please help. thanks!

          Like

  31. Hello Brent,

    Hope you are doing great.

    I have been doing business development (IT companies) for last 3+ years. I would like to ask, is it a good choice to learn Salesforce now?

    My specific questions
    1) Who can or should learn Salesforce-Admin?
    2) What is the best to learn in Salesforce, if you are not from tech background and don’t even want to code or development?
    3) Could you please help me with the certification name I should be learning in up-coming days based on my previous work experience and skills (in.linkedin.com/in/ankit27april)

    Thanks in advance for your time and reply.

    Like

    1. Hello Ankit! Thanks for your comment and thanks for reading Admin Hero. I don’t provide specific career advice to individuals as I am not qualified in that area but what I can do is provide you with some information that may help you make a decision for yourself.

      Salesforce is a tool just like a computer, or Outlook or Facebook. Anyone can learn how to use it as an end user or as an administrator. It just takes a little time, dedication and hands-on experience. I know folks from all sorts of backgrounds who have learned Salesforce and made a great career out of it. Don’t be intimidated by your experience or knowledge level!

      Being a Salesforce Administrator is really all about knowing how to problem solve and implement process-based solutions to those problems. If you can do that, and you have an affinity for customer service, then Salesforce Administration is a great option. I would suggest talking with other Salesforce Administrators in your network and get their opinions as well. Folks are eager to share and that feedback will go a long way in helping you decide how to proceed.

      Good luck!

      Like

  32. Hi Brent ,

    First of all i need thank for such a wonderful website that you maintaining to guide the people who have interest in salesforce stream. Presently i am working as developer(close to 3years) in IBM Mainframes(using cobol,JCL and Db2) and i would like to make a switch in salesforce (which is mainly because of something it deals with cloud) .
    We can focus salesforce admin or Salesforce developer(certainly its based on our interest).But i would like to put a few queries and need solutions for making our career in salesforce stream.
    1.Will it become stagnant at one point in future?
    2.How about the demand of salesforce in current IT market
    3.do we need to update our skills periodically?
    4.Is there any prerequisite to become salesforce admin(like c,c++,java)
    5.Is there any prerequisite to become salesforce developer(like c,c++,java)

    Thanks in Advance

    Like

    1. Hello, Gokul! Thanks for the comment. Bluewolf, a Salesforce consultancy, puts out a yearly report which is available for free. It’s called The State of Salesforce and includes the current ecosystem and growth in the industry. This should help to provide some questions around sustainability and demand. With regards to skills, Salesforce has three releases a year and with each release, certified individuals are required to pass a short exam. There are no formal prerequisites for becoming an Admin or Developer, but, generally speaking, you should be a people person and excited to solve business problems. Good luck!

      Like

  33. Hi Brett,

    Your website has been a real good learning tool for me (You Rock!).
    I have recently passed the ADM 201 certification. I am now looking out for opportunities to get a job in SF world.
    Can you kindly help me or suggest me ways to find a job in SalesForce domain.
    PS: I am planning to complete the Dev 401 certification some time soon.

    Thanks.

    Like

    1. Hello, Amit! Thank you for the comment and congratulations on passing your certification! Finding Salesforce opportunities is quite easy through the traditional channels (job boards and related sites). I would leverage the power of your network as well. This is how I have found nearly all of my positions. Start applying to positions that look interesting to you. If experience is needed, you can always do some pro bono work with a non-profit for do some freelancing to build up your resume and experience. Good luck!

      Like

      1. Thanks for taking time out and replying to my query.

        I have started looking out for jobs on the job board but not of much significant help.

        I would like to do some free lancing or work for non profit, can you help me in getting the relevant exposure ?

        Regards,
        Amit

        Like

        1. Hi Brent,

          Just came across this site and it is really informative. Are there any ebooks for Admin course?

          @Amit : Congrats Mate! Where did you prepare from?

          Thanks!
          Karan

          Like

          1. Hi Karan! I don’t know that there are any books for certification or Admin training that I would really trust. I do recommend using the official Salesforce materials as those are updated with each release. Because Salesforce has 3 releases a year, 3rd party print material tends to get outdated before it’s even printed. The only exception would be CRM best practice type books (such as Salesforce.com Secrets of Success). These books focus more on best practices which apply to any version of Salesforce. In terms of certification, check on the Success Community. There is a good group there called Salesforce Certification Study Group that offers free certification help.

            Like

  34. Hi Brent, your site has such great information. Reading through the comments and I may have overlooked, but is it possible for someone to be an Admin without having to do consulting work? Or “customer facing” work. I want to get started on the track to Salesforce Admin and then hopefully Developer but I wanted to ask that question first. I’m more of a behind the scenes worker. Thanks!

    Like

    1. Hello, Orlando! Most companies are looking for Administrators with some experience and knowledge of the platform. This doesn’t mean that you must be a consultant or perform some sort of freelance work. This will depend quite a bit on the experience level the company is looking for and what the job description looks like. Salesforce Administrators, in most cases, work directly with the end users and the business. Again, this will differ based on the organization and the exact job description, but the position tends to be internal customer facing.

      Like

  35. Hi Brent,

    I’m a corporate recruiter by profession.I would like to ,I’ve to IT side of my career so did sales force admin certification and now doing a advance certification.I never worked as sales force admin before,I’m new to this field.Im looking for help which can help me understand how sales force admin work at a company level.

    I would appreciate if you can help me with a ny sort of scenario based study modules.

    Thanks
    sandy

    Like

    1. Hello Sandy, thank you for your comment. The best way to study is to either join a study group run by the success community (success.salesforce.com), attend a training by a professional group such as Salesforce or Stonypoint or self-study. Or any and all combinations of these. Read blogs, watch YouTube videos and join your local user group. These will help you get ready for certification. Good luck!

      Like

  36. Hello Brent,

    I have recently completed Salesforce Administrator training and looking to do some volunteer work to strengthen my understanding. Any particular organization that you can connect me with?
    I plan to get certified once I feel confident(which is why I want to volunteer for salesforce Admin work)

    Like

  37. I am a Certified Salesforce Administrator, Certified Salesforce Developer and volunteer having trouble getting that first paid assignment. All my Salesforce experience is from self-study. How are people finding their first Salesforce jobs? I have the feeling that I will be successful after my first paid role, but I am having a tuff time getting that first job. Any advice would be appreciated?

    Like

    1. Hi Glenda,

      I am in the same boat as you.
      I am looking for my first paid assignment or even a volunteer project.
      I am afraid I may lose touch with SF if I dont work on it for longtime.

      Like

    2. Hi Glenda. Your question is that a lot fo folks are asking. I suggest applying to any Salesforce Administrator position you find that peaks your interest. You never know how long a position has been open for and what a company is specifically looking for. Hopefully you’ll luck out and be awarded a position. Look at volunteering as a way to bolster your resume and build your experience. Good luck!

      Like

  38. What are some best questions to ask after landing your dream job as Salesforce administrator on the first day ? Also wanted to say how great admin hero is it’s such a great help.

    Like

    1. Hi Big Fan! I think that some of the best questions to ask on day one is related to the organization. Focus first on how the company runs, what products or services are being sold and how the company uses Salesforce. Sit with some users on day 1 (and for several days over the course of a few weeks) to see how they use Salesforce. This will give you a baseline understanding of the current state of Salesforce and get you familiar with the company processes. From there you can jump in and begin to evaluate the Salesforce system as a whole.

      Like

  39. Hello brent.
    great website,great material..
    Im certified sf admin. Im very much looking for some salesforce volunteer opportunity in UK.
    If u know any, would be appreciated.. Im struggling finding them
    Thanks

    Like

  40. Hi Brent,

    Thanks for this page. I have started my career as salesforce developer few months back. I am comfortable in salesforce admin . I am feeling salesforce developer need more hand on experince . Now I got the opportunity to work in salesforce Testing . Is it good career or future for me to work in testing side. please give your feedback or suggestion.Thanks

    Like

    1. Hello Shridevi! It sounds like you have several options! What I would do is create a classic pros and cons list for each position and see which one has more pros then cons and then make your decision. You won’t regret it!

      Like

  41. Hello Brent,
    This is such a great website to know about SFDC. Thanks for all the efforts you have put in.
    Im getting inclined in this whole CRM world and everytime i see this huge Salesforce building on my way to work,im like what is this all about and what it would take to become an expert in this area. And im highly confused at this point in my career.
    I have around 10 years of experience in QA, currently playing the role of a Project Manager with PMP ceritified in San Francisco. I have an MBA degree as well from a reputed university but unfortunately im not able to leverage the learnings from my MBA in my current Job.
    Can you please advise me if getting certified in sf admin will help me shift my career path totally in this sf world. Im open to learn anything for that matter. Also is there a SF group that help individuals clearing doubts/clarifications in the real world?
    Your inputs will certainly help me making a career decision at this juncture , thanks

    Like

    1. Hello Prashant. Sounds like your skill set is perfect for this role. However, I will say that it doesn’t take an MBA to be a Salesforce Administrator. There are other areas you can explore though, such as PM, if that is interesting to you. That being said, certification is a big help in finding a job, but it isn’t necessary to start out with. Check out the Salesforce Success Community. It can be found at http://www.success.salesforce.com and it’s made up of over 1 million customers. Folks share best practices and great content to help each other stay encouraged and grow in their knowledge of the platform. Good luck!

      Like

  42. Hi Brent,

    I am a system engineer having 5 years of experience in CRM.Currently working in siebel CRM in a indian MNC but I am not getting got opportunities for siebel in other IT firms.So Willing to switch to some other CRM technologies,could you please guide me as suitable is SFDC for IT professionals like me as I don’t have any working/live project experience in this technology.

    thanks,
    Ambrish

    Like

    1. There are a ton of Salesforce jobs across the US, and I am sure in India as well. I would suggest finding ways to get involved and gain the experience. This can be done through pro bono work with non profits or for profits, self-teaching and more. If you have some CRM experience, I would imagine that you would have a good baseline knowledge to help get you started. Good luck!

      Like

  43. Hello Brent,
    This is such a great website to know about SFDC. Thanks for this page.

    I have completed my engineering in electronics and joined as fresher at MNC however, they put me on manual testing since I am not having CSE bag-round.
    I am working on manual testing from last 6-7 months. I wanted move from this manual testing asap. Now, I start learning saleforce and I wanted to start my career in salesforce. I have few queries, please clarify me
    1) Is it right decision to go for it?
    2) Which will be the best career path in salesforce for me as I am not having good coding knowledge?
    3) After having experience in manual testing, is it able to get job on salesforce platform?
    4) What will be the future scope of salesforce professional?
    Thank you in advance…

    Like

    1. Hello Anup! Thanks for your comments! I can’t answer all of these questions for you because, for example, I don’t know if this is the right move for you. You’ll need to make that determination yourself after collecting knowledge and talking with others. What I can tell you is that Salesforce Administrators don’t need to know any code. I have been an admin for over 5 years and don’t know how to write a single line of Apex. However, if you want to learn code, you can! There are great career opportunities on the Developer side of the spectrum as well. Salesforce positions are still hard to fill in many areas. There is a demand for Salesforce professionals and I think that there will continue to be. And, to be honest, if you decide you don’t like it, you’ll learn a lot about business processes that will apply to other industries and positions. Good luck in your career journey and thanks for reading!

      Like

  44. Hello, Mr Brent, I have different work experience nothing related to IT nor related to any tools(sfdc etc). My question is do I have to learn any subjects like java etc to get in to this sfdc ?? One more thing is, as I’m working on other job I hardly get much time to learn new things, so In order to gain good hands on experience in sales force admin how many hours do I have to dedicate at an average ? And how long will a normal layman would take to secure sf-Admin certification.
    Thanks in advance…

    Like

    1. Hello Hermanth! You don’t need to learn a programming language to work with Salesforce. As an Administrator or Project Manager, you just need to know the system which is, thankfully, declarative, meaning that you can create using button-clicks. Check out the Zero to Hero series here on Admin Hero. It will get you started and give you a feel for what it’s like to build using declarative functionality.

      Like

  45. Hi Brent,

    I am having 15 years of experience and working as a Solution Architect functional side of the Telecom Solutions. I am working on the product using MS Dynamics CRM for the past 4 years. In my past experience 10 Years worked as java developer. Even though I am good in functional side as Architect would like to play safe with career being also good in Technical side. Hence I though of choosing Salesforce and get some certifications and add to my career path. Could you please share your thoughts taking up sales force and moving my career as Salesforce architect is right track for growth.

    Thanks in Advance.

    Like

    1. Hi Jay! I can’t say if becoming an Architect is the right career path for you specifically (because I don’t really know you) but it sounds like something to explore. There are very few certified Technical Architect’s in the Salesforce world (less than 10 I think) so it’s a great goal to have! Based on your experience, you would probably pick up on Salesforce pretty well, eve if it was as a Salesforce Administrator. I stumbled into Salesforce about 6 years ago now, and I have built my entire career (thus far) on the platform. I am confident that you can too!

      Like

  46. Hi Brent,

    Thanks for the great website and information.
    I have few years of experience as an application developer and looking to change my career.
    The problem is I am in mid fifties and want to learn this a new career.
    Do you think I will have problem getting a job or learning this new concept because of my
    age.
    Your advice will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you so much.

    Like

    1. Hello Sam! I would say go for it! You’ll only having trouble finding a job if you don’t know how to be awesome at it! Take the time to learn the application, understand it’s importance in an organization, become familiar with business process and efficiency and rock their socks off!

      Like

  47. Hi Brent,

    Appreciate for your effort in creating awareness about careers in SFDC.
    I need an advice from you.
    I am a engineering and MBA graduate with 9+ years on exp in the area(s) of business analysis and project management (in IT). I am interested in non-technical roles (as business analyst).
    I have no knowledge in SFDC. Please advise what kind of opportunities i can explore in SFDC at this juncture in my career.

    Thanks again!
    PC Nath

    Like

    1. Thanks for your comment! The world of Salesforce offers multiple non-technical roles. Salesforce Admin is not technical in the sense that you need to know code. A basic understanding of relational databases helps and problem solving is a must, but it’s limited on the technical in most cases. Business Analyst may be a good spot. That would be less functional hands-on with Salesforce generally and more focused on the reporting aspect of the business. You could do Project Management as well. There are caveats to all of these though as the roles vary from company to company. Read the job descriptions carefully to determine the level of technical ability required and determine if that is a good fit for you.

      Like

  48. Hi,
    Iam MCA graduate and wanted to start my career in salesforce.
    what all are the basic steps for a fresher to start career in salesforce and from where should i start.
    Please suggest it will be really helpful..
    Thanks in advance.

    Like

  49. Brent, I looking at changing my career path into a more tech industry role. I do not know any code, but am able to learn. I come from an Administration/Accounting background and am currently employed as a CS Manager. Salesforce seems a platform that you can learn as a non IT/Programmer? Are there telecommute positions offered or are most positions in-house? As I said I live in a rural community so telecommute is what I typically look for but would not be opposed to moving for a great career opportunity. Are Administrator’s and Developers entry-level positions or just positions you picked to discuss in this article? Would you say a shift from my current career path towards a career in Salesforce is possible? If yes, does it only entail this path you have outlined in this article, or would I need to obtain other certifications and go back to college. I do currently have a degree but it is an Environmental Studies Degree so nothing to do with technology. Thank you for your response.

    Like

    1. Hello Heather! There are some jobs that would allow you to be virtual, but that will all be based on the organization. Personally speaking, the Salesforce Administrator role is more impactful when you can be there in-person. Working with stakeholders and folks who are on-site provides more value. But, that really is up to the organization itself. Good luck!

      Like

  50. Hi Brent!

    I have been in IT in .Net platform with C#, SQL and ASP.NET for 6 years. I had a great job with work from home option which worked pretty well with two kids. But recently I got laid off and someone from my IT friends recommend me to try in Salesforce since there are lots of opportunities to work from home in this field with great pay.

    So what I wanted to know from your experience is that, is Salesforce long term tool/product or just a matter of time or craze? I can learn Salesforce but before that I wanted to know if it is worth to spend time on for a career change. And also wanted to know if it is possible to work remotely in Salesforce. Any suggestion will be helpful.

    Thanks!

    Like

    1. Great question. There are a lot of people who stake their livelihood on Salesforce. Salesforce is a Fortune 500 company with over 15,000 employees and an estimated value of close to 50 billion dollars. They will soon become the 4th largest software company in the world. With those statistics, I would be hard pressed to call it a “craze.” That being said, you probably aren’t looking at working for Salesforce proper so the likelihood of changes within an organization that uses Salesfoce is unpredictable. What I can say is that it’s a growing industry and I personally don’t have any other plans for my career. Good luck!

      Like

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