Salesforce Admin Salary Guide 2021

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Salesforce Admin salaries are a hot topic, and for good reason! The Salesforce Economy is growing at such a rate that Salesforce Administrators find themselves in a favourable position, with higher average salaries than equivalent roles in other industries.

How much do Salesforce Admins earn, and how do you find out?

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At SalesforceBen.com, we have been enabling Developers, Consultants and Marketers with these statistics for a number of years – but the Admin salary guide was the original one we started out with due to the consistently popular career choice as a Salesforce Admin.

This guide will bring context to what your salary should be (or could be) with information to back up that figure, so that you can be armed with ammo when asking for a raise, or applying for a new role. Let’s first look at who Salesforce Admins are before diving into the salary figures.

Who are Salesforce Admins?

– Roles and Responsibilities

There’s no doubt that Salesforce Admins are deserving of their compensation – they carry out a core function that allows organisations to maintain a healthy org, customise Salesforce using declarative (point-and-click) configuration, support the needs of users, and in turn, optimise business operations. Admins will have mastered Salesforce declarative (point-and-click) configuration (only very occasionally will Admins use programming languages, such as Apex).

An administrator in the Salesforce world is typically expected to take on a broader range of responsibilities than system administrators in other industries. The range of responsibilities of a Salesforce Admin go from the typical configuration-based tasks, through to work that requires a level of business acumen. The range of responsibilities tend to broaden with seniority but it’s not universally true. 
On top of configuration, Salesforce Admins, as they progress, can also spend their time on:

  • Business Analysis (BA) work (if it’s required to accurately gather requirements),
  • Solution design,
  • Business process design, eg. lead qualification criteria, opportunity pipeline management,
  • Feedback on reporting, eg. providing commentary on forecasting that will inform those at board level or management.

Junior vs. Mid-Level vs. Senior Salesforce Admins

For the purposes of this guide, we will use the following definitions:

  • Junior Admin: 0 – 2 years experience (possibly up to 3 years). Maintaining the Salesforce org on a day to day basis, acting as the first line of support for users,
  • Mid-level: 2 – 4 years experience. Maintaining a fairly complex Salesforce org (more users, a more complex sharing model, integrations and/or using less common features), customizing Salesforce using best practices,
  • Senior Admin: 5+ years experience. Maintaining a complex Salesforce org, managing a team or working with external parties carrying out a number of releases per year. Have stakeholder management skills, responsible for governance.

You will find a more extensive list of responsibilities for each role later when we explore seniority in more detail (see: Experience (Seniority)).

Salesforce Administrator Salaries

The data in this section is from the Mason Frank Salary Survey, based on self-reported information from 1,800+ Salesforce professionals, spanning a range of job titles, industries, and geographic locations.

 US ($)Canada
(C$)
UK (£)Ireland (€)
JuniorU$97,350C$82,200£38,150€34,000
SeniorU$122,350C$98,500£52,900€51,500
ContractU$ 92 p/hC$ 86.5 p/h£ 371.5 p/d€355.50 p/d

 Germany (€)
France (€)Spain (€)Italy (€)Belgium (€)Netherlands(€)
Junior€51,200€43,250€26750€25000€33,300€39,000
Senior€65,500€53,950€31750€30500€38,280€48,000
Contractn/a€ 525 p/d€588 (p/d)n/an/an/a

 Australia (AU$)*Japan (¥)
Singapore (S$)India (₹)
JuniorAU$100,000¥3,378,400S$65,350n/a
SeniorAU$120,000¥7,925,000S$86,600₹8,86,659
ContractAU$850 p/dn/an/an/a

Salesforce Admin Salary Factors

One single figure without context can be misleading: there will be a significant difference in the salaries based on certain factors. We will dive into the following factors in this guide:

  • Experience (Seniority)
  • Certifications
  • Location

Experience (Seniority)

As with any profession, the more experience and responsibility you take on in your job, the higher your salary expectations should be.

Admins don’t build Salesforce solutions because they are cool, you build solutions to solve complex business issues. How can we do this well unless we have done it before? Or possibly failed before and know the pitfalls of doing it a certain way over another?

We defined a junior/mid-level/senior Admin based on years of experience and the types of activities they are carrying out in their role. Here is the list:

Junior

0 – 2 years, maybe 3 years.

  • Maintaining the Salesforce org on a day to day basis,
  • Usually working with Sales Cloud,
  • Acting as the first line of support for users,
  • Example responsibilities: user management, maintaining the security model, record types, basic Process Builders, page layouts, reports & dashboards, data management (importing/upserting records),
  • Doing some requirements gathering, but not a core competency,
  • Generally won’t have detailed knowledge of project management,
  • Work in a team, or a solo admin, or possibly are an “Accidental Admin” at an end-user.

Mid-level

2 – 4 years.

  • Maintaining a fairly complex Salesforce org (either with more users, a more complex sharing model, integrations and/or using less common features),
  • Usually working with Sales Cloud or a suite of clouds (Sales + Service Cloud, etc.), which could result in having a specialism eg. CPQ,
  • Maintaining and customizing the Salesforce org using best practices. Full understanding of options, such as automation, record types vs. page layouts,
  • Utilize more advanced automation (Salesforce Flow),
  • Generally won’t have exposure to programmatic customization (code), however, will be able to write specs for developers,
  • Exposure to requirements gathering, understand business processes,
  • Generally will have an understanding of project management,
  • Self-sufficient, know where to find help online – you will know what you don’t know (ie. the terminology to find and decipher answers),

Senior

5+ years

  • Maintaining a complex Salesforce org (that uses multiple Salesforce products on the Salesforce platform, multiple integrations, with 300+ typical users or 100+ heavy users*),
  • Work at larger Enterprise companies in a product owner position,
  • Will have fully fledged knowledge of Salesforce best practices, understand the architecture of Salesforce and how it integrates with other systems,
  • Managing a team or working with external parties to oversee the development of the Salesforce org, and carrying out a number of releases per year,
  • Have stakeholder management skills, responsible for governance (and usually a steering committee),
  • Have mastered requirements gathering, full understanding of business processes.

*rough indication

You may know Salesforce inside out and be the most charismatic communicator out there, but unfortunately, experience is linear, and if you have just one year of experience, that’s always going to impact your seniority prospects.

Being a valuable Admin is not just knowing how to configure that complicated process builder because a stakeholder asked you to, it’s advising a business the best way to achieve a certain outcome, based on your industry or their specific requirements.

Certifications

Salesforce Administrator certifications are another factor that have the potential to influence your salary. We found something common with our other Salary Guides: the experience vs. certifications debate.

Experience will always trump certifications. Certifications are beneficial especially for Admins establishing themselves at the mid-level, looking to strengthen their Salesforce best practice knowledge (we cover this in more detail in “8 Ways to Increase Your Salesforce Admin Salary”.

Of the 2,500+ Salesforce professionals that responded, 88% of respondents hold the Salesforce Administrator certification (the most popular), and 24% of respondents had Salesforce Advanced Administrator (6th most popular). Both certifications making into the top 10 makes a statement about their popularity, considering there are 30+ Salesforce certifications!

Salesforce professionals love getting Certifications – they are a milestone in your career, that prove that you know what you are talking about, and are leverage if you are looking for a more senior position internally, or looking for a job in another company.

In the Salary Survey, respondents were asked if they experienced an increase in their salary after earning a certification:

  • 44% did, reporting an average salary increase of 24%,
  • 56% did not, their salaries remained the same.

A 50/50 chance that your salary could increase the more certifications you earn can’t be ignored.

Refocusing back on Admins, almost a quarter (22%) believe that holding the Advanced Administrator is likely to increase your worth (ranked 7th), whereas the Administrator certification did not make it into the top 10.

Notice how I said Admin certifications have the potential to influence your salary. While this data is great to get a general snapshot, these figures may be clouded by what people think, vs. what happens on the job market (their opinion vs. the reality).

Based on my conversations with Christine and a few other Admins, certifications won’t directly affect the salary you will achieve – your experience will. Let’s take two Admins: Joe and Carole. Joe is a Salesforce Admins with 2 years experience, and has achieved 5 certifications (Admin, Advanced Admin, and others). He is interviewing against Carole, a Salesforce Admins with 5 years experience (some Salesforce Administration, project management, combined with an understanding of SalesOps), and has 1 single certification (Certified Administrator). Assuming they are both good candidates with no major flaws, I would expect the hiring manager to hire Carole. I would also expect Carole to demand a higher salary based on her 5 years of experience and parallel skill sets.

If both individuals have equal technical experience, then certifications will act as the tie-breaker and justify a higher salary, too. Otherwise, Christine has seen that when both individuals have equal technical experience, they would command the same salary.

Location

Salary figures are influenced by location, due to the differences in the cost of living between countries – and within countries!

Converting all the salaries into US$ makes the geographic comparison easier. Senior Admins in the US reported an average salary of around $154k. The UK Admins on average earn $91k, in Spain $49k (!), and in Japan the figure is $68k.

Not only does the country’s economic climate influence salaries (by determining the cost of living), but also the Salesforce economy in these countries has an impact. The balance between supply and demand will determine an individual’s market value.

As a Londoner, I can vouch for how high the cost of living is, with a difference between the city and other regions of the UK. We see this reflected in the US data; Senior Admins in San Francisco reported an average salary of around $154k, whereas equivalent professionals in Austin reported averages just under $140k, and for Juniors it’s $140k and $123k, respectively. Unfortunately, we don’t have a city breakdown for other countries, but it’s likely to be the same story.

8 Ways to Increase your Salesforce Admin Salary

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for: how you can increase your earning potential. Let’s see what practical steps you can take to climb the ladder.

Maximizing your Experience

Become a Junior Salesforce Admin:

  • Have experience in administering other systems, have completed Trailhead badges, or you are an ‘accidental Admin’ in your organisation, with a motivation to learn and a keen eye for spotting efficiencies!
  • Learn feature terminology and begin to seek out answers from online help resources (know what you don’t know, and what to search for!)

Go from Junior → Mid-level Salesforce Admin:

  • Get comfortable with Salesforce best practices, with a full understanding of the options and their trade-offs when maintaining and customizing Salesforce, such as Process Builder vs. Flow, record types vs. page layouts.
  • Understand and have experience with Salesforce integrations and their implications.
  • Become self-sufficient in troubleshooting and finding answers online.

Go from Mid-level → Senior Salesforce Admin:

  • Solution design and its considerations, beginning to understand concepts in the Salesforce architect domain.
  • Seek to understand the needs and motivations of different stakeholders around the business (sales managers, users, marketers) to improve your requirements gathering skills and be recognised as a driver of transformation.
  • Start mentoring, prove you can lead a team.

There were some tips Christine (MVP and long-time Admin) dropped into the conversation when I interviewed her that could help you to accelerate through the junior-mid-senior career path. You will have heard some of these already in the guide, and we expanded on these in our guide “8 Ways to Increase Your Salesforce Admin Salary” to give you some practical actions to take away. Here is what you will find covered there:  

  1. Take Certifications
  2. Take Interest in a Specialisation
  3. Work in the Right Role and Team
  4. Become Self-sufficient
  5. Get Involved in the Trailblazer Community
  6. Prove You Can Lead a Team
  7. Understand the DNA of an Organisation
  8. Get Familiar with Integrations

Summary

There’s no doubt that Salesforce Admins are deserving of their compensation – they carry out a core function that allows organisations to maximise Salesforce with point-and-click configuration, build apps, and in turn, optimise business operations.

I hope this guide has given some background into how the Salesforce Admin career path is structured, and what your salary should be in relation to where you are personally. You would have also heard some ideas and tips on how to increase your salary. With the salary data collected from the largest salary survey, you will be armed with ammo when asking for a raise, or applying for a new role.

Quick Note:

You may have noticed that I am not an Admin! However, part of my research for this article was to speak with experienced Salesforce Admins, such as Christine Marshall. Christine is the perfect source of information – she’s an MVP and long-time Admin that started out as an ‘accidental admin’ and now runs a 300 user org – solo!

20 thoughts on “Salesforce Admin Salary Guide 2021

  1. Avatar

    Good article and great analysis. I see a lot of people trying to break into this career by collecting as many certifications as they can but there really is no replacement for work experience. I think you did a great job of communicating this.

    1. Ben McCarthy

      Thanks Justin. I don’t want to discourage people from taking them, as they are great for career progression and learning, I know this personally. But you need to put the practice the skills learned to justify an increase in salary.

      1. Avatar

        Hi Ben,Nice to study about salesforce admin roles and i want to know can we make a career into salesforce as a functional side and where we go in the future.Iam from non technical background B.com (computers) and M.B.A. (Finance&HR).Iam carrying 7 to 8 years of experience into different domains like Finance,Banking,Real estate,Sales and 1 year in salesforce.Please suggest/Advise me on this.Iam not interested into programming/coding side.
        U can reach me out on 9959389375 whatsapp,Mail id and on Linkedin.
        MD.Nazeer Ahmed.
        [email protected]

        1. Ben McCarthy

          Hi Nazeer, the beauty about Salesforce is that you don’t need to be a developer/coder. A lot of functionality and customisations can be made declaratively, which means by using “point and click” functionality. E.g. When this field = “x”, trigger an email alert to your manager. The fact that you have experience in other areas such as Finance & Banking is a huge plus point. Half of the value that an Admin or Consultant brings is experience from specific industries. I would advise getting onto Trailhead, looking to complete your Certified Administrator certification, and then looking towards a job you could move into. Hope this helps, Ben

          1. Avatar

            Hii ben. Myself Harsha Vardhan and I am graduated in mechanical engineering and now I am interested to learn salesforce. so with mechanical background can I get job in any company as salesforce admin

  2. Avatar

    Nope! The market place is now getting over saturated due to Salesforce over marketing the their certifications and creating a rush (Salesforce really knows marketing and can sell for sure…). Everything is now contract based and when there is an internal job it is hyper competitive. On top of that, the Salesforce world has gotten too clicky with way to many groups, which is very tribal. If companies really want candidates, not just for the Salesforce skill set, but for anything else, we need to get back to basics…. companies taking a chance on ‘good PERSONALITY’ and then training those individuals . Soon enough, these salaries will drop because of market saturation…. just like the early 2000’s and the ‘Microsoft MCSE’ rush.

  3. Avatar

    Thanks! This is a great article and really in depth break down of the Mason Frank survey. I reviewed the survey myself and it doesn’t appear to have a breakdown of salaries based on race,gender and class. Though the respondents views/opinions on equality in the ecosystem are interesting, as a Women of Color in the ecosystem, it would be very beneficial to see how our salaries compare to other demographics so if there is inequality we can address it head on. Is this something that could be addressed in future surveys?

    1. Avatar

      Hi Ben,

      I am a fan of your site and have learned a lot from it.
      I was laid off due to Covid company restructuring.
      What is the best way of applying for SF Admin jobs in US these days.
      I have 2 certification certified App builder and Administrator.

      Thanks,
      Anupa

      1. Ben McCarthy

        Hi Anupa, sorry to hear about your situation. I’m guessing from your question you are not based in the US? I’m not based there so don’t understand a huge amount about the visa process, but I think the same as applying for any role, you need to demonstrate that you are an expert in your field. If you are able to, using the time you have off at the moment to study for certifications or possibly do some freelance work is a great way to help build up your resume. Thanks, Ben

        1. Avatar

          Hi Ben, Thanks for your concern. I am a US resident. I do not need Visa, I am a Green card holder.
          I have been applying at LinkedIn and Indeed and slowly getting some response now but not a lot. Ya so that was my main question to you was where and how to apply. I am also studying for the Sales cloud consultant.
          I will go through your Sales Cloud Consultant Guide & Tips and also doing Trail-mix.
          I can’t express how happy I am to get your guidance.
          Thanks,
          Anupa

  4. Avatar

    It would be really interesting if there were information on median rather than average salaries for another picture of the data! I wonder if there is a way to feed this back to Mason Frank?

  5. Avatar

    Something I would love to see is the difference in nonprofit and for-profit. With Salesforce NPSP, more nonprofit are adapting Salesforce.

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