Thor Olavsrud
Senior Writer

Tableau certification guide: Cost, training, salaries, and value

Feb 25, 2022
AnalyticsBusiness IntelligenceCareers

BI and data visualization skills are in demand and Tableau certifications are a great way to get ahead. Here’s our guide to Tableau’s Desktop and Server certs.

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Credit: Wittayayut / Getty Images

Data visualization platform Tableau is one of the most widely used tools in the rapidly growing business intelligence (BI) space and individuals with skills in Tableau are in high demand.

Market intelligence and advisory firm Mordor Intelligence forecasts the global data visualization market to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 9.69% between 2021 and 2026 as businesses seek to become more analytically driven. Tableau is consistently listed as a leader in the BI industry for its data visualization platform, which helps business users access, prepare, and present data insights.

With the market for data visualization rising and Tableau’s position well established, certification for Tableau skills can present a lucrative path to career growth. Here’s a guide to Tableau’s array of certifications.

Is Tableau certification worth it?

According to Pearson VUE’s latest Value of IT Certification Survey, individuals pursue certification for a variety of  reasons, but the most prominent are to obtain particular skills, knowledge, or competencies (73%); enhance their professional profiles (56%); and to advance and be promoted (56%). Twenty-eight percent of respondents told Pearson VUE that they received a salary or wage increase after earning certification.

Tableau’s certifications, in particular, focus on performance-based testing rather than theory in an effort to verify a candidate’s ability to apply the subject matter in a real work environment. Tableau says more than 20,000 people have earned more than 25,000 overall Tableau Certification titles.

Tableau certification salaries

Here are some of the most popular job titles related to Tableau certifications and the average salary for each position, according to data from PayScale:

  • Data analyst: $49K-$90K (median $67K)
  • Business intelligence analyst: $53K-$97K (median $71K)
  • Senior data analyst: $65K-$114K (median $86K)
  • BI developer: $59K-$113K (median $83K)
  • Data scientist: $68K-$135K (median $97K)
  • Analytics manager: $71K-$129K (median $98K)
  • Analytics consultant: $63K-$115K (median $85K)

Tableau certifications

Certificates for Tableau skills are available both for business professionals who analyze data using the platform’s Tableau Desktop front end and for IT pros charged with administering Tableau Server, either on premises or self-hosting in a public cloud. Tableau also offers a new certification for data analysts.

Also worth noting is that the Tableau Desktop Certified Professional and Tableau Server Certified Professional credentials have been discontinued.

Tableau Desktop Specialist

The Tableau Desktop Specialist certification validates a foundational knowledge of Tableau Desktop and data analytics to solve problems. It demonstrates understanding of Tableau core concepts and terminology and the ability to connect to, prepare, explore, and analyze data, and to share insights. Candidates must have at least three months of experience applying their knowledge in Tableau Desktop. The certification does not expire.

Exam: 60-minute, hands-on, proctored exam consisting of 30 multiple-choice questions; candidates must achieve a score of 70% to pass

Cost: $100

Training and practice tests: There are no prerequisites, but several training resources can help you prepare:

Tableau Server Certified Associate

The Tableau Server Certified Associate certification is intended for individuals with a comprehensive understanding of Tableau Server functionality in a single-machine environment who have approximately four to six months of experience. Typical roles include system administrators and consultants. Individuals with this title can plan a deployment; install and configure Tableau Server; administer users, groups, projects, and content; and backup, restore, upgrade, and troubleshoot Tableau Server problems. The title is active for two years from the date it is achieved.

Exam: 90-minute, performance-based, proctored exam that consists of 80 multiple-choice, multiple-response, and true/false questions; candidates must achieve a score of 75% to pass

Cost: $250

Training and practice tests: There are no prerequisites, but several training resources can help you prepare:

  • The Tableau Server Certified Associate Exam Guidelists the skills measured and provides seven sample questions.
  • Tableau recommends its Desktop I: Fundamentalsand Server Administration courses, which it offers via live virtual classes ($1,400 per participant for Desktop I and $1,670 per participant for Server Administration). Desktop I is also available via eLearning (offered via the $5/user/month eLearning for Explorer subscription or $10/user/month eLearning for Creator subscription).

Udemy offers a number of resources, including Get ready for Tableau Server Certification ($89.99, but currently available for $14.99), Tableau Server 2019.1 Administration ($19.99, but currently available for $15.99), Administering Tableau Server 10 with Real Time Scenarios ($29.99, but currently available for $14.99), and Tableau Server Certified Associate – Practice Exams ($29.99, but currently available for $12.99)

Tableau Certified Data Analyst

The Tableau Certified Data Analyst certification is part of the analyst learning path. The certification exam measures the candidate’s knowledge of the capabilities of Tableau Desktop, Tableau Prep, and either Tableau Server or Tableau Online. Individuals with this certification have proven the ability to connect to data sources, perform data transformations, explore and analyze data, and create meaningful visualizations that answer key business questions. The Tableau Certified Data Analyst title is active for two years from the date it is achieved.

Exam: A 120minute proctored exam. The scored items consist of 30 knowledge-based items and one hands-on lab with 10-11 tasks. The unscored items include 15 knowledge-based items and one to two hands-on lab tasks. The candidate must achieve a score of 750 to pass.

Cost: $250 (reschedule fee $25)

Training and practice tests: There are no prerequisites, but several training options can help you prepare for the exam: