Tableau certification guide: Kick-start your analytics career

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, including costs, training, and value.

Tableau certification guide: Kick-start your analytics career
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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 more than 9 percent between 2020 and 2025 as businesses seek to become more analytically driven. Consistently listed as a leader in the BI industry, Tableau’s data visualization platform, which helps business users access, prepare, and present data insights, attracted more than 20,000 attendees to its 2019 annual user conference.

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 improve their professional profile or standing (33 percent) or to increase their technical knowledge (33 percent). More than 74 percent of respondents told Pearson VUE that they mostly or completely accomplished their goals by becoming certified.

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 careers and salary

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: $48K-$89K (median $65K)
  • Business intelligence analyst: $52K-$94K (median $71K)
  • Senior data analyst: $63K-$110K (median $83K)
  • BI developer: $59K-$108K (median $80K)
  • Data scientist: $62K-$128K (median $88K)
  • Analytics manager: $68K-$126K (median $94K)
  • Analytics consultant: $62K-$114K (median $84K)

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. These two strains for certification break down as follows.

Tableau Desktop Specialist

This 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 percent to pass

Fee: $100, reduced to $50 through June 30, 2020

Suggested training: There are no prerequisites, but several training resources can help you prepare:

Tableau Desktop Certified Associate

This certification is intended for individuals with a comprehensive understanding of functionality in Tableau Desktop and at least five months of experience. It validates the user is proficient in the features and functionality of Tableau Desktop to analyze data and solve problems. Individuals with this certification can apply data mapping, data preparation, and calculation skills in more advanced data analysis. The Tableau Desktop Certified Associate title is active for two years from the data it is achieved.

Exam: Two-hour, hands-on, proctored exam consisting of 36 multiple-choice, multiple-response, true/false, and hands-on questions; candidates must achieve a score of 75 percent to pass

Fee: $250

Suggested training: There are no prerequisites, but several training options can help you prepare for the exam:

Tableau Desktop Certified Professional

This certification is intended for individuals with advanced knowledge and skills in Tableau Desktop and at least one year of dedicated and practical experience with it. It validates that the holder can quickly analyze unfamiliar data to determine the most effective way to visually communicate insights to the intended audience with a polished, cohesive story using visual best practices. Candidates must be an active Tableau Desktop Certified Associate or Tableau Desktop Certified Professional. The title is active for three years from the date it is achieved.

Exam: Three-hour, hands-on, proctored exam consisting of questions that require building solutions in Tableau Desktop. The candidate is given access to a set of data files and a starter workbook with pre-designated tabs for each exam question. The test is pass/fail-based and grading is done by a committee, with each exam scored by multiple graders.

Fee: $600

Suggested training: A number of training resources can help you prepare:

Tableau Server Certified Associate

This 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 percent to pass

Fee: $250

Suggested training: There are no prerequisites, but several training resources can help you prepare:

Tableau Server Certified Professional

This certification is intended for individuals with a comprehensive understanding of Tableau Server functionality in a single-machine and enterprise configuration. Candidates should have at least nine months of hands-on Tableau Server experience. Typical roles include system administrators, system architects, IT representatives, implementers, or consultants. Individuals with this certification can plan and implement a high-availability (HA) installation, and configure, monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot all aspects of a product environment. Candidates must be an active Tableau Server Certified Associate. The title is active for three years from the date it is achieved.

Exam: Seven-hour, hands-on, proctored exam that tests application mastery in the form of hands-on problems and short essay. The test is pass/fail and grading is conducted by committee.

Fee: $800

Suggested training: A number of resources can help you prepare:

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