How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Salesforce Admin?

November 21, 2023
14 min

According to data from Zippia, the United States is home to over 6,000 employed Salesforce administrators. Additionally, various service providers specializing in Salesforce administration are available on platforms such as AppExchange, Indeed, Freelancer, Upwork, and Foundhq.

Finding the right Salesforce administrator in this talent pool is extremely complex. The role demands a varied Salesforce skill set combining technical expertise with a deep understanding of business processes, commitment to ongoing learning, and effective communication skills.

Moreover, qualified Salesforce admins often command high salaries. And it may be out of reach for organizations with tight budgets or those looking for short-term engagement.

In our blog post, we will provide a comprehensive analysis of the costs associated with hiring a Salesforce administrator. And also, how to cut down the long-term Salesforce admin services costs with a virtual Salesforce admin package.

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Why Hire a Salesforce Admin?

Salesforce administrators are the individuals responsible for overseeing the Salesforce organization. They ensure the platform aligns with organizational goals, serving effectively different departments like marketing, sales, and customer support.

Salesforce administrators can wear many hats. Besides the primary administrative role, they act as business analysts, technical support agents, change managers, and a trainer.

Their expertise in customization, data integrity, and security helps optimize operational efficiency and fosters trust. They facilitate data-driven decisions through advanced analytics and equip users through targeted training.

Also, CRM administrators promote the system’s integrity by implementing best practices and governance policies. Serving as a strategic liaison among stakeholders, they maximize the Salesforce investment, enhancing both productivity and ROI.

If you’re considering hiring a Salesforce administrator, pricing can vary based on the responsibilities and the scope of work involved.

Essential Salesforce Administrator Responsibilities to Know

An experienced Salesforce administrator is crucial for aligning technology with business goals. The most common tasks Salesforce CRM administrators perform are:

  • Implementation of automations like workflows, process builders, or flows to streamline processes.
  • Customization of Salesforce fields, page layouts, record types, and objects to better suit the business requirements.
  • Adding, deactivation, and management of user roles, profiles, and permission sets. They ensure that users have access to only the information they need.
  • Overseeing data integrity by managing duplicates, standardizing data, and implementing data validation rules.
  • Import and export data as required and generating data backups, archiving data snapshots.
  • Creation and maintenance of dashboards and reports to provide insights into key business metrics.
  • Implementation and maintenance of security controls, including sharing settings and field-level security, to protect sensitive information.
  • Management of Single Sign-On (SSO), two-factor authentication, and other security protocols.
  • Monitoring of system performance, troubleshooting of reported issues, debugging of system errors and logs, password resets, and unlocking of user accounts.
  • Management of Community, Employee, and Partner Portal memberships in Salesforce.
  • Overseeing user adoption dashboards, user activity, and data access on the CRM platform.
  • Keeping abreast of Salesforce updates and features to make necessary adjustments to the CRM system.
  • Management of changes in business processes, systems, and organizational structure within Salesforce.
  • Conducting training sessions and creating documentation for end-users.

Find out more about daily, monthly, and yearly Salesforce administrator duties in our blog post.

Before opting for Salesforce administrative services, it’s essential to establish:

  • The objectives you aim to achieve,
  • Project timeline,
  • Preferable hiring options,
  • Salesforce Lightning administrator’s skill set.

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Factors Affecting the True Cost to Hire a Salesforce Admin

The average Salesforce admin cost varies significantly based on their experience and Salesforce administrator skills. Prior to hiring a Salesforce administrator, it’s also essential to determine the number required to efficiently manage your organization. Salesforce offers guidelines to help organizations assess the administrative resources needed:

The Number of Required Salesforce Administration Resources | Ascendix

The Number of Required Salesforce Administration Resources

  • 1-30 users: Less than one full-time administrator
  • 31-74 users: At least one full-time administrator
  • 75-149 users: One senior administrator; one junior administrator
  • 140-499 users: One business analyst, 2-4 administrators
  • 500-750 users: 1-2 business analysts, 2-4 administrators
  • More than 750 users: Varies based on multiple factors

To choose the right Salesforce administrators, you should consider their:

Factors Influencing the Total Cost of Hiring a Salesforce Admin Ascendix

Factors Influencing the Total Cost of Hiring a Salesforce Admin | Ascendix


1. Experience and Skill Level

When hiring a Salesforce admin, ensure they have an in-depth understanding of the platform’s functionalities and services.

The Salesforce administrator’s duties can vary significantly depending on the level of experience:

  • Junior-level,
  • Middle-level,
  • Senior-level.

Each comes with its own set of competencies, responsibilities, and expectations. Below is an outline that distinguishes these levels:


Junior Salesforce Administrator

Junior administrators possess a basic understanding of Salesforce features and limited experience with CRM software. Their primary responsibilities include daily data management, basic user administration, and generating standard reports. While they may not hold Salesforce certifications, they are often in the process of earning them. Junior administrators typically operate under the guidance of senior admins and have limited decision-making authority.


Mid-Level Salesforce Administrator

Mid-level administrators have a solid understanding of Salesforce, including customization options, workflow creation, and dashboard and report generation. They actively collaborate with business analysts and other stakeholders to enhance the utility of the Salesforce platform. Responsibilities at this level encompass moderate system customization, complex data model management, user training, and support. Mid-level administrators often hold at least one Salesforce certification.


Senior Salesforce Administrator

Senior administrators are experts in the Salesforce ecosystem and have a deep understanding of both technical and business processes. They engage in strategic planning to align Salesforce functionalities with organizational objectives and carry out advanced customizations and automations. Operating with substantial autonomy, they hold multiple Salesforce certifications, including potentially advanced ones. Senior Salesforce administrators often mentor junior and mid-level administrators and may manage a team of administrators.


2. Employment Model

Let’s overview employment contract types:

Pros and Cons of Salesforce Admin Employment Contract Types Ascendix

Pros and Cons of Salesforce Admin Employment Contract Types | Ascendix


Full-Time Employment Contract

A full-time Salesforce administrator offers long-term stability and in-depth expertise tailored to your organization’s unique needs. Their constant presence enables immediate issue resolution, minimizing downtime, and allowing for customized skill development.

However, this option comes with higher costs, including benefits and potential training expenses. If there’s not much work, the administrator may be underused. If they leave, there could be a lack of expertise until a new person is hired.


Part-Time Employment Contract

A part-time Salesforce administrator offers cost-effective, flexible solutions. It allows you to adjust work hours based on demand and to hire specialized skills for short-term projects.

However, their limited availability may impede immediate issue resolution. Their shorter tenure may result in a shallower understanding of the organization’s long-term objectives and systems. And part-time remote Salesforce administrators’ other commitments could potentially dilute their focus and productivity.


Freelance Employment Contract

Contract or freelance Salesforce administrators offer cost control by:

  • Charging for specific tasks,
  • Bringing niche skills to the table,
  • Providing quick onboarding and project completion.

However, costs can fluctuate based on project complexity and scope changes. Contractors may lack a deep understanding of company culture and needs. Also, there could be security risks associated with external handling of sensitive data.

Besides that, this model has a fixed-cost project, monthly, and hourly pricing models.

Pros and Cons of Salesforce Admin Employment Models Ascendix

Pros and Cons of Salesforce Admin Employment Models | Ascendix

Here are some key distinctions along with their pros and cons:


In-House Salesforce Administration

An in-house Salesforce administrator is a full-time or part-time employee responsible for managing and optimizing an organization’s Salesforce platform.

They work on-site or remotely but are fully dedicated to a single organization, enabling:

  • More consistent management,
  • Immediate issue resolution,
  • A deeper understanding of company-specific needs and challenges.

Average in-House Salesforce Administrator Salary:

The highest salary is offered in the US and the lowest one in India.

  • USA – $80K -$130K
  • UK – $56K – $75K
  • Western Europe – $42K – $69K
  • Eastern Europe -$10K – $20K
  • India $6K – $14K


In-House Salesforce Administrator Pros:

Having a full-time in-house Salesforce administrator ensures a stable and consistent approach to managing and optimizing the platform, as the individual is completely dedicated to your organization.

With an in-house resource, issues can be addressed immediately, reducing downtime, and enhancing productivity.

Over time, they develop a nuanced understanding of the specific challenges, processes, and goals of the organization, allowing for tailored approaches. Being physically present also allows the administrator to work closely with different departments, facilitating more effective communication.

The organization can develop the administrator’s skills in line with company-specific needs, potentially creating a long-term valuable asset.


In-House Salesforce Administrator Cons:

Employing a full-time in-house Salesforce administrator is often more expensive. because of related benefits, taxes, and potentially, training costs. Also, there might be periods where the demand for Salesforce administration tasks is low, leading to resource underutilization.

A single administrator may not possess the full range of skills required for every specialized task. It may necessitate additional hires or external consultancy. With Salesforce’s frequent updates and new features, ongoing training is necessary, representing an additional cost and time investment.

Should the administrator leave the organization, there could be a gap in knowledge and skills until a suitable replacement is found. It can affect ongoing operations and possibly lead to data or process errors.


Freelance Salesforce Administration

A freelance Salesforce administrator is an independent contractor who manages and customizes Salesforce platforms on a project or task-specific basis. They offer specialized skills and flexibility but are not committed to a single organization, often juggling multiple clients.


Freelance Salesforce Administrator Pros:

Contract or freelance administrators are generally paid only for the work done. It makes this option more cost-effective for projects with variable demands. Freelancers often have specialized skills that may not be present in-house. This is especially useful for short-term projects requiring specific expertise.

Moreover, contractors can be hired on an as-needed basis, providing flexibility in managing workload and skill requirements.

Given their expertise, freelance administrators can often get up to speed quickly, thereby accelerating project completion. Hiring on a freelance basis eliminates the need for long-term commitments, benefits, and other employment-related costs.


Freelance Salesforce Administrator Cons:

Contract or freelance administrators may not have a deep understanding of your specific organizational needs and culture, which could impact the effectiveness of their work. Unlike in-house staff, freelancers may not be immediately available to address urgent issues, impacting responsiveness.

While specialized, freelancers are often juggling multiple clients, which can impact the quality and attention given to your projects. Also, entrusting sensitive business data to an external contractor can pose security risks if proper precautions are not taken.

A contract administrator might not integrate as seamlessly into existing in-house teams, potentially affecting communication and collaboration.

Hourly rate for Salesforce administrators on freelance platforms range from $25 to $150.


Outsourced Salesforce Administration through a Consulting Agency

Outsourced Salesforce administration involves delegating the management and customization of Salesforce platforms to external experts in consulting agencies. These consultancies offer a range of specialized services, from basic administration to advanced customizations.

This allows organizations to focus on core business functions while benefiting from the agency’s specialized expertise and scalability options.


Outsourced Salesforce Administrator Pros:

Salesforce partners specialize in Salesforce administration and bring a wealth of experience and best practices to your organization. As your business grows, it’s easier to scale your Salesforce needs with an outsourced team that already has additional resources available.

By outsourcing Salesforce administration, you avoid the overhead costs associated with full-time employees like benefits, training, and office space.

Service providers usually offer 24/7 Salesforce admin support. It ensures that issues can be addressed promptly, irrespective of time zones or business hours.


Outsourced Salesforce Administrator Cons:

By relying on an external provider, you relinquish some control over how Salesforce is managed and administered in your organization. In addition, the quality of service may vary from one provider to another. And it can be challenging to find a provider that meets your standards and requirements.

Outsourcing, especially to offshore providers, can introduce language and cultural barriers that may impact effective communication and project understanding. Transferring responsibility for data management to an external entity may expose your organization to data breaches.

Outsourcing can make you rely on the service provider, which could be a problem if you need to end the contract or if the service is interrupted.

Each employment method has different factors that influence the Salesforce administrator’s pay. Organizations need to consider both tangible and intangible expenses, to understand the true cost of employing a Salesforce administrator .

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3. Geographical Location

The Salesforce admin cost can vary widely based on geographical location due to factors such as:

  • Cost of living,
  • Market demand,
  • Local employment regulations.

However, international outsourcing can offer savings but introduces complexities like currency exchange rates and potential cultural or language barriers.

The growth of remote work has reduced location-based costs but can make teamwork tricky across different time zones.


4. Industry Specialization

Industry specialization can notably affect the cost of Salesforce admin. Specialized sectors like healthcare or finance often require administrators with domain-specific compliance knowledge and security expertise. It results in higher rates.

The complexity of customizations and integrations needed in such industries can further escalate costs.

An admin’s expertise in various Salesforce products can significantly impact their cost and rates.

Organizations looking for admins with multiple Salesforce products should anticipate higher rates compared to hiring someone with basic Salesforce administrator skills. Moreover, specialized training or certifications in these sectors often lead to premium charges.

That’s why, for example, Salesforce Marketing Cloud administrators usually charge more than Salesforce Service Cloud administrators.

High market demand for skilled administrators in certain industries like commercial real estate or capital markets can also inflate costs.

Consequently, understanding these multifaceted factors is crucial for accurately budgeting Salesforce administration costs in specialized industries.


Other Hidden Aspects Influencing Salesforce Admin Сost

In addition, the Salesforce administrator’s hiring and management process is associated with numerous hidden costs:

  • The number of Salesforce advanced certifications – administrators possessing a greater number of advanced Salesforce certifications may warrant higher salary considerations due to higher certification expenses.
  • Additional software, licenses, workspace, and equipment – specialized software tools or hardware may be necessary for the administrator to perform effectively.
  • Scope of responsibilities - administrators tasked with a broader array of responsibilities, potentially extending to business analysis or intricate customization, may require increased financial investment.
  • Project complexity and size – Organizations with sophisticated Salesforce configurations may require administrators of a higher caliber, and, as a result, impact salary levels.
  • Market dynamics – Higher demand for seasoned Salesforce administrators could exert upward pressure on salary expectations.

By methodically evaluating these variables, organizations can arrive at more strategically sound decisions regarding budget allocation for hiring a Salesforce administrator.

Best Practices for Optimizing Salesforce Administration Service Cost

By adhering to these best practices, businesses can derive maximum value from their Salesforce investment while effectively managing and optimizing costs.

How to Optimize Salesforce Admin Cost Ascendix

How to Optimize Salesforce Admin Cost | Ascendix

Assess Business Needs

Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the Salesforce admin in your organization. It helps avoid paying for skillsets or services that are not essential for your business.

Hire Certified Admin

While certified Salesforce administrators might come at a premium, they are generally more efficient. It helps reduce the long-term costs associated with mistakes or inefficiencies.

Review the Processes

Conduct regular audits of your Salesforce organization and the tasks performed by the admin to identify incompetence and areas for cost reduction.

Share Resources

If your organization is large and has different departments using Salesforce, consider a centralized admin team to serve multiple units, thus sharing the costs.

Choose the Best Hiring Model

Choose the right hiring model—full-time, part-time, or contract—to fit your needs and budget. For example, small projects may benefit from contract or part-time staff, whereas larger, ongoing efforts may require a full-time position.

Outsource Strategically

Consider part-time or contract admins for non-core tasks or during peak workload periods. This can help reduce the burden on full-time staff and cut down on overtime costs.

Look for Package Deals

If you’re outsourcing, some service providers offer bundled services that can be more cost-effective than piecemeal contracts.

Leverage Virtual Salesforce Admin Packages

Explore cost-efficient options like Administrator-as-a-Service or virtual administration. These scalable solutions are customized to your organization’s needs and eliminate the overhead associated with full-time hires.

Cost-Saving Alternative to Outsourced Administration: a Virtual Salesforce Admin Package

Virtual Salesforce administration is designed for remote management of the platform. This service is often offered as a Salesforce administrator remote alternative – Administrator-as-a-Service- in packages with several pricing plans. They differentiate by contract duration and the number of hours included in each package.

Their contract lengths commonly range from 3 to 6 months to a 2-year agreement, with corresponding hourly packages available in increments of 10, 20, 40, or 80 hours. It makes it easier to control costs and avoid paying for services you don’t need.

Virtual Salesforce admin packages have specific benefits over traditional outsourced Salesforce admins:

  • Virtual admins can often adapt to variable workloads more readily than outsourced teams constrained by a predefined scope of work.
  • Virtual admin packages often don’t require the long-term commitments that outsourced models typically necessitate. It offers more freedom to change or terminate the service as needs evolve.
  • Virtual Salesforce administrators can usually be onboarded more quickly than outsourced teams. It leads to faster problem-solving and implementation of Salesforce features.
  • Without the layers of management involved in outsourced services, decision-making can be quicker, allowing for more agile Salesforce Org management.
  • A virtual Salesforce platform administrator may more easily integrate into your existing in-house team, creating a more cohesive working environment.
  • With Salesforce virtual administration, it’s often easier to build a one-on-one relationship. It ensures that the administrator has an in-depth understanding of your specific business needs and can adapt accordingly.

Why a Virtual Salesforce Admin Package by Ascendix

If you require dedicated yet budget-friendly Salesforce admin support that addresses your immediate needs without long-term commitments, our Virtual Salesforce Admin Package is the ideal choice for you.

Our virtual admin integrates smoothly with your team, allowing you to focus on your organization’s mission while we handle routine Salesforce administrative tasks.

We’ll serve as your strategic partner, managing system maintenance and ongoing improvements while providing valuable insights for your future goals.

As a Salesforce Crest-certified consulting and AppExchange partner, Ascendix is dedicated to realizing your Salesforce goals efficiently and effectively.

Our seasoned experts, boasting over 120 Salesforce certifications, combine exceptional communication skills with a deep understanding of organizational processes and strong analytical capabilities.

Specializing in Sales, Service, Experience, Marketing Clouds, and Pardot, our experts will help you leverage the Salesforce platform to keep your sales, service, and marketing teams at the forefront of your field.

We provide packages of hours to optimize both platform use and adoption. Besides that, our dedicated team of virtual Salesforce platform admins will:

We also offer scalable solutions like Administrator-as-a-Service and outsourced administration to meet your evolving needs.

Contact us to discover how Ascendix’s Salesforce Virtual Admin Package can fuel your organization’s sustained success and cut down your recruitment and hiring expenses.

Final Words

In conclusion, Salesforce CRM is not merely a data repository but a vital hub for orchestrating sophisticated business processes and workflows. Its complex architecture demands skillful, consistent oversight—something a seasoned Salesforce administrator can provide.

A skilled admin can enhance your CRM’s efficiency using Salesforce administrator best practices, thereby maximizing your ROI.

If you want to continuously get the most out of your Salesforce investment and navigate the complexities of Salesforce administration efficiently and in a more budget-friendly way, consider Ascendix’s Virtual Admin Package.

Book a free call today and we’ll show how we can maintain your Salesforce org healthy and up-to-date in the most optimal way with our virtual Salesforce admin package.

Salesforce Admin Cost FAQs

What is the difference between a Salesforce administrator and a developer?

A Salesforce administrator is responsible for platform management, workflow configuration, and data quality assurance. In contrast, a Salesforce developer uses coding languages such as Apex and Visualforce to build custom features and applications that expand the platform’s functionality.

How much is a Salesforce admin?

The Salesforce admin cost varies based on expertise, location, and employment type. In the U.S., full-time salaries can range from $80,000 to over $130,000, while freelance rates may vary from $80 to $150 per hour.


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