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Anoop Odedra
December 15, 2016

Everything You Need to Know About Tableau Certifications

Thinking of taking one of the Tableau Desktop Certifications? We explore the benefits...


Currently there are 2 levels of certification offered by Tableau:

  • Tableau Qualified Associate
  • Tableau Certified Professional

Tableau also offer a delta exam to upgrade your certification from a previous version of Tableau to the latest version.

Learn more about Tableau training


All 3 exams are available for both Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server, and it should be noted that the certifications and the titles that come when passed are version specific, i.e. the current certification available for Tableau Desktop is Tableau Desktop 10 Certified Professional. 




So, is it worth it?


The qualified associate exams come in at $250 per sitting, with the desktop certified professional at $600 and the server certified professional at $800. The delta for both desktop and server are $125. Compared to some other software certifications the costing isn't too bad, and more and more roles that require Tableau are stipulating some level of certification. It gives employers confidence in the candidate, has a high level of technical skill and the ability to work in a quick and timely manner, especially when certified professional is required. So in my opinion, I think that the embarking on the certification program with Tableau is well worth the investment in time and in money. This is even more crucial as the Tableau community grows, along with the list of organisations using Tableau. The opportunities to show off these valuable skills are increasing daily.


So what is the difference between Qualified Associate and Certified Professional?


There are 2 levels of certification and the difference is pretty clear. For both Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server, Qualified Associate demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the software functionality, with users having had about 5 months mininmum experience when taking the Desktop exam. When I passed my Tableau Desktop 9 Qualified Assocaite certification exam, it was a great way for me to showcase that I have a high understanding of the capabilities of Tableau, as well as being able to use many of the more advanced features. Now that I have also passed my Tableau Server Qualified Associate certification exam, it shows that I have a deep knowledge of of the administration of a Tableau Server, including how to install, upgrade, run and troubleshoot a single node implementation.

Tableau Desktop Certification - what does it mean and should I do it?


It is recommended that some sort of formal training is taken to make sure you know all of the nitty gritty terminology that Tableau uses. This exam is by no means easy, and with a 2 hour time limit, you need to have your wits about you and be prepared.


The second level of certification is Tableau Certified Professional. This is a big step up from Qualified Associate. I gained my Tableau Desktop 9 Certified Professional and also passed the Tableau 10 Delta exam so I can now call myself a Tableau 10 Certified Professional.Tableau Desktop Certification - what does it mean and should I do it?
Tableau Desktop Certified Professional exam is a 3 hour intensive rollercoaster with a wide range of questions. Generally, I am pretty good at exams, and I tend to finish really quickly while being careful too. This exam took me 2 hours 55 minutes with just enough time to check and submit my answers. While there are some in depth technical questions, this exam is much more focussed around best practices and timeliness. To have the title of a Tableau Desktop Certified Professional is an exclusive group to be in - there are not that many of us in the world! I had carried out lots of preparation before hand (it would be silly not to spend a few days preparing in my opinion) but still it was pretty difficult. Yet not impossible and if you pass the exam it is an amazing achievement!


Tableau Server Certified Professional exam I imagine is another level altogether. I haven't had the pleasure or the opportunity just yet but it is well and truly on my radar. Currently, the exam is only held in Seattle or at Tableau Conference on Tour events. Why? Because it is a gruelling 7 hour (yes, 7!!) exam. More on this once I have the opportunity to sit it!


There are several recommendations to those looking to become Certified Professionals but only one pre-requisite: you must have passed the Qualified Associate certification before taking the Certified Professional certification. Tableau recommends taking the Visual Analytics course as preparation for the Tableau Desktop Certified Professional certification exam as it is much more focussed on storytelling (60%), best practices (20%) and advanced technical skills (20%). 


To help you on your certification journey we have a range of training courses available. These should put you in a great place along with some experience to pass the Tableau Desktop Certified Professional exam. We also have a Tableau Server Admin training course which is designed for hands on administrators, but also for anyone wanting to take the Tableau Server Qualified Associate certification exam. Check out my post on Tableau Desktop Training or contact us to schedule your course. 


As a closing point you may be asking "Why do I really need to know this?" Learning about visual analytics best practice doesn't just apply to Tableau dashboards. You can take the knowledge and utilise it in any report writing tasks. So turbocharge your Tableau dashboards with a training course and fast track your way on the certification path with Promatix training courses.


Learn more about Tableau training




For more information on Tableau certifications, visit the Tableau website at:


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