Comprehensive Guide to Power Platform Certification

Today, many products from Microsoft, ranging from MS PowerPoint, MS Word, MS Excel, MS Project, etc., are available to individuals and businesses. Proficiency in Microsoft products is an essential requirement for employment in most companies today. Be you an accountant, marketer, or businesses analyst, the knowledge of Microsoft programs is necessary to function effectively in these employment positions.

Although quite popular and widely used, Microsoft products are primarily utilized for typing letters, editing texts, creating presentations, tables, charts, and other functions. However, many people are ignorant of numerous tools and resources that can help perform other functions like cloud computing, data analytics, etc. 

To fill in the gap, there are different Microsoft certification programs one can take to be certified and improve their expertise and skills. Owning one of these certifications not only shows your expertise in such a field but also gives you leverage when submitting job applications. You will, most likely, stand a chance at being selected over applicants with no certifications.

What to expect from this article?

This article is a comprehensive guide that exposes you to all you should know about the Power Platform certifications. In addition, it covers sub-topics like the MS certification glossary, the different certifications, the prerequisite of taking the exams, the roles and salary range of Power Platform professionals, and more.

Also, you will learn about the frequently asked questions about the certifications and the dos and don’ts you should adhere strictly to. But first, let’s define Power Platform Certification.

What is Power Platform Certification?

Possessing a Power Platform Certification is one of the highly recommended ways to be an expert in all or one of the MS Power Platform’s Products (Power Virtual Agent, Power BI, Power Automate, and Power Apps).

MS Power Platform certifications officially attest to an applicant’s level of proficiency and skills in automating tasks, building solutions, analyzing data, building bots, and generating reports by making use of one or any of the new Power Platform products. These certifications are only given after you have gone through a paid assessment process. A process that might require that you sit for one or more exams. There is a shortage of experts with these skills in the job market. Now will be a great time to invest and get certified in one or all of these skills. 

The Microsoft Certifications Glossary

Here are some of the major Microsoft Certifications Glossary you will come across.

Exam

This refers to the particular Power Platform exam scheduled or to be taken.

Badge

Passing an exam earns you a badge that you can use either on your webspace or show to a potential employer.

MCTs

MCT is short for Microsoft Certified Trainer. Of course, you can become an MCT who trains other people on Microsoft Technologies. To attain this position, you must be certified yourself.

Exam Providers

This refers to where certification exams can be taken. Your exams can be scheduled at a venue/exam provider where you’ll have access to computers. Optionally, the exams can be taken from the comfort of your home.

Certification

What you earn upon passing your exams is referred to as a certification.

Transcript

This refers to your MS official Transcript, which shows all active certifications you have attained. It also shows the certification history and the dates they were obtained. It likewise contains a list of exams you have sat for and the date they were taken. It appears on the same page as the badges.

MC ID

Your MS Certification Identity (MC ID) refers to the unique identification number on your personalized profile. Although it is a personal identity, it can be synced to your employer, who can also benefit from it. You only need one MC ID.

How the Power Platform Certification Benefits your Career

1. Better career prospects & opportunities

Not only will your office work be as effective and seamless as possible, but MS certifications also give you leverage and exciting career prospects. With your earned MS certification, you can stand the tests that come with analytics and leadership roles. In addition, you can demand an increase in salary as you will be able to deliver business solutions with expert use MS platform. More often than not, you're better positioned to get a high-paying job with this credential.

2. Improved self confidence

When conversations get heated up, you can make boast of your credentials. This is not just you, officially establishing that you are better informed, but taking charge of conversations. Everyone loves to hear what a certified colleague has to say. It also saves you a lot of energy and time arguing with colleagues who are not certified.

3. Keeps you updated

Aside the sense of accomplishment and pleasure you get, a benefit of getting certified is being updated and keeping up with new things. Getting certified is one way to make sure that you have not missed out on anything important in the course of your career. In the rapidly changing and dynamic tech world, a certified individual will always be relevant.

4. Higher compensations

You will agree that aside from the zeal that comes with the work, compensations are a great motivation as well. As a person with a Power Platform certification, you get compensated even more. Most companies usually go for certified people based on PR or compliance needs, giving you an edge over competitors. More so, you can easily switch jobs as you please.

5. Proves your Competence

Owning a certification also proves to a potential employer that you actually have the intellectual capacity to sit for and pass the exams. You are sure to be taken more seriously. You will be seen as one who is knowledgeable, competent and valuable.

6. Flexibility of work

With this certification and following the direction of work in the world today, you can work remotely. You can work from anywhere, share your work with employers, teammates, and stakeholders.

Understanding the Fundamental Level Power Platform Certification

This is the first certification you will be required to take in the MS Power Platform package. Therefore, it is necessary to validate your abilities and understanding of what the Power Platform entails. In addition, the exam tests your knowledge of basic business processes, organizational improvement procedures, and data analysis.

It is a plus for candidates for this exam to have a foundational knowledge of computer technology, cloud computing, and how the internet works. This is so you can, at least, attempt the questions you will be presented with.

To obtain this certification, you must have passed the PL-900 exam. In addition, you will be tested on how well you can identify components of PP and your skills in Power BI and Power Apps. This exam goes for $99. You can get familiar with all the exam parts via the website.

There are no official prerequisites for this exam. However, you can take prep classes, either paid or purchase practice tests, to know what to expect.

Understanding the Different Associate Level Power Platform Certifications

The PL-100 exam was created to test the candidate’s ability to solve critical business analytic tasks, basic UX design, data modeling, and process analysis. Anyone interested in obtaining this credential should have the zeal and passion for solving business problems, Teams, Excel Pivot-Tables, and Visual Basic for Apps.

To get certified as an App maker, you must, of course, pass the PL-100. This has been designed to test how efficient you are in designing and coming up with solutions, visualizing, analyzing data, and implementing and managing solutions. 

Candidates for this exam have the opportunity to download the exams skills available online. The exam skill consists of a detailed and compiled list of sections to be taken in the exam. It also tells you how much each section weighs from the total score. To take this exam, you must be ready to commit a fee of $165.

You can prepare by enrolling for the paid or free Learning Path courses. This puts you in a position to know what to expect from the exams and arms you with the necessary skills before the exam day.

The relevance of this certification is based on the premise that candidates should be able to demonstrate an understanding of how to design, secure and extend MS Power Platform solutions. 

This implies that candidates must be able to display a mastery of creating app enhancements, data conversion, user experience, visualization, and developing solution components.

You will be required to possess a solid working understanding of JavaScript, .NET, C#, Microsoft 365, HTML, MS Power Platform, ASP.NET, and Power BI. These, however, shouldn’t be treated as prerequisites.

To earn this credential, it is required that you pass the PL-400 exams. This tests your knowledge on your ability to create and configure Power Apps, create technical designs, Common Data Service, and Business Process automation. You must also display proficiency in developing integrations and extending user experience and platforms.

Like other MS PP exams, you may prepare for the PL-400 by participating in the free or paid Microsoft Learning Paths. You also have access to download the exam skills from the web.

The PL-200 certification was created for data analysts, developers, and functional consultants. It is open to people looking to display their configuration and consultancy skills. People who are on the way to getting the Functional Consultant Associate title.

You must be able to design chat-bots using Power Virtual Agent. You must also build model-driven canvas and portal applications, perform discovery, create app enhancements after deducing requirements, perform system integrations, data conversions, process visualization, and automation.

Passing the PL-200 is a requirement to getting this certification. This, however, is available only in the English language. The exam was built to test a candidate’s knowledge on configuring Common Data Services, creating apps via Power Apps, implementing Power Virtual Agents, integrating Power Apps with other services and applications.

You must be willing to part with $165 to sit for this exam.

You can also prepare for this exam by following the procedures required for other certifications. This includes getting the Skills Outline from the web, enrolling for a paid or free Learning Path Course organized by Microsoft, and buying the official practice test.    

Data Analyst Associate (DA-100)

This credential is earned by a Data Analyst associate whose abilities have been verified. These abilities include skills in building and designing data models, cleaning and data transformation, and advanced skills in data analysis to manage a company’s data assets.

Candidates interested in owning this credential must have an understanding as well as an understanding of data repositories and processing. Note, however, that this is not an official requirement.

This certificate can only be issued to you after passing the DA-100 examination. This exam tests how effective a candidate is in preparing, modeling, visualizing, and analyzing data.

Note: This exam will no longer be taken after the 31st day of March, 2022. However, a replacement exam, Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst (PL-300), will be made available. If you recently started preparing for DA-100 exam, take time to review the skill requirement for the new PL-300 exam and switch your focus towards it. Do not fret, both exams are very much alike.

Understanding the Different Expert Power Platform Certification

Individuals with this credential have been certified to have the necessary proficiency in facilitating, configuring, storing, integrating, securing, and managing design solutions. 

You stand an upper chance in attaining this certification if you have one to three years of experience as a Power Platform architect or a knowledgeable developer in Power Platform with up to 10 years of experience. 

To qualify for the certification, you must sit for and pass the PL-600 examination and meet the requirement of a PP functional Consultant Associate or a Power Platform Developer Associate.

The exam costs $165, and you will be tested on your ability to perform solution envisioning and requirement analysis and how to implement solutions as an architect.

Helpful information, exam skills outline, and prep materials can be obtained online. You can also get a detailed list of the test objectives as well.

This certification is not only useful for Functional Consultants, but anyone looking to boost his career and hone his consulting skills.  It is a certification that makes you easily market yourself as a consultant for projects. At the same rime it shows a potential employee or organization that you can make use of Dynamics 365 to drive sales.

A candidate for this certification is required to have experience with Microsoft Power Platform as well as knowledge in Dynamics 365 model-driven applications and the principles of data-modelling. The exam requirements include PL-200 and MB-210. You can make up for experience in this field before taking the exams by following any of these suggestion:

  • Shadow an experienced functional consultant or a solutions architect who works with Dynamic 365 Sales.
  • Engage yourself by working on Dynamics 365 model-driven app implementation projects.
  • Enroll for available free or paid learning paths on Microsoft Learn.
  • Subscribe for the services of an instructor led course.  

Pre-requisites and Benefits of the Power Platform Certification

The first hurdle to surmount is the Fundamental Level Power Platform exam. The short code for this Microsoft certificate exam is PL-900. This exam can be taken by any candidate or recent graduate who has a basic knowledge of business applications and MS Azure services. It is also a plus if such an individual understands cloud computing concepts.

  • Completing the PL-900 certification gives you the chance to be a PL-100 exam aspirant.
  • You are equipped with the basics of building a mobile app from scratch with little or no coding experience.
  • You will be able to give value by providing excellent business solutions to your employees.
  • As certified personnel, you will be able to automate business processes with MS Power Automate.
  • You will also be able to develop dashboards build chatbots that can be deployed to your client’s websites.
  • With Power Apps Portals, you will be able to build attractive portals to stay ahead of your organization’s competition. In addition, with AI Builder, you can predict the sentiments that come with your customer’s emails.

Roles and Expected Salaries of Power Platform Professionals?

1. Power Platform App Maker

A Power Platform App maker builds solutions to automate and transform tasks in the simplest ways. They possess expertise and skills in the solutions domain, key technical analysis for businesses like data modeling, UX design, process analysis, and requirement analysis.

App Makers create and execute business structures. They also create and organize a digital collection of information, ensure repeated tasks are efficient, and automate business processes.

In achieving these responsibilities, they use the Maker tools of Power Platform. Knowledge of Excel Pivot table, Teams, and Visual Basics for Apps is a plus to this profession. In addition, professionals in this field are experts in data modeling and interface design. 

They are visionaries who are self-directed and solutions-oriented. They are comfortable using technology to solve the problems of different organizations bearing in mind value and growth. They approach issues with planned and iterative strategies.

In the age of booming cloud activities, an App Maker with updated certification by the Microsoft household name is valuable and attractive to current and prospective employers. Endeavor to keep tabs on the latest development in terms of remunerations for this profession when scouting for jobs. However, below is an estimate of your take-home as a certified App Maker.

How much do Power Platform App Makers Earn?

It might be pretty difficult to give actual figures of the salary of an App Maker. This is because it is dependent on certain factors like company type, company size, location, and the experience level of the professional. Nonetheless, according to PluralSight, the expected salaries ranges from US$72,500- US$127,900.

2. Power Platform Developer

Professionals in this field are passionate about designing, securing, and providing Power Platform solutions. They are saddled with building solutions components, application enhancements, creating an excellent user experience, data conversion, system integration, and custom visualization. 

As a Power Platform Developer, you will need a strong knowledge of MS power Platform services, as well as a fundamental understanding of DevOps practices, development background, and years of experience in making use of JavaScript, JSON, .NET, HTML, TypeScript, Azure, Microsoft 365, ASP.NET and Power BI.

As a certified developer in this line, you will most likely work with app makers, solution architects, functional consultants, and IT administrators. Your responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Creating power Apps and technical designs
  • Configuring Power Apps. Data verse and business process automation
  • Developing Integrations
  • Extending user experience

How much do Power Platform Developers Earn?

Speaking of the market value of a Power Platform Developer in the US, starting salaries for entry-level starts at $92,000 per annum. According to talent.com, the average compensation for a Developer with Microsoft certifications is $105,000 per annum or $53.85 per hour. The highest-paid expert in this field earns up to $128,115 per annum. Some of the top companies scouting for Power Platform Developers are Wipro, Accenture, Cyient, etc.

3. Power Platform Functional Consultant

As a qualified functional consultant, you are considered eligible to build and implement solutions that utilize Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Virtual Agent. Therefore, you are regarded as a critical member of your team.

With this credential, you can work with stakeholders in an organization, subject matter experts, solution architects, testers, and developers to gather all requirements needed to implement MS power Platform solutions. Your job description involves building canvas, portal apps, and models. In addition, you create power automated flows, analyze data with Power BI visualization and dashboards, and design chatbots with Power Virtual Agent.

How much do Power Platform Functional Consultants Earn?

As a certified Functional Consultant, you have the leverage to market yourself for numerous projects. As a certified professional, you tell prospective employers that you can proffer business solutions with no code or low code. That you can perform tasks that they initially would have required the expertise of a developer.

The average yearly compensation for a functional consultant in the US is $118,035, according to Ziprecruiter. This is broken down to $56.75 an hour. This amounts to $2,270 weekly or $9,836 every month.

4. Data Analyst Associate

The job of a certified data analyst is to use Power BI to assess and unlock data insights. These insights are then used to provide an easy-to-understand data visualization with the end goal of achieving success for a team or organization. 

Before attaining this status, you must have displayed an understanding of data processes and repositories. In addition, you have to ensure that the organization you work for derives maximum value for their data asset using Power BI.

As a data analyst, you will design and build data models that can be scaled, cleaned, transformed, and enabled advanced analytic abilities that provide value for the business. You might also be needed to collaborate with different stakeholders to proffer necessary insights based on identified business requirements.

To develop skills in this area, you could work with a Data Analyst who utilizes Power BI on projects. You could also sign up for other instructor-led training courses.

How much do Power Platform Data Analysts Earn?

Your salary as a Data analyst depends on many factors like education and credentials, additional skill set, years of experience, and the hiring organization itself. However, as stipulated by Ziprecruiter, the expected salary of a Data Analyst in the US falls within the range of $91,731 annually.

5. Power Platform Solution Architect Expert

Your job description as a Solution Architect expert is to collaborate with stakeholders and focus on finding solutions that address the technical needs and promote the business of the organization you work for.

To be certified and qualified for this position, you are expected to have the technical expertise and functional knowledge of Power Platform, related MS cloud solutions, third-party technologies, and Dynamics 365 customer engagement applications.

You will also need a minimum of 3 years of experience in the Power Platform Solution Architect field or up to a decade of experience as a senior developer or consultant with added knowledge in Power platform architecture.  

How much do Power Platform Solution Architects Earn?

Ziprecruiter puts the average take home for a Microsoft solutions architect at $146,557 per annum in the United States. This boils down to $70.46 hourly, $2,818 weekly, and $12,213 monthly. This suggests the various career opportunities that exist for this profession. There is the opportunity of expansion and increase as your years of experience increase, and your skill level boosts.

6. Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant

As a Functional Consultant, you will be working with stakeholders and organizations to gather requirement for the purpose of implementing Dynamic 365 Sales Solutions. It will be your responsibility to manage leads, quotes, opportunities and orders. You will also be in charge of configuring product catalogs and price lists. More importantly, you will take charge of configuring Dynamics 365 Sales to meet up with the specific business process of your organization, and model Dynamics 365 Sales Data. You will be required to have prior knowledge of Power Automate and Power Apps. Your skill measure includes but not limited to the following:

  • Perform configurations
  • Manage core sales tables 
  • Configure Dataverse
  • Create apps with Power Apps
  • Implement Microsoft Power Virtual Agents Chatbots
  • Create and manage Microsoft Power Automate
  • Manage solutions etc.

How much do Functional Consultants Earn?

As noted by Zip recruiter, the average annual pay for a Functional Consultant is $90,480. This was recorded as of March, 2022. This gives an estimated amount of $7540 per month.

Dos of Microsoft Power Platform Certifications

Do find out what certifications to take

Look up what category you belong to. You can get loads of information from MS Learn or MS Docs. Also, there are several internet pages where you get excellent overviews of available certifications. Some even come with prep courses that may be paid or free. 

They can give you an assessment of the available certifications, the date scheduled for the exams, what areas are to be prepped upon, and how the exams are graded. In addition, if you are confused about what certification exams to take, make a lot of research from informed persons.

Do make a plan

Making a plan cannot be overemphasized. A lot of reasons might be responsible for your decision to get certified. For example, it might be that your boss requires a certification from you as a part of your credential. Upon acknowledging this, you need to make a plan. Get started by going through all the available information about the exams.

This will help you discover what areas you need to study more or take labs to gain more knowledge. After a while of preparations, you can decide to take official mock exams made available by Microsoft to test your preparedness for the examinations. Ensure that you know what exams you are taking and have enough time to practice. Without putting adequate plans in place, you will be surprised how much time flies.

Do schedule for an exam

There is no such thing as a perfect time to sit for the exam once all other factors are in place. Just go ahead and schedule the exams. Do well to check the Microsoft website for what dates to take the exam.

First, you have to log on to the Microsoft website with your username and password (create a new account if this is your first attempt). Then, when you gain access to your personalized dashboard, you can schedule an exam.

Do prepare for exam

Your preparation activities should commence before scheduling your exam. You will get a lot of exam information from the web page. You should assess areas that are new to you and familiar. Also, check out for labs that can be available to you. Bear in mind that some of these labs are free of charge while others are paid.

Don’ts of Microsoft Power Platform Certifications

Don’t think of certification exams like Q/As.

Do not attempt the exams with the mindset that attaining the certifications merely involves a list of questions that need straight answers. There is more to this. Furthermore, since the knowledge you will be tested on is relevant to your professional daily activities, it is better to take it as seriously as possible. 

Ensure that you have the necessary work experience in all the areas you will be tested for and that you have undergone several lab preps to measure your preparedness for the exams. Take the exam as another opportunity to not only get certified but also to build up your skillset. Getting a certificate only shows that you’ve got the needed credentials. More important is being open to the learning process and getting the most from it. Play your part in prepping ahead, scheduling the exams, taking labs, and gaining from the process. 

Don’t use your company/employer e-mail address when scheduling for an exam

As irrelevant as this might seem, many people still regret scheduling their exams without their accounts. It doesn’t matter how satisfied you are with your current place of employment; it’s always better to take the exam in your name and on your personalized account.

This is because you do not know what might happen in the future or when you decide to change jobs. However, it is possible to switch accounts and schedule exams on different email accounts. It is advisable to sign up with your email account. Endeavor to use a personal email for training and signing up for other related sites.

Don’t schedule exams with different Microsoft accounts

Also, avoid scheduling your exams with a different Microsoft account other than the one you commenced with. There’s no law against using your work email if this is your first time. However, when returning as a candidate, ensure to use the email account you used initially.

Treat this as essential and avoid the hassles that come with mistakes. The reason is- your MC ID gets messed up. As a result, your exams and certifications get mixed up along the line and end up in different accounts. Also, most of the time, you must link one account to your employer.

Sadly, a lot of people find themselves in this kind of situation. However, there is a way out. On your account dashboard, select the option of asking a question. After that, register a new question. E.g., “How do I merge MC ID accounts.” You are sure to get a positive response from customer support.

Don’t spend all the time second-guessing.

Don’t wait till every inkling in you tells you to schedule the exam. It’s best to go ahead and schedule your exam in the future. Nonetheless, plan some time in between for adequate preparations.

Frequently Asked Questions on Microsoft Power Platform Certification

Microsoft officially recognizes these attestations of a candidate’s skill level, proficiency, and ability to build solutions, analyze data, automate tasks, generate reports, and build Chatbots using the latest Power Platform Products such as Power Automate Power BI and Power Apps.

For a candidate to pass the exams, he has to meet the minimum scores of 700/1000 in the PL-900 exam. However, with adequate preparations with study materials and practice exams, acing the exams shouldn’t be an issue. Also, beyond studying materials and practice questions, ensure that you’re conversant with individual certification’s nuances and peculiarities. Understanding the dynamics of questioning in the different certifications is also an important skill to hone.

Given adequate preparation, you can pass the exams. The practice courses come with clear explanations of the topics. Many applicants pass the PL-900 with high scores even with little knowledge of Power Platform.  According to most candidates, the exam difficulty is ranked medium and can be cleared even at the first attempt.

You are not allowed to take a particular exam more than five times within a 12-months window. The twelve-month commences from the month of the very first attempt. After this period is complete, a candidate might wish to retake the exams. Note that you won’t be allowed to retake an exam that has been passed save for the case of an expired certificate.

Role-based and especially credentials possessed by associates and experts expire after a year. The validity of such certification lasts a year from the day all requirements for the certification were completed. The MS Certification can be prevented from getting expired by renewing them before expiration.

Because there are several certifications from Microsoft (and other professional certification institutes) it’s pretty easy to lose track of expiration details. Hence, knowing how to check for Microsoft Certificate validity is vital. In your browser, visit the Microsoft certification site. Enter your candidate ID and access code, then log in. 

Instantly, you’ll get a new page showing your Microsoft certification records. In this record, you’ll see all the certifications you’ve earned and their respective dates. Adding one year to the date there infers the validity of the certification in question.

Conclusion

In this article, we went over the different Power Platform certifications that are available, the requirement to possess them, the job description and compensations available, and some frequently asked questions about MS Power Platform.

It was also established that getting certified by Microsoft is the only way to attest and tell potential employers and clients that you’ve got what it takes to proffer business solutions and add value to their organization.   

It takes hours of adequate preparation to meet the minimum score in the exams. That is why Microsoft and other learning platforms set up courses and practice tests to help candidates prepare well before the exam date.