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Top 11 Microsoft Exchange Administrator Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the top certifications for Microsoft Exchange administrators, including their benefits and requirements.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications for a Microsoft Exchange Administrator are important in the job market because they demonstrate to potential employers that the candidate has the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to successfully manage and maintain an Exchange Server environment. A certification can also help a candidate stand out from other applicants by providing evidence of their proficiency and technical expertise. Furthermore, certifications are seen as a sign of commitment to continuing education and staying up-to-date on the latest technologies. In a competitive job market, having certifications that demonstrate your knowledge and abilities can give you an edge over other candidates.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Microsoft Exchange Administrators and explains how they can contribute to a Microsoft Exchange Administrator's career development.

What are Microsoft Exchange Administrator Certifications?

Microsoft Exchange Administrator Certification is a certification program offered by Microsoft that allows IT professionals to demonstrate their expertise in the design, implementation, configuration, and management of Microsoft Exchange Server environments. This certification covers topics such as troubleshooting, messaging security, high availability, backup and recovery, and migration. Through this certification program, individuals can validate their skills and knowledge in managing an enterprise-level messaging system.

This certification can help IT professionals increase their marketability and career opportunities by demonstrating their knowledge of the latest versions of Microsoft Exchange Server. As well as helping them stand out from other job applicants who may not have the same level of experience with this technology. Additionally, it can also give IT professionals access to exclusive resources such as Microsoft technical support services and discounts on training courses. Overall, this certification can help IT professionals stay competitive in an ever changing industry and advance their careers in the process.

Pro Tip: Make sure to complete all of the required training courses and exams for Microsoft Exchange Administrator Certification. This includes completing a server installation course, an Exchange Server design course, and a networking fundamentals course. Additionally, you should also practice in a lab environment before taking the certification exam.

Related: What does a Microsoft Exchange Administrator do?

Top 11 Microsoft Exchange Administrator Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Microsoft Exchange Administrators today.

1. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Messaging

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Messaging is a certification that demonstrates an individual’s ability to design, implement, and manage messaging systems using Microsoft Exchange Server. It is designed for IT professionals who want to specialize in messaging solutions based on the Microsoft platform.

It takes approximately one year of study and practice to prepare for the MCSE: Messaging exam. The exam consists of five tests that focus on different aspects of Exchange Server 2013, including installation, configuration, management, and troubleshooting. The cost of the exams varies depending on the country you are taking them in but typically range from $150-$200 per exam.

To get certified as an MCSE: Messaging specialist, you must pass all five exams with a minimum score of 700 out of 1000 points. Once you have passed all five exams, you will receive your MCSE: Messaging certification. After completing the certification process, you can then use it to demonstrate your expertise in designing and managing messaging solutions using Microsoft Exchange Server 2013.

2. Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Office 365

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Office 365 is a certification program designed to validate the skills and knowledge necessary to manage Office 365 cloud services. It demonstrates an individual’s ability to configure, deploy, manage, and troubleshoot Office 365 services such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online, and Microsoft Teams.

The MCSA: Office 365 certification requires passing two exams: Exam 70-346: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements and Exam 70-347: Enabling Office 365 Services. The exams focus on topics such as configuring directory synchronization between on-premises Active Directory and Azure Active Directory; configuring identity federation with Azure AD Connect; managing user identities with Microsoft PowerShell; deploying and managing Exchange Online; configuring Skype for Business Online; deploying and managing SharePoint Online; configuring client connectivity to Office 365 services; planning an Office 365 deployment; monitoring and troubleshooting Office 365 availability and usage; implementing compliance features in Office 365; planning a governance strategy for Office 365; managing cloud identities with Windows PowerShell.

It typically takes around 6 months of study time to prepare for the MCSA: Office 365 certification exams. You can purchase the exam vouchers from Microsoft or one of its authorized partners. The cost of each exam voucher varies depending on the country you are located in but generally ranges from $100 - $150 USD per exam voucher.

3. Microsoft Exchange Server 2013/2016/2019 Core Solutions

Microsoft Exchange Server 2013/2016/2019 Core Solutions is a messaging platform that provides email, calendar, contacts, and task management for businesses of all sizes. It is the latest version of Microsoft's collaboration server, released in 2013, 2016 and 2019 respectively.

Getting started with Exchange Server Core Solutions takes approximately 1-2 hours depending on your environment. To get started you will need to have an existing Windows Server 2012 or later installed and configured. You will also need to install the Exchange Server software which can be downloaded from the Microsoft website. The cost of Exchange Server Core Solutions varies depending on the number of users and the edition you choose (Standard or Enterprise).

Once installed, you can configure the server to provide email services for your organization. This includes setting up mailboxes for users as well as configuring security settings such as anti-spam and malware protection. Additionally, you can use Exchange Server Core Solutions to manage calendars, contacts and tasks across multiple devices.

Overall, Microsoft Exchange Server Core Solutions provides a comprehensive messaging solution for businesses of all sizes with a range of features that make it easy to manage email, calendars, contacts and tasks across multiple devices.

4. Microsoft Exchange Server 2013/2016/2019 Advanced Solutions

Microsoft Exchange Server 2013/2016/2019 Advanced Solutions is a comprehensive messaging and collaboration solution for businesses. It provides enterprise-level email, calendar, contacts, task management, and other collaboration services.

The setup process for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013/2016/2019 Advanced Solutions can take from one to four days depending on the size of the organization and the complexity of the deployment. After installation is complete, users will be able to access their mailbox through Outlook or any other compatible client.

To get Microsoft Exchange Server 2013/2016/2019 Advanced Solutions, you must purchase a license from Microsoft or an authorized reseller. The cost of the license varies depending on the number of users and features required. Generally speaking, a basic license starts at around $200 per user per year.

In addition to purchasing a license for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013/2016/2019 Advanced Solutions, you will also need to purchase additional hardware such as servers and storage devices in order to deploy it properly. The cost of these components will vary depending on your specific requirements.

5. Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate

Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate is a certification program designed to help IT professionals demonstrate their expertise in the administration of Microsoft 365 messaging solutions. It focuses on the skills needed to configure, manage, and troubleshoot Microsoft 365 services such as Exchange Online, Skype for Business Online, and Office 365.

The certification requires passing two exams: Exam MS-100: Microsoft 365 Identity and Services, and Exam MS-101: Microsoft 365 Mobility and Security. The exams are administered by Pearson VUE, an independent testing provider.

It typically takes between three to six months of study time to prepare for the exams. Candidates should have experience with Windows Server administration and PowerShell scripting in addition to knowledge of Microsoft 365 services.

The cost of the exams varies by country but is generally around $165 USD per exam.

6. CompTIA Network+ Certification

CompTIA Network+ is a vendor-neutral certification that validates an individual's knowledge of networking hardware, software, and protocols. It is designed for IT professionals with at least nine months of experience in network administration or support.

The exam typically takes two hours to complete and covers topics such as network architecture, media and topologies, security, and performance. It also includes questions on troubleshooting networks.

To get the CompTIA Network+ certification, you must pass the CompTIA Network+ Exam N10-007. You can register for the exam through Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers.

The cost of the exam varies depending on your location but generally ranges from $300 to $400 USD.

7. Citrix Certified Professional – Virtualization (CCP-V)

Citrix Certified Professional – Virtualization (CCP-V) is a certification program offered by Citrix that validates an individual’s expertise in deploying and managing virtualized applications, desktops, and servers using Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop technologies. The certification is designed to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to design, deploy, configure, manage, troubleshoot, monitor, and optimize a virtualized environment.

The CCP-V certification requires passing two exams: 1Y0-311: Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 Advanced Administration Exam and 1Y0-402: Citrix NetScaler 12 Essentials and Unified Gateway Exam. Both exams are available in English or Japanese language versions.

To get the CCP-V certification, you must first register for the exams with Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. You can then purchase exam vouchers from either of these companies or from Citrix directly. The cost of the two exams varies depending on where you purchase them but typically ranges between $200-$300 USD per exam. Once you have passed both exams you will be awarded your CCP-V certification.

In terms of time commitment it can take anywhere from one week to several months to complete both exams depending on how much time you dedicate to studying for them. It is recommended that you have at least 6 months of experience working with Citrix technologies before attempting the exams as they are quite challenging and require a good understanding of the technology in order to pass them successfully.

8. VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV)

VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV) is a certification program that validates an individual’s expertise in virtualizing and managing data center environments using VMware vSphere 6.x technologies. It is designed for professionals who install, configure, manage and troubleshoot VMware vSphere 6 environments.

To get the VCP6-DCV certification, you need to complete the following steps:

1. Attend a training course from an authorized VMware Training Partner or take a self-paced online course.

2. Pass the VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV) exam (exam code 2V0-621).

3. Submit your application to become a VCP6-DCV professional on the VMware website.

4. Complete the required activities to maintain your certification status with VMware each year.

The cost of the training courses and exam vary depending on the provider, but typically range from $500-$1000 USD for both combined. The cost of submitting your application to become a VCP6-DCV professional is $100 USD per year and there are no additional fees associated with maintaining your certification status with VMware each year.

9. Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)

Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) is a certification program offered by Red Hat, Inc. that validates the skills and knowledge of system administrators who are responsible for the installation, configuration, and day-to-day management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. The RHCSA certification is designed to demonstrate an individual’s ability to configure local storage using logical volume manager (LVM), configure network services such as DNS and DHCP, manage users and groups, install and update software packages, use bash shell scripting, and perform basic security administration tasks.

In order to obtain the RHCSA certification an individual must pass a single exam which consists of performance-based items that require the candidate to perform tasks on a live system. The exam typically takes around 2 hours to complete and covers topics such as system installation, configuration, maintenance, troubleshooting, networking services and security administration.

The cost of taking the RHCSA exam varies depending on location but typically ranges from $400-$500 USD. In addition to the cost of taking the exam there may also be additional costs associated with training materials or courses that are necessary in order to prepare for the exam.

10. Citrix Certified Professional - Networking (CCP-N)

Citrix Certified Professional - Networking (CCP-N) is a certification offered by Citrix that validates an individual's expertise in networking technologies and solutions. It is designed for IT professionals who have experience with deploying, configuring, and managing Citrix NetScaler products. The certification covers topics such as network security, load balancing, application acceleration, and traffic optimization.

The CCP-N exam consists of 65 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. To get the certification, individuals must pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher.

The cost of the CCP-N exam is $200 USD per attempt. To prepare for the exam, individuals can take online courses or attend instructor-led training sessions offered by Citrix or its partners.

11. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Routing and Switching

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Routing and Switching is a professional-level certification that validates one’s ability to plan, implement, verify and troubleshoot local and wide area enterprise networks. It is considered an intermediate-level certification that builds on the foundation of the CCNA certification.

The CCNP Routing and Switching certification requires passing three exams: 300-101 ROUTE, 300-115 SWITCH, and 300-135 TSHOOT. The exams cover topics such as routing protocols, switching technologies, network security, IP services, troubleshooting, WAN technologies and more.

It usually takes about 6 months to a year to complete the requirements for the CCNP Routing and Switching certification depending on your level of experience with networking concepts.

To get your CCNP Routing and Switching certification you must first pass the three required exams. You can take each exam separately or in combination with other Cisco certifications such as the CCNA or CCIE. Once you have passed all three exams you will receive your official Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Routing and Switching certificate from Cisco Systems Incorporated.

The cost for taking the three required exams varies depending on which country you are in but typically ranges from $300-$400 USD per exam.

Do You Really Need a Microsoft Exchange Administrator Certificate?

When it comes to Microsoft Exchange and its related technologies, having a Microsoft Exchange Administrator Certificate can be extremely beneficial. With this certification, individuals can demonstrate their knowledge of the popular mail server software, as well as their ability to manage and maintain an Exchange environment. Furthermore, employers often prefer hiring those with this certification since they know that the individual has already been trained in the basics of administering an Exchange environment.

That said, one should also consider whether or not they need a Microsoft Exchange Administrator Certificate before deciding to pursue one. Depending on your job role or career goals, you may find that such a certificate is unnecessary. For example, if you are a system administrator who is responsible for managing multiple servers but none of them are running Microsoft Exchange, then obtaining such a certification may not be necessary or beneficial. In addition, if you are an IT professional who does not plan on working specifically with Exchange in the future, then acquiring this certification may also be unnecessary.

Ultimately, it will come down to your career goals and how much experience you have with Microsoft Exchange and its related technologies. If you do decide to pursue a Microsoft Exchange Administrator Certificate, however, make sure to look into all available training options so that you can gain the most comprehensive education possible in order to give yourself the best chance of success when working with this popular mail server software.

Related: Microsoft Exchange Administrator Resume Examples

FAQs About Microsoft Exchange Administrator Certifications

Q1: What is the Microsoft Exchange Administrator certification?

Answer: The Microsoft Exchange Administrator certification is a credential designed to validate an individual’s technical knowledge and experience in administering, configuring, deploying, and troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange Server. It demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence and mastery of the skills required to be successful in the field.

Q2: What are the requirements for obtaining a Microsoft Exchange Administrator certification?

Answer: To obtain a Microsoft Exchange Administrator certification, you must pass Exam 70-345 (Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016). This exam tests your ability to design and deploy messaging solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2016.

Q3: How much does it cost to obtain a Microsoft Exchange Administrator certification?

Answer: The cost of taking the exam varies depending on location but typically ranges from $150–$200 USD.

Q4: How long does it take to become certified as a Microsoft Exchange Administrator?

Answer: To become certified as a Microsoft Exchange Administrator, you must pass Exam 70-345 (Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016). Depending on your study habits, you should expect to spend at least two months studying for this exam.

Q5: Do I need any prior experience or knowledge before taking the Exam 70-345?

Answer: While prior experience or knowledge of other server technologies such as Windows Server or Active Directory is helpful, it is not required. However, having some familiarity with these technologies will make studying for the exam easier.