Is Google AdWords Certification Worth It?

Is Google AdWords Certification Worth It?

The Google AdWords Certification Program, is it worth the time and money?

Another year, another $50 per test, another loud sigh. The Google AdWords certification test  is a mixed bag of emotions for me. I love that they have it for people skilled in the craft of AdWords, so we can prove that we know the features and tactics behind PPC. But at the same time I get upset that I have to take it every year to recertify myself. I have been using AdWords for almost 7 years now, and I think that earns me a lifetime membership to the AdWords Cert Club! (or at least 2 or 3 years before renewing)

jordon meyer adwords professional

AdWords Professional During the Holidays

Let’s be realistic about this math I’m about to do. No one is IN AdWords 40 hours a week. Meetings, Excel, Emails, Slide Decks, Lunch, 2nd Lunch, 2 week vacation…it all takes away from actually being in the program. But, for fun, let’s do some easy math.

50 Weeks x 20 hours x 7 years = 7,000 hours inside of AdWords

7 hours x 364 nights x 28 years = 71,344 hours sleeping

Now, it is said to take 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at something. I’m almost there. And sure, I probably AM better at sleeping than I am taking a test about every feature in AdWords. I’ve put in the pillow time to be an expert at that.

SO – Is the test worth it? Should a PPC professional take the test?

Yes, and yes. If you are in an agency, then YES TAKE IT. If you are in house, it’s less important, but it’s something to keep in your pocket and help professional development.

Is there any monetary value to earning the AdWords Certification?
Not directly, but there are many possibilities that it will make you money. When I was at an agency, we actually got a lead and eventually a client because 2 of us on the team had the cert. The client did a Google AdWords Partner Search and found us. It’s also a nice thing to have on your resume. I know it has helped me get in the door at a few places over the years.

Can anyone pass the test just by studying?
No. Unless you are a natural test taker, you need to have some experience behind the wheel of an AdWords account. For the basic Fundamentals exam, I think a few months of experience is probably enough. Both in AdWords, AdWords Desktop and Google Analytics. For the Advanced Search exam, you should also have experience with the AdWords API, MCC interface, Billing, and reporting.


jordon meyer adwords certified This is $600 worth of tests!! That may seem like a lot, but I also spend a lot on coffee and car washes. In the grand scheme of things, these tests are worth it. I really appreciate that Bing gave away vouchers to take their test. I think AdWords can follow their lead and take the fee off of their test. My Bing certified page .


Go ahead, get yourself or your employees certified. What’s to lose besides $50?

Study Guide:

  • Definitely worth it and probably does help with salary at an agency… never hurts and it’s not that hard if you use AdWords every day.

    I do agree the renewal every year is too quick. If old people can drive without a new test, why can’t I manage the AdWords?

  • Exactly. Until I start running over the proverbial fruit cart with my AdWords Cadillac, I shouldn’t have to retest.

  • Nhinquattran

    I can help you guys pass google adwords exams to get certification in case you don’t have time to study all the materials
    Drop me a pm to my gmail: nhinquattran

  • Definately worth it. I have a  boost in my business due to this credentials
    My friend failed once and had to undergo cooling period of 7 days. Poor guy

    If you need tips to clear it you contact me on gmail: unmatchedguy

    Good Luck

  • Gene

    Hi! Aside from the actual experience behind the wheel, which is a must of course, you can also use some exam simulation and preparation services like It’s affordable and it can save you time.

  • MarkHallenberg

    How much money does a certified adwords person make?

  • Good question! It can range from $35k to over $100k depending on talent and experience level. A good source to see some real salary info is

  • realismd

    Ive been managing my own adwords campaigns for over a year to market my own ebook. Subsequently Ive been looking for a full time gig or more income potential so Im going to take Googles Individual Ceritification and get Bing certified too. Do you think this will open doors for me?

  • While the certifications are important, I can’t say that it will open doors for you. It will add a level of legitimacy to your resume though. If I had two candidates of equal skill applying for a job, I would favor the person with certifications. Simply because it shows initiative to go above and beyond, and it shows you know the skill.

  • realismd

    Cool! I’m going to get my Bing and Google then! I Think this is still a hugely untapped career field and there is money to made in it. So im going to dedicate time to it! Thanks for your honest insight.

  • Benji

    I’m in a career transition. I have over 7-8 years of financial background but no experience in digital marketing. I am thinking about getting the Googles Individual Ceritification and hoping the cert will help me get my foot in the door of digital advertising. Do you think there is a chance for me passing the test without work experience and getting my foot in the door after I get the certification?

  • Hi – Kudos on the future move, this is a very hot career field right now with no sign of slowing down. I think that you could pass the test with enough reading and studying of the materials Google gives you. However, without any actual work inside of AdWords, I think it would be difficult. There are plenty of basic questions on the test specifically about the user interface of AdWords and Google Analytics. So make sure you’re familiar with those before taking the test.

    That being said, I believe that passing the test helps differentiate your resume, but it is definitely not a replacement for experience. If there is any way to gain real world experience in an account, that will get you further than any credential.

    Best of luck!

  • Joseph Asamoah

    I have failed the advanced search exam twice what can I do?

  • Pingback: Google AdWords Certification – Part 2 | Jordon Meyer - eCommerce Search Marketing()

  • Prashant

    Use if you have’nt used it before.

  • Eric

    Hi Jordan –

    Do you know how long you have to wait if you fail one of the tests?



  • Eric – I think you need to wait 7 days after the first exam, but I couldn’t find confirmation on that number.

    Best of luck!

  • Amazing analytics

    Yelp, Bing, google and all the other fine services that are
    all designed, created and in business to DRIVE traffic to your site all do so
    and in some cases do so with amazing results.

    I receive the reports, I pour over the analysis looking for
    ways to fine tune and capture customers when they search for my products. I see
    the user views, impressions and the 10’s of thousands of customers who are
    looking for products just like mine.

    Amazing; I make white and black widgets and I’m told at any
    one time there are one million people in a 30 mile radius who are looking to
    BUY white and black widgets from a company just like mine and as an added benefit
    they want a company with a location just like mine.

    My heart pounds as I see the analytics, the number of clicks
    on my ad and wait for the sales to come pouring in…

    All the services report similar AMAZING activity, it’s even
    divided by the types of devices used, their mood and color of their hair. They
    even know how much they’re willing to spend and at no cost to me, costly reports
    and analysis conducted by some of the most respected organizations in the country
    all confirm that there really are over one million people looking for products
    just like mine!

    My heart pounds again as I stress at the thought of keeping
    up with demand, can my little business handle the influx of orders predicted by
    and confirmed by and promised by all these fine services.

    Is it foolish to position my little company to all this professional
    muscle and house power; what if I’m overrun with orders, how will I keep up
    with demand?

    A call to my campaign consultant comforts me because now I’m
    told that even though my activity is high and demand for my products is strong,
    records indicate that it’s the 7th to 9th month that
    really starts to see orders.

    You can imagine my relief as I continue to enjoy reading all
    the reports confirming that right now there are over 1 million people looking
    to buy products just like mine at a location just like I have.

    Wow, wow, wow, who could have imagined a small company like
    mine would be able to take advantage of such expensive and powerful advertising
    resources and have it so well defined that only those who are looking for my
    products are driven to me. It’s simply amazing.

    A double check; yes the store sign is visible, the door is
    unlocked and there is a dial tone…tapping fingers on the counter looking out
    the window as all the potential customers drive by.

  • 404UserNotFound

    Its good to be a certified professional. It’s a bog advantage if you are in Digital Marketig. Its makes your resume stand out from others, which eventually helps you getting a good job.

  • rejectrepublicanlies

    I totally recommend iPass Exam–I scored a 93% on the Fundamentals and a 90% on the Advanced. It gives you great structure and the practice tests are very similar to the real tests. That being said, you still have to study and put in the hard work.

  • So is it worth taking