In Tae Kwon Do, earning a black belt is one of the highest achievements that a student can earn. It represents dedication, skill, and a minimum time requirement (at least two years!) spent learning and improving.
But when a student earns a black belt, it isn’t just a personal badge for them. The black belt is also a symbol to others of the effort spent and the knowledge gained—it’s a universal, uncontested signal of a certain skill set.
A Facebook Blueprint Certification is a marketer’s black belt.
Not only does it tell you that you’ve achieved a certain level of mastery over Facebook advertising, it also lets other people—companies, employers, customers—know that you have an advanced skillset and can help them achieve their marketing goals.
Read on to find out exactly what type of Facebook certification you need, how it showcases your skills, and how to ensure you ace your certification exams and level up your Facebook marketing.
What is Facebook Blueprint Certification?
Also known as Facebook Ad Certifications, Facebook officially offers two certifications for advertising proficiency called Blueprint Certifications. One is in planning, and one is in buying. These are the only certifications recognized by Facebook for high-level proficiency on their ad platform.
Marketers can get these certifications by passing Facebook’s rigorous, proctored exams. The exams are designed to test for advanced proficiency in the skills that Facebook deems necessary for advertising on their platform, including developing strategy, tracking and reporting, measuring performance, and troubleshooting—to name a few.
The exams are challenging and require both experience on the platform and time spent studying and preparing. But because of their rigor, the certifications have a lot of integrity and are highly respected in the digital marketing industry.
Keep in mind that these Facebook certifications are investments in your professional reputation. They’re meant to advance your career and help you earn more high-value business. They do require you to dedicate money and time to earn the certification.
Here are the specifics for Facebook Blueprint Certifications that you need to know:
- Each exam costs $150. Since each certification requires two exams, getting a Facebook Blueprint Certification costs $300.
- You must pay for, retake, and pass the exams each year to keep your certification.
- You’ll have 75 minutes to complete the exam.
- You may take the exam at a proctored location or online at home in a secured browser.
- If you’re taking the exam at home, set aside 15 minutes before the exam to check in with your proctor and do a scan of your testing environment with your webcam to ensure testing honesty.
The exams’ difficulty and secure testing conditions help to uphold the integrity of the certifications. This is important to the marketing community, who can count on the level of expertise from each certified marketer. It’s also important to marketers because it ensures that their hard-earned certification holds clout and respect.
Why do you need a Facebook Blueprint Certification?
Today, there are a lot of ways that companies can advertise on Facebook. When companies are just getting started with Facebook advertising, they can even learn how to do it themselves!
But sometimes a company needs a professional. Whether they’re looking to hire a full-time marketer to do their Facebook ads or they’re seeking to hire someone for freelance work, they’re going to have a sea of candidates to choose from.
To find someone who will meet their needs, they’ll look for a marketer who has a Facebook Blueprint Certification.
In the same way that a Tae Kwon Do black belt is a recognizable, standardized symbol of skill, the Facebook Blueprint Certification is a clear way for marketers to stand out from other experts in their field. It allows marketers to demonstrate their expertise in advertising across all of Facebook’s products—including Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Passing the exam earns you a digital badge that you can share as part of your professional identity.
The badge isn’t just a decoration. It’s a respected accolade—it contains information about your Facebook certification like the issue date, expiration date, and specific skills tested, and it can be verified online.
In this way, it acts as a symbol to employers and potential customers. People can put their badges on their resumes, in their email signature, or even on their website as a symbol of trust and authority.
It’s also increasingly important for marketers to get their Facebook Blueprint Certification because the certification program is growing in popularity. And as more marketers get their certification, it’s becoming more and more expected by employers and customers to ensure a standard of high work.
In fact, just 18 months after Facebook introduced the Blueprint program in March 2015, there were already 1 million course enrollments.
More than ever, companies want to work with Facebook experts and ensure that they have access to the best talent available—and the certification program gives them a way to make that distinction.
If you’re a marketer that wants to convey your expertise in advertising on Facebook’s platform, it’s essential that you take your black belt test—Facebook’s rigorous certification exams.
How to ace your Facebook Blueprint Certification exams
Marketers looking to earn their certification can sign up for or take their exams directly on Facebook’s Blueprint website.
There are two exams required for each certification: Planning and Buying. They share one exam in common, Exam 310-101, which tests for proficiency in core principles. Then each certification also requires an additional, subject-specific exam that is more related to either planning or buying.
In order to receive the certification, marketers must pass both exams with scores of 700 or greater. (The total possible points is 1,000.)
In order to avoid having to retake any tests, which can add up in cost, it’s essential to know exactly what will be required on the exams and to come prepared.
Preparing for the Planning Certification
Marketers earn this certification to demonstrate proficiency in planning advertising campaigns on Facebook’s platforms. It requires a whole host of specific skillsets, including expertise in Facebook’s Pages, advertising objectives, Audience Insights, and more. It also tests for more overarching expertise in planning best practices and understanding how Facebook’s products fit into larger advertising and marketing strategies.
If you’re interested, you can learn more about exactly what skills you need to earn the certification here.
To earn the Planning Certification, you must complete and pass the two required exams:
- Exam 310-101: This is the Facebook Advertising Core Competencies exam. You can read about the specific topics that the exam will cover, and find exam prep courses that Facebook recommends interested marketers take before they sit for the exam here.
- Exam 222-101: This is the Facebook Planning Exam. You can find information about the specific topics covered on the exam, and Facebook’s recommended prep courses for each topic here.
Preparing for the Buying Certification
The Buying Certification demonstrates that marketers show proficiency in buying and creating Facebook ads for campaigns with the most impact. Some of the skills that the certification requires include managing, creating, and purchasing Facebook ads, meeting and reporting ad KPIs, and using the Facebook Pixel and SDK. Like the Planning Certification, it also tests for expertise in more broad skillsets like leveraging consumer insights, targeting audiences, and troubleshooting ad issues.
Marketers who are interested in learning more about the skills required to earn this certification can find more information here.
To earn the Buying Certification, you must complete and pass the two required exams:
- Exam 310-101: This is the Facebook Advertising Core Competencies exam—the same exam that is required for the Planning Certification. Check out specific topics on the exam and prep courses here.
- Exam 221-101: This is the Facebook Buying Exam. You’ll find information about the specific topics covered on the exam and Facebook’s recommended prep courses for each topic here.
Marketers can earn one or both, depending on their skillset and what they’d like to highlight. However, marketers should note that each Facebook certification requires knowledge of different topics.
It’s not a good idea to take exams for both certifications when you’ve only prepared for one. If you’re planning on earning both certifications, make sure you review the prep materials for both the Facebook Planning Exam and the Facebook Buying Exam.
Start preparing now for your Facebook Blueprint Certification
One of the best ways to learn is by doing. If you’re a marketer who’s new to Facebook ads or simply looking to gain more practical skills, you can get hands-on experience by creating campaigns on the AdEspresso platform. We also offer high-level and tactical advice in resources and guides for marketers—you can brush up on these strategies by checking out our constantly updated blog.
Have you already started studying? Be sure to check out our resources that can get you on the right track for the exams:
- The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Advertising ( free ebook)
- The Evergreen Guide to Facebook Ads Optimization (free ebook)
- The Complete Resource to Understanding Facebook Ads Cost
- The 4 Pillars of a Successful Facebook Advertising Strategy
What do you think? Have you received your Facebook Blueprint Certification? How has it helped you? Let us know in the comments below!