ESRI Technical Certification Program

ESRI launched its Technical Certification Program this month, to help certify expertise for those using ESRI software programs.
The new ESRI certification program recognizes people skilled with ESRI desktop software, developer, and the enterprise programs.

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Earning an ESRI certification will allow GIS users to recognize attainment of a high level of expertise with a particular program. The ESRI Technical Certification Program has been designed to complement the geographic information system professional (GISP) certification available in the United States through the GIS Certification Institute, and recognizes specific skills and expertise in using ESRI software.

The new certification program is designed to:

  • Create a community of professionals with proficiency using ESRI, who can design, implement, and administer a GIS.
  • Help users make better use of their investments in ESRI products by employing a workforce certified in GIS best practices.
  • Create professional development opportunities for ESRI software users.Esri certification program
  • Give ESRI software users, GIS consultants and instructors, and Esri partners the opportunity to distinguish themselves and their organizations with their unique qualifications.
  • Help Geomatics companies, government agencies, and other organizations appraise the GIS skills and abilities of job candidates.
  • Certifications are offered at the Associate and Professional levels. Generally, Associate users are familiar with all aspects of an ESRI application, while Professional users have a more advanced understanding of the concepts and processes defined for the Associate level. Descriptions of the Associate/Professional certifications currently offered and their experience requirements can be found at the ESRI website.

The first certifications to be offered starting this month (January 2011) are ArcGIS Desktop Associate, ArcGIS Desktop Professional, Web Application Developer Associate, Enterprise Geodatabase Management Associate, and Enterprise Administration Associate. Eight more certifications will be added to the program later in the year and into 2012. The table below lists the ESRI certifications currently offered or under development.

Certification examinations will include 90-95 multiple-choice questions and exam-takers will be given 2.25 hours to complete the test. Examinations will be available at 5,000 locations in 165 countries, and will be offered in English only.

The ESRI certification exam is designed to test the GIS professional on all aspects of the Esri software package and its capabilities. Certification applicants are therefore encouraged to become familiar with aspects of the software (i.e., tools and functions, etc.) that they do not normally use and which are outside their specific area of expertise.

ESRI Certifications Offered / Under Development
Software Package Certification Associate Professional
Desktop ArcGIS Desktop Yes Yes
Developer ArcGIS Desktop Developer Yes* Yes*
Web Application Developer Yes Yes*
Mobile Developer Yes* Yes*
Enterprise Enterprise Geodatabase Management Yes Yes*
Enterprise System Design Yes* Yes*
Enterprise Administration Yes N/A

Note: Certifications denoted with an asterisk (*) are currently under development.

Certification candidates can choose to take a preparatory training course prior to taking an ESRI certification examination. Several in-person and online exam-preparation training options are available. Course overviews, outlines, prerequisites, and prices can be found at the Esri website.

[For those new to GIS …. ] ESRI is a software development company that specializes in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geodatabase management applications. According to Wikipedia, in 2009, Esri had approximately a 30 percent share of the GIS software market worldwide, and about seventy percent of current GIS users make use of Esri products.

Corbin, Tripp. (March 31, 2011). ESRI Technical Certification: Tips to Prepare. Retrieved from:

Esri Inc. (December 7, 2010). Earn the New Esri Technical Certification. Retrieved from:

Esri Inc. Technical Certification Overview website. Retrieved from:

Wickipedia. Article on Esri, Inc. Retrieved from: