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How to become certified in InDesign

  • Published on June 15, 2021

As the author of 10 books on InDesign, including the official Adobe InDesign certification preparation book, I’m often asked how to become certified in InDesign, or how to get InDesign certification. There are several options for getting certified in InDesign. All of the options to become certified in InDesign require you to have good InDesign skills and an understanding of how to effectively create and share content using InDesign.

There are three options for becoming certified in InDesign:

  • Attend an InDesign course and receive a certification
  • Take and independent InDesign Certification exam
  • Take an Adobe Certification Exam

The first option for getting certified in InDesign is to take a course at reputable school that provides an InDesign Certificate. Schools such as American Graphics Institute teach InDesign Classes that provide certificates that show you have invested the time and effort to learn InDesign and establish that you have obtained foundation skills. Many employers consider an InDesign certificate awarded upon completion of a training program to be a strong indicator of skills that also showcases a willingness to invest time and effort into personal improvement.

The next option for achieving InDesign certification is to take an independent InDesign Certification exam. These are exams by organizations that independently verify skills with InDesign through an examination. These exams are generally less expensive and often can be completed at home or office, rather than needing to go to a testing center. One such exam is the InDesign Certification Test online which tests InDesign skills across a range of topics.

The final option for becoming certified in InDesign is to take an exam at a testing center. There are two types of InDesign Certification exams available at a testing center: the Adobe Certified Associate certification exam and also the Adobe Certified Expert certification exam. Both exams require you to register with an independent agency, pay a substantial fee, and then travel to a testing center to sit for the exam while being monitored. The InDesign Certified Expert exam is approximately five years out of date, meaning that it is testing knowledge on the version of the application that was available five years ago, not the most current version. While the Certified Associate exam is more current, approximately one-third of the exam covers topics not directly related to InDesign, such as general knowledge of graphics and copyrights. Neither of these InDesign certification exams is widely used by employers. If you are able to prove your skills through training or a different form of InDesign certification it will save you time and money.

How much InDesign Certification costs

An InDesign certification class that provides a certificate upon completion and is delivered by a live instructor starts at $495. If you only want to take the InDesign certification exam, the independent InDesign Certification which you can take from your home or office is $25. The monitored InDesign Certification taken at an exam centers are between $149 and $249.

Is InDesign Certification necessary

Asked another way, is InDesign certification worth the time and effort? There is no requirement for InDesign certification to work in the field of graphic design. If you have no formal design training, obtaining InDesign certification may help you find a job, as it shows employers that you have a certain set of foundation skills. Additionally, achieving InDesign certification can be personally rewarding. Yet there is no specific InDesign certification that is better than the others, nor is any required for working at any level within the design field.

Preparing for InDesign Certification

You can attend specific InDesign certification training or find InDesign courses near you to prepare for the certification exam.


About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics classes along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.