Your Guide to AWS Certification

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AWS certification offers career benefits, progression and increased salary. Learn about the types of AWS certification available and which is right for you.

[Featured Image]: AWS Certified Developer working on a laptop, developing and maintaining a AWS system.

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a cloud computing platform that Amazon provides for hosting servers, storage, networking, migration, computing, email, mobile applications and development, and security. A wide range of companies uses this system, which creates job opportunities for people who know how to build, operate, and manage them. Certification in AWS shows that you have the technical skills and knowledge to manage, develop, and maintain AWS systems. AWS is at the top of the cloud computing industry and is a valuable tool for anyone in the tech field. 

Why AWS certification matters

AWS certification establishes you as a credible, knowledgeable, competent specialist in AWS systems. Getting certified in AWS allows you to be eligible for certain positions specializing in cloud computing systems and can generally help you further your knowledge and expertise in your field. 

IT professionals often pursue AWS certifications through training programs or on-the-job learning to validate their skills and objectively measure their familiarity with many applicable cloud systems. They can choose from several AWS certifications, including six core and five specialty certifications.

Benefits of AWS certification

AWS certification offers several benefits, whether entering or progressing through your cloud computing career. More and more information and data are being uploaded to the cloud every year, and AWS currently possesses 31 percent of the cloud computing market. This number should grow in the future [1].

AWS certifications require a lot of work, study, and practice. When you complete a certificate in AWS, you show that you’ve dedicated considerable effort and time to learning the ins and outs of cloud computing systems. Certain tiers of learning will earn you digital badges and allow exclusive access to AWS events and circles. 

A further benefit of AWS certification is that it often leads to improved salaries. AWS certification can increase the salary of a professional by up to 20 percent, according to a survey by Jefferson Frank [2].

Significant demand for AWS-certified professionals and cloud computing

Many companies are shifting to cloud computing and cloud-based systems. As a result, experts in cloud computing are in greater demand. According to Amazon, a significant number of companies anticipate the need to hire employees with cloud skills.

Learning AWS and pursuing certification can open doors in a growing industry that seeks out professionals who have earned this credential.


Salary outlook

You can earn several AWS certifications, each predicting a different average salary in the cloud computing domain. More advanced and high-level certifications often result in more executive positions and higher salaries, whereas the more fundamental certificates tend to be reserved for entry-level employees. The list below shows the range of salaries for different positions. 

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Salary: $83,383 [3]

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect

Salary: $119,981 [4]

  • AWS Certified Developer

Salary: $96,217 [5]

  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer

Salary: $105,295[6]

  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator

Salary: $119,968[7]

Read more: What Is an AWS Solution Architect? Course, Career, Job, Salary

How to choose the proper AWS certification

Choosing an AWS certification depends on your skills, interests, and prior experience. There is an application for AWS in nearly every field, but some levels of AWS certifications and specific certificates are better for certain jobs. You can even find certifications for architects, developers, and engineers, amongst other cloud computing professionals. Picking the proper AWS certification for you will be linked to your goals, strengths, and interests, and you can pursue more than one or multiple levels, showing your expertise in several areas.

Types of AWS certifications

AWS certifications span a broad range of experience levels. Choose from Foundation, Professional, Associate, or Speciality levels in different specialty areas. Before earning one of these certifications, research them and identify the ones that best align with your personal and professional goals. The following list shows some of your options:

  • Foundation: Cloud Practitioner

  • Associate certifications: Solutions Architect, Developer, SysOps Administrator

  • Professional: Solutions Architect, DevOps Engineer

  • Specialty: Advanced Networking, Data Analytics, Machine Learning

Common path to earning AWS certification

A typical pathway to AWS certification is first enrolling in an AWS training course and studying for the certification exam. In preparation, consider reading AWS whitepapers because they contain valuable information about the exam. These exams require much hard work, dedication, and practice. Practice exams available online may ease your worries about taking the actual exam. Once you feel that you’re ready, you can schedule the exam.

Experience and skills needed.

Many AWS certification exams require proficiency in understanding, managing, and planning cloud systems and foundational knowledge of programming, data management, statistics, and networking. Before working on a certification, ensure these foundational skills and experience are in place. Some exams test your knowledge of Amazon services such as SDK, IAM, and Amazon's API gateway for applications. Having some experience working with them can be helpful.

Requirements for getting certified

The foundational certificate requires basic knowledge of IT services and how they are used in the AWS platform and a minimum of six months' work experience with AWS cloud systems in a sales, managerial, purchase, technical, or financial capacity. Other senior-level certifications can require passing other exams, work experience, or additional criteria. In some cases, you may need to demonstrate proficiency in a high-level programming language and the ability to create functioning applications that involve AWS components.

How can I prepare for the exam?

You can access many resources for preparing for the AWS certificate exam, including books, online courses, boot camps, videos, practice exams, and AWS white papers. Whichever route you choose to take, look for resources online, both free and paid options. In addition to reading available materials, take advantage of practice tests.

They show you what types of questions you can expect to see on test day, and they also typically include explanations of answers that help you understand why the correct answers are correct.


Maintaining the certification

Upon earning an AWS certification through Amazon, it is valid for three years. Before the three-year period is over, you must recertify to keep your certification active. If you are looking to maintain multiple certifications, you should be able to get a voucher from your AWS account to cover part of the fee to retake your exams. AWS encourages you to continue learning and taking courses offered by AWS during the three years of your certification so that you are ever-growing and learning about the systems.

Next steps for Amazon Web Services certification

On Coursera, you can find many classes and boot camps to get you started on your journey to an AWS certification. If you're entirely new to AWS, you can learn more about how it works through the AWS Fundamentals Specialization. If you already know which AWS certification you want, look for a course that addresses that specific topic, such as DevOps on AWS Specialization.





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Synergy Research. “ Strategic Market Intelligence for Emerging IT & Cloud,”Accessed February 1, 2023.

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