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Become an AWS certified expert for better career growth!

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been the topmost cloud deployment services provider available in the industry for a while now. AWS has a wide pool of resources and services that help in setting up and getting numerous live scenarios up and running without any trouble of setting up hardware.

AWS provides a pay-as-you-go model which means that you pay for the resources you use. This mandates that you use the resources carefully to prevent unnecessary charges in the billing.

To ensure the right resources are being used and the setup is perfect as per cloud deployment best practices, the organizations continuously look for experts in their domain. Finding and ascertaining an expert in the wide pool of human resources could get tricky. Hence, AWS provides with a variety of certifications to ensure that the businesses can connect with the person having the right skills.

AWS Certification Paths

The above image is the perfect depiction of the Certification path and options that are available with AWS. Let us understand each step, in brief, to help you drive yourself faster in the direction.

Cloud Practitioner – Foundational Certification

This is the primary certification step for getting further AWS certifications. This certification involves studying about AWS cloud basics. It deals with understanding the below items:

  • Every AWS service that is available for use
  • Billing mechanism for the services
  • Understanding billing dashboard and navigating through the billing dashboard
  • Getting skilled enough to use AWS services for a basic setup

Exam Duration: 1.5 hours

Exam Cost: $100 per exam

Associate Certification

The associate certification level in AWS consists of three different specializations in which one could take up certification. The available specialties involve:

  • Solutions Architect
  • Developer
  • SysOps Administrator

The expected experience level of an AWS Certified Associate is at least one year. It is being assumed that one year of experience in the above roles would allow the candidate to gain all around experience on the associated resources. However, it is not a mandatory requirement.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

AWS Associate Solutions Architect certification primarily focuses on skills of utilizing AWS resources on a large scale. The certification ascertains that the candidate has the skills needed to build technology architectures using AWS for small to medium scale projects. An Associate Solutions Architect demonstrates the below skills:

  • Effective formulate and design architecture for scalable cloud solutions
  • Define design rules for the solutions being developed using AWS cloud
  • Provide implementation and basic security guidelines to establish excellent technology stack

Exam Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes

Exam Cost: $150 per exam

AWS Certified Developer – Associate

AWS Associate Developer certification deals with the candidate’s ability to develop, deploy and debug cloud-based solutions on AWS. The certification judges the candidate’s below abilities:

  • Ability to leverage AWS SDK to utilize AWS programmatically
  • Proficiency in developing server-less architectures using AWS SDK
  • Necessary architecture skills for working with AWS resources

Exam Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes

Exam Cost: $150 per exam

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

This certification deals with the judging of skills to manage the AWS system operations for large scale projects. AWS is a wide pool of resources for which managing the resources and optimizing them is challenging. A SysOps administrator is skilled in deployment, management and overall operations of the resources being utilized. The certification rates the candidate for the below skills:

  • The ability to deploy scalable cloud solutions
  • Ability to manage resource usage to optimum level without affecting the performance
  • Ability to detect and eliminate network and system level operational issues on AWS resource stack

Exam Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes

Exam Cost: $150

Professional Certification

The professional certification level has two major certifications that can be opted.

  • Solutions Architect
  • DevOps Engineer

The certifications target to judge the candidates in-depth understanding of the working of AWS resources and their co-relation. It also scales the candidate’s ability to develop or manage a complete project end to end on AWS technology stack.

AWS Solution Architect Certification – Professional

This certification is meant for IT professional with at least five years of experience using AWS. The certification signifies that the candidate is fit for designing scalable cloud computing solutions for almost any domain. A certified solutions architect is expected to be skilled in:

  • Designing solutions for web applications
  • Deploying solutions in the machine learning domain
  • Designing high-performance AI computing platforms on AWS
  • In-depth understanding of the functioning of AWS resources

Exam Duration: 2 hours 50 minutes

Exam Cost: $300

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

A DevOps Engineer is responsible for setting up the development base for every project as well as an operational base using the AWS resources. An AWS certified DevOps engineer of professional skill level is expected to have the below skills:

  • Ability to provision the right amount of resources for any specific project
  • Ability to manage and maintain the resources as per project requirement
  • Capability to operate the resources in an optimized manner

The exam should be ideally taken by a person who has a minimum of 2.5 years doing the above activities. This ensures that the person has the necessary knowledge and skill to get certified.

Exam Duration: 2 hours 50 minutes

Exam Fees: $300


It is essential to follow a sequential path in a directed way for achieving the professional level of certification for AWS. AWS has specified the desired level of experience for every certification course. AWS decides it by analyzing the time needed to reach the skill level. Hence, the certification exams should be taken only after relevant AWS practical experience.

In addition to the above certifications, you can also opt for further specializations in multiple technology domains. The details of these specialty certifications can be found here.

You may learn about some AWS acronyms while you prepare for your certification tests.

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  • Abhishek Kothari
    Abhishek is a Web Developer with diverse skills across multiple Web development technologies. During his professional career, he has worked on numerous enterprise-level applications and understood the technological architecture and…

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