It’s common knowledge that earning an AWS certification is a great way to qualify your experience in the eyes of your peers and employer and to increase your organization’s proficiency with AWS-based applications. However, there is another benefit that has not been quantified until now. Results from the 2015 IT Skills and Salary Survey conducted by Global Knowledge and Windows IT Pro revealed that the average pay of four AWS certifications exceeded $100,000. While there is no guarantee that a certification equals a six-figure salary, it certainly couldn’t hurt.
Average Pay by AWS Certification
|AWS Certified Developer — Associate Level||$137,825|
|AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Professional Level||$117,434|
|AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate Level||$114,935|
|AWS Certified SysOps Administrator — Associate Level||$108,046|
Read the 2016 article about what it takes to earn an AWS certification. (Opens in a new window)
Starting on the Path to AWS Certification
AWS certifications (and AWS training) are role-based programs designed for solutions architects, developers and systems operations administrators. Within each role, associate- and professional-level certifications are defined. While training is not required prior to attempting a certification exam, it is highly recommended.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate Level
This certification validates that you have the hands-on experience using AWS to design highly available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant and scalable distributed systems. It confirms your ability to identify and define requirements for an AWS-based application and to follow best practices for building secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform.
Recommended training: Architecting on AWS
AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Professional Level
This certification validates advanced technical skills and experience in designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS platform.
Recommended training: Architecting on AWS — Advanced Concepts
AWS Certified Developer — Associate Level
This certification validates your technical expertise in developing and maintaining applications on the AWS platform. The exam tests your knowledge of the following concepts:
- Picking the right AWS services for the application.
- Using AWS SDKs to interact with AWS services from your application.
- Writing code that optimizes performance of AWS services that your application uses.
- Code-level application security (IAM roles, credentials, encryption, etc.)
Recommended training: Developing on AWS
Systems Operations Administrators
AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
This certification validates your experience provisioning, operating and maintaining systems running on AWS. It confirms your ability to identify and gather requirements to define a solution to be built and operated on AWS. It also validates your ability to provide AWS operations and deployment guidance and recommend best practices throughout the lifecycle of a project.
Recommended training: Systems Operations on AWS
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer — Professional (Beta)
This certification validates technical expertise in provisioning, operating and managing distributed application systems on the AWS platform.
Recommended training: Advanced Operations on AWS
It’s Your Move
If you are just getting started with AWS, a great way to get your feet wet is by viewing the free instructional videos and labs available on the AWS site. Our AWS Essentials course will also help you learn the basics of AWS prior to embarking on a certification path.