What’s the Value of an AWS Certification?

Updated 2017 article: What it Takes to Earn an AWS Certification.

Whats-the-Value-AWS-Certification122497338BlogIt’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

Certification  Average Salary
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 2017 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.

Solutions Architects

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: Advanced Architecting on AWS


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: System 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.

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In this article

Join the Conversation


  1. Mukesh Kumar Reply

    I am windows system administrator and I am very interested to know about AWS SysOps administrator.
    Is it necessary to know unix or linux to pursue a career in AWS SysOps administrator ?
    Is is market demanding ?
    Can I get a job after learning AWS as a fresher level ?
    Is certification necessary to get a job at fresher level.

  2. Mark Smith Reply

    Hello MuKesh. I wanted to reply to your questions above. I have indicated my response to each of your 4 questions below. We appreciate your questions and hope to be able to help you soon!

    1. We recommend that a candidate have shell scripting experience in Linux environments, cmd or PowerShell in Windows along with a base level knowledge of cloud computing and networking protocols. We have courses available to assist with the prerequisite training recommendations as well.

    2. We’ve seen a huge uptick in companies requiring migration to the cloud because of the ease of scalability and cost efficiency. With AWS’ presence in the market and being the largest provider of cloud computing services, the need for this training has risen exponentially.

    3. We don’t guarantee that a person can get a job after taking our courses due to the multiple variables that go into that entire process (i.e. location, industry, the actual candidate, etc), but we can confirm that feedback from our students has been that these AWS certifications are present in the job market.

    4. It depends on the company. Some companies are required to maintain a certain number of certification to maintain their partner status. Other companies simply utilizing the technology may not weight the certification, but require that you know how to use the technology effectively. AWS curriculum is geared towards helping an individual be successful in that job role, while additional material is available to aid in self-study for the actual exam.

  3. Savior Emmanuel Reply

    Mukesh yes you will need to know certain commands in case the customer wants Linux virtual machine.

  4. vik hong Reply


    I am thinking about changing my career. I’ve been in the Logistics/Supply Chains for a few years now and would like to get into the Tech industry
    A friend of mine told me about AWS. I need to know more about this and perhaps sign up for all the courses that you can offer
    Please email me

    Thank you

  5. John Mark Ivey Reply


    Thank you for your interest. There are links in the blog post that will lead you to more information on the specific AWS certifications that interest you most. You can also visit our website: http://www.globalknowledge.com/training/olm/go.asp?find=twtAmazon&country=United+States

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact one of our Training Advisors by calling us at 1-800-COURSES.

  6. Sam M Reply

    I have done engineering in Electronics & telecom and currently working in telecom sector , much interested in learning AWS SysOps.
    What are the pre-requisites for it including academics?(have completed CCNA but not certified).
    What is the course duration? And can I appear for the certification test immediately after course completion?
    Are jobs available at fresher level after getting AWS certified?

    1. Kelsey Garner Reply

      Hi Sam,

      While AWS does not have course requirements, it is highly recommended that you attend Systems Operations on AWS (3-day course) prior to taking the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate Level exam. You should also have the general IT and AWS knowledge listed below.

      AWS Knowledge
      • Minimum of one year hands-on experience with the AWS platform
      • Professional experience managing/operating production systems on AWS
      • A firm grasp of the seven AWS tenets – architecting for the cloud
      • Hands on experience with the AWS CLI and SDKs/API tools
      • Understanding of network technologies as they relate to AWS
      • Good grasp of fundamental Security concepts with hands on in experience in implementing Security controls and compliance requirements

      General IT Knowledge
      • 1-2 years’ experience as a systems administrator in a systems operations role
      • Experience understanding virtualization technology
      • Monitoring and auditing systems experience
      • Knowledge of networking concepts (DNS, TCP/IP, and Firewalls)
      • Ability to collaborate with developers and the general business team/company wide

  7. Kumar Reply


    I want to change my IT career towards cloud computing and chose AWS-service provider to learn about that. When I searched for jobs for AWS architect or sysops, there is no much options available(reg: experience wise, salary, city). Is it good to some certification on AWS, in 2016? which would have more demand in cloud computing?

  8. John M Reply


    What’s the best AWS certification to have for senior Project/Program Managers? I don’t expect to be coding but I will find myself in situations wherein I will have to make decisions regarding cloud solutions…

  9. aamer Reply

    My name is aamer.I am a recent graduate in computer science engineering from india. I would like have a job in cloud as a fresher as I have a green card. I would like you to guide me in detail the steps to take in order to secure a job in cloud with no prior IT experience. Your help would go a long way in building my career in cloud.Thanks in advance.

  10. John Mark Ivey Reply

    To get a job in cloud, you may want to pursue a cloud certification. Check out our website at http://www.globalknowledge.com/training/olm/go.asp?find=twtcloudpage&country=United+States for more information. Good luck in your job search.

  11. John Smith Reply

    I myself is a Windows Sysadmin.
    I see few sysops jobs within AWS.
    Most jobs are geared toward developers.
    I guess knowing how to develop applications or Database apps will help.

  12. Robert Scarborough Reply

    I was just trying to figure out how I can fit into this. I am a Network/Voice Texh. I do level 1 telecom and network infrastructure stuff. I have worked on a technical automation team monitoring and testing web apps too in a data center. I guess I am trying to find a way to work myself into a role utilizing the Amazon AWS technology. It seems like it’s all about being a developer somewhat. Is there a networking cloud technology. I am studying for the Cisco CCENT now and was going to get CCNA cloud next. Is that a good path or should I just start on AWS certs now. I don’t want to miss out because I hear it’s going to O be HUGE job opportunities and pay. I have been in IT since about 1999 and in a way to be honest I felt like I have done enough of certain kinds of work where you just don’t get good pay but you are doing a lot of stuff that doesn’t matter. I am ready to go to another level. Just trying to figure out how to get ther. I was even thinking of going th developer route with the AWS certs, maybe learn Python and then start?

  13. John Mark Ivey Reply

    Robert, I would suggest you consider attaining all three. Cisco certifications are tried and true and retain their value. On the other hand, AWS certifications are gaining a lot of momentum with organizations worldwide. I also always suggest IT pros to learn at least some coding as well. You never know how many hats you will have to wear in your next job.

  14. Robert Scarborough Reply

    Oh ok John thanks so much.

  15. Singh Reply


    I am a java developer with total 3 years of experience. I have 1 year of experience of QA and Solution architect .Now i am thinking about changing my career.
    A friend of mine told me about AWS. I need to know more about this , and which are the certificates will be useful for me out of these 5 certifications(
    AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
    AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
    AWS Certified Developer – Associate
    AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
    AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
    Please email me

    Thanks in advance.

  16. John Mark Ivey Reply

    Singh, Please visit http://www.globalknowledge.net/ to learn more about AWS Training available in your area. Thanks for your interest!

  17. bhaskar Reply


    I got 6 years of experience in windows and VMware administration, i want to shift in to Cloud so which one would be best for me i.e., in requirements, salary, future wise. In Cloud which technology i can learn etc.

    Please mail me, Thanks in advance

  18. Rahul Reply

    I’m from telecom sector. I worked in LTE,GSM sector for two years. Now i’m interested in AWS cloud technology. If i obtain AWS certifications than is it possible that i can change my domain from telecom to Cloud computing ?

  19. John Mark Ivey Reply

    Obtaining AWS certifications is the first step an IT pro – especially with Telecom experience – would need to pursue a career in Cloud Computing.

  20. kiran Reply

    What would be the expected salary for AWS certified engineer.
    Currently I am working in reputed IT giant and earning 12000$ CTC. I Have more than 7 years of IT experience and RHCSA and RHCE certified with very good knowledge on windows and linux platform but minimal knowledge on cloud environment

  21. John Mark Ivey Reply

    Kiran, You can find that information and much more in our 2016 annual Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report > http://ter.li/u8kuqs

  22. Mariah Reply

    I will be graduating from college in December and I have decided to study for the AWS solutions architect associates. Any advice on my career path and how to land a job successfully? I will be getting a bachelor’s in information technology
    I have less that 6 months experience in the IT field and I don’t see any entry level jobs for aws solutions architect. Thanks

  23. Dipesh Reply

    I want to know which one is best career from AWS VS AZURE V/S security? who will provide more secure job for long term career?

  24. Vineet Reply

    Hi John / Kelsey,

    I am currently working the role of Business Analyst in the e-commerce domain with an experience of 3 years. I have some prior QA experience as well. Do you recommend the AWS-Solution Architect certification for a Business Analyst?


  25. John Mark Ivey Reply

    Dipesh and Vineet,

    Any IT training you choose, especially AWS or Microsoft Azure, will accelerate and widen your career options. Good luck in your training in the future and thank you for considering Global Knowledge.

  26. Raj Reply

    I am working as a Software Test Engineer for the past one year. i just want to know what aws certification should i pursue and moreover will i be able to get job related to AWS . What kind of job should i try after getting this certification as being a test engineer already


  27. wls_sys Reply

    I am a Technical Professional with 13 years of experience in Information Technology with 10 years of experience in Middleware Support.
    I am Sun Solaris SA-1 Certified plus Oracle Weblogic System Administrator.
    Now looking out for AWS certification.

    Can you please suggest me a right certification for me?
    Understanding so far is SysOps Administrator – Associate and Solution Architect – Associate is looks good but not sure at the moment, if you can tell me the best & the sequence?


  28. Brian Reply


    I was wondering why the AWS Dev Ops Associate level has a higher average salary than the AWS Solutions Architect Professional level?

    I am a certifed AWS SA Pro and the level of knowledge required to pass the AWS SA Pro compared to that of Dev Ops Associate or SA associate is huge.

  29. John Mark Ivey Reply

    The data used for the blog post was based on results from our 2015 IT Skills and Salary Survey.

  30. Sanjay Reply

    I am fresher and dont have any work experience but i do have interest in AWS. Once if I get certified AWS will I get job opportunity??

  31. John Mark Ivey Reply

    Depending on the availability in your area, jobs requiring AWS certifications are increasing and since they are still fairly new, there’s not a ton of IT pros with AWS certificates, Your chances of landing AWS cloud jobs are higher with the cert. But experience is very important as well. Try to increase your AWS cloud experience along with obtaining AWS certifications and you will have a great AWS cloud job soon.

  32. Imran Reply

    I am from a application/production support environment and we work in Linux and shell scripting and some middlewares.
    1. From the growth point view is it fine For a guy like me with these skillset switching his technology into AWS ?

    2. Will this decision of me would help me to survive in IT industry for a decade ?

    3. I will be best fit in aws sysops please correct me if I am wrong?

  33. John Mark Ivey Reply

    Amran, Great questions, I think you might find the best advice at Amazon Web Services’ own website – especially this page which has insightful videos and information on cert paths > https://aws.amazon.com/training/

  34. Ankur Bhatia Reply

    Hi Team,

    I am an oracle ERP functional consultant (not techno functional) having 5+ years of experience and I am planning to relocate to Australia. As I can see oracle ERP market there is very bad. Can you suggest will it be helpful for me if

    1. If I will do some certification in AWS?
    2.How is the AWS market in Australia
    3. I am into Oracle ERP functional which course will be closely related to my profile? I don’t want to get myself involved in coding.

    Please advise.

  35. John Mark Ivey Reply

    The AWS Cloud is quite the technical phenomenon. It is hot and spreading across the globe like wildfire including Australia. We would highly advise anyone thinking about pursuing any AWS certification to do so. For assistance on the correct training path for you, we’d suggest you visit Amazon Web Services’ own website – especially this page which has insightful videos and information on cert paths > https://aws.amazon.com/training/

  36. shashank Reply

    Hello Everyone,
    I have passed my AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam and i have good knowledge of linux OS, Python scripting language. My doubt is what kind of positions should I apply for my requirements(AWS SA, LINUX, PYTHON). I think AWS itself don’t have openings can anyone suggest any positions for my requirements and also can you please suggest me what course should include with AWS.

  37. Shri Reply


    I’m working as Level 1 support provider for Server and Network on one of the startup company. On server side I work on both Windows and Linux Platforms.
    Also, I’m in the initial Stage of Linux technology and interested to do AWS Certification. Can I proceed with it? What are the basics things should I learn before doing this certification? Please explain.

  38. John Mark Ivey Reply


    The AWS Cloud is very popular right now. For best and most current information, visit Amazon Web Services’ own website – especially this page which has insightful videos and information on cert paths > https://aws.amazon.com/training/

  39. Sarkar Reply

    I have 7 years of experience as TSM (IBM Tivoli Storage Manager) administartor, with this i have basic knowledge of AIX, very basic knowledge of Linux,Windows.I want to know which AWS training and certifications can be useful for me as I want to change my career track and want to move in cloud computing. As i am working as administrator its very confusing which AWS certification is useful. And Is i need to start my career as fresher in cloud or my previous experience is considered????

    Thanks in Advance.

  40. Sonal Reply

    Hi, I have 6.5 years of experience as a SAP Basis Administrator. I am interested in doing the AWS- solution architect associate level certification. Will this help me in my professional growth? What positions can I apply for after doing the certification and what would be my role as a basis administrator/aws solution architect?
    Also, should i go for sysop associate certification or solution architect- certification?