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AWS Certifications and Its Eligibility

30th Nov, 2023
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    AWS Certifications and Its Eligibility

    AWS has dominated the field of cloud computing in recent years as a robust and infallible provider of cloud services. As more and more companies are shifting their workload to the cloud, cloud computing has become a must-have, core competency in the organization. AWS offers different levels for different certifications. If you are working in AWS, a certification will help you demonstrate your skills. So, you need to select one that matches your domain and experience. Also, take a look at the details on what is markdown

    With an AWS certification in your hand, you will be able to display the most-in demand skills that are validated by none other than Amazon.  As per the RightScale State of the Cloud report of 2018, 68% of SMBs and 64% of the enterprises are using AWS to run their applications. A continuous stream of new, improved services, geographic expansion, and financial performance indicates that AWS is going to be in demand for a long time. To know more, check out certifications in Cloud Computing.  

    Currently, AWS offers 11 different certifications. To earn these certifications, there are no set-in-stone steps. However, we have enlisted a few straight-forward steps that will help you create a plan to become AWS certified:

    1. The first step is to enroll in a training class. This will help you get an in-depth knowledge of AWS and cloud computing.
    2. Gather all the exams and study guides you can find and review them.
    3. Practice as much as you can. It will help reduce any stress you might have regarding the certification exam.
    4. Once you think  you are prepared, schedule the exam.

    It is important to choose the right certification exam to attempt based on your expertise, qualification and experience. The AWS certifications have four levels:

    Steps of AWS

    1. Foundational
    2. Associate
    3. Professional
    4. Specialty.

    Let’s learn about the certifications offered by AWS and their eligibility requirements:

    Different certifications offered by AWS

    1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner – Foundational Certification

    This entry-level certification is the newest certification offered by the AWS. This was created to test the candidate’s knowledge of the AWS Cloud. In the Cloud Practitioner certification exam, the areas that will be covered include knowledge of AWS cloud and its infrastructure, fundamental principles of the AWS architecture, basic compliance and security measures, the shared responsibility model, identifying technical assistance and sources of documentation, defining billing, pricing models, and account management, key services and common use cases of AWS, AWS cloud’s value proposition, and operating and deploying principles. It is recommended to take this exam before you move on to associate or professional level certifications.

    To be eligible for this certification exam, a candidate must have: 

    • Basic knowledge of the IT services and solutions and how they are used in the AWS platform. 
    • Minimum of 6 months of working experience in AWS cloud in a sales, managerial, purchase, technical, or financial role.

    The average annual salary of an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is between $90,512 and $113,932.

    2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

    If you know how to design distributed applications, then solutions architect certification exam is for you. It will allow you to validate your skills of designing, implementing, and managing applications using services and tools available on the AWS platform.

    The exam will test your knowledge of networking technologies and their application in AWS, working of AWS-based applications, connecting AWS platform to the client’s interfaces, building applications on the AWS platform that are secure and reliable, deploying hybrid systems with AWS components and on-premises data center, designing scalable and highly available systems, deploying and implementing applications on AWS, and troubleshooting, data security practices, and disaster recovery techniques related to AWS.

    The eligibility requirements for this certification exam include:

    • At least 1 year of working experience in designing and deploying applications on the AWS platform. 
    • Expertise in at least 1 high-level programming language,  ability to identify the requirements of an application, defining best practices for securing the AWS application and deploying hybrid systems with AWS components is required.

    An AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate level has an annual income of $117,773 per year.

    3. AWS Certified Developer – Associate

    This Developer Associate Certification exam is all about how to develop and maintain applications on the AWS platform. You must have the knowledge and skills of writing code that can access the AWS applications from the custom business application using the AWS software.

    During the exam, your understanding of the core AWS services and basic architecture of the AWS platform will be tested. You must have had experience in designing, implementing, deploying, and maintaining AWS-based applications. Apart from this, you must also have knowledge of key AWS services like databases, change management services, workflow services, notifications, and storage services.

    One must satisfy certain eligibility criteria to take the AWS Certified Developer – Associate exam:

    • Knowledge of the AWS architecture, services offered by the AWS and their uses. 
    • Proficiency in using the AWS platform for designing, building, and deploying cloud-based applications as well as applications built for Amazon SNS, SQS, SWS, DynamoDB, S3, CloudFormation, and Elastic Beanstalk. 
    • Knowledge of at least one high-level programming language. 
    • At least 1 year of working experience in designing and maintaining AWS-based cloud applications

    An AWS Certified Developer- Associate’s average annual income is $130, 272.

    4. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

    The SysOps Administrator certification exam is the only exam offered by AWS that is completely for system administrators.  To pass this exam, a candidate must have conceptual knowledge as well as technical expertise in operational aspects of the AWS. 

    During the exam, you skills in using the AWS platform for deploying applications, transferring data between the AWS and the data centers, meeting the needs of an organization by selecting the right AWS service, knowledge of how to provision, secure, and manage systems deployed in an AWS environment will be tested.

    To be eligible for the AWS Certified Developer – Associate exam, the following are required: 

    • One or more years of working experience in operating and managing applications deployed on the AWS platform. 
    • Must be able to provide guidance on how to deploy and operate applications on AWS, define and identify the best practices available on the AWS for the complete project’s lifecycle as well as the solutions for the applications based on AWS, and understand how to operate, provision and maintain AWS based systems.

    Every year, an AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate makes about $130,610

    5. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

    A professional AWS architect is responsible for evaluating the requirements of the organization and then making architectural recommendations in order to implement and deploy AWS-based applications. To get this certification, a candidate must have experience and technical skills required to design applications on the AWS platform.

    The exam for the AWS Solutions Architect – Professional certification will include practices implemented for architecting the AWS-based applications. The candidate must have knowledge of the strategies used for cost optimizations. Also, they must know how to fulfill the application’s requirements by choosing the correct AWS service and how to migrate different, complex applications system to the AWS platform.

    To be eligible for this certification exam, a candidate must have:

    • At least 2 years of working experience in designing and deploying AWS-based cloud architecture. 
    • Skills to recommend services that can be used to design, provision, and deploy AWS-based applications 
    • Familiarity with the practices involved in implementing the AWS application’s architecture. 
    • Expertise in high-level programming language.

    As an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional, you will be able to earn $167,500 per year.

    6. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

    This certification validates your skills to provision, operate and manage AWS-based applications. The focus of the exam is on the fundamental concepts of the DevOps movement – automation of processes and continuous delivery.

    During the certification exam, the candidate will be tested on concepts like the modern continuous delivery methodologies and their implementation in the CD systems, setting up, logging, and monitoring systems on AWS, implementation of scalable and highly available systems on AWS, and designing and managing tools required for enabling the automation of production operations.

    As a DevOps Engineer, a candidate must fulfill certain requirements to be eligible for the AWS Certified DevOps – Professional exam. This includes:

    • Two or more years of working experience in provisioning, managing, and operating applications deployed in the AWS environment
    • Experience in developing code in a high-level programming language
    • Knowledge of automation and testing using scripting and programming languages as well as other development processes and methodologies like Agile.

    The average annual salary of an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional is $137,724.

    7. AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty

    This specialty certification from AWS is for a candidate working in the field of data analytics and have worked with AWS services to design and architect solutions for big data. The certification exam validates the candidate’s skills to use the AWS services to extract the value from data.

    The areas covered in the exam include implementation of big data services of AWS through best architectural practices, automating the data analysis process using the AWS tools, providing best security practices for big data solutions, knowing how to design and maintain big data, and other AWS services like Athena, Kinesis, Rekognition, and Quicksight.

    To be eligible for the AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty exam, a candidate must satisfy certain requirements:

    • At least 5 years of experience working in the field of data analytics. 
    • Experience in designing and developing robust, scalable, and cost-effective architecture for data processing. 
    • Understanding of how to define and architect big data services of AWS and how they exist in the lifecycle of data this includes how to collect, ingest, store, process or visualize.

    An AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty professional can earn up to $99,909 per year.

    8. AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty

    This certification will validate your skills of using the hybrid IT networking architecture and the AWS platform to perform complex tasks related to networking. To ace this exam, one must have experience in implementing and architecting network solutions and knowledge of using the AWS for networking.

    The areas covered during this exam includes how to design, develop, and deploy AWS-based cloud solutions, using the best architectural practices to implement core services, troubleshooting, optimizing network, implementing compliance and security design, automating the tasks of AWS for network deployments. Also, they must know how to design and maintain network architecture for the AWS platform and leverage analysis and automation tools used for networking tasks on the AWS platform.

    One must fulfill certain requirements to be eligible for the AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty exam. They must have: 

    • Minimum 5 years of working experience in architecting and implementing network solutions. 
    • Knowledge and understanding of concepts and technologies used in AWS networking.

    An AWS Certified Networking specialist can earn up to $113,065 per year.

    9. AWS Certified Security - Specialty

    For this certification, you will have to master the fundamentals of the security, the best practices used and have a deep understanding of the key security services on the AWS platform. You will be tested on topics like encryption, data protection, identity and access management, logging, infrastructure security, monitoring, and incident response.

    The certification exam will cover topics like how to use AWS services to get the desired security level depending on the deployment method and data sensitivity. This also includes using the best data protection techniques like encryption mechanisms, monitoring solutions and implementing logging for analyzing and detecting weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the infrastructure’s security.

    The eligibility requirements for the AWS Certified Security – Specialty exam are:

    • At least 5 years of experience as an IT security personnel on designing and implementing security solutions. 
    • 2 or more years of working experience in securing AWS workloads and knowledge of using security controls for AWS workloads.

    The annual remuneration of an AWS Certified Security – Specialty professional is $122,155.

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    10. AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty

    This certification will help you demonstrate your skill in creating, deploying, and testing Amazon Alexa. If you are currently working as an Alexa skill builder, this exam is for you.

    The exam will cover concepts like the value of the voice, Alexa developer console, implementing security measures by following Alexa and AWS practices, and user experience design.

    Anyone wanting to get AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty must have:

    • More than 6 months of working experience in a programming knowledge as well as using Alexa Skills Kit to build Alexa skills

    11. AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty

    This certification exam will validate your skills in creating, implementing, and maintaining machine learning solutions for different business problems.

    During the certification exam, the covered areas will be selecting the best machine learning approach for a given problem, designing and implementing machine learning solutions that are secure, scalable, cost-optimized, and reliable, and identifying the right AWS solution for creating and deploying ML solutions.

    The eligibility requirement for this certification is:

    • 1 to 2 years of working experience in using the AWS cloud for implementing concepts of Machine Learning as well as deep learning. 
    • Background in developing and data science.

    AWS Services have become a major player in the internet infrastructure industry. With the AWS certifications in your hand, you will be able to beat the crowd for the best opportunities. Knowing the eligibility requirements for AWS will help you select which AWS certification is the best for you. This will allow you to prepare for the exam accordingly. 

    All the figures mentioned above are accurate as of August 2019 and are sourced from online job portals such as,,, etc.

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    Joydip Kumar

    Solution Architect

    Joydip is passionate about building cloud-based applications and has been providing solutions to various multinational clients. Being a java programmer and an AWS certified cloud architect, he loves to design, develop, and integrate solutions. Amidst his busy work schedule, Joydip loves to spend time on writing blogs and contributing to the opensource community.

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