AWS Career Path: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started


As more businesses and organizations rely on cloud technology to store their data on remote servers, the demand for cloud professionals will continue to increase. As of Q4 2022, Amazon Web Services (AWS) owned 32% of the cloud infrastructure services vendor market. With AWS playing as an industry leader, there is great potential in an AWS career path with various job opportunities springing up for AWS-certified professionals. 

Why Start a Career in AWS?

AWS first launched its cloud infrastructure service (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud) in 2006. Since then, it has remained an industry leader as more companies migrate to the cloud for easier accessibility and scalability. Moreover, AWS remains the fastest-growing cloud infrastructure service provider in the world today. With one-third of the Internet serviced by AWS, careers built around it are likely to remain in demand for the long term. Here are further reasons to choose an AWS career path:

High Demand for Aws Skills 

In the US alone, 87% of employers use the cloud while another 8% are on course to use it in the near future. A lot of cloud-related job listings specifically require AWS skills. This recognition and requirement is likely to increase in the future.

Higher Pay for Aws-certified Experts

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for an AWS expert ranges between $90,000 to $143,500. It can sometimes go as high as $180,000 depending on the specific job title, location, and years of experience.

Compulsory for Data Roles

There are many IT jobs that require AWS certificates because you will need to use cloud computing to get the job done. Whether it is for machine learning or artificial intelligence, AWS certification is needed to deploy these technologies.

AWS Certification Types

There are different areas of AWS certifications suitable for different roles. They are in four categories:

  1. Foundational Level certification
  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (AWSCCP)
  1. Associate Level Certification
  • AWS Certified Developer – Associate (AWSCD-A)
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (AWSCSA-A)
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate (AWSCSOA-A)
  1. Professional Level Certification
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional (AWSCSsA-P)
  • AWS DevOps Engineer – Professional (AWSDE-P)
  1. Specialty-Level Certifications 
  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty (AWSCAN-S)
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty (AWSCML-S)
  • AWS Certified Security – Specialty (AWSCS-S)
  • AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty (AWSCDA-S)

Foundational Level AWS Certification

This is the basic exam in terms of scope and depth. It is suitable for cloud enthusiasts and entry-level professionals that want to validate their knowledge.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (AWSCCP)

This exam provides a general overview of the AWS cloud services. The AWSCCP helps businesses to discover and develop people with the necessary expertise to perform cloud activities. As an AWSCCP, you can certify the true state of cloud infrastructure and have foundational AWS professionalism. 

Associate Level AWS Certification

These certifications require advanced technical skills. The students have to understand various AWS services and systems to obtain these certificates. Students can take any of the Associate exams after the fundamental level. It is suitable for a mid-level AWS career path.

AWS Certified Developer – Associate (AWSCD-A)

The AWSCD-A certification is one of the top five popular demands in the developer community. It verifies an in-depth understanding of AWS architecture, systems, and development. The certified professional is expected to be able to create, deploy, and troubleshoot cloud-based apps. 

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AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (AWSCSA-A)

The AWSCSA-A targets corporate architects and systems engineers as well as programmers. It is a suitable entry-level certification for prospective cloud developers. It is popular among developers because of its rich syllabus on cloud concepts and infrastructures. 

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate (AWSCSOA-A)

This is the only certification primarily for system administrators. It is suitable for professionals that have worked on AWS implementation, administration, and operations for at least one year. The certification requires both theoretical and technical skills related to AWS platform operations. 

AWS Professional Level Certifications 

This certification examination is suitable for advanced and top-level professionals in the AWS career path. These certifications show that the expert is operating at the highest level of qualification in the cloud service industry.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional 

This certification examines the understanding of various areas of cloud business. It is recommended for solutions architects who have had a minimum of two years of experience in cloud business. This certification verifies an AWS professional’s ability to design and deploy AWS-reliant cloud architecture. 

AWS DevOps Engineer – Professional

DevOps engineers who are experts in AWS environment administration are suitable candidates for the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification. The exam assesses their expertise in automation tools design, implementation, and management. They are also tested for security control automation.

AWS Certifications Specialty-Level 

These certification examinations are designed to meet the unique goals of advanced and top-level IT professionals with technical cloud knowledge and skills.

AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty

This certification is only obtainable if you already have an AWS Associate-Level certification such as the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, Architect, Developer, or Operations. It tests your understanding of complex AWS networking functions.

AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty 

This is the certification you obtain to show that you have a firm grasp of AWS-powered machine learning model deployment, training, tweaking, and construction. 

AWS Certified Security – Specialty

Advanced students of cloud security can obtain this certification to specialize. The exam covers security breaches as well as the protocol to design and activate security monitoring systems. You also show your knowledge of troubleshooting a safe network architecture among other areas.

AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty

Data specialists can authenticate their skills and abilities with this certification. It examines their ability to create and provide big data queries and solutions with AWS services. It is recommended to have a minimum of two years of practical AWS platform experience and five years of expertise with data analytics tools to qualify for this certification.

AWS Career: Key Skills to Develop

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides more than 200 fully-featured services for large, medium, and small enterprises, government agencies, and startups across the globe. By using managed databases like Oracle, MySQL, and other servers, information is stored, shared, and sent. Building a successful AWS career often involves thinking outside the box and being willing to accommodate new perspectives. 

AWS itself is constantly evolving as technology advances. Whether you aim to major as a solutions architect or cloud expert or you are branching into storage management and machine learning, there are several well-paying AWS jobs you can land if you have the requisite skills to complement your certification.   

Programming languages

AWS experts predominantly use Python and Java programming languages. Although some AWS career paths do not require coding knowledge to function, all AWS professionals should understand at least one of the two programming languages since the company continually develops applications for its cloud infrastructure. They will need it to derive variables and solve problems logically.

Specific AWS-based roles like DevOps engineer and developer require proficient coding knowledge to function. Roles like solutions architect and SysOps administrator can get by without in-depth programming knowledge. 

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AWS practitioners need to master containers to deploy, manage and scale containerized applications into a single object. Containers ensure that the environment does not limit the speed and reliability the serves uses to deploy processes within the shared operating system. Docker, Kubernetes, Apache Mesos, and Jenkins are valuable container software.

IT experts are increasingly relying on container technology because it allows them to build hybrid apps among other functions. Since a lot of organizations use AWS container services, AWS practitioners need to learn this skill. Moreover, Amazon has one of the most used container technology on the market.

Cloud Security

It took a while for firms to begin to migrate and host their data on the cloud. But now that the technology is being globally embraced, the demand for cloud security is also on the rise. The demand for AWS professionals often comes with a cloud security knowledge requirement. Even if you don’t want to major as an AWS cloud security expert, it is necessary to have the skills.

Serverless Architecture 

AWS experts need to understand serverless architecture as more companies are prioritizing it. Serverless architecture makes it possible to move serverless applications from one cloud vendor to another. A lot of firms use the service because it is scalable and flexible. AWS professionals should get familiar with AWS Lambda and other serverless architectural products. 


You need the ability to communicate clearly and effectively both in writing and speaking as an AWS professional. Since you are likely to work with a team, your efficiency relies on constant collaboration and communication is key to working with others. Moreover, you will likely collaborate with various departments on each project and should be able to explain your role in the big picture. Whether you are communicating via emails, team presentation, or project documentation you must be able to present your ideas convincingly.


It is difficult to thrive in some AWS-related roles without understanding networking concepts. You need at least rudimentary network knowledge to build solid cloud-based solutions. To build a cloud networking framework through AWS Route 53, AWS CloudFront, etc, you should know something about the following:

  • Virtual private network (VPN)
  • Domain name system (DNS)
  • Content delivery network (CDN)
  • Transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP)
  • Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP)


DevOps enhances automation processes. It is among the most demanded AWS skills. DevOps engineers focus on the continuous development, maintenance, and management of cloud-based software and applications.  As DevOps combines software development and operations, it is a unification process that drives innovation at scale for businesses. The automation of processes from monitoring to deployment and coding from initiation to production also makes it a high-value skill in the AWSverse.


AWS career path is about solving problems. It makes sense to expect any AWS professional to have problem-solving abilities. From information gathering to pattern identification and process simplification, AWS experts must be able to show a holistic understanding of the problem they are certified to solve. The ability to improvise is also a crucial problem-solving element that is needed on this career path.

AWS Career Path Salary: What to Expect

Salaries for AWS jobs vary according to roles and regions. Here is what the salaries look like according to Payscale data for the United States:

AWS Job TitleRangeAverage
Software Engineer$71k – $137k$98,497
Senior Software Engineer$99k – $171k$131,560
Data Engineer72 – 14098999
Site Reliability Engineer82 – 188124808
Solutions architect80 – 168126825
Principal software engineer123 – 197152077

Source: Payscale

Concerning the salary for AWS Career Path in India, the average base pay for AWS jobs in India is ₹6,69,985/y according to the data by Glassdoor. The pay range differs depending on the specific role and years of experience. 

AWS professionals typically earn well because their skills are quite lucrative. The career path also gives room for growth and you can work towards earning higher by upskilling in relevant areas. Even entry-level AWS roles pay well. AWS-certified professionals are among the highest earners in the IT industry. This includes AWS-certified solutions architects, DevOps engineers, system administrators, developers, and senior solution architects. They tend to earn over $100,000 annually.

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AWS Career Path for Beginners: A Step-By-Step Guide

There are so many opportunities embedded in the AWS career path that the most challenging aspect may simply be knowing where to start. With so many roles and routes to enter, how do you determine the way to kickstart your AWS career? 

Start with AWS fundamentals 

No matter how highly technical AWS career path appears to be, there is a beginning to it all. Everyone who later became an expert started from this point and it will be the same for you. Learn the fundamentals and have a firm grasp of what they entail. Every other body of knowledge you acquire along the line, especially as you specialize is based on the assumption that you have already mastered the essentials. What are the fundamentals of cloud computing that you need to understand?

  • AWS concepts and terminology
  • Key cloud storage and computing concepts 
  • Cloud migration and foundational security concepts
  • AWS serverless framework and architecture
  • AWS services to deploy serverless solutions
  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Keep Practicing

The theoretical understanding of AWS fundamentals will not suffice to make you a professional. You are not even likely to land jobs based on the certification alone. You also need to work on real-time projects to prove that you have a hands-on experience with the key concepts. Note that continuity is what counts here, not mere experience. AWS career path is an innovative field that keeps improving. It is only through constant practice that you can keep ahead of best practices.

Moreover, it is through practice that you can really determine the path you want to take in this career. Practical experience will help you understand areas where you are still struggling and areas where your interest is exceptional so that you have what it takes to complete an end-to-end data project lifecycle.

Obtain Authentic Aws Certification

You can gain AWS mastery without a single certificate. But how do you prove such ability to a prospective employer? A certificate can easily help you draw the line between pursuing AWS as a career and a hobby. Once you have a certain level of  AWS cloud expertise, seek the right certification for that level and obtain it. With the right certificate, you can determine which jobs to pursue on the AWS career path.

Create a Solid Portfolio of AWS Projects 

You have earlier read that you should keep practicing by working on real-time projects for hands-on experience. Well, make sure you document your tasks and results when you work on projects. Most companies are hunting for professionals with both certifications and experience to help with building their big data applications. They are looking for someone that will hit the ground running.

The best way to get your foot in the door on the AWS career path is to have worked on related projects showcased by your portfolio. Even if you do not have the opportunity to work on large-scale projects the size of the companies you are targeting, working on projects that provide the opportunity to apply relevant skills will suffice for the majority of those companies at your level.

Connect with other AWS-certified professionals 

The pace of change in this career path makes it difficult to keep up if you work alone. This is where strategic networking comes in. Ensure you regularly connect with other AWS experts to keep abreast of the latest industry trends. Networking involves joining online communities and forums and attending industry-related events. Keep up with emerging trends, analysis, and technologies in the cloud computing world and follow industry leaders on social media.


Any path you pursue in AWS authenticates your IT skills, boosts your employability, connects you to bigger opportunities, and increases your earnings. Learning AWS also equips you with the IT skills that can land you jobs outside the AWS or Amazon listings. Whether you have settled on a specific AWS career path to pursue or are still trying to find your way around as a cloud computing enthusiast, obtaining a certificate is a good way to future-proof your career in AWS. AWS professionals are among the top-earning IT experts anywhere in the world.

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