A Guide On Amazon Web Services Certification


Amazon Web Services hosts many of the online services that we use daily. Netflix, Walt Disney, and even much of the United States Federal Government are all hosted by AWS. The AWS certification is powerful because it allows IT professionals to work on the AWS system. Be it a cloud engineer, administrator, or architect, going for aws training provides for these different specialties, and the certification exam can be taken at many of their testing centers around the world.

The certification is valid for two years, and IT professionals need to renew their certification to prove that they possess the knowledge and skillset. Within the industry, having AWS certification is considered indispensable by most organizations, which also use AWS to host their web services. Having this certification will make you more attractive to employers hosted on AWS, and would prove invaluable in troubleshooting and developing.

What Types Of AWS Certifications Are There?

Amazon Web Services has a total of six certifications, which cater to four main types. The certifications are generally categorized into Cloud Practioner, Developer, Architect, and Operations. There are also additional subcategories within these, as well as a Specialty Path. 

Cloud Practitioner

The Cloud Practitioner certification is designed to cater to the needs of those who work on the overall framework of the AWS cloud system. Its focus is more to provide a general understanding of AWS and is useful for those who work in positions like managerial, sales, financing, and purchasing. This will allow them to better understand the workflows and constraints, as well as how to take advantage of processes within AWS.


The Developer certification caters to software developers who intend to or are required to work on the development of applications using the AWS cloud system. Within the Developer certification, you can choose to opt for either the AWS Certified Developer – Associate or AWS Certified DevOps Engineer -– Professional certifications. 

The Associate certification intends to validate code-level expertise of the AWS application framework, as well as its upkeep and development. 

The Professional certification mandates that participants also complete the Associate-level AWS Certified Developer or AWS Certified SysOps Administrator certifications, as well as at least two years of AWS management or maintenance experience. The focus is to ensure that participants can understand continuous deployment and automatic processes of AWS, as well as be able to integrate them into existing AWS architectures.


The Architect certification provides solutions architects, solution design engineers as well as those who wish to create applications and systems on AWS with the prerequisite certifications. There are two different certifications:

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect: Associate certification validates that participants can handle the core aspects of applications while utilizing AWS tools. The AWS Certified Solutions Architect: Professional certification requires that you have the Associate certification, as well as two years of experience creating and launching AWS cloud architectures. This certification demonstrates the holder’s ability and knowledge of complex AWS applications at an enterprise level.


For AWS SysOps administrators, there are two main paths for the certification. They are designed to equip system administrators with the knowledge to automate recurring deployments of applications, systems, and networks on AWS.

The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator: Associate certification provides training on the launching and running of AWS architectures, as well as data migration. They are also trained in handling low-level system administrator tasks regarding security, management, and provisioning.

The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer: Professional certification mandates that they hold the Associate certification and have minimally two years in overseeing and provisioning of AWS architectures. The certification ensures that holders can integrate the continuous deployment of AWS work processes and maintain them.


The Specialty certifications cater to technical aspects of the AWS cloud system. The AWS Certified Big Data: Specialty certification mandates that participants hold minimally one Associate certification, as well as five years of data analytics and AWS big data tools experience. The certification focuses on validating proficiency in big data architecture design, as well as its integration and automation with the use of AWS tools.

The AWS Certified Advanced Networking: Specialty certification also requires at least one Associate certification, as well as five years of data analytics and AWS networking experience. The certification validates proficiency and expertise in AWS network architecture, the ability to design, create and integrate as well as automate services on the AWS cloud.

The AWS Certified Security: Specialty certification focuses on ensuring that holders can conduct security-oriented roles and processes on the AWS cloud, with minimally two years of experience doing so on AWS. To achieve the certification, they must be able to show expertise in specialized data classifications and data protection tools on AWS, data encryption methods and integration, as well as secure internet protocols. They must also demonstrate proficiency in creating a secure production ecosystem and a working knowledge of security operations and risk.

The AWS Certified Machine Learning: Specialty certification is designed to validate developers, engineers, analysts, and business management on their ability to leverage machine learning and deep learning into their organizations.

The AWS Certified Alexa Skill Building – Specialty certification caters to those who wish to build applications and integrate existing applications onto the Alexa platform. They must demonstrate their capabilities in being able to handle all aspects of Alexa skills, as well as understand the value of voice and design around user experience. 

How To Become Certified 

Depending on if you intend to pursue an Associate-level or Professional level certification, the exams are held on different content. Associate-level exams focus on content such as the Amazon Elastic Computer Cloud and Virtual Private Cloud. Professional-level exams aim to validate skills on larger scale AWS tools such as Autoscaling, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and Elastic Load Balancing.


The AWS certification comes in many different flavors and types, and you must identify the most applicable and appropriate one for your specialty. By getting an AWS certification, you can show proof that you have experience and expertise in the specific areas, and would give your skills greater credibility. 

The Associate-level registration costs $150 while the Professional and Specialty-level registration costs $300, and is applicable for only one exam. 

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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