Updated on 15th Jul, 21 3387 Views

Being the most popular cloud provider in the cloud industry, AWS has set a benchmark for its certifications. AWS, with its role-based certifications and exams, stands out for its rigor and thorough methods in evaluating Cloud Computing skills. AWS Certifications are categorized into 4 different levels – Foundational-level certifications, Associate-level certifications, Professional-level certifications and Specialty certifications. This blog will also provide a detailed understanding of each AWS certification exam, along with the prerequisites, curriculum, pattern, duration and cost of the exam.

The following are the AWS Certifications list and topics that are discussed in this blog:

Check out this insightful video on AWS certification for beginners:

Without any further delays, let’s get started!

Why is AWS Certification important?

As mentioned earlier in the blog, AWS certification exams are known for thoroughly evaluating the most in-demand cloud skills. Thus, being AWS certified shows that you have the most industry-centric cloud competencies that are validated by the world leader in the Cloud Computing domain.

Not just that, according to Gartner, Amazon’s cloud is 10 times bigger than its next 14 competitors, combined. This clearly indicates that more and more organizations are opting for AWS meaning, there more career opportunities coming your way if you are AWS certified.

Let us list the benefits of AWS Certification through the following table:

CriteriaWith AWS CertificationWithout AWS Certification
Benchmark for organizationsYESNO
Validated in-depth knowledgeYESNO
SalaryEXCELLENTAVERAGE
AcceptanceGLOBALLIMITED

How do I become AWS certified?

Although there are no concrete steps, the following are the most strategically defined steps you can follow to become AWS certified:

  • Get enrolled in an AWS certification training      
  • Thoroughly go through the study and exam guides. You can look up the same on the Internet. If you have enrolled for training classes, you will be provided with the study and exam guides that will help you prepare for the respective certification exam
  • Ensure that you are well updated on AWS whitepapers
  • Explore and use AWS cloud platform
  • Gain practical experience and industry exposure through real-time projects
  • Schedule the exam once your training classes are completed

How long does it take to become AWS certified?

The answer to this question varies from person to person and depends on how much AWS experience one has. If a candidate is entirely new to the Cloud Computing domain and has a general IT experience, the maximum it can take is up to 90–100 hours of dedicated preparation to clear an AWS certification exam. How the candidates plan to divide their time and complete these 90 hours of learning is totally up to them.

Certification in Cloud & Devops

Role-based AWS Certifications

AWS offers 12 certifications as of now. These certifications are categorized on the basis of industry-based core job roles in the cloud domain, some of which are listed below:

  • Cloud Architect
  • Cloud Developer
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Solutions Architect
  • AWS Network Engineer

AWS offers various exams that one needs to clear to earn the respective role-based certification. Some of these exams are mandatory while some are not based on the certification level and their requirements. All the role-based certifications and their respective exams are categorized on the basis of their difficulty level as shown below:

  • Foundational: Foundational exams are not mandatory, but highly recommended. These exams are designed to test the basic Cloud Computing skills
  • Associate: It’s mandatory to clear the associate-level exams in order to move on to the next level
  • Professional: Professional-level exams endorse one’s skills in the cloud domain but at an advanced level
  • Specialty: Speciality exams are usually designed to test the skills that are needed for a specific technology that includes Data Analytics, Security, Networking, etc. Specialty exams are optional and can be taken by those who wish to specialize in a particular area of Cloud Computing.    

The various AWS learning paths that fall under the respective categories are listed below:

Foundational Level:

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Associate Level:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
  • AWS Certified Developer – Associate
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

Professional Level:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

Specialization Level:

  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Security – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Database – Specialty

The following image also shows the AWS certification levels associated with the above-mentioned categories of difficulty levels to explain the AWS certification path.

AWS Certification roadmapAWS Certification roadmap

Moving forward, let us now explore every certification and its associated exam in detail.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is the entry-level certification for AWS professionals. It is designed to validate the overall understanding of the AWS cloud and Cloud Computing in general.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites for this exam: 6 months of experience in working in the field of AWS is recommended
  • Format of the exam: 65 multiple-choice or multiple-response questions
  • Duration of the exam: 90 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$100

Skills validated in the exam:

  • AWS and its global infrastructure
  • Basic knowledge of the AWS architecture principles
  • AWS cloud value proposition
  • AWS services and their uses
  • AWS security model and compliance
  • AWS deployment and operations

Read more on the exam details by visiting our blog on AWS Cloud Practitioner Study Guide.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

This Amazon Web Services Certification is designed for candidates who have some experience in building and deploying applications in the AWS cloud. To earn this certification, candidates will be expected to demonstrate their ability to design, manage, and deploy applications.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites for this exam: The recommended learning path is to have at least one year of experience in deploying distributed systems using AWS cloud services.
  • Format of the exam: 65 multiple-choice or multiple-response questions
  • Duration of the exam: 130 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$150

Skills validated in the exam:

  • Architecting and deploying robust and secure applications on AWS technologies
  • Defining solutions with the principles of architectural design as per the customer requirements
  • Implementing guidance as per the best company practices during the entire project life cycle

Check out our blog on the AWS ML Certification Exam guide to learn more.

AWS Certified Developer – Associate

The AWS Developer – Associate certification validates the candidate’s ability to develop and maintain applications built on the AWS platform. The candidates must have basic coding skills. Moreover, this certification validates a candidate’s understanding of AWS SDK, and how it can be used to interact with various AWS services.

Looking to clear the AWS Certified Developer Associate exam on the first attempt? Read our blog on AWS Certified Developer Associate exam now.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites of the exam: The recommended learning path is to have at least one year of experience in building and maintaining applications in the AWS cloud.
  • Format of the exam: 65 multiple-choice or multiple-response questions
  • Duration of the exam: 130 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$150

Skills validated in the exam:

  • The basic architecture of AWS
  • Uses of AWS
  • Significant services of AWS
  • Application design, development, deployment, and maintenance
  • Use of AWS to debug applications built on the cloud

Become a Cloud and DevOps Architect

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

This AWS certification roadmap will qualify you to become a System Administrator interacting with the AWS cloud. The AWS SysOps certification validates the ability to deploy, manage, and operate system resources in the AWS cloud. Candidates must have a sound understanding of how to manage systems for fault tolerance and high availability.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites of the exam: The recommended learning path is to have over 1 year of professional experience in deployment, management, and performing operations on AWS
  • Format of the exam: 65 multiple-choice or multiple-response questions
  • Duration of the exam: 130 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$150

Skills validated in the exam:

  • Deploying, monitoring, and operating fault-tolerant, scalable, and highly available systems on AWS
  • Implementing and controlling the data flow from and to AWS
  • Selecting the correct AWS services as per the data, security, and compute requirements
  • AWS operational best practices and their use
  • Identifying the operational cost control mechanisms and usage cost of AWS
  • Migrating workloads from the premises to AWS

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

Since this is a professional-level certification, you need a lot of knowledge and experience in order to clear this exam as compared to the Associate-level certification exams. The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional certification validates the ability of a candidate to use high-level skills and experience in designing AWS-based applications. The candidates are also expected to make architectural recommendations for implementing and deploying applications on AWS.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites of the exam:
    • You must clear the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification exam to take up this professional-level exam
    • You need to have at least 2 years of experience in operating and managing systems on AWS
  • Format of the exam: 75 multiple-choice or multiple-response questions
  • Duration of the exam: 180 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$300

Skills validated in the exam:

  • Designing and deploying fault-tolerant, reliable, highly-available, and dynamically scalable applications on the AWS platform
  • Selecting the correct AWS service in order to design, build, and deploy applications as per the requirements
  • Migrating multi-tier and complex apps on AWS
  • Designing scalable AWS operations company-wide and deploying them
  • Implementing strategies to control cost
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AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

This is a professional-level certification for the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer. The AWS DevOps certification validates a sound knowledge of the process of automation and the DevOps stage of continuous delivery which is one of the cornerstones of the DevOps implementation in any organization.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites for the exam:
    • You must have an AWS Certified Developer or an AWS Certified SysOps Administrator certification
    • You should have 2 or more years of experience in managing, operating, and provisioning the AWS environments
  • Format of the exam: 75 multiple-choice or multiple-response questions
  • Duration of the exam: 180 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$300

Skills validated in the exam:

  • Implementing and managing continuous delivery methods and systems on AWS
  • Implementing and automating governance processes, security controls, and compliance validation
  • Defining and deploying systems on AWS to monitor and log
  • Implementing scalable and highly available systems on AWS
  • Designing and managing tools for the automation of several operational processes                         

AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty

This certification validates skills in the domain of complex networking. A candidate possessing this certification is expected to be in charge of the networking and architecting of the AWS solutions at scale. To clear this certification, you should have a background in networking in AWS.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites for the exam:
    • It is recommended that you have the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification or any of the above-mentioned AWS Associate-level certifications.
    • You should have five years of experience in managing networks and a sound understanding of networking concepts and best practices as they relate to the AWS platform.
  • Format of the exam: 65 multiple-choice and multiple-response questions
  • Duration of the exam: 170 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$300

Skills validated in the exam:

  • Designing, developing, and deploying AWS cloud solutions    
  • Integrating the core services of AWS based on the best architectural practices
  • Designing and maintaining the architecture of the network for all services of AWS
  • Leveraging tools for the automation of AWS networking processes

Want to upgrade your career by acquiring IT certifications? Read our comprehensive list of Best Certifications to acquire for high-paying jobs.

AWS Certified Security – Specialty

The AWS Security certification validates your knowledge in the field of security with respect to the security aspects, such as data encryption, protection, how to secure the infras0tructure, responding to security threats, managing identity and access, and how to monitor and log AWS services, etc., among other skills.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites for the exam:
    • 2+ years of hands-on experience as a Security professional responsible for securing AWS workloads
    • More than 5 years of experience in designing and integrating various security solutions in the IT Security sector
  • Format of the exam: 65 multiple-choice and multiple-response questions
  • Duration of the exam: 170 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$300

Skills validated in the exam:

  • Understanding of the AWS mechanisms for data protection and specialized data classifications
  • Knowledge of data encryption techniques and the respective AWS mechanisms required to implement them
  • Understanding of the mechanisms in AWS to secure internet protocols
  • Implementing AWS security services, along with their features to build a secure environment for production
  • Making decisions to a tradeoff with respect to security, cost, and deployment complexity based on the requirements
  • Knowledge of security risks and operations

AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty

This certification validates your ability to create, implement, and maintain Machine Learning solutions for a range of business problems. Candidates possessing this certification are expected to deliver Machine Learning solutions that can easily be integrated with the AWS platform.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites of the exam:
    • You need to have 1-2 years of experience in developing, running, and architecting Deep Learning or Machine Learning workloads on AWS
  • Format of the exam: 65 multiple-choice and multiple-response questions
  • Duration of the exam: 180 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$300

Skills validated in the exam:

  • Choosing the best Machine Learning approach for the respective      business problem and justifying it
  • Identifying the relevant AWS services to create and deploy the respective Machine Learning solutions
  • Designing and implementing scalable, reliable, cost-optimized, and secure Machine Learning solutions

AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty

The AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty certification is specifically designed by AWS to validate your knowledge and skills in AWS analytics services and data lakes. It helps to build your credibility by showcasing your skills in designing, developing, maintaining, and securing cost-effective and efficient analytics solutions on the AWS platform.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites of the exam:
  • More than 2 years of working experience in AWS
  • 5+ years of professional experience in working with various Data Analytics technologies
  • Experience in working with various services of AWS to design, develop, and secure analytical solutions
  • Format of the exam: 65 multiple-choice or multiple response questions
  • Duration of the exam: 180 minutes
  • Registration cost: US$300

Skills validated in the exam:

  • AWS data analytics and its services
  • Integrating the services of AWS data analytics with each other
  • Use of these services in the data storage, collection, processing, and visualization.

AWS Certified Database – Specialty

This Amazon Web Services certification aims to validate your skills in AWS database services and the use of database technology to transform the business. Also, it highlights your skills to design, maintain, and recommend suitable AWS database solutions.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites of the exam:
    • More than 2 years of experience in the field of AWS
    • Over 5 years of experience in working with database technologies
      Hands-on experience in working with AWS-based and on-premises databases
  • Format of the exam: 65 multiple-choice or multiple response questions
  • Duration of the exam: 180 minutes
  • Registration cost: US$300

Skills validated in the exam:

  • AWS database services and their key features
  • Analyzing the requirements and designing optimal solutions with the help of AWS services

Check out this full free course video on AWS:

The Recommended AWS Certification Training

Intellipaat offers industry-designed training in Amazon Web Services that have been curated to help you excel in your career. In this training, you will work on a range of hands-on projects and case studies, solve quizzes, and work on assignments. You will be able to check your progress after each module, and if you have any doubts you can get in touch with the support team who will be available online 24/7 to resolve your queries. All our trainers in the field of AWS have over a decade of experience in this domain in top companies and have handled major projects in AWS. This means that you will get expert-level practical knowledge, alongside the theoretical concepts from the best in the industry.

Intellipaat’s AWS Master Certification training comes with high-quality videos, along with the online instructor-led training, to help you completely grasp the topics and become a master of the AWS domain. You will have lifetime access to the AWS training. In addition, as and when the course gets an upgrade, you will have access to the upgraded version free of cost for a lifetime. We hope that our blog on the different types of AWS certification paths for beginners was helpful to you. Do let us know in the comment section below!

Reach out to us by posting your queries in our AWS Community!

Course Schedule

Name Date
AWS Certification 2021-10-23 2021-10-24
(Sat-Sun) Weekend batch
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AWS Certification 2021-10-30 2021-10-31
(Sat-Sun) Weekend batch
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AWS Certification 2021-11-06 2021-11-07
(Sat-Sun) Weekend batch
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