The cloud is here to stay. It’s been here for a while now, and it keeps growing. Organizations all over the world are adopting a cloud presence for their compute, storage, and disaster recovery needs. There are several key players in the cloud computing space, but none bigger than Amazon Web Services. Some of Amazon’s most popular cloud services are Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Glacier, and Simple Storage Service (S3) – all are becoming widely adopted. With so many organizations jumping on board with AWS, there will be an increased need for individuals with AWS certifications.

Top Amazon Web Services Certifications

Here are some of the key certifications that Amazon currently offers:

1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

The Certified Cloud Practitioner is an entry level certification; the first certification in the AWS cert track. Being an entry level certification, the CCP covers a basic understanding of AWS cloud services and requires a minimum of 6 months of AWS exposure in a work setting. As a CCP, you will be able to define what the AWS Cloud is and the basic global infrastructure. Additionally, you can describe the AWS Cloud value proposition and the key services on the AWS platform with their common use cases.

2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate)

As a Certified Solutions Architect, you have taken the next step in the AWS cert track and will demonstrate a deeper understanding of AWS solutions. At this level, you begin architecting AWS solutions to meet the needs of your customers. In order to be successful on your associate exam, Amazon suggests a minimum of one or more years of hands-on experience designing solutions for customers. According to Amazon, “The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate examination is intended for individuals who perform a solutions architect role and have one or more years of hands-on experience designing available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS.”

3. AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Professional)

The professional level solutions architect cert cements your status as an AWS expert. In addition to solutioning and architecting AWS services for customers, a professional solutions architect will be able to implement cost control strategies and help customers scale out their solutions. In order to sit for the exam, Amazon suggests the following, “The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional exam is intended for individuals who perform a solutions architect role with two or more years of hands-on experience managing and operating systems on AWS.” Customers will rely on their AWS Certified Solutions Architect to help them migrate complex multi-tier applications on AWS.

How to Prepare for the Exams

Amazon has many good training courses to prepare you for their certification exams. There are training programs for every level of certification. Amazon’s Test Readiness Training helps you prepare for the exam you plan to take. Here’s a snippet from AWS about the training: “Join one of our complimentary AWS Certification exam preparation webinars. These live webinars led by accredited AWS instructors will help prepare you for AWS Certification exams by exploring main topics on the exam, as well as identifying specific areas to study.” By exploring each exam blueprint and finding an exam prep webinar, you can be confident in taking your exam. Amazon isn’t going anywhere; they will continue to grow and gain new customers each day. If you want some job security, get some AWS training and get certified.

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Greg Stuart is the owner and editor of He's been a VMware vExpert every year since 2011. Greg enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids. He has 20 years of IT experience and currently works as an IT Consultant both in the private and public sector. Greg holds a BS in Information Technology and an MBA degree. He currently resides in Southeast Idaho. You can follow him on Twitter @vDestination, read his blog ( and listen to his podcast (