aws certifications levels

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AWS Certification Difficulty Level


The AWS professional certification assists organizations in identifying and developing talent with critical knowledge related to cloud initiatives. These Certifications validate your technical skills and cloud knowledge to advance your career and business.  The Certifications have different levels depending on the experience someone has in the AWS cloud industry. The levels are foundational, associate, professional, and specialty. The difficulty depends upon the level with foundational- the easiest certification and specialty- the hardest ones.  Below are the certifications from the least to the hardest difficulty level. 

AWS Certifications Levels

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Certification Levels- Easy to Difficult

Foundational Level

The foundational level is considered to be the easiest and consists of certificates that will give you a breakthrough in a certain field. The Certified Cloud Practitioner credential is awarded at Foundational, the initial level of the AWS certification process. The foundational level certification requires six months of hands-on and basic AWS Cloud and industry experience.

AWS Cloud Practitioner cost and current market demand

Associate Level

After the foundational level, comes the associate which required one year of experience using the AWS Cloud to solve problems and implement solutions. The Associate level of AWS certification includes the Solutions Architect, Developer, and SysOps credentials. The Associate level is quite more difficult than the foundational level. The exam questions are difficult and usually not straightforward. You start advancing toward a cloud specialty with an associate-level AWS certification.

Professional Level

The professional level comes after the associate level. The difficulty level is 10x higher than the associate level. For a professional-level certification, you must have two years of experience designing, operating, and troubleshooting AWS Cloud solutions. The Professional level tests are built for candidates with a lot more knowledge and insight. Exams at the professional level are challenging because you must be capable of combining answers and drawing inferences from your knowledge and experience.

Specialty Level

It is the most advanced level and includes candidates with AWS Cloud technical experience in the Specialty domain. Specialty examinations are small but extremely deep in comparison to Associate and Professional exams, which are broad and deep. Many claims that these are more difficult than Associate exams, however, it depends on your background and experience. 

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Frequently Asked Questions- FAQs

Yes, AWS Certifications are quietly hard as compared to other certifications. Moreover, the difficulty level also depends upon the certification level.

AWS cloud practitioner is the easiest of all AWS Certification. This certification is best if you have little experience in the cloud and want to enhance your career.

According to a CBRE report, demand for cloud skills is increasing, with a 12% year-over-year increase over the last 12 months. Many AWS certified have salaries of more than $100,000 on average.

The best AWS cloud certification overall is the Solutions Architect – Associate credential. It offers a strong foundation in cloud computing on AWS and is the most popular certification that AWS offers.

One of the most difficult credentials you can pursue is the AWS SysOps certification. It is a comprehensive program that covers every facet of managing an AWS system, not simply a certification.

Platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform provide a broad range of credentials, which do not necessitate coding.

  • Associate Amazon Web Services (AWS) Solutions Architect
  • Azure Fundamentals certification from Microsoft
  • Google Cloud Associate Engineer
  • IBM Certified Technical Advocate- Cloud v3.0
  • Cloud Security Alliance: Cloud Security Knowledge Certificate (CCSK)

If you fail an exam, you must wait 14 days before being able to retake it. Exam attempts are not limited. However, for each exam attempt, you must pay the full registration fee. Once you have passed an exam, you will be unable to retake it for two years.

Professionals with certification in Microsoft Azure Fundamentals can expect to get a salary of $108k and AWS certified can expect to get $159k. Therefore, it is evident from the AWS and Azure salary comparison that an IT professional with an AWS certification makes more money than an IT professional with an Azure certification.

According to statistics, the exam failure rate is far higher than 72%. This indicates that fewer than 28% of applicants who sit for the AWS Solutions Architect Professional exam pass it.

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