How to Become an AWS Solutions Architect: Certifications Available and Job Opportunities

Amazon is the most valuable publicly traded company in the world, offering everything from ecommerce to cloud services. Amazon’s cloud service, known as Amazon Web Services (AWS), is by far the most popular cloud computing service used by businesses and organizations worldwide. From the delivery of content to the migration of databases, AWS has undoubtedly become a one-stop solution for organizations looking for ways to run their businesses more effectively.

With more companies and organizations using AWS to run all aspects of their businesses, the opportunities for cloud computing professionals are surging. This is why those looking to advance their careers in IT and cloud computing are now pursuing AWS certifications. 

Out of the available AWS certifications, AWS Solutions Architect is by far the most in-demand. In-demand jobs typical fetch higher salaries—the average salary for certified AWS Solutions Architects can be up to $127,000.  That’s a significant motivator for people looking to get into this career. In this article, we will discuss everything about AWS Solutions Architects and how you can become one.

Learn about AWS architectural principles and services like IAM, VPC, EC2, EBS and more with the AWS Solutions Architect Course. Register today!

Who is an AWS Solutions Architect?

At a high-level, an AWS Solutions Architect’s primary duty is to deploy applications to infrastructure in the AWS cloud. Let’s step back and look at why companies are moving to the cloud. Cutting costs is one of the main reasons, mainly because they don’t have to invest in on-premises infrastructure. Sounds simple right?  It turned out not to be so in many cases—ask the early adopters who went into sticker shock when they got their first bill. This is where AWS Solutions Architects come into the picture. It’s their responsibility to create a design that not only cuts costs, but addresses other critical factors like usability, reliability, scalability, and performance. 

AWS Solutions Architects are also responsible for minimizing risks an organization may face, like data breaches, calculation errors, and even application downtime risks. This requires a deep understanding of how to fit all the pieces in the AWS cloud together to create the most secure cloud environment possible.

How Can You Become an AWS Solutions Architect?

To get certified, you require to pass the AWS Solutions Architect - Associate level examination. The following are some details about the examination:

  • The exam score ranges from 100 to 1000 marks, and the minimum passing score is 720. Passing marks are determined using statistical analysis, which means they can be changed depending on the difficulty of the examination.
  • The exam fee for the AWS Solutions Architect Associate certification exam is $150, and you can also take a practice exam that costs $20. For the professional level examination, the fee is $300. 
  • The duration is 130 minutes and includes two types of questions: multiple choice and multiple answer. 
  • You can take the examination in different languages, including English, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese.

How To Schedule the AWS exam

Here is how you can schedule the AWS Solutions Architect examination:

  • Visitaws.amazon.com/certification/
  • Scroll down and find and click on “Architect.”
  • Click on “Register Now.”
  • Click on the “AWS Certification Account.”
  • Sign in using your existing Amazon account or create a new one.
  • After signing in, click on “Schedule Examination.”
  • Scroll down and find AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate and click on “Schedule Exam.”
  • Click on “Continue.”
  • Select your language and check your region.
  • Select the month of the examination and then click on “Search” for the exam center.
  • From the list of exam centers, select the location that’s most convenient for you. Once selected, choose the date and an available slot for the examination and press continue.
  • You will then be required to pay for the examination. After your payment is processed, you will officially be registered for the exam. 

AWS Solutions Architect Practice Test

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AWS Solutions Architect Practice Test

Exam Content Outline

The exam contains five main sections, which are:

  1. Design Resilient Architectures (34%)
  2. Define Performant Architecture (24%)
  3. Specify Secure Applications and Architectures (24%)
  4. Design Cost-Optimized Architectures (10%)
  5. Define Operationally Excellent Architectures (6%)Now, let’s look at what you need to know for each section in more detail:

Design Resilient Architecture

  1. How to choose reliable and resilient storage using services like AWS S3, AWS Glacier, and AWS EBS
  2. How to design decoupling mechanisms using AWS services likeAWS SNS
  3. How to create a multi-tier architecture
  4. How to architect for high availability and fault-tolerance

Define Performant Architectures

  1. How to choose performant storage and databases using AWS RDS, AWS Redshift, and AWS DynamoDB
  2. How to improve performance using AWS Elasticache
  3. How to design elastic and scalable solutions through AWS Lambda, AWS CloudWatch, and AWS Data Pipeline

Specify Secure Applications and Architectures

  1. How to secure applications using AWS Inspector, AWS CloudTrail, and AWS IAM
  2. How to secure data using AWS CloudHSM and AWS Macie
  3. How to define the network infrastructure with AWS CloudFront, AWS VPC, and Elastic Load Balancer

Design Cost-Optimized Architectures

  1. How to design cost-optimized compute solutions using AWS EC2, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, AWS Lambda, and Aws Lightsail
  2. Design cost-effective storage solutions using AWS S3, AWS Glacier, AWS EBS, and AWS Elastic File System

Define Operationally Excellent Architectures

Know when to use certain types of actions to streamline operations. Things you should be prepared to do:

  1. Perform operations as code
  2. Annotate documentation
  3. Make frequent, small, and reversible changes
  4. Anticipate and tackle failures

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Career Guide

The Quick Path to Becoming a Solutions ArchitectDOWNLOAD GUIDE
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Career Guide

Job Opportunities

Historically more job opportunities were available for AWS professionals than Azure or Google Cloud Platform.  Research also shows that there is a significant lack of experienced professionals working in AWS, which means that now is a great time to get certified and start your career in the cloud computing industry.

Get Started

To get certified as an AWS Solutions Architect, enroll in Simplilearn’s AWS Solutions Architect Certification Training Course. These training courses will teach you the skills required to pass the AWS Solutions Architect certification exam. Get a jump start on your AWS career today! 

About the Author

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.