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How to Become an AWS Solutions Architect: A Complete Guide

How to Become an AWS Solutions Architect

AWS Solutions Architect is one of the most rewarding tech careers today. With bright prospects, generous salaries, and exciting job roles, it’s an increasingly popular job choice for many.

If you love coding, are good at strategic thinking, and consider yourself a problem solver, an AWS Solutions Architect role could be ideal for you.

The question is, how to become an AWS Solutions Architect?

An AWS certification is one the highest-paying certifications in North America. An AWS-certified solutions architect earns 30 percent more than an average cloud professional. Not surprisingly, acing AWS certification exams isn’t easy. But knowing how to get a cloud architect career underway can help immensely.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to become an AWS Solutions Architect, including the necessary skills, certifications, and the you need to take on your AWS Solutions Architect certification path. Whether you’re just starting or looking to advance your career, this guide will help you enter this exciting field

What is AWS?

AWS, which stands for Amazon Web Services, is a cloud computing platform that lets individuals and businesses use computing resources (servers, databases, storage, and more) on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Instead of buying and maintaining their own physical servers and hardware, businesses can rent these resources from AWS and use them to run their applications and store their data. This can save them a lot of time and money since they don’t have to worry about the maintenance, upgrades, and other headaches of managing their own infrastructure.

AWS is a leader in the cloud infrastructure services market and is used by various organizations, from small startups to large enterprises. It’s also constantly evolving and adding new services, so there’s always something new to learn and try out.

Also Read:What is a Cloud Server? A Basic Guide

Who is an AWS Solutions Architect?

An AWS Solutions Architect is a cloud expert who helps businesses improve their operations by designing and implementing solutions using Amazon Web Services (AWS).

To explain in simple terms, they are like the architects of a building, but instead of designing a physical structure, they design and build cloud-based solutions using AWS services. They work closely with clients to understand their business needs, identify technical requirements, and develop customized solutions that meet their specific needs.

What are the Daily Tasks of an AWS Solutions Architect?

The day-to-day responsibilities of an AWS Solutions Architect can vary depending on the project and client they are working with. However, some of the most common tasks you will need in your quest to learn how to become an AWS Solutions Architect include:

  • Collaborating with clients: Solutions architects spend a lot of time collaborating with clients to understand their business needs, technical requirements, and any constraints they may have.
  • Designing solutions: Based on the client’s requirements, solutions architects need to design customized solutions using AWS services that are scalable, secure, and cost-effective.
  • Creating documentation: They need to document the technical design of the solution they have created, which often includes diagrams, flowcharts, and other visuals to help stakeholders understand the technical architecture of the solution.
  • Implementing solutions: Solutions architects need to implement solutions by configuring AWS services, writing code, and setting up infrastructure.
  • Testing and troubleshooting: They need to test the solution to ensure it’s working correctly and troubleshoot any issues arising during testing or after the solution has been deployed.
  • Keeping up with new AWS services: AWS is constantly releasing new services and features, and Solutions Architects need to stay up-to-date on these developments to recommend the best solutions for their clients.
  • Advising clients: Solutions Architects may need to advise clients on best practices for using AWS services and recommend improvements or optimizations to existing solutions.

Also Read:Cloud Computing Trends for 2024

What Skills Do You Need to Become an AWS Solutions Architect?

Becoming an AWS Solutions Architect requires you to have a combination of technical and soft skills. You’ll need to understand cloud computing fundamentals and AWS services and be familiar with IaC, security and compliance, communication, problem-solving, and project management. These skills will help you design and implement scalable, secure, and compliant architectures that meet your organization’s needs.

On your AWS Solutions Architect certification path, you must master the following cloud computing skills.

Cloud Computing Fundamentals

This skill is all about understanding the basics of cloud computing. You’ll need to grasp concepts such as cloud deployment models, cloud service models, and the advantages that cloud computing can bring to a business. This knowledge will help you understand how to leverage cloud computing to solve problems.

Deep Knowledge of AWS Services

As an AWS Solutions Architect, you’ll need to be familiar with various AWS services, including Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon RDS, Amazon VPC, and AWS Lambda. You’ll need to understand how these services work, what they can be used for, and how they can be combined to create a robust and scalable architecture.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

This skill is all about using code to manage and provision infrastructure. You’ll need to be familiar with tools such as Terraform, CloudFormation, and Ansible and know how to use them to automate the deployment and configuration of AWS resources. This can help you improve your efficiency and accuracy.

Security and Compliance

As an AWS Solutions Architect, you’ll need to understand your organization’s security and compliance requirements. This skill will help you design and implement secure, compliant architectures with industry and regulatory standards.

Communication

Communication is an essential skill for an AWS Solutions Architect. You’ll need to communicate effectively with various stakeholders, including developers, operations teams, and business executives. This skill will help you present your ideas, get buy-in from stakeholders, and build successful architecture.

Problem-Solving

AWS Solutions Architects need to be able to solve complex problems. You’ll need to be able to understand business problems and design suitable solutions. You’ll also need to be able to troubleshoot issues that arise during deployment and operation.

Project Management

As an AWS Solutions Architect, you’ll need to be able to manage projects effectively. This skill will help you plan, execute, and deliver projects on time and within budget. You’ll also need to be able to manage stakeholders, communicate progress, and adapt to changes in the project scope.

How to Become an AWS Solutions Architect: What Does It Take to Earn This Certification?

To earn an AWS Solutions Architect certification, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose the certification level: AWS offers two levels of certification for Solutions Architects – Associate and Professional. The Associate level requires one or more years of hands-on experience with AWS, while the Professional level requires at least two years of experience.
  2. Prepare for the exam: AWS offers a variety of resources to help you prepare for the certification exam. These include online courses, study guides, and practice exams. You can also attend instructor-led training courses or work with a third-party training provider.
  3. Schedule and take the exam: Once you feel prepared, you can schedule your exam through the AWS Certification website. The exams are administered through testing centers or online, depending on the certification level.
  4. Pass the exam: To earn the certification, you must pass the exam with a minimum passing score of 720 (in a scoring range of 100-1,000). Those who fail to get the passing score can retake the exam after a 14-day waiting period.
  5. Maintain the certification: AWS solutions architect certifications are valid for three years, after which you will need to pass a recertification exam or earn a higher-level certification to maintain your credentials.

In order to take the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C03) exam, you must have at least one year of practical experience in designing cloud solutions utilizing AWS services. For the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional (SAP-C02) exam, you should have two or more years of experience with AWS services that involve designing and implementing cloud solutions.

Exam Content Outline

The AWS Solutions Architect certification exam is typically multiple-choice and scenario-based, which means you will be presented with real-world scenarios and asked to select the best solution from a list of options.

Both the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate and Professional exams test candidates in four disciplines.

Content domains in the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam:

1 – Design Secure Architectures

2 – Design Resilient Architectures

3 – Design High-Performing Architectures

4 – Design Cost-Optimized Architectures

Get the detailed outline here.

Disciplines in the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional exam include:

1 – Design Solutions for Organizational Complexity

2 – Design for New Solutions

3 – Continuous Improvement for Existing Solutions

4 – Accelerate Workload Migration and Modernization

Get the detailed outline here.

During the examination, you’ll need to answer the questions from all domains. However, they vary in terms of weightage. For example, Design Secure Architectures-related questions comprise 30 percent of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam, while questions from Design Cost-Optimized Architectures make up 20 percent of the paper.

The exam covers a wide range of AWS services and solutions, so it’s essential to have a solid understanding of what each service does, how they work together, and how they can be used to solve different business problems. AWS offers various resources to help you prepare for the exam, including study guides, online courses, and practice exams. You can also prepare by taking an online cloud computing course.

Also Read:What is AWS? A Detailed Guide For Beginners

Job Opportunities for AWS Solutions Architects

AWS Solutions Architect is a highly sought-after role in today’s job market, with many opportunities available for those with the necessary cloud architect skills and experience. There’s demand across industries, with businesses in technology, finance, healthcare, and retail looking for skilled AWS Solutions Architects.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the job opportunities available in each industry:

  • Technology: In the tech industry, there is a high demand for AWS Solutions Architects who can design and build scalable, secure, and high-performance cloud infrastructures. You could work for a tech giant like Google, Microsoft, or Amazon or a smaller startup looking to leverage the benefits of cloud computing.
  • Finance: Banks and financial institutions are also adopting cloud computing and require AWS Solutions Architects who can design and build secure and compliant cloud infrastructures. This is especially important given the sensitive nature of financial data and the regulatory requirements that financial institutions must adhere to.
  • Healthcare: With healthcare organizations moving their operations to the cloud, there’s an increasing scope for AWS Solutions Architects in this sector. In addition, there is a growing need for AWS Solutions Architects who can design and implement solutions for healthcare data analytics and machine learning.
  • Retail: The retail industry is looking for AWS Solutions Architects who can design and build scalable and secure cloud infrastructures for e-commerce platforms. This is important given the high volume of traffic and transactions that e-commerce platforms handle.

As an AWS Solutions Architect, you can work in-house, as a consultant, full-time, or as a contractor. Depending on your interests and career goals, there are opportunities to specialize in security, compliance, data management, and machine learning.

In terms of salary, AWS Solutions Architects can earn a very competitive salary. According to Talent.com, the average salary for an AWS Solutions Architect in the US is around $151,125 annually, with top earners making over $185,250.

Learn the Skills Required to Become an AWS Solutions Architect

Your first step in the AWS Solutions Architect certification path is gaining the necessary skills and knowledge through education, training, and certification. You can start by learning the basics of cloud computing and AWS services through online courses, tutorials, and documentation. You can also attend a cloud computing bootcamp to strengthen your cloud commuting skills through hands-on experience.

A cloud computing bootcamp provides hands-on training in cloud computing technologies, including AWS. This means you’ll get to practice working with AWS services and learn how to design, build, and manage cloud infrastructure in a real-world environment. Get trained by the industry, gain valuable insights into the latest trends and best practices, and increase your chances of success as AWS Certified Solutions Architect.

You’ll also gain hands-on experience and networking opportunities, which can help you differentiate yourself from other job candidates and stand out in the job market.

Now that you know how to become an AWS Solutions Architect, are you ready to pursue a career as one? Enrolling in an online certificate program is a great way to get started!.

You might also like to read:

A Guide to AWS Certification Courses

How Does Cloud Computing Work? A Beginner’s Guide

A Guide to the Top Service Models Of Cloud Computing

Carve Your AWS Career Path: A Comprehensive Guide

Azure vs. AWS: Cloud Computing Comparison

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