AWSWondering if you should get an IT certification? And if so, which one? An AWS certification can help you advance your career. According to Forbes, Amazon Web Services (AWS) certifications bring in an average salary of $100,000 plus. In the 2016 IT Skills and Salary Report by Global Knowledge, AWS Certified professionals made $119,000 per year. If you are looking to get AWS certified, here are 5 things you should know:

1. There are five different certifications

If you boil it down, there are three core exams and two advanced exams:


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


AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Professional
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

2. How to get started

First you’ll want to prepare and review the exam questions for the exam you choose. When you’re ready to test, you can register with Kryterion to find a testing center. There are testing centers all around the globe, so I’m betting there will be one in your area. When you go for your test, make sure you have two forms of identification on you. Keep in mind that you can’t bring any study materials with you, so make sure you are ready to pass.

3. AWS Exam Form

The format depends on if you are taking the associate or professional level.

Associate Exam

The associate exam is 60 questions and has a time limit of 80 minutes. The question format is:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Multiple Response
  • Sample Questions

The Associates level will test your general knowledge of IT as well as AWS. There are no prerequisites to this exam. The exams are available in multiple languages, you just need to check before you test as they vary per exam. The fee for this exam is $150.


The professional exam is 80 questions and has a time limit of 170 minutes. The question format is the same as above.

The professional exams will also challenge your general IT and AWS skills. In order to test for the Professional Certification, you will need to have your Associate Certification. The cost for the professional exam is $300.

4. You’ll need to get recertified

Due to the vast amount of feature releases that happen within a year, AWS requires recertification. AWS certifications currently last for two years. At the end of the two years, you must retake the exams to keep your certification status. As a courtesy, Amazon will send you an email six months before your credentials expire.

5. How to train

As I mentioned above, you will want to study hard and study often. Amazon provides practice exams. The Associate’s practice exam registration fee is $20 and the Professional practice exam is $40. They can both be accessed via the Kryterion login. There are also many resources on the AWS Training page. If you are studying for the Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, check out our classes in Seattle!

Good luck!

Level AWS certification


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