About Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate Certification
The Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification is created to certify the technical expertise of those candidates who perform the role of a Solutions Architect. This associate-level certificate measures the individuals’ ability to efficiently perform the deployment of robust and secure applications on AWS technologies. It also tests their proficiency in defining solutions through the use of architectural design principles, which are based on the needs of the customers. Moreover, the certification verifies the professionals’ competency in providing the prerequisite implementation guidance that focuses on best practices of the organization across the lifecycle of a project. The applicants for this certificate are required to have a minimum of one year of hands-on experience in designing cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, scalable, and available distributed systems on Amazon AWS.
Prerequisite Exam in Detail
The certification has no official requirements other than passing the qualifying exam, referred to as Amazon SAA-C02. This is a 130-minute test made up of multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions. It is available in English, Simplified Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. To sit for the exam, the candidates must pay the registration fee of $150. The test can be taken at the nearest center or as an online proctored option. The minimum passing score for the exam is 720 points on a scale of 100-1000.
However, besides passing the SAA-C02 test, Amazon recommends that the students have a good grasp of the specific knowledge areas. These include practical skills in the use of database AWS services, networking, compute, and storage; hands-on expertise in management services and AWS deployment; skills in identifying and defining technical prerequisites for AWS-based applications. The learners should be also conversant with the AWS services that fulfill the specific technical requirements. They should possess a solid knowledge of the fundamental architectural principles of creating on the AWS Cloud platform, an understating of AWS global infrastructures as well as a comprehension of security tools and features offered by AWS and their relationship with traditional services.
With this understanding of the above-mentioned topics, the candidates will be able to achieve success in the certification exam. If you don’t have any experience with AWS services, it’s recommended that you spend some time developing the required skills before registering for the Amazon SAA-C02 test. Fortunately, Amazon offers numerous training resources directly on its website to help the individuals to prepare for the exam. The first thing that you need to do during your preparation process is to review the official guide for detailed information about the areas that will be assessed in this prerequisite test.
You can enroll for the appropriate AWS training courses, such as AWS Technical Essentials (classroom-based, 1 day), Architecting on AWS (classroom-based, 3 days), Architecting on AWS – Accelerator (classroom-based, 5 days). They are designed for the professionals with different levels of expertise: foundational, intermediate, as well as advanced respectively. The first two courses are a combination of lectures and practical labs while the third one also includes a group discussion. You can find comprehensive details of these training courses and the nearest training centers on the Amazon webpage.
You can also benefit from other useful resources, such as sample questions, practice tests, and whitepapers. In addition, there is the option of free webinars for a presentation from an AWS-accredited instructor followed by live Q&A as well as free digital training that enables you to learn where and when it’s convenient for you.
The content of the Amazon SAA-C02 test is split into 4 domains covering specific knowledge and skills. The applicants are required to gain a solid understanding of the topics outlined below to be able to answer the exam questions and get the required score:
Domain 1: Designing Resilient Architectures
Within this first subject area, the candidates should demonstrate that they are capable of designing a multi-tier architecture solution. They also need to develop proficiency in designing fault-tolerant and/or highly available architectures. Besides that, it measures the expertise of the examinees in designing decoupling mechanisms with the help of AWS services as well as selecting proper resilient storage.
Domain 2: Designing High-Performing Architectures
The second topic of the certification exam revolves around the skills of the test takers in selecting high-performance database solutions for a workload; selecting scalable as well as high-performing storage solutions for a workload; selecting high-performance network solutions for a workload. The learners must also demonstrate the capacity to define scalable and elastic compute solutions for a workload.
Domain 3: Designing Secure Architectures & Applications
This domain of the Amazon SAA-C02 exam focuses on the following capabilities of the candidates: designing secure access to AWS resources, selecting proper data security options, as well as designing secure application tiers.
Domain 4: Designing Cost-Optimized Architectures
In the framework of the last section, the individuals should be able to determine cost-efficient storage solutions, design cost-optimized network architectures, determine cost-efficient database & compute services.
Career Opportunities and Salary Potential
The Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification can open doors to a variety of high-paying jobs in the IT industry. Of course, earning this certificate is not an easy task but you can rest assured that the opportunities that come with it are enormous. The job titles that you can apply for after passing the Amazon SAA-C02 exam and obtaining the associated certification are as follows: a Solutions Architect, a Senior Solutions Architect, a Partner Solutions Architect, an IoT & Data Analytics Enablement Specialist, a Cloud Solutions Architect, a Cloud Consultant, a Software Engineer, a Principal Software Engineer, a Development Operations Architect, a Development Operations Engineer, an Operational Support Engineer, a Systems Engineer, a Data Engineer, a Database Solutions Architect, and a Data Scientist, among others.
The average salary for the certificate holders is $113,503 per year. However, depending on a particular role and other factors, such as location, type of hiring organization, level of a professional’s experience, the certificate individuals can earn much more than this sum. Thus, the position of a Solutions Architect can bring you around $130,000 per annum. The title of a Principal Software Engineer will allow you to get an average salary of $139,000 per year.