More and more companies are making a shift towards cloud services and cloud-based systems these days, resulting in cloud computing being one of the most in-demand tech skills for 2023.

AWS is currently the most popular cloud service provider, as it owns around 33% of the cloud market.

Companies and organizations are looking for candidates with AWS skills. A way to showcase your AWS knowledge is by obtaining an AWS certification.

In this article, I will list the current AWS certifications and go into more detail about the Cloud Practitioner certification.

Let's get into it!

What Is AWS? Amazon Web Services Explained

Amazon Web Services (or AWS for short) is a cloud computing platform offered by Amazon.

The platform provides on-demand cloud computing services such as hosting for servers, storage, database management, networking, and security, to name just a few of them.

Many businesses use AWS, including big companies such as Airbnb, Netflix, LinkedIn, and Twitter. With that said, it is also used for personal projects.

What Is an AWS Certification?

An AWS certification is a credible way to demonstrate to an employer that you have the specific technical skills and competence to design, build, deploy, migrate, operate, and maintain well-architected AWS systems.

Obtaining an AWS certification and gaining cloud architecture expertise is a great way to kickstart a new career in tech and open doors in a fast-growing industry.

An Overview of the Different AWS Certification Types – Levels of AWS Certifications

Currently, there are four types of AWS certifications.

There is one foundational level certification – the Cloud Practitioner certification.

There are three associate level certifications – the Solutions Architect, the Developer and the SysOps Administrator certifications.

There are also two professional level certifications – the Solutions Architect and DevOps Engineer certifications.

And lastly, there are six specialty level certifications – the Advanced Networking, Data Analytics, Database, Machine Learning, Security and SAP on AWS certifications.

Choosing an AWS certification will depend on your experience level, professional goals, and interests.

Now, let's go into more detail on the fundamental AWS certification – the Cloud Practitioner certification.

What Does an AWS Cloud Practitioner Do?

An AWS cloud practitioner is responsible for the organization's cloud computing architecture. They resolve scalability challenges and handle high-risk issues.

The practitioner understands AWS's core design principles and best practices for architecture.

They know how to design, build, deploy, and monitor applications on the cloud within AWS platforms.

They gather insights into end-users' problems and pain points, leverage software and hardware systems to address those problems, and come up with solutions.

What Is the Average Salary for an AWS Cloud Practitioner?

According to data from Glassdoor, the estimated total pay for a cloud practitioner in the USA for 2023 is around $91,038 per year, with an average salary of $83,679 per year.

With that said, compensation is relative and will depend on your field and chosen industry, demand, previous experience, skills, and location. The average salary for a cloud practitioner may be higher in different regions in the USA and lower in other countries.

AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification Prerequisites

The AWS Cloud Practitioner certification is a great place to start your cloud computing learning journey and a new career in the cloud.

It is an entry-level certification intended to provide fundamental knowledge and a general overview of AWS and its infrastructure. It doesn't require any previous experience or specific prerequisites.

With that said, having an understanding of the AWS platform and cloud computing terminology and concepts can be helpful during your learning process.

To understand the core concepts of cloud computing and AWS, you can read through the AWS Cloud Essentials Guide by AWS.

AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification Curriculum

The four major topics you will learn while studying for the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification fall into the following categories:

  • Cloud concepts (26%), such as learning about cloud computing topics, how cloud-based applications work and scale, the AWS core infrastructure, and its architectural principles.
  • Security and compliance (25%), such as learning security and compliance best practices for the AWS platform.
  • Technology (33%), such as learning about AWS services and tools and their use cases.
  • Billing and pricing (16%), such as learning about AWS billing, pricing models, support, and account management.

To learn more about the curriculum, AWS provides a complete exam guide, which covers the key modules in detail.

AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification Study Materials

You first need to create an AWS account.

AWS provides a free 12-month subscription to become familiar with the AWS console and its services.

When it comes to courses, you can use the AWS cloud essentials learning plan built by AWS, which goes over the recommended curriculum. This course covers AWS cloud, services, pricing, and security.

freeCodeCamp also offers an extensive 13-hour study course.

It's also a good idea to go through some practice questions and practice exams by the official page on Amazon to test whether you are prepared enough for the certification exam.

AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification Exam Details

Once you've created your AWS certification account, to schedule the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam, sign in to and click "Certification", where you can register and schedule the exam online or at a location near you.

The exam level is foundational, and the exam code is CLF-C01.

The exam costs $100 and is available in English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese.

The exam is 90 minutes long and consists of 65 multiple-choice, multiple-response questions. The minimum passing score is 700 points.

Lastly, the AWS certifications are valid for three years, and you will need to renew them once they expire.


Hopefully, you found this article helpful and have a better understanding of what the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification entails.

Thank you for reading, and best of luck on your exam.