One of the things you need to understand before you start your AWS training course is the overall AWS certification cost. The bad news is — different sources of information online will give you different costs — and this might be perplexing. The good news is — you can get certified on a budget. In this article, we’ll explore the various costs you need to consider when training for and taking AWS certification exams. Read on!
Getting an AWS certification is doubtless one of the most important career decisions you can make. It helps professionals and novices build confidence and credibility by validating their cloud expertise and knowledge through industry-recognized credentials. AWS professionals are in high demand, and earning an AWS certification could help you excel in cloud computing skills and find a lucrative job in a dynamic and exciting organization.
What are the Benefits of AWS Certifications?
Before we explore the cost you will incur when you choose the AWS certification path, you need to know some of the benefits you will gain from it. AWS certification comes with a plethora of advantages, including:
- Showcase your cloud computing expertise through certificates, digital badges, and more
- Get worthwhile career opportunities and better pay compared to others
- Gives you an opportunity to build networks with brilliant minds across the AWS certified community
- Allows you to boost your self-confidence and self-esteem
- Helps you validate your knowledge and skills in the preeminent cloud computing ecosystem
- …and more
How much do AWS Certification Courses Cost?
The great news is that education has never been cheaper! With online learning, you can now access many hours of high-quality video training and practice tests at extremely low costs. The AWS training cost is unbelievably low, gaining access to this quantity of knowledge and instructors of this caliber used to cost several thousands of dollars, but today it can be as little as $10–15.
I believe there’s really little value in attending classroom-based training that costs thousands of dollars and in today’s world, these are becoming less common anyway.
The official AWS practice tests cost between $20-$40. However, you only get 20–30 questions and no explanations. These are of extremely limited use and many students report that they were a waste of money. Instead, use high-quality practice test courses that have a large pool of questions with detailed explanations and reference links. Check out the Digital Cloud Training practice tests which are the best quality available today.
You can also find free courses on various platforms, but you need to practice caution and do your due diligence before choosing your learning materials. Check out our free videos on YouTube to get started with learning about AWS. You can also take advantage of the AWS whitepapers, Facebook groups such as AWS Certification QA, Slack channels, and other free resources from Digital Cloud Training.
….And don’t forget to check out the awesome FREE cheat sheets we provide for AWS certifications!!
What is the Expected Study Time for AWS Certification Exams?
The expected study time for AWS certification exams depends on the exam you are preparing for and your background knowledge and learning speed. It also depends on how much time you put aside each day. Assuming you can commit to 60–90 minutes of study time per day you can expect the following timelines to prepare for the exam:
- 2–4 weeks for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam
- 4–12 weeks for an associate-level exam such as the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate or AWS Developer Associate
- 8–12 weeks for professional/specialty-level exams
Make sure you take as much time as you need because passing the actual test should be your ultimate goal. A good way to assess your progress and readiness is to continually take practice tests for your exam throughout your study period. Practice tests such as the ones offered by Digital Cloud Training can be both a learning tool and an assessment tool.
Types of AWS Certification Exams
To understand the AWS certification cost, you need to understand different certification exams. This is because the AWS certification price is different for each level of certification. Let us discuss these exams in detail.
Foundation Level Exam
The foundation level exam is the first test that individuals undertake early in the AWS certification path. The foundation level focuses entirely on the basics of cloud computing and is highly recommended for novices. The exam given at this level is known as the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam.
The AWS Certified Practitioner Exam is specially made for those with a basic understanding of the AWS platform. It is recommended that you have at least six months of industrial experience in the cloud niche before taking this exam. The exam covers a wide array of aspects of AWS cloud, including value proposition, architectural principals, basic global infrastructure, compliance aspects, pricing models, basic security, and more. Its duration is 90 minutes. The AWS Cloud Practitioner exam cost is $100 US.
Associate Level Exams
After you have completed the foundation level, you can proceed to the associate level. This level demands some broad and in-depth knowledge of different cloud computing aspects. Its exam difficulty level is higher than that of the foundation level. The exams at this level include:
AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate: This certification is made for individuals with at least one year of hands-on experience in designing distributed applications and implementing AWS cloud solutions. The AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam covers various aspects, including the use of architectural design principles, architecture and deployment of applications, design, and implementation of cloud solutions, and more. This exam takes 130 minutes and the AWS Solution Architect Certification Cost is $150 US.
AWS Certified Developer: This certification is for those with at least one year of experience in the development and maintenance of cloud applications. You need in-depth knowledge of programming languages and understanding the basic AWS architecture best practices and core AWS services. The exam lasts 130 minutes and costs $150 US.
AWS Certified SysOps Administrator: This is another associate level exam that is designed for system administrators. It is highly recommended that you have at least one year of experience in deployment and operations on AWS before taking this exam. The exam covers an array of aspects, including data transfer between data centers and AWS, deployment, and management of applications on the AWS platform, choosing relevant AWS services for different organizations, and more. It lasts 130 minutes and costs $150 US.
Professional Level Exams
This is the last level in AWS certification. It demands professional knowledge and understanding and solid experience working with AWS services. There are no prerequisites with AWS exams — so you can go straight to the professional level. However, these exams can be very challenging — so significant experience and at least one associate-level certification is recommended.
The certifications available at the professional level are:
AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Professional): This certification is made for individuals with at least two years of experience as Solutions Architects in the AWS arena. It is highly recommended that you get the AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate) before taking this professional-level exam. The exam takes 180 minutes and costs $300 US.
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer: This certification is designed for those with at least two years of hands-on experience in provisioning & managing AWS architectures. It is recommended that you hold the AWS Certified Developer Associate and/or AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate before you undertake this challenging certification. The exam covers different aspects, including monitoring and log systems in AWS, AWS automation processes, Continuous Delivery Methodologies, and more. It takes 180 minutes and costs $300 US.
AWS also provides various specialty exams made for individuals with deep knowledge and understanding of a chosen domain. These exams are outlined below:
AWS Certified Data Analytics — Specialty: This certification validates an individual’s ability to develop and model Big Data Solutions using AWS services. The exam takes 180 minutes and costs $300 US.
AWS Certified Machine Learning — Specialty: This certification validates an individual’s expertise in building, implementation, and maintenance of machine learning solutions on the AWS platform. The exam lasts 180 minutes and costs $300 US.
AWS Certified Advanced Networking — Specialty: This test validates an expert’s knowledge in handling sophisticated networking tasks on AWS. The exam duration is 170 minutes and costs $300 US.
AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder — Specialty: This certification validates an expert’s skills in developing, testing, and publishing Amazon Alexa Skills. It takes 170 minutes and costs $300 US.
AWS Certified Security — Specialty: This certification validates one’s expertise in the security domain in cloud computing. It takes 170 minutes and costs $300. Practice tests cost $300 US.
AWS Certified Database — Specialty: This certification validates one’s ability to design and maintain AWS database solutions. The exam duration is 180 minutes and costs $300 US.
Does Amazon give any Discounts?
As you can see above, taking all these exams can be expensive. The good news is, AWS provides a 50% discount voucher on your next exam after you have taken an exam. For instance, if you take the AWS Certified Practitioner Exam, you will pay $100 for it. If you choose to advance your knowledge and take the AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate Exam, you will only have to pay $75 (instead of $150). This is a fantastic bonus!
Just be aware that code sharing is not permitted. AWS policy states that benefits are non-transferable and only to be used by the account holder to which the voucher was originally assigned. So steer away from dubious offers or you’ll risk your AWS certification being revoked.
Invest in your Future
In conclusion, costs for AWS certifications should be considered a smart investment in a better future for yourself. So, don’t let anything (including money) stop you from advancing your skills in cloud computing!
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