AWS Solution Architect Associate vs Professional: What’s the Difference?

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AWS Solution Architect Associate vs Professional: What’s the Difference?


Vaishnavi Shah

Published November 1, 2022

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Studies show that almost 57% of organizations migrate their workloads to cloud platforms. As an increasing number of companies switch to cloud computing products, it becomes essential for IT teams to master cloud skills. 
And what better way to start than getting an AWS certification? 

AWS has been an indisputable leader in the cloud industry. According to reports, AWS scored the highest market share of 39.8% in the IaaS public cloud service market in 2021. It continues to outpace its competitors with innovative cloud computing products and services. 

Surveys even show that AWS solution architect certifications are among the top-paying IT certifications of 2022. This means that getting AWS certified presents high career growth opportunities. 

However, before starting your journey toward earning your certification, it makes sense to study the different levels of AWS certification, what they entail, and how you can prepare for it. With this guide, we will break down each concept to help you get better insights.  

The Different Levels of AWS Solution Architect Certifications 

The sought-after AWS solution architect certification helps learners gain knowledge of different AWS cloud products, technologies, and services. The training educates learners on how to grow their technical skills and design high-performance and secure applications on AWS systems. 

These certifications come in two levels: Associate and Professional. Although both are aimed at individuals who want to pursue a solution architect role, each tier has a different scope, module, and depth. After completing your examination at each level, you will increase your exposure and experience with AWS products and services. 

If you are wondering which type of certification is best for you? Here's a quick comparison of AWS Solution Architect Associate vs Professional for better understanding. 

AWS Solution Architect- Associate vs Professional: Key Aspects to Consider!

  1. Knowledge, Skills, and Experience

Each AWS solution architect certification imparts different skills and knowledge about AWS architecture. However, the depth and the difficulty of training differ. Let’s do a quick overview of both of them.  

AWS Solution Architect - Associate

The focus of the examination is to help IT professionals understand how to design cost-efficient, resilient, and scalable solutions on AWS systems. You will gain hands-on experience with AWS technologies and knowledge about deploying, managing, and optimizing workloads on AWS. The exam module highlights best AWS practices for increasing security measures and meeting compliance requirements. 

Here are some things you should know before taking this exam: 

  • Eligibility: Candidates with almost one year of hands-on experience with AWS technologies. 
  • Exam format: The exam features a combination of multiple-choice questions and multiple-response questions.
  • Difficulty level: The exam requires a solid understanding of the AWS platform, and the questions can be scenario-based and challenging. This exam is often the foundation for aspirants who want to become AWS solution architects. 

AWS Solution Architect - Professional

When we do an AWS Solution Architect Associate vs Professional, it is a no-brainer that the latter is a level up from the associate exam. This is because the exam has difficult questions and requires you to deep dive into AWS technologies. It is the highest certification for aspirants who want to explore career growth opportunities in the AWS solution architect role. 

Let’s explore the top things you should know before taking this exam: 

  • Pre-requisites: Candidates must have two or more years of experience in the design and deployment of cloud architectures on AWS. You will also need to pass the AWS Solution Architect Associate exam. 
  • Exam format: The exam requires a passing score of 750 points out of 1000 (75%). The question type can range from scenario-based to multiple-choice. 
  • Difficulty: Questions can be challenging and test your skills and knowledge in multiple areas, such as evaluation of cloud application requirements, design of cloud architecture on AWS, cost-control strategies, and more. 
  1. Earning Potential

The cloud computing market grew at an impressive 19.1% in 2021 and will reach $1.25 trillion by 2028. The rising figures indicate that the industry demand for cloud experts will also continue to rise. 

When we talk about the earning potential of both AWS certifications, it is crucial to note that salaries are a culmination of several factors, including geographic location, the ability to apply your skills at work, communication skills, and hard work. With that said, let’s do a quick overview of earning potentials of AWS Solution Architect Associate vs Professional to help you decide which one to pursue. 

AWS Solution Architect - AssociateAWS Solution Architect - Professional 
2021 Average Salary$159,033$161,409
Position in Top-Paying IT Certification of 2022 SurveyHolds the fifth positionHolds the first position

From the above table, it is clear that certification holders of the AWS Solution Architect Professional earn more. 

  1. Preparation For the Exam

While both certifications offer several benefits, preparing for them requires a different approach. As the Professional level is tougher, you may need more hands-on experience and mock tests to ace the exam. Also, you will need to spend more time clearing the Professional exam than the associate. Since both exams are timed tightly, you should adopt a problem-solving approach for challenging questions. 

Thankfully, with the help of online resources and training programs, you can clear roadblocks that may hinder your progress. Let’s go over some tips to help you prepare for the exams!

  • Download the exam guide from the official AWS training page. 
  • Read the blogs, whitepapers, and other resources on the AWS training website. 
  • Explore free and paid AWS solution architect training. This will help you gain clarity about the exam module and quickly and more efficiently. 
  • Get hands-on knowledge through live projects. 
  • Practice the question set and analyze your mock test results to identify weak and strong areas. 

If you are looking for more tips to nail your AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam, here is a guide to aid you. 

Grow Your Career in Cloud With AWS Certifications!

Having practical cloud skills is the best way to grow your career in the tech industry. Getting AWS solution architect certified will equip you with the knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems and prove yourself a valuable asset to the organization. 

Now that you know about AWS Solution Architect Associate vs Professional,  you can start your preparations by choosing the correct certification. 

And if you are looking for AWS Solution Architect Associate training, we offer an interactive training program designed by industry experts. Our instructor-led training will elevate your AWS skills and help you get a practical experience of how businesses use AWS technologies to deploy and manage secure infrastructure. 

Enroll in our 2-week training program now to avail exclusive discounts and benefits. Drop us a quick message here to know more!

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