Roadmap to Success: AWS SysOps Admin

featured (1)Roadmap to Success is a series of posts designed to help learners better understand certification pathways, career opportunities associated with those certifications, and next steps beyond certification.

The Amazon Web Services SysOps Administrator (AWS SysOps Admin) certification, at the Associate level, is designed to validate technical expertise in deployment, management, and operations on the AWS platform. As an increasing number of businesses and organizations move to the cloud, well-qualified admins are in-demand. Pursuing an AWS certification creates opportunities for personal challenge and professional advancement.

Analyzing AWS Certifications
AWS certifications are offered at two levels: Associate and Professional. Associate-level certification is a prerequisite to the Professional-level certifications. AWS certification tracks include:

AWS Certified Solutions Architect

AWS Certified Developer

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer
(either the AWS Certified Developer Associate or SysOps Admin Associate may serve as the prerequisite for the DevOps Engineer Professional certification)

Only once a learner has earned an Associate-level certification, are they are eligible to pursue Professional-level certifications.

Amazon Web Services SysOps Administrator, Associate (AWS SysOps Admin Associate)
The Amazon Web Services SysOps Administrator, Associate level (AWS SysOps Admin Associate) certification is intended for IT professionals seeking validation of their expertise in relation to AWS administration. The certification includes focus on:

  • deploying, managing, and operating scalable, highly available, and fault tolerant systems on AWS;
  • migrating an existing on-premises application to AWS;
  • implementing and controlling the flow of data to and from AWS;
  • selecting the appropriate AWS service, based on compute, data, or security requirements;
  • identifying appropriate use of AWS operational best practices; and
  • estimating AWS usage costs and identifying operational cost control mechanisms.


The AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification is made up of one exam, which is covered by the following CBT Nuggets training:

Though there are no prerequisites for the AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification, it is considered an intermediate-level certification, requiring hands-on experience working with AWS. For those pursuing the AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification, we recommend they have a minimum of one to two years of experience working directly with AWS, particularly in provisioning, operating, and maintaining systems running on AWS. Learners should also complete the CBT Nuggets AWS: Essentials course in preparation for SysOps Administrator.

Exam Details

Time allotted for exam: 80 minutes
Passing score: AWS does not publish the passing score for its exams
Question types: Multiple choice/single answer; Multiple choice/multiple answer
Exam registration: Kryterion (Web Assessor)
Exam cost: $150 (USD)*
*AWS provides practice exams at the cost of $20 (USD)
Exam Blueprint: AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate (free resource)

The Next Step
Many learners who earn their AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification choose to continue their careers within the realm of AWS. Therefore, many choose to pursue the next step in the AWS certification path, the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional. Others may choose to backfill their certification vitae by earning the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate or Professional designations.

Other learners may choose to diversify their certification resume by pursuing other cloud solution certifications. Options include:

The AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification is valid for two years from the date of certification. To recertify, learners must pass a recertification exam or a higher-level exam.

Career Considerations provides a helpful salary guide to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the AWS SysOps Admin Associate. Depending on professional experience, an employee who holds an AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification can earn, on average, $57,000. Roles that are common for those holding an AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification include cloud engineer, developer, senior developer, systems engineer, application engineer, and more.

Concluding Thoughts
As the workplace continues to evolve and organizations become increasingly dependent on cloud technologies, employers are on the hunt for IT professionals with the skills and expertise to support, scale, and ultimately grow organizations. Launch your career into the cloud by earning certifications that will open doors and create opportunities!

Watch. Learn. Conquer the AWS SysOps Admin Associate!