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Cloud Engineer Career Guide

How to Become a Cloud Engineer

Today, an estimated 90% of companies use cloud-based solutions. Companies are using cloud services for a wide variety of applications—including data storage, networking, communication, and server automation—to save time and enhance security. As a cloud engineer, you’ll be responsible for integrating and optimizing cloud computing services that house and serve a company’s information, programs, and platforms via the internet instead of a hard drive.

As many companies migrate to cloud-based solutions, cloud engineers are also responsible for migrating a variety of resources to cloud applications. Cloud engineers also educate companies about the benefits and potential risks of using cloud services.

If you have a passion for technology—particularly cloud-based applications—and you enjoy both client communication and IT troubleshooting, a role as a cloud engineer could offer a productive, worthwhile career path.

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What Is a Cloud Engineer?

As a cloud engineer, you’ll identify and integrate public and private cloud computing services and solutions that help organizations operate with greater efficiency, security, and attention to detail. You will also troubleshoot these same applications whenever cloud-based platforms present issues for users.

Cloud engineers are further segmented by specific cloud computing fields. For example, cloud network engineers provide support for corporate cloud-based networks, while cloud support engineers typically fulfill programming and risk management services. By contrast, cloud software engineers spend the majority of their time creating and updating specific cloud-based software systems that clients request.

The career of a cloud engineer is not technically a specialized role; you can fulfill the position without obtaining a master’s degree. However, as a cloud engineer, you’ll likely need years of experience in the IT industry, in addition to a few active certifications.

What Does a Cloud Engineer Do?

Cloud engineers complete a variety of tasks for their employers or clients. In addition to creating and optimizing individual cloud-based applications, cloud engineers correspond regularly with company representatives to ensure that programs and solutions are continually meeting their expectations.

The specific responsibilities of a cloud engineer can include:

  • Creating and integrating cloud-based applications that satisfy company requests and allow all network users to securely communicate and access data.
  • Working together with fellow cloud engineers and other team members to create and maintain cloud applications.
  • Upgrading cloud-based systems to improve operations and protect against data breaches and cybersecurity threats.
  • Troubleshooting any actual or potential problems with cloud computing platforms.
  • Providing necessary cloud support services that help companies use applications in new ways.
  • Staying up-to-date on any new developments in cloud applications.

These and other responsibilities keep cloud engineers busy as they communicate with companies in order to continually determine and deliver the cloud-based solutions that they need.

What Certifications Does a Cloud Engineer Need?

As is the case in many IT roles, a degree and top industry certifications can go hand-in-hand in helping you qualify and stand out for roles. Advanced certifications help show that you have specific knowledge and understanding for certain softwares or systems and can help an employer see that you are ready to tackle their challenges. Some of the top certifications can include:

  • Amazon AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • Amazon AWS SysOps Administration–Associate
  • A+ (CompTIA)
  • Cloud+ (CompTIA)
  • Network+ (CompTIA)
  • Security+ (CompTIA)
  • Project+ (CompTIA)
  • ITIL®1 Foundation Certification (Axelos)
  • LPI Linux Essentials

Best Degree for a Cloud Engineer

Cloud Computing – B.S.

A 3-track program designed to arm you with the certifications...

A 3-track program designed to arm you with the...

A 3-track program designed to arm you with the certifications and credentials you need for a career like systems administrator, computer systems analyst, cloud support specialist, AWS support administrator, and more.

  • 3 Tracks: Choose between a multi-cloud, AWS, or Azure focused track to learn specific software specialties.
  • Time: 84% of graduates finish within 18 months..
  • Tuition and fees: $3,985 per 6-month term.
  • Transfer: Your previous college coursework and existing certifications may waive course requirements, helping you finish even faster,

Certifications at no extra cost, including:

  • Amazon AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • Amazon AWS SysOps Administration–Associate
  • Azure Fundamentals
  • Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure
  • LPI Linux Essentials
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Cloud+
  • CompTIA Security+
  • CompTIA Project+

Earning certs on the path to your degree gives you credentials that will boost your résumé right away, even before you complete your online degree program.

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What Skills Does a Cloud Engineer Need?

Cloud engineers put a wide variety of critical IT skills to use each day. In communicating with companies, working alongside team members, and managing cloud-based applications, cloud engineers help to create and monitor cloud systems that help companies thrive.

As a prospective cloud engineer, look to improve your skill set so that you can confidently offer all of the following specialties to an IT employer:

  • Cloud management: The ability to create, install, troubleshoot, and manage cloud-based applications on a company’s behalf.
  • Database management: The ability to install and manage database platforms, protecting data from cybersecurity threats and making all information available upon a user’s request.
  • Technological proficiency: The ability to fully operate all necessary pieces of hardware and software required by the position, including any computers, tablets, phones, online platforms, and cloud computing applications.
  • Troubleshooting: The ability to identify, test, and overcome issues with any cloud-based applications.
  • Interpersonal communication: The ability to correspond with clients, company executives, and other team members.
  • Network integration: The ability to create cloud-based applications that integrate with virtual networks for easier user processing.
  • Information security: The ability to protect a company’s cloud platforms from any unauthorized use.

In addition to core abilities in cloud computing, cloud engineers also require soft IT skills like communication and time management in order to benefit your technical role with a strong nontechnical skill set.

How Much Does a Cloud Engineer Make?


Salaries in cloud computing can vary based on a wide variety of factors, including your employer, employer’s location, employer’s public or private technical funding, years of experience, education, and active certifications.

On average, the salary of a cloud engineer can average $91,409, with a range of roughly $60,000 to $126,000 earned per year.

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


From 2019 to 2029, employment for computer network architects is expected to grow by 5%, a growth rate faster than the average across all occupations. This forecasted expansion includes an expected growth in demand for cloud engineers, making their job outlook increasingly favorable in the near future.

As more companies seek cloud engineers and other technology experts familiar with the latest IT trends, the role of a cloud engineer will likely remain indispensable in years to come. Companies large and small are adopting cloud computing habits, which allow them to store data securely online without using valuable hard drive space.

Where Do Cloud Engineers Work?


Cloud engineers can work in a variety of locations, largely depending on the nature of their hire. For example, some cloud engineers will work on-site with a single company, employed as part of their IT department to create and maintain cloud-based platforms. Alternatively, cloud engineers from independent cloud computing companies often travel between client locations and their firm’s office.

Among other locations, cloud computing engineers can work at the following locations:

A client’s place of business

A technology or research organization

A third-party cloud computing firm

Information technology companies


Interested in Becoming a Cloud Engineer?

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