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A Cloud Engineer Career: What to Expect to Enter This field

Technology grows and changes at a rapid pace. For those who wish to work in this field, education is one of the most important resources. A cloud engineer works in cloud computing. Cloud computing is a type of computer where all components are enabled through the internet, including applications, data storage, networks, development tools, and security. By contrast, other forms of computing contain all of these components in a local computer or an on-premise server. For those interested in this field, consider the path to becoming a cloud engineer.

 

What is a Cloud Engineer?

A cloud engineer is a person who works in cloud computing. Those in this field work to enable, repair, and maintain cloud computing systems. They may work in areas such as development and innovation. These typically highly skilled engineers manage the use of the cloud. This could include managing resource allocation and managing the use of features offered by some of the most commonly used cloud services today. That includes Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (ASW), and Google Cloud.

What Does a Cloud Engineer Do?

A cloud engineer may work on a variety of tasks for their clients or employers. They may work to create or optimize the use of a cloud-based application. They have responsibilities such as creating and integrating cloud-based applications, troubleshooting problems within and with cloud computing platforms and working together with other engineers for innovation or development needs.

A cloud engineer often corresponds with company representatives and others on a routine basis, helping to handle problems that arise or providing solutions for a project or functional needs. They may also handle the upgrading of cloud-based systems. They may provide necessary cloud support services to others using applications within the cloud. A component of their job may also include keeping their skills up to date and introducing new technology to the company or their clients.

How to Become a Cloud Engineer

To become a cloud engineer, individuals need to gain core skills for using, managing, and problem solving in the cloud. There are several paths to earning this, including completing a bachelor’s or master’s. Other times, students may be able to earn the necessary skills through a range of bootcamps and vocational programs. Some people spend time in other computer engineering educational programs or positions and then take courses and finish certifications to move into the area of cloud engineering.

One of the options is for a student to enter into a bachelor’s or master’s program, depending on their specific skills. The education requirements for engineers in this field are not always clear, as earning master’s or certification may not be necessary, but could create more interest in your application over others.

Some students may wish to pursue other educational options. They may be able to finish a bootcamp or finish a graduate certificate. This option may allow students to gain specific cloud computing skills, especially if they have a foundation in another area of computer science.

What type of certifications does a cloud engineer need?

When considering the education necessary to work as a cloud engineer, it is also important to consider the certifications necessary in the field. Certifications are a way to show you have specific skills in a very specific area of technology, software design, or other aspects. Some colleges and universities offer a cloud computing certificate program that offers access to curriculum from AWS, including curriculum focused on AWS Cloud Solutions Architect certification exam.

Other certifications that may be beneficial and necessary to those working as a cloud engineer include:

  • Amazon AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • Amazon AWS SysOps Administration – Associate
  • Cloud+ (CompTIA)
  • A+ (CompTIA)
  • Network+ (CompTIA)
  • Security+ (CompTIA)
  • Project+ (CompTIA)
  • ITIL1 Foundation Certification (AXELOS)
  • LPI Linux Essentials
  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access

What is the traditional college-education path for becoming a cloud engineer?

Many times, a person in cloud engineering needs to have a master’s in the field. This is typically in the science field but may also be in a related area like computing engineering. If in a related area, students may wish to finish a graduate certificate in cloud engineering specifically. It is possible to finish a PhD in this area as well. Some employers, like the federal government, may hire those who have a higher education level.

What Skills Do You Need to Become a Cloud Engineer?

Sometimes more important than a bachelor’s or master’s, those who wish to work in the field as a cloud engineer typically need to have core skills to do the work. The work a person in cloud engineering does may differ from one job to the next. Skills such as cloud management, troubleshooting, database management, network integration, and information security are typically necessary for anyone in this field.

Here is a closer look at some of the most important skills for those working as a cloud engineer, typically.

  • Cloud management: This area focuses on creating, installation, and troubleshooting cloud-based applications. It typically includes managing these systems on behalf of the company or a group of clients.
  • Information security: This area focuses on protecting the cloud platform and solutions from unwanted or unauthorized use.
  • Database management: Database platforms hold a lot of the data and tools for the company to access and use the cloud. Cloud engineers typically need to install and manage these platforms, while also working to minimize risks associated with them including cybersecurity threats. They also need to ensure information and access remains available to those who should have it.
  • Network integration: This area of the job focuses on creating cloud-based applications. This includes creating applications that then integrate into the virtual network the company or client is using, minimizing complications, and making the cloud easier to use.
  • Technological proficiency: Individuals in this field must be proficient in many areas of tech, including tablets, computers, online platforms, cloud computing applications, and phones.
  • Troubleshooting: A component of many cloud engineering jobs is to identify and overcome any issues with the cloud platform. This could be to test and develop solutions related to it.

In addition to this, cloud engineers need to have soft IT skills. This may include skills in time management, problem solving, communication, and other areas. These professionals may also need math skills and be a logical thinker. Some may need to have strong abilities to be detail oriented and have analytical skills.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to Payscale, the average base salary for a cloud engineer is $91,409 per year. Many individuals receive bonuses each year, which on average range from $1,000 up to $15,000. Many companies also provide profit sharing opportunities. The value here may range from $4,000 to $13,000. This makes the average total pay around $55,000 to $129,000.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the 2022 median pay for a computer and information research scientist was $136,620 per year. Cloud engineers may fall into this area. The BLS states that from 2022 to 2032, this field may grow at a rate of 23%, which is much faster than other areas.

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Medical and Health Services Managers
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$146,1902,110
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA$145,440520
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$125,5005,150
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA$124,1302,300
Stockton-Lodi, CA$122,130400

Bureau of Labor Statistics

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