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How to Become a Cloud Engineer

Are you interested in starting a career in cloud computing? Read this guide to learn how to become a cloud engineer and the best cloud engineer career paths. You will find information on the responsibilities and education pathways of a cloud engineer. We also featured cloud engineering salary prospects and job outlook in 2021 to help you make a decision.

What Is a Cloud Engineer?

A cloud engineer is an IT professional that handles cloud computing within a company. These professionals are responsible for the design, management, and maintenance of cloud computing technology. In addition, they help businesses migrate to cloud-based solutions that are in line with the needs of the company's infrastructure.

Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure are all cloud-based systems from major tech companies. Through these services, companies get to secure their data and save on costs. In addition, the companies can either select private, public, or hybrid cloud systems to suit their needs for cloud solutions.

Cloud Engineer Job Description

These professionals are in charge of designing, implementing, and managing cloud-based applications and systems for a company. Business owners rely on them to build cloud-based applications, shift existing applications to the cloud, and debug the systems. A successful cloud engineer should also have soft skills like teamwork.

Often, cloud engineers work collaboratively with software engineers to achieve these expectations. Together, the professionals develop, maintain, and optimize cloud applications and systems. Cloud engineers also train other professionals on cloud security and cloud computing skills.

Cloud Engineer Salary and Job Outlook

According to ZipRecruiter, cloud engineers earn an average salary of $128,837. You will find experienced cloud engineers earning as high as $166,500 each year, which is a great salary, even for tech jobs. To increase your income potential, you should consider gaining more experience, skills, or simply changing location.

The demand for cloud engineers is relatively high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates a five percent job growth for cloud network architects between 2019 and 2029. This is faster than the national average of other career paths. If you are still not convinced, read the reasons why a career as a cloud engineer in 2021 is your best bet below.

Top Reasons to Become a Cloud Engineer in 2021

Cloud engineering is a relatively new field in tech, and the demand for these professionals will likely continue for the foreseeable future. Below, you will find the top reasons to learn cloud computing and become a cloud engineer in 2021.

  • Great job prospects. A career in cloud systems is a lucrative choice. Companies worldwide rely on professionals with extensive knowledge and experience in handling cloud technologies for successful cloud migration. Today more than ever, startups and established companies are seeking cloud-based solutions.
  • High reward. As with many careers in tech, cloud engineers spend a lot of time solving problems. With the increase in companies seeking to migrate to the cloud, there is a correlating increase in demand for cloud experts. This results in great compensation packages and benefits for experts in the field.
  • Vast opportunities. Once you master cloud computing, you’ll have opportunities to work in a lot of industries, not just the field of technology. In addition, knowledge and expertise in the cloud will provide endless job opportunities.

Cloud Engineer Job Requirements

Cloud engineer job requirements are very specific. Employers hire professionals who are well-educated and experienced with cloud-based solutions. Below, you will find the main job requirements of a cloud engineer.

  • Bachelor's degree. Having a four-year degree in computer science or a similar topic can easily land you a job as a cloud engineer. However, other education pathways can help you launch your career in cloud engineering. Attending one of the best Amazon Web Services bootcamps is another great choice.
  • More than two years of experience. Cloud engineers have extensive experience in database architecture, machine learning, cyber security, and cloud computing. They also need to be comfortable working with more than one cloud services provider. Through their experience, they can establish the best options for cloud computing solutions.
  • Certifications. Most of the hiring managers prefer certified professionals. This proves that the professionals have industry-standard knowledge and expertise to handle the design and deployment of systems on the cloud.

Types of Cloud Engineer Careers

There are different types of cloud engineering careers. You should choose a job pathway that makes the most sense for your experience level and personal interest. Take a look at the main careers in cloud engineering in 2021.

Cloud Architect

Networking, programming, and basic knowledge in data storage are some of the skills cloud architects have. This expertise allows professionals who learn cloud architecture to oversee a company's cloud computing strategies. From cloud adoption, design and management, they are highly involved to ensure success.

Network Engineer

A network engineer plans, implements, and oversees computer networks. They provide high-quality network infrastructure to companies. Together with network architects and security systems engineers, these professionals troubleshoot network issues of a company and monitor the performance.

Security Engineer

Security engineers specialize in the analysis of computer networks of a company. They ensure all applications and systems run smoothly and securely. The professionals set up firewalls and collaborate with cyber security engineers on ensuring the security of data, applications, and systems. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for security engineers is $112,635.

Cloud Engineer Meaning: What Does a Cloud Engineer Do?

The job duties of a cloud engineer vary from one company to the next. However, many of the responsibilities remind the same, regardless of the industry you’re working in. We’ve listed the most common responsibilities of cloud engineers below.

Provides Cloud Advice

Cloud engineers have the technical knowledge and skills to carry out in-depth analyses and offer suitable solutions. They can easily establish client needs and offer the best cloud recommendations to positively impact the company. The professionals ensure that the migration process is seamless depending on the solution selected.

Troubleshoots Cloud Issues

Cloud engineers tend to have years of experience in cloud technologies. As a result, they can easily identify and resolve any cloud-based issue of a company. They analyze the company's infrastructure to ensure there are no vulnerabilities. When there are problems with a cloud system, the cloud engineer is expected to solve them.

Trains Teams

These professionals have specialized in cloud-based solutions. They are often in charge of training teams within the company on the best practices in cloud computing. Their ability to keep up with technological trends ensures they teach teams on the newest technology and initiatives in cloud computing.

Essential Cloud Engineer Skills

There are essential cloud skills that will land you cloud engineering jobs. You can obtain these skills from four-year degree programs, online cloud computing courses, or bootcamp programs. Take a look at some of the skills for cloud engineers below.

Cloud Development

As a cloud engineer, you are responsible for the creation of applications and databases that will run on the cloud. To achieve this, cloud engineers require knowledge and skills in handling the cloud environment. Therefore, it is essential to know the general function of applications and how to run them on hardware efficiently.

Cloud Administration

It is key to have skills in cloud administration. This will ensure that an organization’s applications and systems are running smoothly. In addition, you should be able to build a sufficient firewall to cater to the security needs of an organization. Any cloud developer should be familiar with cloud infrastructure and administration.


Understanding programming languages could help significantly in landing a job as a cloud engineer. Therefore, it is important to learn Python, C++, Java, and other programming languages if you want a career in cloud engineering. This is because you need to develop applications and processes vital for cloud migration.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Cloud Engineer?

It takes most people at least four years to become a cloud engineer. However, attending a four-year degree program is not the only way to launch a career in cloud computing. You can easily attend a bootcamp program or online course to acquire in-demand skills in cloud computing. These are great options for those who are looking to switch careers.

Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Become a Cloud Engineer?

Yes, one of the best coding bootcamps can help you become a cloud engineer. Coding bootcamps are excellent platforms featuring top-notch training programs for students to master coding. Attending a coding bootcamp will help you learn Java, Python, and C++.

Coding bootcamps also feature partnerships with top-tier tech companies. Through these companies, bootcamp students get to be first choices for tech recruitment. In addition, bootcamps provide sessions to allow students to polish their interview skills. You'll find most platforms providing career services like resume building and social media profile revamping.

Can I Become a Cloud Engineer From Home?

Yes, you can become a cloud engineer from home. Numerous platforms offer online bachelor’s degrees, and you can also choose to attend an online bootcamp. This is one of the best ways to learn from home. All you need is a working computer and a strong Internet connection.

How to Become a Cloud Engineer: A Step-by-Step Guide

We curated a step-by-step guide to help you start your career in cloud engineering. These are vital steps that will positively impact your career in becoming a cloud engineer. Everyone’s path is different, but you still need to meet some general requirements before you get a job.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Having a four-year degree in computer science will give you the foundational knowledge to start a career in cloud engineering. A degree in information technology or software engineering can also provide you with foundational knowledge for this career path. The degree program will also help you master programming languages and other tools like Hadoop and AWS.

Step 2: Apply for an Entry-Level Position

Entry-level positions, internships, or apprenticeships are all great opportunities to earn valuable skills in your field. These are excellent opportunities for you to put into practice everything you've learned in the four-year degree program. Ensure you seek opportunities that will give you hands-on experience in cloud computing.

Step 3: Get a Professional Certification

Certifications are essential for career advancement. You can look into Google, Amazon, or Microsoft for professional certifications. These certifications will certify your expertise in cloud computing. Make sure your certification is in line with your career goals to make the most out of your experience.

Best Schools and Education for a Cloud Engineer Career

The list below comprises the best schools and education for a cloud engineering career. You can learn everything you need to know. In addition, these are the best platforms for novices to start a career in tech successfully.

Cloud Engineer Bootcamps

There are no specific cloud engineering bootcamps. However, you can attend a coding bootcamp to learn programming skills to help you launch your career path. You can also supplement with cyber security bootcamp programs, which will teach you fundamental and advanced skills in cloud security.

Vocational School

Vocational schools are fantastic options if you want to start a career in tech. These schools exist to ensure professionals learn specialized skills in their particular subject area. They are a relatively popular option since they are much more affordable and shorter than traditional university degrees.

Community College

Another fantastic alternative to four-year degrees, community colleges offer two-year programs in many fields. If you do not want to pay for a four-year degree, you should consider this option. A two-year degree program will equip you with fundamental skills in cloud computing. Often, community colleges have agreements with universities to allow students to transfer credits.

Cloud Engineer Degrees

Most hiring managers recruit professionals with a four-year degree in computer science. The four-year programs take students through fundamental and advanced skills in cloud computing. You can also pursue a degree in software engineering or any other equivalent to start your career in cloud engineering.

The Most Important Cloud Engineer Certifications

After acquiring basic knowledge and skills in cloud computing, you should consider a professional certification. Professional certifications offer experts an opportunity to specialize in a particular area while validating their skills to employers. Find below top certifications in the field of cloud computing.

Associate Cloud Engineer

Offered by Google Cloud Platform, this certification verifies a professional's ability in deploying, managing, and monitoring enterprise solutions. The certification exam costs $125 and lasts for two hours. It is highly recommended that you have more than six months of experience using Google Cloud before sitting for the examinations.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

This is an exceptional certification for professionals with experience handling Amazon Web Services operating systems. To acquire this certification, you must have two or more years in the field. You should also be familiar with scripting languages, hybrid architecture, and the pillars of AWS. For only $300, take this 75-question certification exam and advance your career.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

Professionals with this certification have a strong understanding of cloud services and the integration with Microsoft Azure. It validates their knowledge in cloud concepts, Azure services, and support. For $99, prove your expertise in handling cloud-based solutions. In addition, you will prove your knowledge in network security, governance, and cloud concepts.

How to Prepare for Your Cloud Engineer Job Interview

Landing a job in tech requires more than just technical skills. You will find that a cloud engineer's job requires them to collaborate with several professionals in the company, which means they need soft skills too. Below you will find the top questions to prepare for your cloud engineer job interview and demonstrate all of your skills.

Cloud Engineer Job Interview Practice Questions

  • Which are the main cloud computing software applications available today?
  • Which is the best way to ensure data security during cloud migration?
  • Explain the different aspects of cloud architecture.
  • Do you have any experience working in a team?

Should I Become a Cloud Engineer in 2021?

Yes, you should become a cloud engineer in 2021. The market for cloud engineers will only continue to grow. With more companies seeking secure and cost-effective methods of storing and accessing data, skills in cloud computing will continue to be in demand. If you want a high salary and good job security, you should get a job as a cloud engineer.


Can You Become a Cloud Engineer Without a Degree?
Yes, you can become a cloud engineer without a degree. Traditional models of education are slowly being phased out, and technical skills and soft skills can be acquired through alternative education programs like bootcamps.
Is It Hard to Become a Cloud Engineer?
No, it's not hard to become a cloud engineer. You can easily start your career by signing up for one course. This will give you insight into whether a career in cloud engineering will work for you.
Do Cloud Engineers Know Programming?
Yes, cloud engineers know how to code. The professionals should have experience in at least one programming language such as C++, Java, and Python.
Which Skills Will Set You Apart in Cloud Engineering?
To be successful in cloud engineering, you must master a particular set of skills. For example, you must learn programming, networking, database architecture, information security, and APIs.
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