AWS DevOps Engineers: Current salary expectations

Jeff Peters
May 6, 2024 by
Jeff Peters

Companies are embracing the DevOps approach as it can bring more voices to the table and produce more comprehensive solutions in less time. AWS has experienced a similar rise in popularity because it makes cloud modernization flexible and affordable for companies of all sizes. By learning how to address IT and cybersecurity challenges in a cloud environment, you empower yourself to help the growing number of organizations transitioning core services to cloud ecosystems. 

An AWS DevOps Engineer certification proves that you have the skills that organizations need to build and troubleshoot AWS Cloud solutions. This makes you a more viable candidate for a wider variety of jobs. Cloud skills consistently rank at the top of hiring managers lists, as the recent ISACA State of Cybersecurity Report noted. 

Get your free course catalog

Get your free course catalog

Download the Infosec Skills course catalog to learn more about these courses — and hundreds more.

Understanding the AWS DevOps Engineer certification 

The AWS DevOps Engineer certification proves you can build, deploy and manage distributed systems within AWS. This is a professional-level certification, which makes it more advanced than a foundational or associate credential. 

Someone with this cert should be able to perform a variety of AWS and DevOps activities, such as: 

  • Build and manage distributed solutions in the AWS environment 
  • Architect CI/CD pipelines for deploying apps 
  • Host scalable Git repositories and make sure they’re secure 

Factors influencing salary 

Before we dig into the numbers, let’s touch on some of the factors that may impact your salary and why: 

  • Geographic location. Certain areas of the country, such as New York and San Francisco, may command higher salaries because they have higher living costs. This means you could perform the same duties in a less expensive area but get paid less. 
  • Education level and certifications. Some employers may pay you more if you have a degree or certain certifications, such as if you’re a certified AWS DevOps Engineer. These certifications may carry more weight with some employers because they demonstrate applicable, useful skills. 
  • Range of responsibilities. With an AWS DevOps certification, you could be a team lead, a software engineer, a project manager and more. Each role comes with different pay, and some roles may have more responsibilities than others, which could also influence your pay. 

Average AWS DevOps Engineer salary data and trends 

To calculate the average salary, we pulled salary data from the following sources: 

  • Payscale.com, which lists an average base salary of $132,000 for AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional holders. 
  • Salary.com, which lists an average base salary of $119,874 for Cloud DevOps Engineers 
  • Glassdoor.com, which lists an average base salary of $117,854 and an average in additional compensation like bonuses and stock options totaling $26,777 for AWS/DevOps engineers. 

Based on the sources above, the average base salary for an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer generally falls from around $117,000 to $132,000, with a total salary of around $136,631 per year. However, as the Glassdoor figures show, total compensation can vary quite a bit based on benefits, such as bonuses and stock options. 

Salaries by location 

Salaries vary significantly depending on where you live. For instance, according to Salary.com, a cloud DevOps engineer in Washington D.C. makes an average of $133,070, but the same role in San Jose, California, brings in 12.8% more, or $150,048. 

The pay is much lower in some other states, such as Idaho. In Twin Falls, for instance, you can expect an average salary of $111,550, which is 26% less than San Jose, California. 

Here are some of the averages for some major cities, based on Salary.com data: 

  • New York, New York: $139,646 
  • Boston, Massachusetts: $134,027 
  • Dallas, Texas: $118,006 
  • Miami, Florida: $115,376 
  • San Francisco, California: $149,450 
  • Chicago, Illinois: $125,419 

Salaries by experience 

The amount of experience you have as an AWS DevOps engineer also plays a significant role. For instance, according to Glassdoor, here’s how your experience may impact what you make: 

  • 0-1 years: $117,000 
  • 1-3 years: $132,000 
  • 4-6 years: $141,000 
  • 7-9 years: $146,000 
  • 10-14 years: $155,000 
  • 15+ years: $166,000 

Salaries by industry 

The industry you opt for can also make an impact on what you end up earning. For example, according to Glassdoor, the top-paying industries for this role are Human Resources and Staffing, which has a median pay of $122,413, and Information Technology, with a median pay of $117,974.  

If you want to check what AWS DevOps Engineers make in your industry or a related one, you can enter them on Glassdoor’s site and get an average. 

Save 10% on your exam voucher

Save 10% on your exam voucher

Use code "VXH93HF4A" when you buy your next CertNexus exam voucher and you'll save 10%.

Career opportunities for AWS DevOps Engineers 

When you have your AWS DevOps certification, you’re ready to tackle various jobs. Here are some positions you may qualify for, as well as how much each role pays, according to PayScale 

  • DevOps engineer: $122,272 
  • Lead software engineer: $142,652 
  • Cloud solutions architect: $144,192 
  • Senior software engineer: $131,763 
  • Software engineer manager: $163,024 
  • Site reliability engineer (SRE): $126,676 

AWS career pathways and progression 

In the AWS ecosystem, there are four different categories of certifications, and you can choose the one that best fits your career path: 

  • Foundational. This covers the basics of the AWS ecosystem, and there’s currently only one certification in the foundational category, AWS Certified Solutions Architect. 
  • Associate. This is for those who already have an understanding of AWS. If you’re a developer, you’d most likely want to look into getting your AWS Certified Developer — Associate certification, but there are several others available. 
  • Professional. At the professional level, it’s best to have a few years of experience and shoot for the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer — Professional certification for this type of role. 
  • Specialty. Specialty-level certifications are designed for those who’ve been working within AWS for five or more years. There are currently three specialty certs: AWS Certified Advanced Networking, AWS Certified Security and AWS Certified Machine Learning. The one you choose depends on your career trajectory. For instance, if you want to build business intelligence apps, you may lean more towards getting your AWS Certified Machine Learning credentials. 

Preparing for the AWS DevOps Engineer certification 

If you’re considering earning your certification, here are some exam details so you can start getting ready. 

The exam consists of a combination of multiple-choice and multiple-response questions. It breaks down into the following six domains: 

  • Domain 1: SDLC Automation (22% of scored content) 
  • Domain 2: Configuration Management and IaC (17% of scored content) 
  • Domain 3: Resilient Cloud Solutions (15% of scored content) 
  • Domain 4: Monitoring and Logging (15% of scored content) 
  • Domain 5: Incident and Event Response (14% of scored content) 
  • Domain 6: Security and Compliance (17% of scored content) 

To prepare for the exam, you can choose one or more of the following training methods: 

  • An authorized live AWS DevOps Engineer Boot Camp, which gives you hands-on experience with each of the domains covered on the exam, as well as a deep dive into how they interface with the AWS environment. 
  • Self-paced training, which typically involves recorded videos mixed with guided hands-on exercises and other supporting materials you go through on your own. 
  • Self-study, which would involve getting ready for the test without using any guided instruction. This could include finding your own books or videos and using them to hone your knowledge. 
  • Group- or forum-based prep by connecting with other certification candidates — either online or in-person — to get a helpful push or benefit from some friendly competition. 

Are you ready for the AWS DevOps Engineer exam? 

To pass your certification, it’s recommended to have at least two years of experience working in the AWS ecosystem or with DevOps-based development. In addition, you should have some experience working with a high-level programming language, such as Python or Visual Basic.  

You should also be very comfortable with DevOps approaches and how to use them to build and maintain applications, preferably in an AWS context. For example, you should be comfortable with the concept of continuous integration and continuous delivery. Also, from the perspective of developing using DevOps in the AWS environment, you’d want to understand microservices and how to use them to build more versatile apps. 

Automation is another core element of succeeding in an AWS development environment. While there are many different facets you can automate, you should make sure you know how to automate security solutions and internal and external governance systems, such as data security compliance standards. 

Learn Web Server Protection

Learn Web Server Protection

Get hands-on web server security skills with nine courses covering infrastructure, hardening, command-line utilities, web application firewalls, active defense and more.

AWS DevOps Engineers salary conclusion 

An AWS DevOps Engineer certification is a professional-level credential that typically requires at least two years of experience, but the potential earnings are considerable, with an average total pay of $136,631.

The amount you make will vary depending on your location, experience and industry. Once you’ve earned your certification, you can be a top candidate for various positions building solutions in the AWS environment.  

For more information, check out our webinar, AWS Certified DevOps Engineer: What it is and how to get certified. 

Jeff Peters
Jeff Peters

Jeff Peters is a communications professional with more than a decade of experience creating cybersecurity-related content. As the Director of Content and Brand Marketing at Infosec, he oversees the Infosec Resources website, the Cyber Work Podcast and Cyber Work Hacks series, and a variety of other content aimed at answering security awareness and technical cybersecurity training questions. His focus is on developing materials to help cybersecurity practitioners and leaders improve their skills, level up their careers and build stronger teams.