AWS SysOps Administrator salary: Current trends & projections

Jeff Peters
May 6, 2024 by
Jeff Peters

The cloud computing industry has experienced explosive growth in recent years, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) emerging as a dominant player with a 31% market share in the worldwide cloud infrastructure market, beating Azure's 24% share. As more businesses migrate their applications and data to the cloud, the demand for skilled cloud professionals has skyrocketed. 

With AWS leading this migration, among the most sought-after roles in the cloud and cybersecurity space is the AWS SysOps Administrator, a position responsible for deploying, managing and operating scalable and fault-tolerant systems on the AWS cloud platform. The AWS SysOps Administrator certification is your ticket to this in-demand role, but what kind of salary can you expect? In this guide, we'll look at factors influencing AWS Certified SysOps Administrator salaries, explore salary trends in 2024 and describe the type of career opportunities this certification unlocks. 

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Understanding the AWS SysOps Administrator certification 

The AWS SysOps Administrator certification is a highly regarded credential that validates your ability to provision, operate and maintain distributed applications and systems on the AWS cloud. This certification is ideal for: 

  • System administrators with a strong foundation in IT operations who want to expand their skillset into the cloud 
  • IT professionals looking to transition into a cloud-focused role 
  • Anyone interested in pursuing a career in cloud computing and infrastructure management 

Here's a quick rundown of the key responsibilities an AWS SysOps Administrator should be able to handle: 

  • Provisioning and managing EC2 instances, S3 buckets and other core AWS services 
  • Deploying applications to the cloud and implementing automation tools like AWS CloudFormation to streamline processes 
  • Implementing AWS security best practices and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations 
  • Monitoring system performance and troubleshooting issues 

Factors influencing AWS SysOps Administrator salary 

Before we explore salary figures, it's important to understand that certain factors can influence how much you can earn as an AWS SysOps Administrator. These factors work together to create a unique compensation picture for everyone: 

  • Experience: Like any profession, experience is a major salary driver in the AWS world. As you build more years of experience managing cloud infrastructure, your expertise becomes increasingly valuable. Naturally, senior AWS SysOps Administrators with a proven track record can command higher salaries than their junior counterparts entering the field. 
  • Geographical location: The cost of living can vary significantly across different regions. Major tech hubs like San Francisco or New York City tend to offer higher salaries to compensate for these higher costs. On the other hand, positions in smaller towns might offer a lower base salary, but this could be balanced with a more affordable lifestyle. 
  • Education and certifications: While not always mandatory, a strong educational background in computer science or a related field can be a plus for aspiring AWS SysOps Administrators. However, the AWS SysOps Administrator certification itself holds significant weight. Earning this certification demonstrates your AWS cloud skills and can open doors to higher-paying opportunities. 

Average AWS Certified SysOps Administrator salary data 

We've compiled data from several reputable sources to give you a clear picture of how much you can expect to make as an AWS SysOps Administrator in 2024. Here's a quick summary of what we found: 

  • Payscale reports an average base salary of $118,000 for AWS SysOps Administrator in the U.S. 
  • Salary.com finds the average base salary to be $111,612 for the role with a range of $98,000 to $123,000. 
  • Glassdoor states an average base pay of $74,559; however, they breakout an additional $8,971 in total compensation when including things like bonuses and stock options 

Keep in mind that each of these platforms uses different methods for collecting their data. Payscale prioritizes employee and employer-reported data over third-party sources. Salary.com highlights base pay, and Glassdoor includes additional compensation like stock and bonuses. Based on these three sources, an AWS SysOps Administrator will likely make between $66,000 and $122,000, with a rough average total salary of around $105,876.

Salaries by location 

As we mentioned earlier, location can greatly affect your salary, though many times, this is offset by the cost of living in the area. Here are some average salaries (including additional compensation) for AWS SysOps Administrators from around the country, courtesy of Salary.com: 

  • San Francisco, CA: $139,169 
  • Boston, MA: $124,807 
  • Dallas, TX: $109,888 
  • Miami, FL: $107,438 
  • Omaha, NE: $105,880 

Salaries by experience 

As you gain expertise in managing cloud infrastructure and hone your AWS skills, you can expect a corresponding salary increase. Glassdoor shows this clear progression of average salaries from entry-level roles to more senior ones: 

  • 0-1 years: $63,000 
  • 1-3 years: $72,000 
  • 4-6 years: $78,000 
  • 7-9 years: $84,000 
  • 10-14 years: $94,000 
  • 15+: $102,000 

Salaries by industry 

The industry you choose to work in can also affect your salary. Here are some average AWS SysOps Administrator salaries in various industries, provided by Glassdoor: 

  • Financial services: $90,000 
  • Aerospace and defense: $84,000 
  • Education: $81,000 
  • Telecommunications: $75,000 
  • Legal: $73,000 

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Career opportunities for AWS SysOps Administrators 

With an AWS SysOps Administrator certification, you have many career paths to choose from. Here are just a few of the roles you could pursue, along with their average salaries according to Payscale, which had the higher range of average salaries: 

  • Cloud solutions architect (average salary: $131,670): They design and implement cloud solutions to meet an organization's needs. Cloud architects utilize their understanding of AWS services to craft secure, scalable and cost-effective cloud infrastructure. 
  • Information technology manager (average salary: $124,775): These managers oversee the entire IT infrastructure, including on-premises and cloud environments. They lead a team of IT professionals, ensure smooth operations and implement strategies to optimize performance, security and efficiency. 
  • DevOps engineer (average salary: $113,367): These engineers automate developing, testing and deploying applications within the cloud environment. They leverage AWS services to create a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline for efficient software development. 
  • Cloud security engineer (average salary: $111,844): AWS SysOps Administrators with a strong understanding of security can transition into this role where they safeguard cloud infrastructure, data and applications by implementing security measures and monitoring for threats. 
  • Cloud support engineer (average salary: $71,163): They provide technical support to users encountering issues with cloud-based applications and infrastructure. 

AWS career pathways and progression 

The AWS certification program offers a clear pathway for professionals to progress in their careers within the AWS ecosystem. This starts with foundational knowledge and progresses through various levels of expertise, including some specialized skills: 

  • Foundational: AWS offers a certification recommended for individuals with no IT or cloud experience: AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. This entry-level certification validates foundational knowledge of AWS systems, pricing models and basic architectural concepts. 
  • Associate: This level of AWS certification will help build your credibility as an AWS cloud professional. It includes: 
    • SysOps Administrator: The first step in your AWS SysOps Administrator career path. 
    • Developer: Showcases an understanding of core AWS services and proficiency in developing, deploying and debugging cloud-based applications. 
    • Solutions Architect: Focuses on the design of cost and performance-optimized solutions on AWS. 
    • Data Engineer: Validates skills and knowledge in core data-related AWS services. 
  • Professional: These role-based certifications validate the advanced skills and knowledge required to design secure and optimized applications and automation on AWS. They include: 
    • Solutions Architect: The next step for individuals who have the associate level certification that validates advanced knowledge in providing complex solutions on AWS. 
    • DevOps Engineer: This certification showcases expertise in provisioning, operating and managing distributed applications on AWS. Two years of AWS experience is recommended. 
  • Specialty: These certifications validate an individual's expertise in specific AWS services or domains and include: 
    • Advanced Networking: Designing, deploying and managing hybrid and scalable network architecture on AWS. 
    • Machine Learning: Building, training, deploying and optimizing machine learning models using AWS services. 
    • Security: Securing and architecting cloud environments using AWS security services and best practices. 

Preparing for the AWS SysOps Administrator certification 

Ready to pursue the AWS SysOps Administrator certification but not sure where to start? Here are some tips to help you prepare. First, let's look at what is on the exam. 

The AWS SysOps Administrator exam focuses on six core domains, each weighted differently to reflect real-world job responsibilities: 

  • Monitoring, Logging and Remediation (20%) 
  • Reliability and Business Continuity (16%) 
  • Deployment, Provisioning and Automation (18%)  
  • Security and Compliance (16%) 
  • Networking and Content Delivery (18%) 
  • Cost and Performance Optimization (12%) 

When it comes to preparing for the exam, you can choose several paths: 

  • Live boot camps: Infosec's AWS Certified Cloud Operations Administrator Training Boot Camp equips you with the knowledge and skills to pass the exam with three days of intensive training by AWS Cloud experts. This is perfect for those with IT experience, and want to get certified quickly. 
  • Self-paced training: For those who prefer a flexible approach or who have a hectic schedule and want to build their AWS knowledge to take the AWS SysOps Administrator exam in the future, Infosec also offers 190+ pre-built learning paths that allow you to learn at your own pace, including the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate Learning Path. 
  • Self-study: Independent learning can be highly beneficial and help you put the knowledge you've built into practice. Sign up for an AWS account, leverage AWS documentation and build something in your free time to prepare. 

While there are no formal prerequisites for the exam, a solid understanding of IT concepts and networking fundamentals as well as some experience with cloud computing is recommended. The time and effort required to prepare for the exam will vary depending on your existing knowledge and chosen study methods. 

If you've worked in IT for a few years and have some cloud experience, a three-day AWS Sysops Administrator Boot Camp may be all you need to prepare for the exam, because it could be as simple as mapping your existing knowledge to a new territory. However, if you only have a basic understanding of IT and cloud computing, you might have to dedicate a few months of focused study to prepare. 

And the AWS SysOps Administrator certification is the first step in your cloud career. Your earning potential will naturally increase as you gain experience and pursue higher-level certifications within the AWS ecosystem. 

AWS SysOps Administrator salary conclusion 

The AWS SysOps Administrator certification positions you for success in the rapidly growing cloud computing field, where AWS has a 31% market share. Keeping in mind that salaries can vary widely based on experience, location, industry and other factors, the demand for AWS professionals has driven the average AWS SysOps Administrator salary to $105,876. 

Remember, this AWS certification doesn't have to be a destination but a starting point. The AWS Cloud ecosystem offers many pathways for career growth and specialization. With additional certifications and experience, you can unlock even higher earning potential. 

If you want to learn more about the AWS SysOps Administrator exam, sign up for our free AWS SysOps Administrator certification webinar. 

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.