Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Our first Deep Focus of 2018 investigates the Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect certification.For our first Deep Focus article of the new year — and the new Salary Survey — we’re going straight to the top. There’s a new sheriff in town, a new No. 1 at the top of our new Salary Survey 75 list. Cloud technology is revolutionizing both business computing and personal computing, and Amazon Web Services is one of the biggest cloud technology providers in the market.

The Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect – Associate credential doesn’t appear to have a formal abbreviation, so we’re going to short hand it as AWS-CSAA. Associate is the middle tier in the Amazon certification pyramid, so AWS-CSAA holders have already been through foundational training and certification, or at least have equivalent knowledge and work experience.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for AWS-CSAA holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $146,960
Median Annual Salary: $143,330
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 22.2 percent
Very Satisfied: 50 percent
Satisfied: 20.7 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 7.1 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $55,380
Median Annual Salary: $52,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 4.8 percent
Very Satisfied: [No responses]
Satisfied: 38 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 42.9 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 14.3 Percent

Amazon Web Services has clients around the globe, and while the largest single body of our AWS-CSAA holders are from the United States (40 percent of those surveyed), we got a relatively broad global response. Credential holders checked in from 12 countries outside the United States: Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

Per the norm, most of the AWS-CSAA holders in the survey are men (91.4 percent of those surveyed), though females are also represented. Cloud computing is an emerging technology, which perhaps explains why this certification skews relatively young. While just 8.3 percent of those surveyed are between the ages of 19 and 24, the next two age brackets cover almost 75 percent of the total population, with 22.9 percent between the ages of 25 and 34, and 51.4 percent between the ages of 35 and 44. The rest are either between the ages of 45 and 54 (10 percent of those surveyed) or between the ages of 55 and 64 (7.4 percent).

The highest level of education a AWS-CSAA holders is either a bachelor’s degree (45.7 percent of those surveyed) or master’s degree (31.4 percent). The rest of those we heard from topped out at either a high school diploma (5.7 percent of those surveyed), non-collegiate technical training (8.6 percent), a two-year college degree (5.7 percent), or a professional degree (2.9 percent).

Full-time employment among AWS-CSAA holders is rock solid at 97.2 percent, with the remaining 2.8 percent of those surveyed presently filling part-time positions. Most who responded to the survey have a full schedule, putting in either a standard 40 hours per week (42.9 percent of respondents), between 41 and 50 hours (34.2 percent), or more than 50 hours (16.9 percent). The remaining 6 percent work between 31 and 39 hours per week.

AWS-CSAA holders can be found at all levels of the standard company org chart. The largest single body of those we heard from are senior specialists (48.5 percent of those surveyed), with 14.2 percent working as specialists, and 6.3 percent slotted in as rank-and-file employees. The rest are scattered among management roles, with 17.2 percent serving as managers, 8.9 percent as senior managers, 2.6 percent as directors, and 2.3 percent as executives.

There are both veterans and novices in the group. A more robust than usual 14 percent of those surveyed have worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for between zero years (1 to 11 months) and two years, while 11.7 percent have been doing it between 3 and 5 years, 22.7 percent have been in the game for between 6 and 8 years, and 9.1 percent have been cranking away for between 9 and 10 years. The rest, 42.5 percent of those surveyed, have been plying their certified skills for more than a decade.

Finally, here’s the view of AWS-CSAA holders on key questions from the survey about how certification impacts job performance:

At my current job I use skills learned or enhanced through certification: 
Several times a day: 60 percent
Several times a week: 15.2 percent
Several times a month: 7.7 percent
Occasionally: 17.1 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 43.5 percent
Agree: 31.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25.1 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 22 percent
Agree: 54.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 19 percent
Disagree: 5.7 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 27.1 percent
Agree: 41.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 24.6 percent
Disagree: 7.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

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