How to Become a Cloud Engineer – Breaking into the Cloud

Published: October 11, 2023

Are you interested in breaking into the world of cloud engineering? Well, you’ve come to the right place! 

Cloud engineering is a rapidly growing field that involves designing, developing, and maintaining cloud computing solutions. It requires a deep understanding of cloud technologies, infrastructure, and security. With businesses increasingly migrating to the cloud, the demand for skilled engineers is skyrocketing.

The job demand for cloud engineers is rising, with the global cloud computing market projected to experience a (CAGR) of 15.7% from 2022 to 2030. According to industry reports, the demand for cloud engineers will grow significantly in the coming years, offering excellent career opportunities.

One of the main benefits of becoming a cloud engineer is the job security it offers. With businesses relying heavily on cloud infrastructure, skilled professionals in this field are highly sought after. Moreover, cloud engineers command high salaries due to their specialized knowledge and expertise. 

how to become a cloud engineer

We have written this article to guide you on your journey cloud engineer. Whether starting from scratch or looking to enhance your existing skills, we will provide you with the necessary insights and resources to kickstart your career in this exciting field. So, buckle up, and let’s dive into the world of cloud engineering!

What is Cloud Engineering? 

Cloud Engineering is a specialized field where experts design, develop, and maintain cloud computing solutions. They use the power of cloud technologies to build scalable, secure, and efficient systems.

What is Cloud Engineering?

Cloud engineers are like architects of the digital world, working with different cloud platforms and services to create unique applications, databases, storage, and networking in the cloud. 

They play a crucial role in helping businesses harness the full potential of cloud computing and navigate through its complexities. Cloud engineering is all about making the magic of the cloud happen, and it’s an exciting field to be a part of!

What Exactly is Cloud Computing? 

What Exactly is Cloud Computing

That’s what cloud computing is all about! It’s like having a magical cloud that stores, manages, and processes your data over the internet.

 Whether a business or an individual, cloud computing enables you to quickly scale your operations, improve efficiency, and access your data from anywhere. It’s like having a virtual IT department at your fingertips! In a nutshell, cloud computing is the technology that makes our digital lives more accessible and more connected.

5 Steps to Become a Cloud Engineer –  (Step by Step)

Are you looking to enter the thriving field of cloud engineering? Here are the essential steps to become a cloud engineer and kickstart your journey in this exciting career path. 

  1. Learn the Basics of Cloud Computing
  2. Earn Relevant Certifications
  3. Get Experience
  4. Gain Proficiency
  5. Be Up to Date

1. Learn the Basics of Cloud Computing

To become a cloud engineer from scratch, starting by learning the basics of cloud computing is crucial. Over the internet, cloud computing delivers computing resources, including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, and analytics. It allows organizations to access and use these resources on demand without needing physical infrastructure.

Begin by understanding the fundamental concepts of cloud computing, such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Then, familiarize yourself with cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and learn about their offerings and capabilities.

Explore the various cloud computing models, such as public, private, and hybrid clouds, and understand their advantages and use cases. Dive into topics like virtualization, containerization, and cloud security to comprehensively understand the cloud ecosystem.

Leverage online resources, tutorials, and documentation cloud service providers provide to learn and practice hands-on. Many platforms offer free-tier accounts that allow you to experiment and gain practical experience with cloud technologies. Check out these best cloud computing bootcamps and top rated cloud computing courses to kickstart your career. 

2. Earn Relevant Certifications

Identify the cloud platform or technology that aligns with your career goals. Popular certifications include AWS Certified Solutions Architect, Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator, and Google Cloud Certified – Professional Cloud Architect. These certifications cover various aspects of cloud engineering, including infrastructure management, security, networking, and application deployment.

Prepare for the certification exams by studying official documentation, attending training courses, and practicing hands-on with the cloud platform. Many cloud providers offer official training programs and practice exams to help you prepare effectively. Additionally, online learning platforms and communities provide comprehensive study materials and practice tests.

Once you feel confident in your knowledge and skills, schedule the certification exam and put your preparation into action. Passing the certification exam demonstrates your expertise and commitment to excellence as a cloud engineer.

3. Get Experience

To become a sound cloud engineer, gaining hands-on experience is essential. Look for opportunities to work on real-world projects that involve cloud infrastructure, deployment, and management. Consider internships, part-time positions, or freelance work that allows you to apply your knowledge and skills in practical scenarios. 

Collaborate with teams or join open-source projects to gain exposure to cloud technologies and best practices. Engage in problem-solving and troubleshooting to develop critical thinking skills. The more experience you gain, the better equipped you’ll be to handle complex cloud environments and challenges and demonstrate your capabilities as a cloud engineer.

4. Gain Proficiency

Developing proficiency in key cloud technologies is crucial for becoming a successful cloud engineer. First, focus on mastering popular cloud providers’ core services and tools, such as virtual machines, storage solutions, networking configurations, and security features. 

Next, explore automation and orchestration tools like Terraform and Kubernetes to streamline cloud deployments and ensure scalability. 

You additionally learned scripting languages like Python or PowerShell to automate everyday cloud tasks and perform infrastructure-as-code operations. 

By becoming proficient in these areas, you can design, build, and manage scalable and efficient cloud infrastructures and contribute effectively to cloud-based projects. Check out the best programming language courses to learn more about these languages.

5. Be Up to Date

The field of cloud computing is constantly evolving, with new technologies, features, and best practices emerging regularly. 

Stay updated with the latest advancements in cloud computing by following industry blogs, attending webinars, participating in online forums, and joining relevant professional communities. Engage with the cloud computing community, network with experts, and exchange knowledge and experiences. 

Continuous learning and staying current with industry trends will enhance your skills and demonstrate your commitment to professional growth as a cloud engineer. 

Explore online courses, certifications, and training programs to expand your knowledge and stay abreast of the latest developments. 

Regularly update your skills and adapt to changes in the cloud computing landscape to stay competitive in the industry.

What Does a Cloud Engineer do? 

Now that you know who a cloud engineer is, let’s dive into what they do: 

  • Designs and develops cloud architecture and solutions.
  • Implements and manages cloud infrastructure, platforms, and services.
  • Collaborates with cross-functional teams to ensure efficient and effective cloud deployments.
  • Optimizes cloud systems for performance, scalability, and cost-efficiency.
  • Implements security measures to protect cloud environments and data.
  • Monitors and troubleshoots cloud infrastructure to ensure availability and reliability.
  • Automates processes and workflows to streamline cloud operations.
  • Keeps updated with the latest cloud technologies and trends to drive innovation.

Become a cloud engineer and enter the world of limitless possibilities.

How to Become a Cloud Engineer Without a Degree?

Becoming a good cloud engineer is possible without a degree by focusing on practical skills and industry certifications. Start by learning the fundamentals of cloud computing through online resources, tutorials, and documentation provided by major cloud providers. 

Next, gain hands-on experience by working on personal projects, contributing to open-source initiatives, or pursuing internships and entry-level positions. 

Finally, earn industry-recognized certifications, such as AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals, to validate your knowledge and expertise. 

Build a strong portfolio showcasing your practical experience and certifications. Network with professionals in the field, participate in cloud communities and stay updated with the latest trends and technologies. 

You can become a sound cloud engineer without a traditional degree by continuously expanding your skills and demonstrating proficiency.

Role & Responsibilities of Cloud Engineer

Responsibilities

Cloud computing engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining cloud computing systems. Some of their primary responsibilities include:

Designing and implementing cloud infrastructure: Cloud computing engineers design and develop the architecture of cloud computing systems, including storage, computing resources, and network infrastructure.

Role

Managing cloud-based applications: They manage them and ensure they run smoothly and securely.

Integrating cloud services: Cloud computing engineers integrate various services and components to ensure they work together seamlessly.

Troubleshooting: They are responsible for identifying and resolving technical issues related to cloud infrastructure and applications.

Security and compliance: Cloud computing engineers implement and maintain security measures to protect cloud-based data and ensure compliance with industry regulations.

Cost optimization: They work to optimize the cost of cloud computing systems by identifying areas of waste and inefficiency.

What Are the Major Career Paths of a Cloud Computing Engineer? 

Cloud computing is a rapidly growing field, and many career paths are available for those interested in pursuing a career as a cloud computing engineer. Here are some of the primary career paths in cloud computing, along with their corresponding salaries:

  1. Cloud Architect: As a cloud architect, you will design and manage cloud computing systems. The average salary for a cloud architect is around $200 932 per year.
  2. Cloud Security Engineer: Cloud security engineers are responsible for ensuring the security of cloud systems and data. The average salary for a cloud security engineer is around $126 023 per year.
  3. Cloud Software Engineer: Cloud software engineers develop and maintain applications on cloud platforms. The average salary for a cloud software engineer is around $137 250 per year.
  4. Cloud Network Engineer: Cloud network engineers design and manage the networks that connect cloud systems. The average salary for a cloud network engineer is around $122 399 per year.
  5. Cloud Operations Engineer: Cloud operations engineers are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of cloud systems. The average salary for a cloud operations engineer is around $126 452 per year.
  6. Cloud DevOps Engineer: Cloud DevOps engineers are responsible for developing, testing, and deploying cloud applications. The average salary for a cloud DevOps engineer is around $136 980 per year.
  7. Cloud Data Engineer: Cloud data engineers design and manage the data systems that store and analyze data in the cloud. The average salary for a cloud data engineer is around $119 257 per year.

It’s worth noting that salaries can vary widely based on location, experience, and other factors. However, as the demand for cloud computing expertise grows, these career paths will likely remain in high demand with competitive salaries.

8 Skills Required to Be a Good Developer? 

These are the skills you need to become a sound cloud engineer:

8 Technical skills 

  1. Proficiency in cloud computing platforms such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud
  2. Knowledge of virtualization technologies like VMware or Hyper-V
  3. Understanding of networking concepts and protocols
  4. Familiarity with programming languages such as Python, Java, or Ruby
  5. Experience with database management systems like MySQL or MongoDB
  6. Understanding of security principles and best practices in cloud environments
  7. Knowledge of containerization platforms like Docker or Kubernetes
  8. Familiarity with automation and configuration management tools such as Ansible or Terraform

8 Soft Skills 

  1. Strong problem-solving and analytical skills
  2. Excellent communication and collaboration abilities
  3. Adaptability and willingness to learn new technologies and tools
  4. Attention to detail and ability to work with precision
  5. Time management and organizational skills to handle multiple tasks
  6. Critical thinking and decision-making abilities
  7. Teamwork and interpersonal skills to collaborate effectively with colleagues and clients
  8. Flexibility to adapt to changing project requirements and priorities

7 Major Types of Cloud Engineers with Details 

  1. Cloud Architect – A cloud architect is responsible for designing and implementing cloud-based solutions that meet a company’s requirements. In addition, they work closely with stakeholders to develop cloud strategies that align with business objectives.
  2. Cloud Developer – A cloud developer creates and maintains applications that run on cloud infrastructure. They use programming languages and tools to develop cloud-native applications that utilize cloud services like storage, computing, and databases.
  3. Cloud Security Engineer – A cloud security engineer is responsible for securing cloud infrastructure and applications. They design and implement security controls that protect against threats and vulnerabilities.
  4. Cloud Operations Engineer – A cloud operations engineer is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of cloud infrastructure. In addition, they monitor and troubleshoot cloud services to ensure high availability and performance.
  5. Cloud Network Engineer – A cloud network engineer is responsible for designing and implementing network infrastructure in the cloud. They use tools and technologies to configure and manage cloud-based networks.
  6. Cloud Storage Engineer – A cloud storage engineer is responsible for designing and implementing cloud storage solutions. They ensure that data is stored securely and can be accessed quickly and efficiently.
  7. Cloud Automation Engineer – A cloud automation engineer automates cloud infrastructure and applications. They use tools and technologies to automate tasks and improve efficiency.

7 Major Benefits of Being a Cloud Engineer

Here are some benefits of being a cloud engineer:

  1. High Demand: It is a high-demand profession, with many companies looking for skilled professionals to help them migrate to the cloud and manage their cloud infrastructure.
  2. Competitive Salary: Cloud engineers typically command high salaries due to their specialized skill set and the demand for their expertise. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a cloud engineer in the United States is around $115,000 annually.
  3. Constant Learning: Cloud technology is constantly evolving, which means cloud engineers must constantly learn new skills and keep up with the latest industry trends. This can be challenging, but it also means that cloud engineers have the opportunity to improve their knowledge and expertise continuously.
  4. Flexibility: Cloud engineering is a field that allows for a lot of flexibility, including the ability to work remotely or on a freelance basis. This can provide an outstanding work-life balance for those who value flexibility and independence.
  5. Career Advancement: The field offers many career advancement opportunities, including moving into management positions or specializing in specific areas of cloud technology.
  6. Impact: Cloud engineering has the potential to make a significant impact on a company’s operations, helping to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve overall performance.
  7. Innovation: Cloud engineering is a field that constantly pushes the boundaries of what is possible and offers many opportunities to work on cutting-edge projects and develop new technologies.

How to Become a Cloud Engineer - FAQs

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Cloud Engineer?

Qualifications for a cloud engineer typically include a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field and certifications in cloud platforms like AWS or Azure. However, practical experience and a strong skill set can also be valuable in lieu of formal qualifications.

How Hard Is It to Be a Cloud Engineer?

Becoming a cloud engineer can be challenging, requiring a deep understanding of cloud computing concepts, infrastructure, and technologies. However, it is possible to overcome the challenges with dedication, continuous learning, and hands-on experience.

How Many Years Does It Take To Become a Cloud Engineer?

The timeline to become a cloud engineer varies depending on individual circumstances, such as prior experience, educational background, and the time dedicated to learning and gaining practical skills. 

Who Can Become a Cloud Engineer?

Anyone with a passion for technology, a strong interest in cloud computing, and a willingness to learn can pursue a career as a cloud engineer. While a background in computer science or related fields can be advantageous, individuals from diverse educational backgrounds can also enter this field through self-study, certifications, and practical experience.

Conclusion

This guide covers everything you need to know about how to become a cloud engineer. 

Becoming a cloud engineer requires combining technical skills, practical experience, and continuous learning. By following the steps outlined in this guide, aspiring individuals can set themselves on the path to becoming a successful cloud engineer. 

From gaining a strong foundation in cloud computing to earning relevant certifications, building a diverse skill set, and staying up to date with industry trends, each step contributes to their professional growth. 

The demand for cloud engineers is high, offering numerous career opportunities and the chance to work on cutting-edge technologies. With dedication, persistence, and a passion for innovation, anyone can embark on a fulfilling journey to become a cloud engineer and contribute to the transformative power of cloud computing.