AWS Solution Architect Professional Certification Guide & Tips

AWS Solution Architect Professional Certification is an advanced-level credential offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). If you’re an aspiring cloud architect or an IT professional trying to enhance your career, earning the AWS Solution Architect Professional certification can open doors to interesting prospects. This respected certification verifies your proficiency in creating and implementing enterprise-level AWS solutions, making you a highly sought-after specialist in the field.

The certification exam assesses candidates’ knowledge and skills in designing architectures that meet specific business requirements, considering factors such as scalability, reliability, performance, security, and cost optimization. Candidates are tested on their ability to make architectural decisions, recommend best practices, and troubleshoot complex issues in AWS environments.

This thorough guide will bring you through all the necessary processes, advice, and tactics to help you pass the AWS Solution Architect Professional certification exam and advance your professional standing.

AWS solution architect professional certification

What are the Key Topics of the AWS Solution Architect Professional Certification Exam?

The AWS Solution Architect Professional certification covers a wide range of advanced topics related to designing and deploying complex solutions on the AWS platform. The key topics covered in the AWS Solution Architect Professional certification include:

Domain 1: Design Solutions for Organizational Complexity

Domain 2: Design for New Solutions

Domain 3: Continuous Improvement for Existing Solutions

Domain 4: Accelerate Workload Migration and Modernization

The AWS Solution Architect Professional certification is intended to vouch for a wide variety of abilities and knowledge in creating complex AWS solutions. Candidates may be required to use their knowledge and make architectural suggestions based on particular business requirements in scenario-based questions on the certification test.

What are AWS Solution Architect Professional Certification Exam Tips?

The AWS Solutions Architect Professional exam is well known for being challenging, with a success rate of only approximately 50%. Here are some tips to help you pass the AWS Solution Architect Professional exam:

  1. Deep Dive into Whitepapers and FAQs: AWS provides a plethora of whitepapers and FAQs on their services. These are invaluable resources that cover best practices, architectures, and advanced features.
  2. Hands-On Practice: Concepts in AWS need to be practiced to be understood thoroughly. Use the AWS Free Tier or set up your own personal projects to understand various services.
  3. Master AWS Storage Solutions: Understand S3, Glacier, EFS, and their use cases. Know the different storage classes, lifecycle policies, and cross-region replication.
  4. Master Networking: Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is a significant portion of the exam. Understand VPC peering, Direct Connect, VPN, security, NACLs, subnets, and endpoint services.
  5. Know AWS Migration Tools: Familiarize yourself with the Database Migration Service, Server Migration Service, and the AWS Migration Hub.
  6. Dive Deep into Databases: Know the difference between RDS, Aurora, DynamoDB, Redshift, and Elasticache. Understand replication, backups, and disaster recovery for each.
  7. Study Cost Optimization Strategies: Being able to design cost-effective architectures is crucial. Understand Reserved Instances, Spot Instances, and AWS Savings Plans.
  8. Practice Exams: AWS offers practice exams. These won’t have the same questions, but they will give you a feel for the type of questions to expect.
  9. Join a Study Group or Online Community: Engaging with peers can provide new perspectives and fill in knowledge gaps. AWS forums, A Cloud Guru, and other online platforms can be beneficial.
  10. Understand Security and Compliance: Know the AWS Shared Responsibility Model, IAM best practices, KMS, Shield, and WAF.
  11. Stay Updated: AWS is ever-evolving. Keep an eye on AWS’ “What’s New” page to stay informed about the latest updates and services.
  12. Review the AWS Well-Architected Framework: It provides a consistent approach to evaluate architectures and provides guidance to implement designs that scale with application needs.
  13. Use AWS Training Resources: AWS offers both digital and classroom training. Their advanced architecting course can be particularly useful for this certification.
  14. Manage Your Time: The exam has a time limit. Practice pacing yourself so you can attempt all questions. Remember, you can flag questions and revisit them later if unsure.
  15. Relax Before the Exam: It’s a rigorous exam, so ensure you get a good night’s sleep before the test day, eat a healthy meal, and arrive at the exam center with time to spare.

The exam has a duration of 180 minutes, allowing candidates ample time to complete the assessment. The cost of the exam is $300, but additional cost information can be found by visiting the exam pricing page on the AWS website. 

The exam format consists of 75 questions, which can be multiple-choice or multiple-response. Candidates can take the exam either at a Pearson VUE testing center or through an online proctored exam, providing flexibility and convenience in exam delivery.

AWS solution architect professional certification exam

How to Study AWS Solution Architect Professional Certification?

Studying for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional certification requires a structured approach and dedication. A study plan for the AWS Solution Architect Professional certification can help you stay organized and ensure comprehensive preparation. Before directly building a plan, carefully review the official AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional exam guide provided by AWS. It outlines the exam objectives, recommended knowledge areas, and key topics to focus on. 

The following step is to develop a preparation strategy and compile pertinent study resources after you thoroughly understand the exam topics and coverage. Create a study schedule that includes your objectives, resources, and time frame. 

Lastly, determine your study materials. Consider using a combination of resources such as books, online courses, video tutorials, practice exams, and documentation.

You can find AWS Solution Architect Professional Certification example questions here.

What are the Recommended Resources for Studying AWS Solution Architect Professional Certification?

For the AWS Solution Architect Professional certification, AWS officially supports training courses. These courses contain practical laboratories and exercises and thoroughly cover the test objectives.

AWS provides a wealth of documentation and whitepapers that cover various AWS services, architectural best practices, and specific use cases. Some key resources to review include:

AWS Well-Architected Framework: This framework provides a methodical way to assess and enhance architectures across five important pillars: Operational Excellence, Security, Reliability, Performance Efficiency, and Cost optimization.

AWS Architecture Center: This resource provides architectural patterns, reference architectures, and guidance for designing solutions on AWS.

Security Best Practices: Review AWS whitepapers that cover security best practices for different AWS services and compliance frameworks.

Online courses can be highly beneficial for preparing for the certification exam. Online programs and boot camps cover all of the exam’s topics in detail. They are structured to guide you through all the necessary topics and ensure you understand the required knowledge areas.

Many of them incorporate visual aids, diagrams, and demonstrations to facilitate learning. These visual elements can enhance comprehension and retention, making it easier to grasp complex architectural concepts and understand how different AWS services fit together. 

How can Hands-on Experience and Lab Practice Help in AWS Solution Architect Professional Certification Preparation?

Hands-on labs and activities are frequently included in online courses and bootcamps to help you retain what you’ve learned. These practical components allow you to apply your knowledge in a real AWS environment, giving you valuable experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting AWS solutions.

You can complement your theoretical knowledge with hands-on experience. Set up your own AWS account and practice implementing various architectural scenarios. Apply the topics you’ve learned by working on actual projects or by doing your own projects.

This practical experience will reinforce your understanding and help you grasp the practical aspects of designing and deploying AWS solutions.

You already have valuable hands-on experience that can significantly aid your AWS Solution Architect Professional Certification preparation if you work as a cloud engineer. Your practical experience working with AWS services, designing and implementing solutions, and managing cloud infrastructure provides a strong foundation for understanding the exam topics and applying architectural best practices.

Who’s the Ideal Candidate for AWS Solution Architect Professional Certification?

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional certification is designed for individuals who have extensive experience and expertise in designing and deploying scalable, fault-tolerant, and secure applications on the AWS platform.

The one who has The AWS Solution Architect Associate certification and 2 or 3 years of hands-on experience in cloud architecture is the ideal candidate for the professional certificate.

Roadmap You Should Follow For AWS Certification

The AWS certification path is a structured roadmap provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that outlines the various certifications available for individuals to validate their skills and expertise in AWS cloud services. The AWS certification path consists of multiple levels, each targeting different skill levels and areas of specialization.

Below is the cloud architecture job role and AWS Certification Paths aligned with this role.

AWS certification path

What is the avarage salary of an AWS Solution Architect Professional?

The average salary for an AWS Solution Architect Professional ranges from approximately $120,000 to $180,000 per year in the United States. However, it’s important to note that salaries can go beyond this range, especially for professionals with extensive experience and expertise.

In other regions, such as Europe, salaries for AWS Solution Architect Professionals tend to be slightly lower, with average ranges typically falling between €70,000 and €120,000 per year. 

An AWS Solution Architect Professional can anticipate a respectable income range on average. AWS DevOps Engineer salary might vary depending on a number of variables, including the job’s specific tasks, previous expertise, industry, and location.


Stay up-to-date with the latest AWS services, features, and updates. AWS regularly introduces new services and enhancements, so review the AWS documentation, whitepapers, and announcements to stay current with the evolving AWS ecosystem. If you are not familiar with cloud architecture, AWS, and DevOps courses can be valuable resources before taking the exam.

AWS/DevOps courses provide insights into the integration of development and operations practices in cloud environments. This Professional Certification expects you to have knowledge of DevOps practices and their application on AWS. 

Lastly, Effective preparation, hands-on experience, and a deep understanding of AWS services and best practices are key to success in the exam. With consistent effort and a well-rounded approach, you can increase your chances of success and position yourself as a skilled and certified AWS Solution Architect Professional. Good luck on your certification journey!


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