AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Certification Guide & Tips

The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate Certification is one of the AWS certifications that verifies an individual’s knowledge of deploying, managing, and keeping operational systems and applications in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud ecosystem. If you want to progress in cloud computing, earning this AWS certification might be a big step in the right direction.

We will give you a thorough preparation manual and insightful advice in this blog post to assist you in preparing for and passing the AWS SysOps Administrator Associate certification exam. This guide will provide you with the information and tools you need to succeed, whether you’re an experienced IT expert or just beginning your cloud computing adventure. 

AWS SysOps administrator associate certification

What are the Key Topics?

In the exam, there are six key topics, which are referred to as domains. The table below provides an overview of these six key domains and their respective weights in the exam.

Domains (Key Topics)TopicsWeight (%)
Domain 1Monitoring, Logging, and Remediation20%
Domain 2Reliability and Business Continuity16%
Domain 3Deployment, Provisioning, and Automation18%
Domain 4Security and Compliance16%
Domain 5Networking and Content Delivery18%
Domain 6Cost and Performance Optimization12%

Domain 1: Monitoring, Logging, and Remediation 

Domain 1 focuses on your understanding of various monitoring and logging services provided by AWS, such as Amazon CloudWatch. You’ll be tested on your ability to set up and configure monitoring, create alarms and notifications, and analyze and remediate operational issues.

Domain 2: Reliability and Business Continuity 

In this domain, you’ll be evaluated on your knowledge of implementing and managing high availability and fault tolerance in AWS. This includes topics like designing and implementing backup and restore strategies, understanding AWS services for disaster recovery, and ensuring business continuity.

Domain 3: Deployment, Provisioning, and Automation 

Domain 3 assesses your proficiency in deploying and managing systems and applications on AWS. You’ll be tested on your understanding of AWS Elastic Beanstalk, AWS CloudFormation, and other services for infrastructure provisioning and automation.

Domain 4: Security and Compliance

Domain 4 focuses on your knowledge of AWS security services, identity and access management, and best practices for securing AWS resources.

Domain 5: Networking

This domain evaluates your comprehension of various networking concepts specific to Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). The areas of focus include understanding the core concepts of VPCs, the design and configuration of subnets, the intricacies of route tables, and the different connectivity choices available. Some of the key connectivity options covered are VPC peering, VPN connections, and AWS Direct Connect

Domain 6: Cost Optimization

Domain 6 assesses your knowledge of optimizing costs in AWS. You’ll be evaluated on your ability to identify cost optimization opportunities, understand pricing models, and implement cost-effective solutions using services like AWS Trusted Advisor and AWS Cost Explorer. 

The illustration below shows the key topics covered in the exam.

key topics of AWS SysOps administrator associate certification

What are the Exam Tips?

Key Tips and Strategies for Acing the AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Certification Exam:

  1. Draft a Study Blueprint:
    • Use the exam guide to break down the exam domains into granular topics.
    • This categorization provides clarity on what exactly needs to be studied, streamlining your preparation process.
  2. Engage with Mock Exams:
    • Evaluate your grasp on the various domains through sample exams.
    • Identify and prioritize areas where you lack confidence, using this self-assessment to optimize your study time.
  3. Set Clear Goals:
    • Frame realistic milestones based on the domains and topics.
    • Given the weightage distribution in the exam guide, focus more on domains that carry a higher percentage. This ensures you master areas that are crucial for the exam.
  4. Manage Your Study Hours:
    • Strategically distribute your study hours. Dedicate specific times for reading, hands-on practice, and mock tests.
    • Uphold a disciplined approach to your study schedule, maintaining regularity to guarantee consistent progress.
  5. Prioritize Hands-on Experience:
    • Blend theoretical study with hands-on labs and exercises.
    • This approach not only consolidates your theoretical knowledge but also equips you with practical skills vital for handling AWS services, configurations, and troubleshooting real-time challenges.

How to Study AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Certification?

Tips for Studying the AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Certification:

  1. Understand the Exam Format and Content: The exam isn’t just about AWS expertise; practical knowledge of various AWS services is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Exam Guide to grasp the exam’s format, content, and objectives’ weightage.
  2. Use AWS’s Own Resources: AWS offers various training tools, including classroom sessions, online courses, whitepapers, and practice exams. Engage with the AWS certification community to interact with fellow aspirants and AWS specialists.
  3. Engage in Hands-On Practice: Theoretical knowledge is vital, but hands-on experience is irreplaceable. Use hands-on labs to work with AWS services like EC2, S3, and VPC, among others. These labs not only help in understanding the services but also hone problem-solving and troubleshooting skills.
  4. Network with AWS Professionals: Join AWS user groups. These groups provide avenues to learn from seasoned AWS professionals and others preparing for certifications, through events, workshops, and discussions.
strategies for studying AWS SysOps administrator associate certification

Additionaly you can find AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Certification example questions prepared by Clarusway instructors here.

What is the Passing Score for the Exam?

The passing score of the AWS SysOps administrator associate certification exam is 720 out of 1000. Exam results are given as a scaled score between 100 and 1,000. The exam allows a total of 130 minutes for completion and consists of 65 questions, which may be in the form of multiple-choice or multiple-response questions.  

AWS SysOps administrator associate certification exam

How Much Does the AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Certification Cost?

The AWS SysOps administrator associate certification exam cost is $150.

Who’s the Ideal Candidate for AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Certification?

Those with in-depth knowledge of the AWS platform are ideal candidates for the AWS SysOps Administrator Associate certification. Additionally, candidates must be proficient in cloud computing and the AWS Framework. Ideally, they should know about monitoring and troubleshooting and have at least two years of experience working as a systems administrator.

What are the Benefits of AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Certification?

Benefits of AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Certification:

  1. Holistic Understanding of AWS Infrastructure: Developers can benefit from a comprehensive understanding of the AWS ecosystem, allowing them to make more informed decisions during application development.
  2. Improved DevOps Collaboration: With knowledge of both development and operations, certified developers can better collaborate in a DevOps environment, ensuring smoother deployments and more efficient CI/CD pipelines.
  3. Enhanced Troubleshooting Skills: A deep understanding of monitoring, logging, and remediation allows developers to quickly identify and resolve application-related issues that might arise due to infrastructure configurations.
  4. Cost Efficiency: Developers with this certification have insights into cost optimization strategies. This knowledge ensures that they can develop solutions that are not only effective but also cost-efficient.
  5. Awareness of Security Best Practices: With cybersecurity being a major concern, developers can benefit from knowing how to securely set up and manage resources, enhancing the security posture of the applications they develop.
  6. Data Backup and DR Strategies: Developers will be equipped with knowledge about AWS’s backup and disaster recovery solutions, ensuring that applications are resilient and data integrity is maintained.
  7. Performance Optimization: Understanding the intricacies of AWS services allows developers to fine-tune applications for optimal performance, ensuring user satisfaction.
  8. Increased Employability: Holding an AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Certification can make developers more attractive to potential employers looking for multifaceted skills in their tech teams.
  9. Bridging Gaps: Developers often have to collaborate with sysadmins. With certification knowledge, they can better understand sysadmin concerns and priorities, leading to more productive teamwork.
  10. Continuous Learning: As AWS services and features evolve, preparing for and maintaining the certification ensures that developers stay updated with the latest AWS advancements.
  11. Confidence Boost: Certification validates a developer’s knowledge and skills in AWS, boosting confidence when undertaking AWS-based projects.

What Jobs Are Available for AWS Certified SysOps Administrator?

Here are some of the exciting roles that you can pursue with this certification:

  • Cloud Operations Engineer: Manage daily cloud operations, monitor performance, optimize resources, and ensure application scalability on AWS.
  • Systems Administrator: Oversee system configurations on AWS, manage security, monitor system health, and ensure industry standard compliance.
  • Cloud Support Engineer: Offer technical support to AWS users, troubleshoot issues, and collaborate with developers to optimize application performance.
  • DevOps Engineer: Automate AWS infrastructure deployment, manage CI/CD pipelines, and create efficient DevOps workflows using AWS best practices.
  • Cloud Consultant: Guide organizations on AWS solution design and implementation, assess client needs, and help in application migrations.
  • Solution Architect: Design secure and scalable AWS infrastructures, propose suitable AWS configurations, and implement cloud solutions.

What is the Average Salary for AWS Certified SysOps Administrator?

According to Glassdoor salary estimates, AWS Certified SysOps at Amazon are thought to make a total annual salary of $166,021.  An AWS DevOps engineer’s salary is between $110,000 and $160,000 per year on average but If you are in a senior position, it may be up to $180,000 annually.


Preparing for the AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Certification exam requires a combination of comprehensive study, hands-on experience, practice exams, and staying up-to-date with AWS services. A systematic process and the available resources can improve your chances of success.

If you are starting from scratch or have limited exposure to AWS and DevOps, it may be more beneficial to first participate in AWS/DevOps courses. Courses or Bootcamps are typically fast-paced and immersive, focusing on hands-on experience and practical application. If you prefer a structured and interactive learning environment with guidance from experienced instructors, a bootcamp may be a good fit for you.


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