Whether you use iCloud to store photos or you put your files into Google Drive, you’ve probably relied on cloud computing in one way or another. Cloud computing refers to storing and accessing data and programs on the internet, instead of on your computer or your computer’s hard drive.
When you think about how ubiquitous the cloud has become in our lives, it’s easy to see why companies hire cloud computing professionals, specifically, to help them efficiently share information and accomplish tasks by accessing information from anywhere.
To that end, salaries for cloud computing professionals tend to be relatively high. ZipRecruiter estimates that the average annual cloud computing salary in the U.S. is around $119,779. Of course, your individual pay can vary. Let’s take a look at the range you might expect to make in the cloud computing field, based on a few variables.
Factors that affect a cloud computing salary
As with any other job, there are a few factors that play into your salary. For starters, the more professional experience you have in the field, the higher pay you can expect. Plus, specific job titles can come with accompanying salary expectations (more on that below).
Educational background can also play a part. You might generally be able to get a higher salary for your first job if you have a bachelor’s degree in cloud computing. That said, a specialized college degree is certainly not a prerequisite, and there are many paths to becoming a cloud computing professional.
For example, online courses can give you the foundational skills you need to get in the door. A big part of cloud computing is being familiar with database work, something that SQL can help you with. Learning other relevant programming languages, like Java and Python, can also give you an edge. Or, you can start by taking our 1-hour beginner-friendly Foundations of Cloud Computing course to get an overview of the field and go from there.
Cloud computing jobs are highly technical, and the task of constantly keeping everything running online can be a feat. The more you know about the infrastructure of the cloud, the more high-level tasks you will be able to perform, which can lead to a higher salary. So staying current and adding new skills to your tool belt can also boost salary prospects.
Cloud computing careers
The cloud computing world is fairly vast, which means that there are lots of opportunities to break into the field. Of course, that means that each role has its own salary range. Keep in mind that salaries often vary from company to company, so there’s no one-size-fits-all in cloud computing. But knowing the average pay for a job title can help you negotiate a salary that feels fair. Here are some roles within cloud computing and the accompanying average pay:
Computer and Information Systems Manager
A Computer and Information Systems Manager is responsible for analyzing a company’s computer needs and making recommendations based on this information. In this role, you’ll help plan, coordinate, and direct cloud systems and recommend the best services. According to Zippia, the average salary for this position is $114,028 a year.
Computer Network Architect
A Computer Network Architect, also referred to as a Cloud Architect, is responsible for designing and building data communication networks, like local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Intranets. In addition to knowing the foundations of cloud computing, it’s also helpful to know some cybersecurity basics, which you can learn in our Introduction to Cybersecurity course. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that an average annual salary for this position is $120,520.
Computer Systems Analyst
A Computer Systems Analyst studies an organization’s computer systems (including cloud systems) and designs ways to improve their efficiency. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for this position is $103,630 annually.
A solid background in cloud computing is essential for Cloud Administrators, who maintain the functionality of cloud systems. In this role, they tackle transitioning locally hosted infrastructure to the cloud, and customize cloud environments to meet a company’s needs. Glassdoor reports that Cloud Administrators have an average annual salary of about $88,649.
A Cloud Engineer is a Software Engineer who specializes in cloud software, and is responsible for overseeing cloud migration and maintaining the new cloud system. The average salary in the United States, according to Indeed, is $121,118, but can depend on experience and location. As with all software engineering roles, having a large knowledge base of programming languages in your toolkit can boost salary prospects.
A Cloud Consultant helps a company identify and act on their potential cloud needs. Indeed reports that a Cloud Consultant salary is an average of $124,074 per year.
Jump-start your cloud computing career
If all this sounds interesting to you, let’s take a look at some ways you can start your career in cloud computing.
Learn about cloud computing
Like we’ve said, a bachelor’s degree in cloud computing can establish your foundation in this field. But if you aren’t able to access a degree right away — or even if you already have a different degree — you can close the gap with online courses. We have a catalog of courses on networks and cybersecurity, web development, and cloud applications that can help you build your background. Check out all of our cloud computing courses here.
Consider cloud computing certifications
Once you’ve established your foundational programming and cloud computing knowledge, certifications enable you to specialize in particular aspects of the field. Some companies can also have specific certification programs that teach you the technologies and systems they use. For example, MongoDB, AWS, and Azure all offer certifications that can help you specialize in a specific kind of cloud computing. So if you want to work at a particular company, research their requirements and any programs they may offer.
When you’re comfortable with your knowledge base, you can start applying it to real-world examples. If you are new to cloud computing, consider signing up with a cloud server to get some practice. This will give you a chance to try out practical applications of your skills. If you’re already working in IT in a different part of the industry, it might help to take on more cloud-based projects to improve your existing skills while developing new ones.
Create a portfolio
A portfolio is a great way to show all the projects you’ve worked on, and you’ll specifically want to include any cloud-based ones you’ve worked on. You can create a website that includes a bio (here are some tips for writing a bio) and contact info, as well as samples of your previous work.
When you’re applying for jobs, you’ll most likely be asked for your references. These can include past or current employers, freelance clients, or course instructors if you have recently earned a degree or become certified.
Network with others in your field
Networking is crucial, whether you are actively searching for a job or simply exploring opportunities. If you want to meet other professionals or network with specific companies that interest you, you can go to conferences and events that focus on cloud computing. You could also join the Skillacademy community on our Forums or Discord to chat about cloud-related topics and meet other people interested in the field.
Learning the cloud
Cloud computing is a growing field with a range of sought-after roles. The more you learn, the better informed you are to pick a path that’s right for you.
If you’re looking to take the first steps toward a cloud computing career, take a look at our cloud computing courses, complete with the programming languages you’ll need to know to get started. It can feel daunting to kickstart a new career path, but we’re here to support you on your journey with thorough courses that will get you job-ready and a supportive community of fellow learners to cheer you on along the way.