what does a cloud engineer do?

  • job profiles
  • September 02, 2020

Cloud engineers — sometimes called “computer systems engineers” or “computer systems architects,” among a few other names, on job boards — are exceedingly in demand today. Why? In part, the answer is that companies are dedicating record-setting investments to cloud services right now. That alone is a strong indicator that they’ll need to have these talented pros on hand to ensure those investments pay off going forward.

What are some of the key responsibilities of cloud engineers?

  • planning, designing and developing cloud-based applications
  • collaborating with engineering teams to identify, implement and optimize cloud-based solutions
  • deploying or debugging cloud initiatives as needed
  • applying cloud best practices across all stages of the development lifecycle
  • staying abreast of emerging industry trends

Day-to-day duties of cloud engineers typically include:

  • ensuring that cloud environments are maintained in compliance with organizational security and cybersecurity guidelines
  • applying advanced cloud computing and technical expertise on cloud platforms and services, including Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and others
  • orchestrating a wide range of cloud-based platforms across the organization
  • providing recommendations around the optimal use of cloud applications
  • educating cross-functional teams on the organization's latest cloud-based initiatives
  • coaching, training and mentoring teammates and colleagues on an ongoing basis

what are the key skills of a cloud engineer?

Cloud engineers are drivers of business value, first and foremost. Beyond that, they’re clearly technically savvy, but don’t overlook the amount of collaboration and interpersonal interaction that’s baked into the role, too. After all, it’s hard to drive business value if you can’t communicate your vision effectively to a lot of different folks.

As such, soft skills that can be key differentiators for cloud engineers include:

  • team leadership
  • relationship-building skills
  • vendor and partner management aptitude
  • empathy
  • emotional intelligence (EQ)
  • strong written and verbal communication skills
  • time management and organizational skills
  • expertise multitasking and meeting deadlines

how much do cloud engineers make?

Compensation can vary considerably, so the following is based on a combination of sources. Actual compensation will likely depend on your location, market, responsibilities, background and relative level of expertise.

  • low $108,468
  • mid $132,866
  • high $164,128

As you can see, salaries for cloud engineers can vary considerably, so if you want more granular insights, head on over to our salary comparison tool. It’ll give you at-a-glance knowledge of pay in your market and location.

how do you become a cloud engineer?

Becoming a cloud engineer won’t happen overnight, needless to say. But on the flip side, this tech specialization — like most tech specializations, in fact — does come with a significant number of learning resources that are available to you online. So if you really set your mind to it, and hone your core tech skills and credentials, becoming a cloud engineer should be a professional goal that’s within reach.

Key qualifications for cloud engineer roles include:

  • three to five years' experience with cloud services
  • a bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering (not always required)
  • cloud-related certification such as AWS Solutions Architect, Cloud Security Certification or OpenStack Administrator Certification (not always required)
  • experience with open source technology, software development and system engineering
  • expertise with scripting languages and diverse cloud provider environments
  • ability to build or design web services in the cloud

Need to level-up your skills in order to break into this competitive field, but aren’t sure where to start? Not to worry. Check out any of these cloud-oriented courses on Udemy, our learning partner. That just might help you get your foot in the door.

key takeaways

Hopefully, this article has clarified some of your bigger questions about becoming a cloud engineer — and we also hope you know that we’re here to support you in your entire career journey. Briefly recapping, we’ve covered:

  • what cloud engineers actually do on a daily basis
  • training, experience and other requirements for this position
  • key skills
  • salary
  • and more

Find out who’s hiring cloud engineers today.