- What is a Cloud Engineer?
- What is the average Cloud Engineer salary in 2023?
- Average Cloud Engineer salary by state
- Top highest-paid cities for Cloud Engineers
- What do the top cloud companies pay Cloud Engineers?
- Cloud Engineer salaries compared to other engineering roles
- Is it hard to become a Cloud Engineer?
- Start your Cloud Engineer career
Cloud Engineering has become one of the fastest growing career paths as cloud infrastructure becomes increasingly prevalent in both business and consumer products.
Since 2020, the demand for cloud engineering roles(opens new window) has increased by 27% annually. This trend is expected to continue in the coming decade, Gartner predicts worldwide end-user spending on cloud services to reach nearly $600 billion(opens new window) by the end of 2023.
Many cloud engineering salaries are in the six-figure range, even for entry-level positions. Cloud Engineers can also enjoy attractive perks, like remote work arrangements and professional development support.
This profession could be a great fit if you’re interested in a lucrative tech career. Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know—from job requirements and outlook to the average cloud engineer salary.
What is a Cloud Engineer?
A Cloud Engineer uses programming languages and other tools to develop and maintain cloud-based applications, infrastructures, and systems. These digital resources are housed by an international server network that distributes data and services to users through the internet.
Companies rely on Cloud Engineers to harness the power of cloud technology and develop innovative solutions. For example, a Cloud Engineer could design a secure database that keeps confidential financial records safe from hackers. They might also create a cloud-based fitness application that collects data from wearable devices.
Cloud Engineer responsibilities
Cloud engineering is a broad field. Responsibilities can vary by company, job title, and experience level.
Typical duties for Cloud Engineers include:
- Using Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and other frameworks to build and maintain cloud architecture
- Overseeing the migration of data and services from on-site servers to the cloud
- Creating scripts to automate cloud processes
- Collaborating with Software Engineers, Product Designers, and other professionals to create mobile applications and web experiences
- Identifying and fixing flaws and bugs in code design
- Maintaining, optimizing, and updating cloud systems
- Presenting product demonstrations to clients
- Recommending and implementing policies for the use of cloud services by employees and customers
What skills does a Cloud Engineer need?
In reality, many employers don’t require a bachelor’s degree to get started. However, they do expect job candidates to have hard and soft foundational skills. These include:
- Collaboration and communication skills: Working in cross-functional teams to develop cloud infrastructure and cloud-based applications.
- Critical thinking skills: Analyzing computational problems and creating actionable solutions
- Database management skills: Having a strong understanding of structured query language (SQL) to design cloud databases and retrieve information
- Familiarity with cloud service providers: Understanding how to develop and optimize cloud architecture with major providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform
- Programming skills: Writing the code for cloud-based applications using Python, Java, .NET, and other popular programming languages
Are Cloud Engineers in demand?
Demand for Cloud Engineers has skyrocketed as companies continue to emphasize the development of agile and scalable cloud-based solutions.
According to Indeed, cloud engineering is the third most in-demand career in 2023, registering a 65% increase in jobs created between January 2020 and January 2023.
Fortune Business Insights(opens new window) predicts the global cloud computing market will increase from $678 billion in 2023 to $2,400 billion in 2030. The rapid expansion of this market will lead to even more career opportunities for Cloud Engineers.
What is the average Cloud Engineer salary in 2023?
Here’s how it breaks down, according to Glassdoor:
Entry-level salary: $120,000
Average salary: $142,000
Top-paying salary: $181,000
But that’s not all. Glassdoor reports many companies offer bonuses ranging from $28,000 to $52,000 a year. As a result, the total comp for top-performing Cloud Engineers can reach $200,000 or more.
It’s important to note that these salary ranges are based on national averages. Actual wages can vary significantly based on factors like:
- Benefits packages
- Company size
- Geographic location
- Negotiation skills
- Technical skills
- Work experience
Average Cloud Engineer salary by state
Geography is one of the most significant factors impacting salary. Cloud Engineers generally enjoy a significantly higher salary in states with major tech hubs.
Here are the ten highest-paying states for Cloud Engineers (data supplied by ZipRecruiter):
These salaries are much higher than the average wages for Cloud Engineers in the lowest-paying states, such as Kentucky ($102,000), North Carolina ($101,000), and Arkansas ($100,000).
But salary isn’t the only factor in choosing a job and area to live. It’s also important to consider the cost of living. Cloud Engineers in Arkansas, for example, may have a significantly lower cost of living than their colleagues in New York—potentially giving them greater relative spending power.
Top highest-paid cities for Cloud Engineers
In absolute terms, major cities—and some nearby suburbs—tend to offer the most lucrative job opportunities. According to Indeed, here are the highest-paying cities for Cloud Engineers:
Many companies offer the same salaries for in-person and remote employees. This allows some remote Cloud Engineers to maximize their earnings by working for businesses headquartered in top-paying cities while living in more affordable areas.
What do the top cloud companies pay Cloud Engineers?
Salaries vary considerably between employers. Large tech companies and businesses relying heavily on cloud computing often provide the most lucrative wages for Cloud Developers.
Here are the companies offering the highest average Cloud Engineer salaries (data from Indeed):
Remember—individual salaries depend on variables like job title, seniority, and certifications.
Cloud Engineer salaries compared to other engineering roles
The interpersonal and technical skills you develop as a cloud engineer can unlock numerous other career opportunities in the tech industry. It’s not uncommon to change job titles several times throughout your career.
As a Cloud Engineer, your coding and collaboration skills might also translate well for a role as a DevOps Engineer. Or, you could leverage your knowledge of cloud databases and SQL to transition into a career as a Data Engineer.
Here’s a breakdown of the average salaries for occupations related to cloud engineering based on data from Indeed:
Is it hard to become a Cloud Engineer?
Cloud engineering is a technical field requiring a wide range of skills.
Before applying for any cloud-based position, you should develop proficiency in at least one major cloud platform, such as Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform. You’ll also need to brush up on foundational concepts like data management, networking, and cloud security testing.
Fortunately, many alternatives to college can help you gain the necessary knowledge and skills. Many websites offer free coding tutorials that teach common programming languages for cloud computing, such as Python and .NET. Cloud platforms like AWS also publish user guides and documentation that you can use to study their services.
Joining professional associations for Cloud Engineers can also accelerate your development. These organizations typically host conferences, webinars, workshops, and other educational events. Attending these gatherings enables you to learn about the latest breakthroughs in cloud computing and make valuable connections with other professionals in the field.
Another option would be seeking mentorship from experienced Cloud Engineers. You can start making connections by asking professionals for short informational interviews and going to networking events. A mentor can provide personalized career guidance and help you identify the most essential skills to learn for your dream job.
With some guidance, these resources can help you jumpstart your career in a fraction of the time it takes to earn a college degree—all while passing on hefty college tuition costs and debt. Instead of fulfilling general education requirements, you’ll also spend time focusing on the skills that matter most for your dream job.
Start your Cloud Engineer career
Multiverse’s free Software Engineer apprenticeship helps you gain foundational technical knowledge and skills for a variety of in-demand careers. The program begins with a 12-week boot camp covering computer science theories, full-stack coding techniques, and other skills. You’ll also develop proficiency in the most sought-after programming languages by top employers.
Additionally, you’ll apply your skills and gain hands-on experience by working for Multiverse partner companies. These businesses pay a competitive salary, so you’ll get paid to learn code and other essential cloud computing skills.