what is a cloud engineer?

As a cloud engineer, your primary role is to maintain existing cloud infrastructures or design new ones. With the increasing demand for cloud technologies for streaming services and data back-ups, cloud engineers work behind the scenes to ensure the technology serves its purpose.

As cloud engineering is a broad field, the responsibilities are usually divided into specific roles like cloud architecture, development and administration. In cloud architecture, you focus on configuring cloud infrastructure to ensure it functions as expected. When you configure services in the cloud environment, the right users can access them, and the company doesn't incur unnecessary charges. Since you design the organisation's cloud system blueprints, you ensure the company has access to the applications they need.

As a cloud engineer, you are also in charge of development. That means you write the code that creates the functions, databases and applications running on the cloud. You ensure that cloud technologies are efficient and have the best features. For instance, the applications and databases should have fast load times, use little storage space and support multiple browsers.

After developing and deploying cloud technologies, cloud engineers monitor and manage the networks. Administration involves managing on-premise software and cloud services. That includes developing policies for using the services and creating a secure cloud environment for manufacturing, mining and financial service companies.

find jobs

average cloud engineer salary

As a cloud engineer, you earn an average salary of between $110,000 to $130,000 annually. The remuneration package differs depending on the complexity of your tasks and your qualifications.

When you work for leading technology companies, you will likely earn a higher salary than a cloud engineer working in a small start-up. Industries that rely on cloud engineering pay higher due to the role's demands. The location can also influence your earnings. For instance, when you work in metro areas, the high demand for cloud engineers increases your salary.

view roles

types of cloud engineers

Cloud engineers usually specialise in various roles associated with cloud technology. Some of the types of cloud engineers based on the area of specialisation include:

  • cloud architects: as a cloud architect, you design applications and the cloud infrastructure. You also plan and design the cloud distribution systems for an organisation. Since you are responsible for migrating an organisation's on-premise applications to the cloud, you optimise costs. You recognise the relevant cloud services used by the company to avoid overspending on unnecessary applications.
  • cloud developers: as a cloud developer, you use your programming skills to develop and deploy cloud applications. You identify the best cloud-based solutions for users and determine how they respond on different platforms. You also debug cloud-based applications to ensure the functions run as expected.
  • cloud administrators: your role as a cloud administrator is similar to a traditional systems administrator, but you manage cloud-based services. You develop implementation policies for cloud services and ensure the applications are secure. You also ensure the cloud services have minimal downtime and manage new technology requests.
male in the office close up
male in the office close up

working as a cloud engineer

Working as a cloud engineer involves developing cloud computing systems and troubleshooting the existing cloud infrastructure. Let’s check out a cloud engineer's duties, work environment and career outlook.


education and skills

Cloud engineering is a technical field that requires educational qualifications. Some of the academic requirements for the role include the following:

  • education qualifications: complete a bachelor's degree in computer science to gain the necessary knowledge. You also need strong coding skills. Other relevant qualifications include a diploma in information technology or website development. Certificate education in information technology with a specialisation in networking can also prepare you for the role.
  • work experience: consider improving your experience and qualifications by learning coding skills to enhance your career prospects. It is also advisable to complete vendor certifications from leading cloud providers like Google, Microsoft and Amazon.

cloud engineer skills and competencies

Some of the skills required for the role include:

  • technical skills: as a cloud engineer, you perform complex computing tasks like programming, cyber security, database management and networking. You require technical skills to perform coding and other cloud engineering tasks.
  • problem-solving skills: as a cloud engineer, you build cloud systems and troubleshoot technical issues. You rely on your problem-solving skills to avoid problems in the cloud system. Your job involves checking for bugs in cloud systems and troubleshooting issues.
  • teamwork skills: as a cloud engineer, you collaborate with tech professionals to develop robust cloud systems. Working with a team requires collaboration and interpersonal skills. Listening skills help you understand the opinion of other professionals and brainstorm technical ideas.
  • communication skills: as a cloud engineer, you convey information to various teams. Communication skills help you relay complex information to professionals in the company. You can also communicate instructions for managing the cloud systems.

FAQs about working as a cloud engineer

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a cloud engineer.

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.