Whether you’re already preparing for the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification or you’re still weighing up whether it’s right for you, this AWS DevOps cert guide is packed with all the important info you need.  

Like all AWS certifications, earning the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional is worth it for any professional looking to increase their employability, unlock more opportunities, and accelerate their career progression by validating their skills and knowledge, gaining credibility, and honing their expertise.  

That’s not to say it’s easy—far from it! But that’s where this helpful guide comes in.  

Curating all the good-to-knows and need-to-knows when taking the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification, consider this guide your go-to for sprucing up on the essentials—from exam fundamentals and assessment tips to prep advice and study resources. 


Table of contents  


What is the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification?

The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification is awarded to those who successfully complete the DOP-C02 exam. It’s intended to validate a professional’s technical expertise in provisioning, operating, and managing distributed application systems on AWS.  

More specifically, the exam focuses on assessing a professional’s knowledge and capability in core areas such as:  

  • Defining and deploying AWS monitoring, metric, and logging systems  
  • Automating operational processes by designing, managing, and maintaining tools  
  • Implementing highly available, scalable, and self-healing AWS systems  
  • Automating security controls, governance processes, and compliance validation 
  • Implementing and managing continuous AWS delivery systems and methodologies 


Who should obtain an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification?  

 At its core, the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification is intended for professionals working in a DevOps Engineer role…obviously! 

But that’s not to say it doesn’t hold value to AWS talent in other roles too, or those who wish to progress into new roles. In fact, when surveying AWS professionals in the Jefferson Frank Careers and Hiring Guide: AWS Edition, we found that only 14% of Full Stack Developers and Data Engineers surveyed held an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification.  

That being said, as a professional-level certification, candidates are expected to have expertise surpassing just the AWS and DevOps fundamentals. Any professional taking this cert should be experienced in programming and/or scripting, with a strong ability to develop code in at least one high-level programming language. They should be confident in their knowledge of the software development lifecycle, as well as their understanding of modern development and operation processes/methodologies.  

Ideally, they should also have at least 2 years of experience provisioning, operating, and managing AWS environments, and be capable of building highly automated infrastructure, administering operating systems, and securing AWS infrastructure.  


Is the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification worth it? 

Earning a professional-level AWS certification is no easy feat—it requires a lot of time, effort, and dedication.  

Understandably, this can be overwhelming for some AWS professionals. In fact, our Careers and Hiring Guide found that a shocking 43% of candidates have started studying for a certification but stopped before achieving it.  

With these professionals reporting a lack of motivation, not enough time or availability to study, and the fear of failure as reasons they didn’t complete their cert, it’s understandable if you’re wondering whether earning the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification is really worth it.  

But the fact is, the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification is worth it for the major benefits it brings to AWS professionals like you:  

  1. Stand out from the crowd
  2. Unlock more opportunities
  3. Boost your earning potential

Stand out from the crowd 

In the Jefferson Frank Careers and Hiring Guide: AWS Edition, 80% of AWS professionals surveyed believe certifications help you stand out in a competitive job market like the tech sector.  

The value this brings can’t be understated. Amongst those same respondents, just 9% of all AWS professionals and only a quarter (25%) of AWS DevOps Engineers held an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification. 

This indicates that the AWS DevOps cert is a smart way to elevate yourself from the crowd when taking your next career step. Validating your skills and expertise, as well as demonstrating your commitment to your field, it’s an extra accreditation on your resumé that makes you more desirable to prospective employers (or new customers, if you’re a contractor).   

Unlock more opportunities   

The new opportunities the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification unlocks are there for all to see.  

Over three-fifths (61%) of certified respondents reported benefiting from better career progression opportunities since earning an AWS certification. And with the AWS DevOps cert, it’s easy to see why.  

This certification empowers AWS professionals with increased confidence and credibility among their peers, stakeholders, and customers. Meanwhile, their organizations benefit from in-demand, expert delivery and maintenance of secure, compliant, and scalable systems. This opens more doors for permanent professionals looking to progress their careers and presents more contract opportunities for freelancers.  

As proof of this demand, look no further than 2022 research data from Lightcast. It reported a 52% increase in job listings requiring the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification across just 12 months.    

Boost your earning potential  

Of course, with greater career opportunities comes the prospect of a greater salary.  

In our Careers and Hiring Guide, almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents reported a salary increase post-certification, receiving an average rise of 27%. And with this talent reporting an increased efficiency in their job (49%) and improved industry knowledge (57%) since undergoing a certification, it’s easy to see why.  

Better yet, those same professionals listed the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification as the third most likely (34%) to increase your earning potential, meaning that obtaining this cert is certainly worth it for any AWS professionals hoping to boost their salary or contract rate.  

Ready to take the next step in your AWS DevOps career?

Whether you're on the lookout for your next contract or permanent position, unlock exciting new opportunities in AWS by registering with Jefferson Frank today.


How to earn an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification

The DOP-C02 exam can be taken either at an in-person Pearson VUE testing center or as an online proctored exam. It’s available to sit in the following languages:   

  • English 
  • Japanese 
  • Korean 
  • Simplified Chinese 

You’ll have 180 minutes to complete the 75-question exam. The questions will be either:   

  • Multiple choice: you’ll be offered four response options to these questions, but only one of them is correct. The three incorrect options, known as ‘distractors’, are usually plausible responses relevant to the content area.  
  • Multiple response: you’ll be offered a choice of five or more answers to these questions, and at least two of them are correct. Of course, the rest of the responses are those pesky distractors, so take your time to read the questions and answers carefully to avoid being caught out! 

How is the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional exam scored?  

Although the DOP-C02 exam consists of 75 questions, only 65 of them will impact your final score. The other 10 questions are unscored, and are there to collect candidate performance data and evaluate question types for future use. However, it’s vital to note that you won’t be notified as to which these questions are in the exam.  

The exam is pass/fail and scored on a scale of 100-1000, with a minimum pass rate of 750 required to obtain the cert. You do not need to pass each individual section of this exam. Unsurprisingly, unanswered questions are marked as incorrect, so there’s no harm in taking a wild guess when you don’t know the answer! It may just earn you a point. 

Within your score report, you’ll likely receive a table of classifications showing your performance across each section of the exam. This is intended to provide you with feedback to help you identify your areas of strong and weak performance on the test.  

How much does the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification cost?  

As with all Professional-level certifications, this certification costs $300 to take.  

If you’re currently employed in a permanent position, why not ask your employer whether they would contribute towards the certification cost? In our Careers and Hiring Guide, 44% of certified AWS professionals had these costs fully funded by their employer, with an additional 27% receiving partial funding.   


AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional study guide  

To optimize your use of revision time, it’s key to know the skills and knowledge you need to focus on. The DOP-C02 exam is split across six areas (also called domains), which each having a different weighting towards your overall score:  

  • Domain 1: SDLC Automation (22%) – implementing CI/CD pipelines; integrating automated testing into CI/CD pipelines; building and managing artifacts; implementing deployment strategies for instance, container, and serverless environments. 
  • Domain 2: Configuration Management and IaC (17%) – defining cloud infrastructure and reusable components to provision and manage systems throughout their lifecycle; deploying automation to create, onboard, and secure AWS accounts in a multi-account or multi-Region environment; designing and building automated solutions for complex tasks and large-scale environments. 
  • Domain 3: Resilient Cloud Solutions (15%) – implementing highly available solutions to meet resilience and business requirements; implementing solutions that are scalable to meet business requirements; implementing automated recovery processes to meet RTO and RPO requirements. 
  • Domain 4: Monitoring and Logging (15%) – configuring the collection, aggregation, and storage of logs and metrics; auditing, monitoring, and analyzing logs and metrics to detect issues; automating monitoring and event management of complex environments.  
  • Domain 5: Incident and Event Response (14%) – managing event sources to process, notify, and take action in response to events; implementing configuration changes in response to events; troubleshooting system and application failures.  
  • Domain 6: Security and Compliance (17%) – implementing techniques for identity and access management at scale; applying automation for security controls and data protection; implementing security monitoring and auditing solutions. 


You should expect lots of concepts and technologies to appear across all six domains, including but not limited to:  

  • Application deployment 
  • Application integration 
  • Application pipelines 
  • Automation 
  • Code repository best practices 
  • Cost optimization 
  • Deployment requirements 
  • Hybrid deployments 
  • IAM policies 
  • Metrics, monitoring, alarms, and logging 
  • Network ACL and security group design and implementation 
  • Operational best practices 
  • Rollback procedures 


The services, tools, and features considered in-scope for the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification exam include (but are not limited to): 

  • Analytics eg .Amazon Athena, Amazon QuickSight, Amazon EMR 
  • Application Integration  eg. Amazon AppFlow, Amazon EventBridge (Amazon CloudWatch Events) 
  • Compute eg. AWS EC2, AWS App Runner, AWS Elastic Beanstalk 
  • Containers eg. AWS Copilot, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), AWS Fargate 
  • Database eg. Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon RDS 
  • Developer Tools eg. AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK), AWS CloudShell, AWS CodeArtifact 
  • Management and Governance eg. AWS CloudTrail, Amazon CloudWatch, AWS Config 
  • Networking and Content Delivery eg. Amazon API Gateway, AWS Client VPN, Amazon VPC 
  • Security, Identity, and Compliance eg. Amazon Cognito, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), AWS Shield 
  • Serverless eg. AWS Lambda, AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM), Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) 
  • Storage eg. Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Amazon S3, AWS Storage Gateway 


Of course, it’s equally as important to know what’s not included in the DOP-C02 exam to ensure you’re not wasting valuable time learning things you won’t be tested on.

That’s not to say these skills aren’t important to your wider knowledge of the stack. But with 42% of respondents in our Careers and Hiring Guide listing a lack of time to study as one of the main reasons for stopping before completing a certification, it’s a smart move to leave these areas off the revision list for now.  

Examples of skills and expertise considered out-of-scope for the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification exam include but are not limited to: 

  • Advanced networking expertise  
  • Development of full-stack application code  
  • Optimization of database design, query, and performance 
  • Comprehensive knowledge of deep-level security  


AWS DevOps Engineer certification training: courses, questions, white papers, and resources 

Wondering where you can learn everything you need to know for your AWS DevOps Engineer – Professional certification? Here are the best training courses, question sets, white papers, and more, all available online from AWS and third-party cloud educators to help you pass the DOP-C02 exam.  

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional exam prep with AWS 

The best AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional training resources from AWS include: 

  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional Sample Questions: these sample questions from AWS will familiarize you with the question formats and explain the rationale for each correct answer.  
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional Official Practice Question Set: this official practice question set from AWS Skill Builder consists of 20 questions with exam-style scoring to help you assess your readiness. You’ll receive detailed feedback on your answer, along with recommended resources to strengthen your knowledge of the relevant content area.  
  • Exam Readiness: AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional: this seven-hour, advanced-level course from AWS Skill Builder is a comprehensive education on how to prepare for the exam by exploring each domain in detail, strengthening knowledge of core DevOps methodology and principles, and demonstrating how to eliminate distractor answers more effectively.  
  • DOP-CO2 Official Practice Exam: this official full-length practice exam requires an AWS Skill Builder subscription, but is well worth it for any candidate looking to identify their knowledge gaps, assess their readiness, and build confidence by familiarizing themselves with the question types, scoring, and time limit of the actual exam.  

AWS has also published a series of official white papers useful to build knowledge relevant to the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional exam: 

 Other online AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional training courses   

Other great resources to spruce up on everything you need to know before sitting the DOP-C02 exam include these training courses from trusted cloud educators: 

  • Udemy: this comprehensive, 20hr course from Stephane Maarek is the highest rated on Udemy for a reason. It’s jam-packed full of practical knowledge, yet remains fast-paced and to the point, with on-demand video learning, a logical progression of topics, and even a practice exam included.   
  • Cloud Academy: this dedicated learning path for the AWS DevOps Engineer – Professional certification offers around 90hrs of high-quality training material. Led by an AWS Certification Specialist, Danny Jessee, this comprehensive, advanced course will guide you through each exam domain with detailed video training, hands-on labs, and exam preparation.   
  • A Cloud Guru: this thorough course has over 22hrs of material split into digestible 5-20 minute lessons, all comprised by the subject matter experts at A Cloud Guru. The course’s domain deep-dives and practical hands-on labs are carefully crafted not just to prepare you for the DOP-C02 exam, but also to equip you with the technical skills and know-how you need to thrive as a DevOps professional.  


From boosting your salary to improving your job/contract prospects and accelerating your development, earning certification is worth it—so always keep these end goals in mind. Earning an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification can be tough, but by putting the time, effort, and dedication in today, you can reap the benefits for your career tomorrow.  

Unmissable insights and career advice from across the AWS ecosystem

Covering certification, salaries, benefits, expert tips, and a whole lot more, the Jefferson Frank Careers and Hiring Guide is the ultimate resource for anyone looking to build a rewarding career in AWS.

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