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 cloud technology serves its purpose.

Since cloud engineering is broad, the responsibilities are usually broken down into specific roles like cloud architecture, development and administration. In cloud architecture, your focus is 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 the 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 supports multiple browsers. 

After developing and deploying cloud technologies, cloud engineers are also involved in monitoring and managing the networks. Administration involves managing on-premise software and cloud services. That includes developing policies for using cloud services and creating a secure cloud environment.

Would working in IT as a cloud engineer suit your interest in programming and innovative skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a cloud engineer role.

cloud engineer jobs

average cloud engineer salary

According to ONS, the median salary of a cloud engineer is £55,000 per year. Entry-level cloud engineers take home a salary of £45,000 annually. With experience and additional educational qualifications, your salary increases to over £75,000 per year. Aside from the basic compensation package, some employers provide additional benefits as part of the employment contract. The benefits for cloud engineers include medical and housing allowance. A cloud engineer also receives bonuses and overtime pay for working additional hours.

what affects the salary of a cloud engineer?

A cloud engineer's earnings depend on their skills and qualifications. While most employers prefer experience and knowledge in programming languages, your qualifications also boost your salary. When you have a degree, you are likely to earn more than someone without certifications. Besides, additional courses improve your knowledge and skill in the field. Some specialisms also attract higher earnings due to the complexity of the role. For instance, a cloud architect takes home an average salary of £75,000 annually with a potential of earning over £90,000 per year with experience.

The location also determines the compensation package. When you work in big cities, the demand for cloud engineers is high, pushing the salary upward. The cost of living also drives the salaries upwards.

cloud engineer analyzing
cloud engineer analyzing

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 engineer responsible for cloud architecture, 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 cloud applications are secure. You also ensure the cloud services have minimal downtime and manage new technology requests.

working as a cloud engineer

Working as a cloud engineer requires expert coding skills to develop and design applications. If you want to utilise your programming skills, check out the available roles and responsibilities:


education and skills

Some of the routes for becoming a cloud engineer include:

  • degree: to become a cloud engineer, you should pursue a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. Most cloud engineers are degree holders in software engineering or computer science. The courses equip you with programming knowledge and expertise in building cloud applications.
  • certification: cloud engineers require extensive and specialist knowledge of cloud services. Consider pursuing a cloud-based certificate to prepare you for the role. Alternatively, look for a master's course that improves your expertise in cloud technologies.

cloud engineer skills and competencies

Some of the skills of a cloud engineer include:

  • coding and technical skills: as a cloud engineer, programming skills are crucial for writing codes for various applications. Learning coding improves your career prospects. You also need technical skills in operating and running cloud-based applications and services.
  • teamwork skills: in cloud engineering, you work alongside a team to ensure optimal performance. For instance, some cloud engineers specialise in development while others are administrators. Since all the roles are necessary for the optimal performance of cloud-based services, working together is crucial. Teamwork allows you to discuss problems, accept criticism and learn from others.
  • problem-solving skills: as a cloud engineer, you encounter problems in the development or maintenance of cloud services. Exceptional problem-solving skills are necessary for troubleshooting and debugging cloud services.
smiling office man
smiling office man


FAQs about working as a cloud engineer

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