What Is a Cloud Architect and How to Be a Successful One?

What is a Cloud Architect, how much can you earn as one, and what are the required skills – let’s find out!

The term “Cloud Architect” has become sort of a buzzword in the IT industry.

But what really is it?

The Cloud Architect is a new breed of IT professional who can straddle the line between Infrastructure and Platforms, servicing both. They are responsible for designing cloud infrastructures as well as platforms that run on them such as VMs or containers.

Cloud computing designations such as cloud engineers, cloud DevOps engineers, and cloud developers are in high demand, but today, we will focus on cloud architects!

Cloud computing architects are mainly responsible for designing, building, and managing the cloud strategy of a company. For this, they need hands-on experience and a deep understanding of traditional IT infrastructure and modern cloud technologies.

Let’s dive in a bit deeper and find out what a cloud architect is responsible for and why you should consider becoming one.

What is a Cloud Architect?

A Cloud Architect is in charge of translating a project’s technical needs into the architecture and design that will drive the final result. Cloud Architects are frequently responsible for bridging the gap between complicated business problems and cloud-based solutions.

Cloud architects are IT professionals that have the knowledge and skills to navigate complicated cloud settings, lead teams, develop and implement cloud plans, and guarantee cloud systems are up to date and running efficiently.

The demand for cloud architects is high as more organizations move their operations into the world of clouds. As the demand for highly skilled cloud architect is high, the designations come with job security in this uncertain economy, making it one of the most promising IT career.

What does a Cloud Architect do?

A cloud architect is mainly responsible for monitoring the cloud computing strategy of a company. The strategy mainly includes cloud management, cloud application design, and cloud adoption plans.

The cloud architect job description includes overseeing the application deployments and architecture in the cloud environment (hybrid, public, and private).

Which tools are used by Cloud Architects?

A cloud architect’s job description requires presenting diagrams to reflect how a cloud strategy can be implemented. For this, they cannot use the basic whiteboards. Instead, they leverage the most sophisticated drawing tools.

Detailed diagrams can address critical concerns regarding compatibility, and interoperability that Architects are trusted to consider.

A more specialized architecture diagramming software comes in helpful when every detail matters and you need a larger canvas to portray it. Here are a few examples of tools used by cloud architects to create and share diagrams.

  • Gliffy
  • Lucidchart
  • Visio
  • Architecture Examples Project

What skills do you need to become a Cloud Architect?

To start your career in cloud computing and become a successful cloud architect, you need a perfect combination of technical and non-technical skills. You can work on the non-technical ones and get experience in technical expertise by enrolling in certification programs.

Let’s discuss some technical and non-technical skills that you may require to become a cloud architect and understand how they can benefit your career.

Technical skills

Here’s a list of important technical skills you need to become a cloud architect:

  1. Application architect
  2. Virtualization
  3. Operating system (OS) knowledge
  4. Security
  5. Networking
  6. Programming languages
  7. Big Data

1. Application architect

what-does-a-cloud-architect do-application-architect

Cloud architects should have a strong command of application architecture to coordinate multiple applications in a cloud environment.

2. Virtualization


Another area that cloud architects should focus on is virtualization, and they should understand the basics regarding the integration of virtual machines with cloud technologies.

3. Operating system (OS) knowledge


Ubuntu, Solaris, Linux, and Windows are some operating systems in which a cloud architect should have strong command. They must understand the cloud ecosystem and spectrum of multiple operating systems.

4. Security


Cloud architects should be able to understand the concept of data security and access management while presenting and implementing new strategies. Access management should be implemented to secure data by limiting access to codes and applications.

5. Networking


Cloud systems architects should be proficient in understanding domain name systems (DNS) such as HTTP and TCP/IP. They should also have a strong understanding of Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Google Cloud.  

6. Programming languages


Most cloud architects are proficient in programming languages such as C#, Python, and Java, so you need to add them to your skillset too.

7. Big Data


Big data design and architecture are essential technical skills for becoming a cloud architect. As organizations invest heavily in cloud computing and big data, you can enroll in a certification program to enhance your skills.

Non-Technical skills

In addition to technical, non-technical skills are also crucial for becoming a successful cloud architect. As you will be working in a team, it is vital to identify the skills that can help you go a long way.

To work as a cloud architect in the industry, here are the principal non-technical skills you should master.

  • Program leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Change management
  • Finance management

Is Cloud Architect a good career?

The cloud computing market will expectedly reach USD 1,554.94 billion by 2030, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.7%, meaning you can observe a high demand in cloud computing roles, especially cloud architect and cloud engineer.

Considering this upcoming demand, it is high time to become a cloud architect. According to Payscale’s salary research (2022), cloud architects can earn between $80,000 and $167,000 yearly. This pay rate depends on various factors, including skill, education, experience, and location but a cloud architect earns around $128,418 per year.

When you think about the upcoming vacancies, job security despite of economy, and the possibilities of new opportunities, you can say that cloud architecture is one of the best jobs in the IT sector.


Does Cloud Architect require coding?

Yes, you will need to learn infrastructure code to become a cloud architect. If you want to design cloud applications, you should also be proficient in application coding.

Is Cloud Architect’s job hard?

Cloud computing is hard considering the other areas of Information Technology (IT). It not only focuses on introducing cloud strategies but also involves collaborating with other professionals and educating them regarding the benefits of the cloud.

Furthermore, the job also includes continuous learning to keep up with current advancements and long hours to manage deadlines. The job of a cloud architect is pretty challenging, but considering the job assurance, it is one of the most in-demand and secure IT positions.

Can cloud architects work from home?

Yes, cloud architects can work from home. In fact, many cloud architects telecommute or work remotely at least some of the time. Cloud architecture is a highly technical field, and the ability to work from home can be a major perk for cloud architects.

Currently, most cloud architects prefer to work from home or provide their services as freelancers. They can also collaborate with other cloud architects, make their freelance teams, and set their own working hours and pay rates.

How hard is Google Cloud Architect certification?

According to test-takers and industry insiders, Google’s Professional Cloud Architect (PCA) certification is pretty difficult. To pass the certification, you will need extensive knowledge and industry experience in cloud computing.

Wrapping Up!

A cloud architect is one of the best jobs in the cloud computing arena. As you now know what a cloud architect is, you can enroll in cloud computing certifications and easily become one. Cloud computing is considered the most promising IT field, and you can start your career in it easily.

The demand for cloud architects is increasing, opening the door to new job opportunities. Consider a cloud architect career path, invest in your skills, and you are good to go. Keep learning till you succeed!


Manno Notermans

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