GCP Cloud Engineer Vs Cloud Architect

GCP Cloud Engineer vs GCP Cloud Architect: What’s the Difference? 

GCP Cloud Engineer vs GCP Cloud Architect—the two highly sought-after cloud computing roles may sound similar but are highly different. These roles are the backbone of the ever-evolving world of Cloud Infrastructure and offer exceptional career prospects, opening doors to many opportunities.

But how do you decide which one to pursue and what will best fit your credentials?  

If you like hands-on technical work, have a keen interest in problem-solving, and know how to script, a GCP cloud engineer can be a good choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a strategic role that involves planning and designing applications for the Google Cloud Platform, you should choose a GCP cloud architect.   

This blog will explain the difference between a GCP Cloud Engineer Vs Cloud Architect in great detail.

Let’s dive in!

GCP Cloud Engineer vs GCP Cloud Architect Certifications  

 GCP offers two certification courses to kickstart your career as a cloud architect and cloud engineer. You must pursue Google Professional Cloud Architect Certification to become a GCP cloud architect. For cloud engineer roles, you need to qualify for Google Associate Cloud Engineer certification. Here’s an overview of both the courses.  

Google Professional Cloud Architect Certification  

 Suppose you want to learn how organizations leverage Google Cloud technologies and build solutions that work best in GCP infrastructure. In that case, Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect is the right course for you.

Google Professional Cloud Architect course imparts an in-depth knowledge of cloud architecture on Google Cloud.

You will learn how to develop, design, and manage robust, scalable, secure, dynamic, and highly available solutions to achieve business objectives. The course will also test your abilities to perform technical tasks like:  

  • Designing and planning cloud solution architecture 
  • Designing for security and compliance 
  • Managing implementations for cloud architecture 
  • Managing and provisioning the cloud solution infrastructure 
  • Analyzing and optimizing technical and business processes 
  • Ensuring operations and solutions reliability  

Also Read: Study Guide for Google Professional Cloud Architect Certification exam

Benefits of Google Professional Cloud Architect Certification exam  

Google Professional Cloud Architect is an excellent course if you like working with network solutions architecture. It also validates your skills and knowledge in designing robust, agile, scalable solutions that best fit the Google Cloud ecosystems and help achieve business goals.

You will thoroughly understand how GCP works and learn how your organization can leverage it to solve critical business problems. The cherry on top is that you can elevate your essential thinking capabilities and sharpen your problem-solving skills.  

Google Professional Cloud Architect Certification course will also help you learn how to:  

 Plan for scalability 

 You will be able to design cloud solutions that can scale without any friction while accommodating workloads. Applications will also feature auto-scaling, load balancing, and redundancy.  

 Build cost-effective applications 

 Cost redundancy is a crucial element of cloud architecture. This GCP course will teach you to identify opportunities to reduce costs and optimize resource usage without compromising performance.  

 Strategize security  

 As a GCP cloud architect, you will define the overarching security and strategize access controls, encryption, and compliance needs. You will build security measures from the ground up and ensure they run smoothly.  


 You need at least three years of industry experience, including more than one year of experience managing and designing solutions using Google Cloud Platform.  

Google Associate Cloud Engineer Certification  

Google Associate Cloud Engineer certification validates your skills to deploy apps, monitor operations, and handle enterprise solutions. You will learn to use Google Cloud Console and the command-line interface to carry common platform-based operations and maintain one or more solutions deployed to leverage Google or self-managed services on Google infrastructure.

Google Professional Cloud Engineer Certification course will test your abilities to perform technical tasks like:

  • Setting up cloud solution environments 
  • Planning and configuring cloud solutions 
  • Deploying and implementing cloud solutions 
  • Ensuring successful operations of cloud solutions 
  • Configuring access and security 

Also Read: FREE Google Cloud Engineer exam questions

Benefits of Google Associate Cloud Engineer Exam  

Google Associate Cloud Engineer certification helps you possess all the skills to build scalable and reliable solutions on GCP. This exam equips you with in-depth knowledge of necessary GCP tools, techniques for infrastructure management, networking concepts, security best practices, and more.

You will learn how to contribute to the operational work of your organization while optimizing resources, boosting performance, and building robust data security. The course will help you shape critical abilities like:  

 Deploying servers  

Setting up servers is one of the essential tasks for a GCP cloud engineer. This also involves configuring virtual machines on cloud infrastructure, allocating resources to meet project needs, accurate provisioning, etc. You will also define server specifications like CPU, RAM, and storage to meet app needs.  


You will be among the first line of defense when issues arise. You will be responsible for detecting and resolving problems impacting cloud resources. Your tasks will also involve debugging application code, identifying network issues, and decoding bottlenecks.  

 Ensuring Security 

As a GCP cloud engineer, you will play a critical role in ensuring the security of significant cloud resources. By applying robust protection measures, you will implement security best practices, handle access controls, and prevent vulnerabilities.   


You need at least six months of experience with Google Cloud.  

GCP Cloud Engineer vs GCP Cloud Architect: Roles and Responsibilities  

While both GCP cloud architect and cloud engineer play a crucial role in building and maintaining successful cloud solutions on GCP, their roles and responsibilities vary and depend on various factors.

GCP cloud engineers are hands-on doers. You will implement a cloud architect’s blueprint by configuring, managing, and deploying Google cloud resources.

On the other hand, the GCP cloud architect works with stakeholders to dive deep into business needs and build scalable and cost-effective solutions to meet them. Here’s how the roles and responsibilities of these domains differ.  

GCP Cloud Engineer Roles and Responsibilities

You will be an integral organization member who protects core organizational assets while driving business growth. You will build and maintain the Google ecosystem, ensuring all services are up and running and guaranteeing smooth operations.

Therefore, your daily work scope can fall anywhere between designing, deploying, and overseeing GCP systems in your organization.

Other primary responsibilities include:  

  • Craft the architectural blueprint for the ecosystem and apps and deploy them on cloud platforms. 
  • Evaluate and select relevant cloud services that align with specific business needs without hassle.  
  • Ensure that every element of cloud design aligns with security norms and compliance rules. 
  • Use tools like CloudFormation, Terraform, and Ansible to automate infrastructure provisioning and app deployment.  
  • Establish CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment) pipelines and streamline processes for quicker and more uniform deployments. 
  • Implement, monitor, log, and alert systems to oversee the health of cloud platforms and applications. 
  • Identify anomalies and incidents and ensure maximum availability and uptime for services and apps.
  • Uphold security best practices to protect data integrity, availability, and confidentiality
  • Manage identity and access while staying updated with changing compliance needs for better governance.  
  • Set up VPCs (Virtual Private Clouds), routing, subnets, and firewall rules to build a robust cloud environment.  
  • Manage the connectivity that bridges cloud platforms with on-premises infra adeptly through services like VPNs and Direct Connect. 

GCP Cloud Architect Roles and Responsibilities

You will create the blueprint of solutions for cloud engineers and visualize the design of applications so they best fit the business goals and objectives. You will plan not just to deploy solutions but also to envision their alignment with cloud services and create a trajectory of their performance. Some of the other primary responsibilities include:  

  • Devise a strategic plan to adopt the cloud and ensure it resonates with business goals.  
  • Assess and endorse cloud services and solutions, considering the business’s technical demands and financial requirements. 
  • Craft cloud environments tailored to ensure the supercharged performance of apps and services.  
  • Suggest tools and approaches like content delivery networks (CDNs), caching methods and techniques, and technologies to improve efficiency and performance. 
  • Conceptualize failover, backup, and recovery systems to protect the infrastructure against harmful disruptions.  
  • Design solutions that emphasize minimal downtime and preservation of sensitive data during unforeseen events. 
  • Stay abreast of new trends, best practices, and developments in the cloud domain, especially in Google Cloud.
  • Continually reassess and fine-tune architectural designs to align with continuous progress and business needs. 
  • Keep comprehensive documentation to capture cloud architectures, design blueprints, policies, and methodologies.  

Read More: Top Hands-on labs for Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect

GCP Cloud Engineer vs Cloud Architect: Job and Salary Outlook  

Both roles are in high demand across demand owing to the widespread adoption of the Google Cloud platform by companies worldwide. However, the career paths for both will depend on the level of expertise, experience, salary, and overall job outlook. Here’s a detailed breakdown.  

GCP Cloud Engineer Job and Salary Outlook  

In general, the average salary of a cloud engineer is as high as $82,636 annually. The top 65% of professionals make $65,500; the 75th percentile clocks $116,000 annually. According to sources like Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter, Google Certified cloud engineers can get a pay range between $183,000 and $284,000 per year. While the average salary is $162,000, the average additional pay is $64,000. 

GCP Cloud Architect Job and Salary Outlook  

The scope of salary and career path for GCP cloud architects will be bright and buoyant in the coming days. You will get great earning potential and a chance to score a higher package. According to talent.com, the average salary of a cloud architect ranges from  $165,360 per year. Sources say hourly wage averages $70.79, ranging from $62.50 to $79.57. 

  • The salary ranges from $80,000 to $120,000 for entry-level professionals with 1-3 years of experience, focusing on basic cloud architecture and hands-on skills. 
  • The salary ranges from $120,000 to $160,000 for medium-level professionals with 4-7 years of experience, providing opportunities for smaller projects and team management.  
  • For advanced-level professionals with 8+ years of experience, the salary goes above $160,000 and includes overseeing complex projects and wielding strategic influence.  

Also Read: Job and Career Path for Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architects  

GCP Associate Cloud Engineer vs Professional Cloud Architect: What’s the difference anyway?  

Here’s a quick snapshot of the differences between GCP cloud architect and cloud engineer.   


Cloud Engineer 

Cloud Architect 


Implement, maintain, and support cloud infrastructure and services.  

Design and plan cloud infrastructure and solutions. 

Skill Set  

Strong technical skills in cloud platforms, virtualization, networking, scripting/automation, security principles, and troubleshooting.  

Deep knowledge of cloud technologies, architecture design principles, enterprise IT infrastructure, application development methodologies, project management, stakeholder management, and communication. 


Day-to-day implementation and operation of cloud infrastructure.  

Big-picture focuses on analyzing business requirements, designing architectures, developing migration strategies, and ensuring performance, scalability, security, and compliance. 


Implement solutions based on designs provided by cloud architects or higher-level stakeholders.  

Make high-level decisions regarding cloud service selection, architecture design, and overall cloud adoption strategy. 

Experience Level  

Hands-on experience with cloud platforms and related technologies. Entry-level positions may require a strong IT foundation.  

Extensive experience in cloud technologies, IT infrastructure, and enterprise architecture. Senior-level positions often require several years of relevant experience. 

Factors to consider when choosing between GCP Cloud Engineer and GCP Cloud Architect

Here are a few things to remember before you dive headfirst into following a career path.  

Job Responsibilities 

Architects design GCP solutions while engineers implement and manage them. 

Technical Skills 

Architects will need deep knowledge of the Google platform and skills to design solutions. However, engineers will need hands-on experience with GCP services and automation tools. 


Do you want to attain advanced expertise in Google Cloud and design solutions for cloud infrastructure? Or do you want to explore platform-based operations? This will help you decide your certification and role.  


Architects need deep expertise in system architecture and solution design. Engineers would need experience in handling system administration and cloud infrastructure management. 

Career Growth 

As an architect, you will move into leadership roles, while as an engineer, you can specialize in DevOps, security, etc. 


I hope this blog helps you understand the difference between the GCP Cloud Architect and the GCP Cloud Engineer. We have covered the differences based on certification, roles, responsibilities, skills, salary, job outlook, and how to decide which one is right for you.

However, to step into the shoes of an architect or engineer, it’s important to build a strong foundation around the domain, which will begin with qualifying for Google Professional Cloud Architect certification and Google Associate Cloud Engineer Certification.  

Considering this, Whizlabs offers extensive training materials for all GCP courses, including GCP cloud architect and engineer cert courses.

Level up your preparation with our sample tests with exhaustive explanations, video lectures by industry experts, hands-on labs, a sandbox for practical skills, and exclusive access to our resources. Want to learn more about training programs? Reach out to us today! 

About Karthikeyani Velusamy

Karthikeyani is an accomplished Technical Content Writer with 3 years of experience in the field where she holds Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering. She is well-versed in core skills such as creative writing, web publications, portfolio creation for articles. Committed to delivering quality work that meets deadlines, she is dedicated to achieving exemplary standards in all her writing projects. With her creative skills and technical understanding, she is able to create engaging and informative content that resonates with her audience.

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