AWS Sysops Administrator Associate

Preparation guide for SOA-C02: AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification

Operating in cloud environments involves many aspects: deploying and managing workloads, troubleshooting systems, implementing security controls, ensuring disaster recovery procedures. If you want to start a career as a cloud administrator, you need to be well-versed in all these mission-critical actions.

Speaking of which, the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam is the perfect course to get hands-on with the nuances of cloud operations and systems administration.

This blog will walk you through everything about the SOA-C02 exam: certification overview, learning outcomes, how it helps your career, prior requirements, the syllabus, materials, preparation strategies, and so on. 

What is the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate Certification anyway?

The SOA-C02: AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification is one of the industry-relevant skills and a specialized course for system administrators working in cloud operations. The SOA-C02 cert validates your knowledge of implementing, handling, and running workloads on AWS infrastructure. The exam tests your ability to perform tasks like: 

  • Maintain and support AWS workloads in accordance with the AWS Well-Architected Framework. 
  • Utilize the AWS Management Console and AWS CLI to carry out activities.
  • Put security controls in place to comply with compliance requirements
  • System monitoring, logging, and troubleshooting
  • Apply networking concepts (such as DNS, TCP/IP, and firewalls).
  • Implement architectural specifications (such as high availability, performance, and capacity)
  • Adopt catastrophe recovery and business continuity measures
  • Identify, categorize, and address incidents

What skills will you learn from the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification?

The SOA-C02 certification imparts countless skills that you would need to perform daily as an AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate. Preparing for this certification will help you learn: 

  • How to implement, manage and run workloads on AWS while deploying security controls and compliance needs. 
  • Using AWS Command Line Interface and AWS Management Console.
  • AWS networking and security services
  • AWS Well-Architected Framework. 

Additionally, like all other AWS certifications, SOA-C02 categorizes the learning outcomes into two baskets: concepts, tools, and technologies falling within the scope of the cert exam and some out-of-scope AWS features and services.

Let’s have a sneak peek at both of the buckets. 

The general scope of AWS concepts covered in the SOA-C02 exam:

AWS Cost Management:  

  • AWS Cost and Usage Report   
  • Savings Plans 
  • AWS Cost Explorer

Application Integration:  

  • Amazon EventBridge (Amazon CloudWatch Events)  
  • Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS)
  • Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS)   



  • AWS Application Auto Scaling    
  • Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling   
  • AWS Lambda 
  • Amazon EC2
  • Amazon EC2 Image Builder

AWS Cost Management:  

  • AWS Cost and Usage Report   
  • Savings Plans 
  • AWS Cost Explorer


  • Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS)   
  • Amazon FSx   
  • Amazon S3 Glacier    
  • AWS Storage Gateway  
  • Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS)
  • Amazon S3
  • AWS Backup

Security, Identity, and Compliance:  

  • AWS Certificate Manager (ACM)   
  • AWS Directory Service   
  • AWS IAM Access Analyzer  
  • Amazon Inspector  
  • Amazon Detective
  • Amazon GuardDuty
  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)  

Out-of-Scope AWS Services and Features

  • Amazon API Gateway   
  • Amazon Chime    
  • AWS CodeBuild   
  • AWS CodeStar   
  • AWS Device Farm   
  • Amazon Connect
  • Amazon DynamoDB
  • Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR)  
  • Amazon Elastic Transcoder   
  • AWS IoT Button    
  • Amazon Kinesis   
  • Amazon Lumberyard  
  • AWS IoT Greengrass
  • Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS)

Who should take the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam?

If you are willing to kickstart a career in cloud operations or system administration, then the SOA-C02 exam can be a great fit for you. Additionally, if you have experience working with cloud services, AWS technologies, and system administration and have a strong IT background, this is the perfect career milestone. 

Apart from this, here are a few more factors that can help you assess and decide whether to go with the SOA-C02 certification: 

  • Are you already AWS Fundamentals qualified and looking for the next step or direction in AWS? Then this can be just the right course for you as it will help you learn the nuances of AWS cloud infrastructure faster and gain added expertise in administration and cloud operations. 
  • Are you working as an administrator without certification? The badge of AWS certification can help you be in the spotlight and gain recruiters’ attention while you get hands-on with all the skills necessary to work with the most-adopted cloud environment. 
  • Are you working as an on-prem system administrator and want to explore cloud operations? The SOA-C02 will help you start your cloud career journey while landing a high-paid job as an AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate. 

Sounds interesting, isn’t it? 

Also Read: Top 7 Tips for Preparing AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate Exam

Why should you go for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam?

There are a million reasons to take the SOA-C02 exam. To begin with, an AWS Certified SysOps Administrator is one of the highest-paying jobs across industries. Unlike other certificate courses focusing mostly on single-service tools or tech like MySQL, this AWS cert covers innumerable services and features to help you strengthen your base.

It also allows you to become well-versed in storage, networking, and security aspects of cloud environments.

Additionally, an AWS Certified SysOps Administrator can hike their salary by around USD 48,000 to USD 127,000 p.a. Glassdoor research says the average income of AWS-certified professionals can go up as high as INR 1,170,000 based on experiences and knowledge depth. Some of the other benefits of the SOA-C02 course include: 

  • Building fault-tolerant systems on AWS.
  • Manage data inflows and outflows in AWS.
  • Handle workload migration into the AWS cloud. 
  • Speciality-level cert helps you learn AWS a lot faster.
  • It saves you from mugging countless docs while helping you learn advanced tricks in deploying quicker AWS solutions and solving business problems in real time.

Prerequisites of AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam

To be eligible for the SOA-C02 exam, you need to have a strong IT base and know to map on-prem to cloud infrastructures. You also need at least one year of experience working with:

  • System Administration
  • AWS technologies
  • Cloud services in general
  • Monitoring, troubleshooting and logging
  • Implement architectural requirements (like performance capability and high availability).
  • Implementation of security controls
  • Deployment of compliance requirement

In addition, you also need hands-on and a clear understanding of concepts like: 

  • AWS Well-Architected Framework
  • AWS networking and security services

Apart from this, the exam’s prerequisite list also recommends some out-of-scope skills to make AWS services and features graspable:

  • Designing distributed architectures
  • Designing continuous CI/CD pipelines  
  • Creating hybrid and multi-VPC networking  
  • Developing software 

Exam Overview of AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification
SOA-C02 exam

Exam domains for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification

The SOA-C02 certification exam captures 6 domains and has specific weight in the cert exam. Here’s a quick view of the exam breakup: 

Domain Weightage
Monitoring, Remediation and Logging 20%
Business Continuity and Reliability 16%
Provisioning, Implementation, and Automation 18%
Security and governance 16%
Content delivery and networking  18%
Optimizing cost and performance 12%

All these domains are divided into various subheads covering: 

  • Monitoring, Remediation and Logging

– Use AWS logging and monitoring services to implement metrics, filters, and alarms.

– Remediate trouble spots using availability and monitoring services.

  • Business Continuity and Reliability

– Deploy elasticity and scalability

– Deploy resilient and high availability infrastructures

– Install backup and restore principles

  • Provisioning, Implementation, and Automation

– Maintain and provision cloud resources

– Automate mundane or repeatable procedures

  • Security and governance

– Deploy and handle compliance and security needs

– Deploy and environment and data security strategies

  • Content delivery and networking 

– Deploy connectivity and networking features

– Configuration of DNS services, domains, and content delivery

– Troubleshooting network connectivity issues

  • Troubleshooting and monitoring

– Deploy cost optimization blueprint

– Implement performance optimization plan

Study materials to refer to for the AWS certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam

The best thing about AWS certifications is that you get almost everything you need to kickstart your SOA-C02 prep journey. The package includes many resources and study materials helping you get a strong hold on AWS cloud operations. Here’s a complete list of what you will find.

To begin with, you can subscribe to the AWS skill builder and access the updated and latest docs and practice papers for a detailed SOA-C02 prep. The skill builder also includes Cloud Quest, which allows you to put your theory into practice and understand AWS infrastructure via replica structures. 

Also Read: 25 Free Questions on AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate

Next, you will find free digital training and classroom sessions, involving various concepts of cloud management and administration. These sessions are self-paced lectures focusing on the nuances of AWS technologies and system operations. It includes: 

  • AWS Technical Essentials
  • System operations on AWS

Third, you can skim through whitepapers and FAQs for AWS fundamentals and architecture, covering: 

Finally, you have the AWS exam review section for the last phase of your preparation strategy. You can get a demo experience of the certification exam and self assess your preparation. The exam resources capture:

  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate Exam Guide
  • Exam Readiness: AWS Certified SySOps Administrator – Associate
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate Sample Questions
  • Exam Prep: AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate Official Practice Question Set

Preparation tips for the SOA-C02: AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate Exam

The SOA-C02 exam is a hard one to get through. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ace it. With proper strategy and accurate schedules, you can make all phases of prep a breeze. Here are few quick steps you can follow: 

  • Download the AWS SOA-C02 exam guide to delve deeper into the exam objectives and domains. 
  • Allot equal hours and days to all domains and topics. Treat all parts of the syllabus equally and don’t leave anything behind.
  • The exam needs candidates to have hands-on experience with IT, AWS technologies, cloud administration and system operations. If you don’t have the required practical exposure, ensure you have all the skills up your sleeves before applying. 
  • Similarly, ensure you are at least familiar with all the out-of-scope skills. You can begin with AWS FAQs and whitepapers to delve deeper into those topics. 
  • Coming to theory, in addition to video lectures, you can also check out YouTube videos like Ace the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam and AWS VPC Masterclass with LIVE demo.
  • Once you are done with all the theoretical and practical prep, it’s time to put your skills into practice. Go through AWS sample papers and official practice questions to assess your preparation so far. Note and refill the gaps, and then re-attempt the questions. 

Once you see no errors on paper, register for the SOA-C02 exam and ace it. 


What skills do I need to master to become an AWS certified sysops administrator associate? 

You need to validate your skills for: 

  • Handling AWS workloads
  • AWS Management Console and CLI
  • AWS architecture 
  • AWS security and networking services

How long is the validity of the SOA-C02 certification?

The SOA-C02 cert is valid for three years. 

How does SOA-C02 cert benefit an IT administrator?

The professionals specializing in administration profiles are responsible for the operations, implementation, and monitoring of the systems. The AWS SOA-C02 certification verifies administrators’ abilities to set up, run, and monitor adaptable, reliable, and available systems on the AWS platform.


Hope this blog helps you understand the SOA-C02 course and structure your learning path effectively. One of the main components of succeeding in the AWS certifications is having access to updated exam materials. Therefore, Whizlabs brings you a complete training package to make your SOA-C02 journey frictionless and meaningful.

You will have practice tests, video courses, hands-on labs and an AWS sandbox to experiment with and experience the demo of AWS environment.

Hopefully, this SOA-C02 preparation guide has given you a better understanding of exam domain, exam skills and some more ideas of where to get training for SOA-C02 certification, that you can implement today.

About Vidhya Boopathi

Vidhya is a Senior Digital Marketing Executive with 5 years of experience. She is skilled in content creation, marketing strategy, digital marketing, social media, website design, and creative team management. Vidhya pursued her Master's Degree in computer science engineering, making her an expert in all things digital. She always looking for new and innovative ways to reach her target audience.

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