How To Become An AWS Certified Big Data Engineer


How To Become An AWS Certified Big Data Engineer

Businesses around the world, regardless of the industry they operate in or their size, are moving to the cloud. This is a fact that has helped the AWS cloud market grow exponentially. Such a huge market requires skills and resources to manage cloud-based assets for which AWS certifications are needed. There is a wide range of AWS certifications available to IT professionals, whether they want to kickstart their career or wish to specialize in a particular field. AWS certifications range from entry-level to expert-level. Big Data and AWS are among the most highly-regarded skills in the IT industry, and therefore those IT professionals who wish to grow in the field should become an AWS certified Big Data Engineer. This certification will open numerous opportunities for career growth and will help the certified professionals further their career and secure top positions. Having expertise about AWS and Big Data analytics will make you one of the most sought-after candidates, as many companies are constantly looking for candidates with such skills. The AWS Big Data Engineer certification helps you increase your knowledge as well as your earnings.

Let this article be your guide to know all about the AWS Big Data Engineer certification to move ahead in your career.

AWS Certified Big Data Specialty Exam – What it is and how you can ace it?

The AWS Certified Big Data Specialist exam tests a candidate’s technical knowledge and expertise in devising plans about AWS services and implementing them so that valuable information from raw data can be extracted. The certification assesses the understanding of a test-taker about AWS Big Data Services and the standard architecture practices being followed and measures how well a person can execute the services. The AWS Big Data Engineer certification is an exam that tests the skills, expertise and in-depth knowledge about the concepts of data analytics and AWS Big Data Services.

Information about Specialty Exam of AWS Certified Big Data

Exam Name

AWS Big Data Certification – Specialty

Exam Pattern

Multiple choice questions to test the understanding about data analytics & AWS services – where some questions contain more than one correct answer



Exam Duration

3 hours

Number of Questions

Not Specified

Exam Fees

USD 300

Exam Requirements

  • To take the test, a person should have at least two years of experience in management of AWS technologies
  • The person should have minimum five years of experience in the field of Big Data analytics
  • Understanding of AWS services and fundamental knowledge about AWS architecture and familiarity with the process of integration services with architectures
  • A thorough understanding, experience and knowledge of security practices used in AWS
  • Data security as well as access control knowledge
  • Excellent command over designing and implementing a cost-efficient and scalable AWS architecture for data processing

Average Salary of an AWS Certified Big Data Specialist

Like every other field, the salary of an AWS Certified Big Data engineer depends on the experience, expertise and proven track record with the organization where the application has been sent. Every organization’s compensation structure is different, and thus one cannot and should not expect equal pay for similar position in different organizations. Undoubtedly, your skills, education, professional certifications and knowledge play a great role in getting you a better compensation package. For AWS certified Big Data engineers, there is a huge demand in the market. With relevant experience, you can easily get your dream package. One important thing you should take into account is that clearing the certification of AWS Big Data Engineer is not that easy, and you will need to have in-depth knowledge and understanding of AWS Big Data analysis. Since the prerequisite of the exam is five years of experience in the field of IT, you are expected to have extensive knowledge about the subject. You can certainly get a good package if you clear the AWS Big Data Engineer certification, but the certification is necessary.

The average salary as recorded by the Indeed Salary Report 2018 of Big Data Engineers falls between $70,008 to $129,811, depending on your experience in the field. The range broadens if you acquire the AWS Big Data Engineer certification.

Overview of AWS Big Data Engineer Certification Course

In this section, we will provide a brief overview about the training course, which will make it easier for you to acquire the AWS Big Data Specialty certification. As mentioned above, the AWS Certified Big Data Specialty certification assesses your technical prowess and experience in developing and executing AWS services so that raw data can be converted into useful information. In this article, QuickStart will help you understand the six domains of the exam outline that you need to comprehend to clear the exam and get the certification in the first attempt. This learning path will be an introduction about database and analytics fundamentals. In the course, you will then learn more about all the required details pertaining to collection, storage, processing, analysis, security and visualization of Big Data. Once done with the training, you’ll have to take a 22-hour long exam that comprises of 14 courses, three quizzes and two lab tests.

Learning Objectives


In the first domain, you will be exposed to the methods of data collections and the techniques that are considered appropriate for identifying the right operational characteristics of a data collection system. You will learn the ability of a collection system to deal with the frequent changes in it and how to define it. Moreover, you will get to know in the first domain which type of data is being used. In the first domain, you will also learn the methods to identify data properties and their enforcement procedure like metadata, order and data structure. This practice is being followed to make the data reliable and ensure its availability when needed. 


In the second domain of the learning path, you will learn about data storage methods. During your training about data storage in the Big Data Specialty Exam, you will learn the main options of storage available to you for storing Big Data. You will acquire knowledge about the patterns of data access and retrieval along with a few use cases which are appropriate for specific data patterns, like analyzing techniques for capturing, updating and retrieving entries catalog. You will acquire knowledge to identify suitable formats of data structure and storage as well as the method to optimize Big Data storage’s operational characteristics.

Data Processing Technologies

The third domain in the learning path of Big Data Specialty is technologies for data processing, where you will get to determine the right techniques for processing Big Data in different scenarios. In this domain, you will learn how to design, develop and implement effective solutions for data processing and further explore the operational characteristics of Big Data processing. The course will then dig deeper to help you understand different data processing methods available with respect to Amazon Rekognition, Kinesis and Elastic Map Reduce.  

Data Analysis

In the learning path of Big Data Specialty, the fourth domain is data analysis and will help you identify tools, techniques and tactics available to analyze processed data. You will be exposed to the methods of designing and developing analytical solutions. Then you’ll learn the optimization process of the operational characteristics of Analysis System while utilizing various tools including but not limited to Amazon Kinesis and Athena.

Data Visualization

Having acquired the data processing and analysis skills, the next thing you need to learn is data visualization, which is the fifth domain in the learning path. In this domain, you will learn how to create and implement a visualization platform using AWS services. Moreover, you will also be exposed to the right techniques needed for delivering the outcome of analysis or data related queries in an appropriate manner. You will also learn how to use the optimization techniques in the best possible way to demonstrate results in an efficient and understandable manner while utilizing Amazon QuickSight.

Data Security

The most important domain of the learning path is data security, which makes 20% of the entire curriculum of the certification. When dealing with data the most important thing to take into account is data security. An AWS Big Data Certified Engineer is of no use if the person can’t ensure the security of the data, Thus, you will be required to demonstrate excellent command over the best security practices when designing and developing Big Data solutions. Moreover, you will also learn to identify the requirements for encryption and how to encrypt data to ensure its security. You will learn in this domain about choosing the right technology that will help you implement data governance and determine the solutions to ensure data integrity – particularly when working with Big Data solutions.

Before attempting the AWS Big Data Engineer Certification course, you can take our Big Data on AWS Training to get a grip on Big Data solutions based on cloud such as Amazon EMR, Amazon Redshift, Amazon Kinesis and the other services available on the AWS Big Data platform. 

AWS Big Data Engineer Certification Course Prerequisites

To undertake the AWS Big Data Specialty Exam, you need to have:

  • At least a lower level AWS certification
  • A few years of experience in the field of data analytics
  • In-depth knowledge about the fundamentals of Big Data, its best practices and main principles.

The program is ideal for those who are not only passionate about Big Data but are also aware about its mechanism. Since the course validates the test-taker’s ability to analyze Big Data, by the time you finish the AWS Big Data Engineer Certification, you will get the ability to:

  • Design and architect Big Data solutions
  • Implement main AWS Big Data services as per the best practices of the field
  • Utilize available tools, techniques and technologies to automate Big Data analysis.

Recommended Certifications

As clarified in the prerequisite section, you would need to have certain skills and knowledge about AWS Big Data to undertake the AWS Big Data Engineer – Specialty Exam, which can be acquired by doing a few other certifications offered by QuickStart mentioned below:

Amazon Web Services: Basic

Amazon Web Services: Intermediate 

Fundamentals of AWS – Beginner

AWS for Absolute Beginners

Exam Overview

    • Exam format: multiple choice, multiple answer
    • Languages in which the test is available: English, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese
    • Time duration of the exam: 170 minutes
    • Registration fee: 300 USD

    It is recommended that before you enroll in AWS Big Data Engineer – Specialty Exam you need to have basic understanding about AWS services and Big Data analytics. Ideally, you will be expected to acquire entry level AWS certifications or the certifications mentioned above.

Career Prospect

AWS Big Data Engineers are in demand in the IT industry and can get a very attractive compensation package depending on the overall skills and experience. According to LinkedIn’s Director of Product Kumaresh Pattabiraman’s blog titled “LinkedIn’s Most Promising Jobs of 2019,” data scientist was the number one spot with a 56% year over year growth rate. This fact alone shows how fast the demand for data scientists is growing. With AWS being one of the leading Big Data platforms in the world, it is safe to assume that AWS Certified Big Data Engineers have a better career prospect than many other fields. Employers are seeking individuals with excellent Big Data capabilities validated by AWS Big Data certifications.

AWS certifications in the IT industry are rapidly becoming a necessary requirement for many jobs related to AWS. The introduction of AWS Big Data Engineer certification has shaken the market, as it equips the test takers with the right skills they need to deal with Big Data and analytics while helping professionals grow further in their career. Since the certification is relatively new, getting it might open a lot of new opportunities for you. If you are a data scientist or are passionate about Big Data and analytics then take this course, ace it and get your dream job with the compensation you desire.

Sample Resume of An AWS Certified Big Data Engineer

Jane Doe | 76512 Park Avenue, Dallas, Texas | +1 (555) 223 4247 |


Dallas, Texas


09/2015 – present

  • Design, develop and implement Big Data solutions using various tools and techniques
  • Identification of the appropriate methods to automate data processing and analysis
  • Design and develop ETL pipelines for the purpose of automating unstructured and structured data ingestion
  • Design, develop and implement Big Data technologies to fine tune processes and enhance performance
  • Building channels that help make data analysis easier and simpler
  • Supervising a team of Big Data engineers
  • Using various programing languages to automate data analysis including Scala, Java and Python
  • Using AWS Big Data services for the organization

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


06/2009 – 08/2015

  • Working on analyzing Big Data for various corporate clients and extracting meaningful information for them
  • Designing and developing technologies to integrate Big Data with advanced analytics to help client as well as the employer make informed business decisions
  • Assisting development teams in complex and critical projects related to Big Data
  • Working on the given data and producing output for the top management highlighting the key touch points
  • Developing algorithm on high-performance systems
  • Setting standards, creating policies and penning procedures related to data management

San Francisco, California


01/2007 – 06/2010

  • Executing complex, useful work tracks to be used by the team members
  • Data management and handling of data query component
  • Designing and development of data collection and automation frameworks
  • Creating innovative and smart solutions for complex Big Data related problems
  • Leading the tooling, testing and optimization to improve data quality


Master’s Degree in Computer Science | Stanford University

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science | Stanford University


  • Excellent knowledge of programming languages including Java, Python, C++, C#, PHP
  • Excellent command over data security protocols
  • Excellent knowledge of Big Data principles, Big Data management and Big Data security methods
  • Ability to build scalable and durable Big Data solutions
  • Integrate Big Data with advanced analytics


  • AWS Developer Certification by QuickStart
  • AWS Solutions Architect by QuickStart
  • AWS Certified Big Data Engineer

Common Interview Questions

Acquiring AWS Big Data Specialty certification can land you in an interview. However, to ace that interview you need to be prepared to answer all the questions they might ask. We have listed a few important questions that an employer may ask you about Big Data.

  • How do you define the term “Big Data”?
  • Can you tell what are the five V’s of Big Data?
  • What steps would you employ when deploying a Big Data solution?
  • How is your experience with Big Data?
  • What is the importance of data security, particularly in Big Data environment?
  • What would you prefer and why: good data or good models?
  • If you are to design and implement a Big Data solution for an MNC, what would be the first step?
  • How can you transform unstructured data into structured data?
  • Can you mention all the components necessary to build Amazing VPC?
  • How do you compare AWS with OpenStack?
  • What method would you employ to access EBS in AWS?
  • How will you build a comprehensive Big Data solution using AWS?

The information provided above is a standard introductory guide for the AWS Certified Big Data Engineer certification and will help you become a big data engineer.

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