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31 Honest Cloud Architect Salaries

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Updated on January 30, 2024

If you’re already a cloud architect, you deserve to know what your job is worth. Or if you’re hoping to become a cloud architect, you deserve enough information to know what you can expect to be paid. The problem is, depending on where you look in the U.S., the average salary for a cloud architect changes drastically.

For instance, the difference between cloud architect salaries in cities with smaller demand, like Springfield, Missouri (where the low average sits around $63,000), and cities with much higher demand, like Sunnyvale, California (where the high average is close to $172,000) is huge. So read on and get a sense of what a cloud architect should actually expect to get paid throughout the country.

What is a Cloud Architect?

A cloud architect plans, designs, develops and then manages business solutions in the cloud. A cloud architect knows every question a company needs to ask at every stage of getting onto the cloud — and they have the technical knowledge to learn the answers.

Imagine you’re building your perfect office space. Pretty early on, you’d need to hire an architect, and they do much, much more than draw how the building will look. They figure out how many people will use the building, what they’ll use it for, how much space they’ll need, where they’ll all park, how long it’ll take to build, how expensive different options of construction materials could be, how deep the foundation needs to be to reach a certain height and much more. A cloud architect has very similar responsibilities, except for a company’s digital hopes and dreams.

A cloud architect integrates and designs cloud apps, services, storage, and compute solutions. They’re a big-picture expert, but they also know the technical implementations of each technology from many different vendors. Cloud architects tend to be compensated very well for their work.

31 Real Salaries for Cloud Architects

We looked at data sources from all over the Internet to understand what cloud architects are actually being paid. We went through job postings, job descriptions, salary comparison websites, and much more to give you a sense of what the job market looks like for cloud architects.

No matter where you look, the range of salaries a cloud architect can expect is wide. This could be partly due to how large an umbrella the job title “cloud architect” can cover. 

There are senior cloud architects with years of experience, and there are cloud architects who focus on only one cloud provider or vendor. No matter the reason, even within the same city, the difference between low-paying cloud architect jobs and high-paying jobs tends to be around $45,000 per year.

Whenever you’re analyzing IT salaries, it’s common to see a big difference between salaries in a large and expensive city like New York versus a smaller city like Montgomery, Alabama. 

But for cloud architects, the gap is especially pronounced. Nevertheless, when you look at national averages in the United States, a pretty clear picture emerges:

  • The U.S. national average salary for a Cloud Architect is $143,665.

  • The U.S. average high salary for a Cloud Architect is $158,202.

  • The U.S. average low salary for a Cloud Architect is $127,880.

Like we’ve said, the difference between cloud architect salaries in large, expensive cities is significantly higher than in smaller cities. Rather than focus on those high-demand cities, we’re going to analyze the salaries of 31 mid-sized American cities. 

It’s our hope that this will give a sense of national opportunities for cloud architects.



Low Average


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Sioux Falls





Little Rock





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Des Moines










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Kansas City

























Where You Work Affects Your Salary 

Depending on where you live or want to live, that chart might be disappointing. If you look at it geographically, most of the central states have salaries in the low $100,000s. Cloud architects in coastal cities and states see average salaries exceeding $150,000 pretty reliably. Still, it seems that cloud architects who live in the Midwest, the mountain states, or the South generally only see mid-six-figure salaries for the highest-paying jobs.

Experience is Evidently King for Salary 

Not only does geography say a lot about your salary, but so does experience and knowledge. If you look carefully at the range of salaries within each city, you’ll see something interesting about where the spread occurs. Although it’s not universal, generally speaking, the range for high-paying cloud architect jobs is larger than the range for low-paying cloud architect positions.

In other words, the going rate for low-paid cloud architects doesn’t change significantly across the country: in most mid-sized cities, the difference between low-paying jobs doesn’t exceed $30,000. But in those same cities, the difference between high-paying cloud architect jobs is closer to $75,000.

The Salary Range for High-Paid Cloud Architects is Bigger Than for Low-Paid

That’s a bit complicated, but it suggests that cloud architects with less experience don’t have as many opportunities to find higher-paid jobs as their experienced counterparts. 

The data suggests that highly experienced cloud architects who are willing to move or shop around for a cloud architect job are in much higher demand than cloud architects with less experience.

For highly experienced, highly qualified cloud architects willing to move for their job, you could change jobs and get a raise that’s better than most people’s full-time salaries. Meanwhile, the growth potential for less-qualified cloud architects doesn’t lie in looking around for better jobs but in improving your skills and gaining more experience to qualify for the much better jobs.

There are exceptions to this — there are cities where cloud architects are in such high demand that the low end of the salary range is quite close to the high end. But overall, the data strongly suggests that the more experienced you are, the bigger the opportunities spread.

3 Salary Considerations for Cloud Architects

The dollar difference between a low-paid cloud architect and a very well-paid one is significant. No matter what city in the U.S. you use as your baseline, some cloud architects leave tens of thousands of dollars on the table by not knowing how to get paid more. In some cities, the difference between the best cloud architect jobs and the worst is more than $60,000.

Three things put a cloud architect in the running for the best-paying jobs: the tools you’re qualified with, the certifications you’ve earned, and the company you work for. We'll explore the tools and certifications most helpful to increasing your salary in the next sections. 

3 Cloud Tools You'll Need to Know

Depending on the position, a cloud architect can be responsible for every aspect of an organization’s data needs or only implement one narrow part of their entire cloud strategy. Cloud service providers like Google, AWS, and Microsoft Azure offer cloud data storage, cloud computing, networking, and even analytics options.

Strictly speaking, a cloud architect will typically be responsible for implementing a company’s cloud tools. However, many cloud architects work in a hybrid environment, and they need to also understand how the cloud offerings differ from the on-premises ones.

Cloud Storage Resources

It would be unreasonable to think every cloud architect needs to know everything about all the available cloud storage services. But if you don’t know anything about any of them, or you don’t understand how Google Drive’s storage options differ from Dropbox’s, or you don’t know which cloud storage services integrate with your company’s other technologies, you simply won’t be eligible for the highest-paying cloud architect positions.

Your best bet is to start with your company's cloud storage solution and learn as much about it as possible. After that, learning as much as you can about its competitors — especially what functionally makes them different — will help give you a competitive advantage.

Cloud Computing Services

A cloud architect has to champion cloud computing solutions for their organization because no one understands the value of off-loading compute resources to the cloud like a cloud architect. At the same time, sometimes the migration cost isn’t worth the return, and a cloud architect also has to be the cold voice of reason that encourages a bigger upfront investment for long-term savings in another business objective.

Companies considering cloud computing solutions have many options available to them: Microsoft Azure is often considered one of the best, followed by AWS, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud. Cloud architects who want to qualify for the jobs with the highest salaries must be familiar with how the top cloud computing service providers differ and how to implement at least one of them into an organization’s processes.

Cloud Networking Tools

The transition to the cloud through an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can be an expensive, stressful experience for a company. It usually falls on an organization’s cloud architects to plan and execute the migration and ensure you emerge with a fast, reliable cloud network.

A cloud architect who doesn’t know anything about Cisco’s network-centric approach to multi-cloud and hybrid deployments will have problems. Similarly, a cloud architect must know at least how VMware enables public and private deployments to be successful. Oracle is another cloud networking provider with which the most successful cloud architects should have at least some familiarity.

Overall, the tools a cloud architect needs to succeed are the various providers and technologies that make the cloud possible. Cloud architects who know how to use Google, AWS, Cisco, VMware, and the other major players in the cloud have the best chance of landing top-paying jobs.

Salary Impact of Knowing Cloud Architect Tools 

If you think about it, having familiarity with the cloud service providers your company relies on is just common sense. If you increase your knowledge of them and others, you become more valuable, but it’s also just fundamental to doing the job.

3 Best Certifications for Cloud Architects

Broadly speaking, cloud architects with relevant certifications make much more money than their non-certified counterparts. This is particularly true for cloud architects because so much is expected of them. Cloud architects need to have command of a huge amount of knowledge, and companies’ profitability and success can depend on them — they must know if they can rely on their architects’ knowledge.

In addition to that, most cloud architect certifications are issued by service providers, like Google, AWS, and Microsoft. Companies feel most confident and comfortable when their cloud architects are certified by the companies they already trust with their data and networks.

Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

A cloud architect certified by Google has command over all the technologies that an enterprise-scale company needs to move its data, network, or computing solutions to the cloud. The Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect (PCA) proves an architect can design, plan, manage, provision, and implement cloud architectures with Google services. The PCA is an intense and challenging certification that very few people earn. Assuming your company uses Google Cloud services, having it means you’re the local expert for enterprise cloud solutions.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

For companies that use AWS for their cloud services, the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional represents the culmination of years of experience and training. Architects with this cert have proven they can design and deploy scalable, available applications. This cert also proves they can design and deploy applications with the right AWS service while migrating complex apps on AWS. If your company uses AWS, this is the cert that validates your mastery of enterprise-wide scalable operations.

Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert

Just like the two previous certifications, the Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert is best suited for cloud architects who work for companies already using Microsoft Azure for their cloud services. The certification exam for the Azure Solutions Expert covers a cloud architect’s ability to deploy and configure infrastructure, implement data workloads, and create custom apps in the cloud. It’s a strategic-level certification, and it doesn’t test fine-tuned skills as much as it assesses an architect’s ability to plan an enterprise’s entire cloud strategy in Microsoft Azure.

Salary Impact of Cloud Architect Certifications

Knowing the tools your company uses is just common sense. But an expert-level certification issued by the vendors themselves validates years of experience and gives something tangible for extra hours to master it. Cloud architect positions are, by their nature, hard to define — companies rely on industry certifications to confirm who deserves jobs and promotions.

What Type of Companies Need Cloud Architects?

A cloud architect, sometimes also known as a solutions architect, is most commonly found in companies supported by an enterprise network. While some small and medium-sized businesses need a cloud architect, the best-paid cloud architects are the ones who can take control of and plan the future of enormous, sprawling campuses and enterprise networks.

Cloud Architects in the Medical Industry

The medical industry is increasingly made up of huge businesses and networks. The last few years have seen incredible opportunities to expand the access that doctors, nurses, insurance providers, and even patients have to patient data, medications, cost information, and more.

Cloud architects often strategize implementing huge networks that must have secure solutions above all else. The medical industry is in a mad rush to migrate its networks and data use to the cloud, and trained and certified cloud architects can be put in charge of entire networks.

The Telecom Industry Depends on Cloud Architects

Like so many IT positions, some of the highest demand for cloud architects comes from the IT/telecommunications industry. Only cloud architects can be depended on to maintain the huge servers and massive networks necessary for providing cloud services to enterprise networks and keep autonomous systems working. Some of the best paid cloud architects in the world are paid to keep the backbone of every other cloud architect’s network running.

Salary Impact of the Industry 

Many companies and organizations need powerful cloud-enabled networks. Still, not every industry has the cash to throw around like telecoms and the medical industry does.

How to Increase Your Salary as a Cloud Architect

The single most important thing a cloud architect can do to improve their salary is to increase their knowledge and familiarity with cloud solutions. There are dozens of service providers, and an ever-growing number of combinations of them provide custom Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and Software-as-a-Service solutions in cloud and hybrid environments.

Our data shows that sometimes the difference between a cloud architect position that earns you $180,000 and one that makes you $110,000 is the state you’re working in. But further analysis shows one thing that transcends location is skill. Better-trained, certified cloud architects earn more than their junior counterparts — sometimes $80,000 more.


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