11 Top DevOps Certifications: Guide to Choosing the Right Certification

Top DevOps Certifications

In this guide, I have listed the popular DevOps certifications, along with top choices, so you can choose the best one for you.

Choosing the right DevOps certification is important in your DevOps career. For fresh graduates to experienced DevOps professionals, the right certification will help you gain DevOps skills and grow in your IT career.

Also, DevOps is a growing field, and the following are some statistics showing DevOps growth.

  1. As per the Global DevOps Market Research Report, the DevOps market is projected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.04% to reach USD 14,554.23 million by 2027.
  2. According to the Upskilling IT 2023 survey report by the DevOps Institute, 65% of the survey respondents reported that DevOps certifications are very valuable.
  3. As per the Annual Open Source Jobs Report, 90% of employers are interested in getting their employers certified in DevOps tools.

This guide is based on the latest trends in DevOps & DevOps tools around Linux, cloud computing, Containerization, Infrastructure automation, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, Continuous deployment, DevSecOps, observability, and configuration management.

If you dont have time to read about all the certifications, I have organized the DevOps Certification in categories in the following table.

Here are my top picks for the DevOps certification in different categories.

Container OrchestrationCKA, CKAD & CKS
Infrastructure as CodeTerraform Certification
Cloud ComputingAWS Certifications
DevSecOpsHashicorp Vault Certification
Service MeshIstio Certified Associate (ICA)
CI/CDJenkins Certification
Monitoring & ObservabilityPrometheus Certification (PCA)
GitOpsGitOps With Argo
Version ControlGit Skillcred
Programming PCEP™ – Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer

Top DevOps Certifications

Now, let’s look at each DevOps certifications in detail where I have added all the details about each certification including registration, price, voucher codes, study guides etc.

1. Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)

CKA is my #1 pick when it comes to DevOps certification due to the fact that it is a sought-after hands-on certification from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)

As per the cncf annual report, in 2023 CKA exam hit 176,000 enrolments.

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration tool for automating the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It has become the de facto standard for container orchestration and microservices deployment and it is one of the sought-after DevOps skills in the current IT market.

The CKA program offers a robust curriculum that covers all aspects of Kubernetes administration, from installation and configuration to networking and security. Candidates who successfully complete the CKA exam will earn a globally recognized credential that demonstrates their skills and knowledge in Kubernetes. 

If you’re looking to start a career in DevOps, or simply want to deepen your understanding of Kubernetes, the CKA certification is a great place to start. Also, it is one of the most in-demand devops certifications.

The following table has the important CKA certification details.

Exam RegistrationCKA Exam Registration
Assessment TypeHands-on practical labs ( 17 questions.)
FormatOnline proctored
Duration2 hrs
PriceUSD $395 with
RetakeOne Free retake
Expiration2 years
CKA Exam GuideDetailed CKA Study Guide
Other Resources
for CKA practice tests & exam simulator. You will get two free sessions as part of exam registration.

2. Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)

CKAD is a Kubernetes certification that focuses on designing, building, and deploying cloud-native applications for Kubernetes. If you have CKA certification, passing CKAD is comparatively easier. It is a two-hour performance-based exam and the following are the CKAD certification details.

Exam RegistrationCKAD Exam Registration
Assessment TypeHands-on practical labs ( 19 questions.)
FormatOnline proctored
Duration2 hrs
PriceUSD $395
Expiration2 years
CKA Exam GuideDetailed CKA Study Guide
Other Resources
for CKA practice tests & exam simulator

3. Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)

CKS certification focuses on security best practices of Kubernetes application deployments. The certification topics are organized in a way that you learn all the concepts and tools around container security on Kubernetes.

Also, you must have a valid CKA certification to appear for CKS. It is also a two-hour performance-based exam like CKA & CKAD. CKS is comparatively a tougher exam than CKA and CKAD. You need to practice well before appearing for the exam.

Exam RegistrationCKS Exam Registration
Exam GuideDetailed CKAD Study Guide
Other CKA Resources
killer.sh/cks for CKA practice tests & exam simulator

Note: You can also start with KCSA certification. It is a introductory kubernetes security certification.

4. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

Here is what AWS says about this certification.

The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional showcases individuals’ technical expertise in provisioning, operating, and managing distributed application systems on the AWS platform, giving them increased confidence and credibility with peers, stakeholders, and customers. Organizations with these qualified professionals can ensure speedy delivery of secure, compliant, systems that are highly available and scalable.

Exam RegistrationAWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
Length180 minutes to complete the exam
Cost300 USD. Visit Exam pricing for additional cost information, including foreign exchange rates.
Format75 questions, either multiple choice or multiple response.
Delivery MethodPearson VUE testing center or online proctored exam.

5. Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert

This certification validates expertise in designing and implementing strategies for collaboration, code, infrastructure, source control, security, compliance, continuous integration, testing, delivery, monitoring, and feedback.

It is primarily designed for DevOps professionals who combine people, processes, and technologies to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end user needs and business objectives.

Certification RegistrationMicrosoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert
LengthVaries per exam, typically around 150 minutes
CostApproximately $165 USD per exam (subject to regional variations)
FormatMultiple choice, multiple response, and scenario-based questions
Delivery MethodPearson VUE testing center or online proctored exam
Skills MeasuredDesigning and Implementing Azure DevOps Solutions Infrastructure as Code (IaC) Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) Configuration Management Monitoring and Feedback

6. Google Cloud Professional DevOps Engineer

This certification validates a DevOps Engineers expertise in using Google Cloud technologies to implement DevOps practices.

It demonstrates the ability to use Google Cloud to build software delivery pipelines, deploy and monitor services, and manage and learn from incidents.

This certification is primarily designed for DevOps professionals who are using Google Cloud Platform to automate infrastructure, build and release software, monitor operations, and manage service reliability.

Certification RegistrationGoogle Cloud Professional DevOps Engineer
Length2 hours
Cost$200 USD
FormatMultiple choice and multiple select questions
Delivery MethodOnline proctored exam or in-person at a test center
Skills MeasuredApplying site reliability engineering principles to a service Optimizing service performance Implementing service monitoring strategies Building and implementing CI/CD pipelines for a service Managing service incidents

7. HashiCorp Certified Terraform Associate

When it comes to Infrastructure as Code, HashiCorp Certified Terraform Associate is my choice.

HashiCorp Certified Terraform Associate is a modern infrastructure automation certification for professionals that validates your skills in using Hashicorp Terraform to provision, manage, and maintain any cloud or on-prem infrastructure. The certification exam covers the core set of skills required to effectively use Terraform to provision infrastructure.

The Terraform Associate Exam is administered by Webassessor, an independent third-party proctoring service. The exam consists of 70 multiple-choice questions and has a 2-hour time limit. Candidates must achieve a passing score of 70% or higher to earn the certification.

The Terraform Associate certification is valid for two years from the date of passing. To maintain active status, Terraform Associates are required to retake the exam prior to expiration. There are no prerequisites for taking the Terraform Associate Exam.

When it comes to Devops, infrastructure automation plays a key role. Terraform is particularly popular in infrastructure provisioning. So from a cloud automation perspective, Terraform Associate is the best certification you can have.

Here are the Terraform certification details.

Exam RegistrationHashiCorp Certified: Terraform Associate
Assessment TypeMultiple choice
Exam FormatOnline proctored
Duration1 hour
Price$70.50 USD
plus locally applicable taxes and fees
Free retake not included
Expiration2 years

6. Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS)

Linux administration is an essential skill for a DevOps engineer. If you are starting your DevOps journey, getting certified in LFCS is the start of the devops certification roadmap.

The Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) exam is ideal for candidates looking to validate their Linux system administration skill set.

Exam RegistrationLFCS Exam Registration
Assessment TypeMultiple choice
Exam FormatOnline proctored
Duration2 Hours
Price$395 with a free retake
Expiration3 years

The LFCS credential is valid for three years. To maintain the credential, holders must recertify every three years by passing the LFCS exam or another approved exam. The Linux Foundation also offers a Certified Engineer (LFCE) credential for candidates who wish to validate their skills in designing and implementing Linux systems.

7. Istio Certified Associate (ICA)

Most organizations use service mesh today. As a devops engineer, it is very important to showcase these skills in the IT market today.

Istio Certified Associate is the only service mesh-based certification offered by the Linux foundation. So if you want to demonstrate your understanding of Istio principles, terminology, and best practices, this certification is for you.

Following are the certification details.

Exam RegistrationICA Exam Registration
Assessment TypePerformance-based & Multiple Choice Exam
Exam FormatOnline proctored
Duration2 Hours
Price$250 with a free retake
Expiration3 years

8. Docker Certified Associate (DCA)

If you are getting started with your container journey, DCA is the best certification to start with. Over the years Docker has become the de-facto standard for container deployments. Even though it is not the only available container engine, developers and devops engineers prefer using Docker for containerizing applications.

Exam RegistrationDocker Certified Associate (DCA)
Assessment Type3 multiple choice and 42 discrete-option multiple-choice (DOMC) questions
FormatOnline proctored
PriceUSD $195 or Euro €175
Voucher CodeN/A
Expiration2 years

Here is what you should know about the Docker Certified Associate exam.

  1. You should have a minimum of 6 -12 months of Docker experience to take this exam. It is not a mandate.
  2. You will get the exam result as soon as you complete the exam.

8. HashiCorp Certified: Vault Associate

As a DevOps engineer, you need to take care of security automation along with infrastructure automation and application deployments. And without any doubt, Hashicorp vault is the best open-source secret management solution out there. So if you are into DevSecOps or responsible for managing security aspects of a project, this is one of the best security certifications in DevOps.

Here are the exam details.

Exam RegistrationHashiCorp Certified: Vault Associate
Assessment TypeMultiple choice
FormatOnline proctored
Duration1 hour
Price$70.50 USD
plus locally applicable taxes and fees
Free retake not included
Expiration2 years

9. HashiCorp Certified: Vault Operations Professional

Vault Operations Professional is an advanced certification. So Vault Associate Certification is recommended before appearing for the operations professional certification. To appear for this exam, you need to have knowledge of the following topics.

  1. Linux command line
  2. IP networking
  3. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), including PGP and TLS
  4. Network security and RBAC fundamentals.
  5. Concepts and functionality of infrastructure running in containers.

Here are the exam details.

Exam RegistrationHashiCorp Certified: Vault Operations Professional
Assessment TypeLab-based and multiple choice
FormatOnline proctored
Duration4 hours
Price$295 USD
plus locally applicable taxes and fees
Includes free retake
Expiration2 years

10. Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) exam (Ansible Certification)

If you are someone who works with RedHat Enterprise Linux or wants to get your hands dirty with Redhat administration and automation, using Ansible, this certification is you. The exam covers the following.

  1. Red Hat Certified System Administrator tasks
  2. Ansible Components.
  3. Ansible control node setup
  4. Shell Scripting tasks
  5. Ansible playbook creation
  6. Using Ansible modules for system administration tasks.
  7. Working with Ansible Roles
  8. Advanced Ansible Features like templating, Ansible vault, etc.
Exam RegistrationRed Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) exam
Assessment TypeHands-on, practical exam
FormatOnline proctored
Duration3.5 hrs
Price$400 Plus Tax
Free RetakeWithin 90 days
Expiration3 years

11. Prometheus Certified Associate (PCA)

Prometheus is one of the best open-source and cloud-native monitoring tools. Prometheus Certified Associate (PCA) certification is focused on Prometheus monitoring and observability. This certification will help you gain knowledge on the fundamentals of data monitoring, metrics, alerts, and dashboards using Prometheus.

Exam RegistrationPrometheus Certified Associate (PCA)
Assessment TypeMultiple Choice Exam
FormatOnline proctored
Duration1.5 hrs.
Free RetakeOne
Expiration3 years

Free DevOps Certifications

All the popular DevOps certifications cost you money. If you are someone who cannot afford to pay for a certification exam, you can start with free DevOps certifications offered by organizations.

1. GitOps Certification with Argo

Codefresh is offering free training and certification on GitOps with ArgoCD. GitOps is a sought-after skillset for organizations adopting microservices and container orchestration frameworks like Kubernetes.

Signup Here: Get Certified for GitOps with Argo

2. Certified Calico Operator: Level 1

Calico is the CNI plugin for Kubernetes and is one of the commonly used CNIs for setting up Kubernetes clusters. Tigera, the company that developed Calico, offers a free certification specifically for Calico operators. You can make use of the certification to gain good knowledge about the Kubernetes network plugins.

Signup Here: Certified Calico Operator

3. Intermediate for Istio 

This free Istio certification by Solo.io covers all the Istio service mesh fundamentals. As per the website

This credential, by Solo.io, certifies that recipients possess the essential skills to deploy Istio, configure it, debug it, secure it, and operationalize it for their organization

Signup Here: Intermediate for Istio by Solo.io

Benefits of DevOps Certification

Following are the benefits of getting certified in any DevOps tools or cloud.

  1. Better job opportunities. Companies use certifications as filter to choose candidates for job interviews.
  2. Opportunity to get hands-on experience to understand a tool’s features.
  3. Increased chances of a higher salary.

Certification can also plays a key role in increased salary potential. For example, Glassdoor suggests that a CKA certification can potentially increase the salary by over $23,000 as compare to a non-certified professional.

These reports clearly show the importance of DevOps adoption. So if you are certified in DevOps-related tooling, it’s an added advantage for your career.

DevOps Certifications Roadmap

So, when we talk about DevOps certifications, it is more certifications that are related to DevOps practice. It could be a certification based on the tool, cloud platform, SCRUM, etc.

My first certification as a Devops engineer was AWS-certified solution architect because I was primarily working on AWS cloud-related projects. It makes more sense to start with a certification on the technologies you are working with.

For example, if you are a Linux admin and want to become a DevOps engineer, you can get certified in Kubernetes as it is more relevant to the domain you are already in. That is “System Administration”.

Here is my advice on devops certification.

Start with one Certification that is closely related to your existing domain. If you are completely new to DevOps, the following DevOps certification roadmap would help.

devops certification roadmap

Most In-Demand DevOps Certifications

Even though there are many DevOps certifications, there are in-demand DevOps certifications in terms of job opportunities and salaries.

As per the current DevOps trends, following the DevOps certifications are in demand.

  1. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer (AWS)
  2. Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)
  3. Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)
  4. Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert (Azure)
  5. HashiCorp Certified: Terraform Associate


Based on my 10+ years of working as a DevOps engineer with multiple certifications, I can say that there is no single certification that fits all the required DevOps skills. However, based on your career path, choost a certification that aligns with your career goals.

Also, I have spoken more about the importance of certification in my becoming a DevOps engineer guide.

In this blog, we have looked at the best DevOps certifications for you to showcase your knowledge in DevOps.

Also, if you are specifically learning Kubernetes, check out our guide on the best Kubernetes certifications.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like