AWS Certifications: Do They Expire and How to Renew Them

Taylor Karl
/ Categories: Resources, Cloud
AWS Certifications: Do They Expire and How to Renew Them 1372 0

The Clock is Ticking: When Do AWS Certifications Expire?

What is an AWS certification?

An AWS certification is a level of Amazon Web Services (AWS) expertise that an IT professional obtains after passing one or more exams the public cloud provider offers. Amazon provides a variety of certification exams that target different professional roles involved with AWS, such as Solutions Architect, Developer, and SysOps Administrator. Each certification requires a specific exam that tests a person's knowledge and skills using AWS services and tools relevant to a particular role.

There are four distinct AWS certification levels:

  • Foundational: for those new to AWS
  • Associate: for those with some experience with AWS
  • Professional: for those with extensive experience with AWS
  • Specialty: for those looking for certification in specific technical areas

All AWS certifications come with an expiration date, requiring you to recertify to maintain them. This article will look at AWS certifications’ expiration by focusing on the following topics:

  • How Long are AWS Certifications Valid?
  • How Do You Recertify?
  • What are Some Tips for Staying AWS Certified?

On this page:

How Long are AWS Certifications Valid?

All AWS certifications, regardless of level, expire three years after you achieve certification. You must know your certification's expiration date to give yourself adequate time to recertify and ensure your certification doesn't expire. Recertification is essential to ensure that AWS professionals stay updated with the latest trends and changes in the AWS technology ecosystem.

Do AWS Certifications Expire

How can I track the expiration date of my AWS certification?

Tracking the expiration date of your AWS certification is a straightforward process through your AWS Certification Account, the centralized location for information regarding your certification, including tracking your certification status.

When you log into your AWS Certification Account, navigate to the 'Certification' section, which contains a list of your certifications. Each certification has a section detailing the date you earned it and its expiration date. AWS sends out email notifications before your certification expires as a reminder to start planning for recertification if you wish to keep your certification active.

What happens if my AWS certification expires?

When an AWS certification expires, you will no longer have verification of your knowledge of AWS services and systems. AWS constantly evolves, so if your certification expires, it will imply that your skills and expertise are outdated. Additionally, if your certification expires, you lose the benefits of being a certified AWS professional. These benefits include access to AWS-certified logos and badges, invitations to AWS-certified events, participation in AWS-certified communities, and discounted exam pricing for recertification.

Because AWS certifications are globally recognized and highly valued, your professional standing within the IT community will also impacted if your certifications expire.  The impact of an expired certification can negatively affect your current position, promotions, salary negotiations, and overall job prospects.

Is there a grace period after an AWS certification expires?

As per Amazon Web Services (AWS) policies, there isn't a grace period after your certification expires. Your certification expires once the certification's validity period has ended.

What happens if AWS retires a certification?

Over time, AWS may determine that a particular certification no longer fits within its certification framework, thus leading to its retirement. However, any retired Specialty certification will remain valid until its expiration date.

Three specialty certifications will retire in April of this year:

If you successfully pass any of these Specialty exams before their retirement date, your certification will still be valid for three years from the date you pass. You cannot recertify a retired certification once it expires.

Suppose you hold the AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty certification and successfully recertify on April 8, 2024. Your certification will remain valid until April 8, 2027, with no ability to recertify.

How Do I Recertify?

The process of recertifying involves either passing the current exam for the specific certification you currently hold or taking and passing a higher-level exam. To prepare for your exam, you can utilize various AWS resources; AWS provides a range of learning paths, whitepapers, FAQs, and exam guides to help you study. You can also use AWS Training and Certification resources, including online training, classroom training, and practice exams.

Once ready, you can schedule your exam through the AWS Training and Certification portal. You can take the exam online or at a testing center. After passing the exam, your certification renews for another three years.

It's important to note that AWS will send you reminders before your certification is due to expire. However, it is your responsibility to know your certification's expiration date so you have adequate time to prepare and schedule your exam. However, if your certification expires, you can still recertify anytime.

Once you successfully recertify, your certification will expire three years from your exam pass date.

What are some tips for staying AWS certified?

As your certification’s expiration date approaches, there are many ways you can ensure that your certification remains valid and in effect. Some of the tips you can employ include:

Summing it Up

As we wrap up this discussion, it's essential to remember that all AWS certifications expire three years after you achieve certification. Your certification's expiration date isn't a cause for alarm; it is an opportunity to upgrade your knowledge, keep up with industry trends, and maintain a competitive edge in your IT career.

Remember that certification renewal involves a recertification process, which helps ensure that your skills and understanding stay current. So, embrace refreshing your certification, viewing it as a renewal of your achievements and your commitment to ongoing growth and professional development.

Remember, maintaining an active AWS certification can boost your career prospects and offer a way to demonstrate continued dedication to your field. So, don't let that expiry date catch you by surprise. Stay ahead, prepare, stay informed, and, as always, keep on learning!