How to Become a DevOps Engineer

Are you thinking about a career in engineering? According to a recent CodeInGame survey of 15,000 developers and Human Resources professionals, DevOps Engineer topped the list as the most in-demand developer job title of 2021. And given that the average salary for this role ranges from $100,000 to $150,000 a year, it may be time for you to make your move! If you’re ready to get started on your path towards a career as a DevOps Engineer, follow these six steps:

 

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Development, Information Technology, or a related field
  2. Become certified in at least one cloud platform
  3. Practice building, testing, and deploying applications
  4. Consider completing a DevOps bootcamp
  5. Earn a DevOps certification
  6. Consider pursuing a Master’s Degree in DevOps Engineering

 

Before we break down each of these steps, let’s dive deeper into the role of DevOps engineers and the logistics of a career in this field. 

What is the Job Description for a DevOps Engineer?

A DevOps engineer is responsible for merging IT operations and software development. They must be knowledgeable in both skill sets and help both areas release timely and efficient software and application updates in a collaborative manner. Additionally, they must ensure that the needs of the company’s customer are being met by any updates.

DevOps Engineers work with DevOps strategies that allow continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) of updates. In order for updates to deploy efficiently, software developers and IT operators must work together and communicate on a regular basis. The DevOp engineer oversees this collaboration and ensures that updates, code releases, and deployments are accomplished in a thought out and productive manner. 

DevOps Engineer Qualifications

Since professionals in this field are responsible for seamlessly merging and deploying software development and information technology operations, there are a variety of skills that the DevOps engineer be proficient with, not only in these areas, but also in areas of project management and leadership.

 

Some of these skills include:

  • Project management skills and proficiency with project management software
  • Proficiency in cloud platforms
  • Knowledge of performance testing systems for effectiveness and efficiency as well as accuracy and reliability
  • Knowledge of agile methodology
  • Ability to create automation of tasks which can require the use of both coding and/or automation tools specific to these fields
  • An extensive understanding of infrastructure and ways to improve it for different systems
  • Remaining up to date with new software that will allow deployment releases to happen quicker
  • Proficiency in monitoring and reporting of errors. The DevOps engineer must also be able to find ways to reduce the time it takes to both identify and fix errors
  • Understand how to utilize Git for version control and related hosting
  • Understand concepts of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) as well as continuous deployment and related tools
  • Ability to build, test, and deploy applications
  • Proficiency in programming languages including Java, Ruby, and Python
  • Proficiency in HTML and CSS
  • Leadership and management skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Effective communication abilities

How to Become a DevOps Engineer

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Development, Information Technology, or a related field

 

Most companies are looking for at least a bachelor’s degree in one of the related fields listed above. This shows that you have background knowledge in IT operations and/or software development.

 

  1. Become certified in at least one cloud platform

Today, most companies want to utilize the cloud for storage, accessibility, and security. Certifications in AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud will make you more marketable to potential employers.

 

  1. Practice building, testing, and deploying applications

Companies want DevOps Engineers that are proficient in all stages of app development. Practice is key and there are multiple software tools that are helpful in completing each phase.

 

  1. Consider completing a DevOps bootcamp

 

DevOps bootcamps focus on curriculums that are geared towards necessary skills and tools of this profession. They can help you fill in any gaps in your skills and also become more of an expertise in this field. Many bootcamps also offer internships that help you gain practical experience.

 

  1. Earn a DevOps certification

 

Certifications show potential employers that you do in fact have expertise in the areas related to this position.

 

  1. Consider pursuing a Master’s Degree in DevOps Engineering

 

While a DevOps Engineer holds a leadership role in an organization, earning a master’s degree in this specific focus can help you climb the ladder to a senior position.

 

What are the education requirements of a DevOps Engineer?

Because of the knowledge base and leadership skills required in this career, most employers require a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Technology, Software Development or a closely related field. A degree in one of these areas shows that the candidate will have a basic understanding of computer systems and infrastructures as well as some of the tools and languages needed in the profession.

DevOps is relatively new and is continuing to evolve. Prospective employers look for engineers who are keeping up with trends that can deliver secure, seamless, and quick releases of updates. A DevOps certification as well as certifications in Cloud platforms show employers that you are up to date on the latest tools and software in the field.

How long does it take to become a DevOps Engineer?

Depending on your education background, it can take four to eight years to become a DevOps engineer. After a bachelor’s degree is earned, you may choose to immediately start gaining work experience to work towards this career. Another option is to immediately earn a Master’s Degree in DevOps Engineering. A great way to start learning skills specific to DevOps engineering while working is to attend a DevOps bootcamp. Bootcamps are offered in-person, online, and in hybrid formats. They can last eight to 36 weeks.

Explore schools offering DevOps Engineer Bootcamps.

Job Outlook for a DevOps Engineer

As companies work to deploy updates quicker and find ways for software development and IT operations to coexist and easily compliment each other, DevOps will continue to be in demand. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not yet report the job outlook for DevOps engineers, but is expecting related software developers and testers to grow at a rate of 22% from 2020 to 2030. This is way above the average job growth of 4 to 5%.

 

Best jobs for DevOps Engineers

Companies in all industries are looking for software development updates to occur more rapidly while maintaining security and integrity. DevOps engineers ensure that all teams involved in the development process collaborate effectively and in a productive manner while creating a product that addresses the needs of the consumer. A DevOps engineer in a company can help keep the company competitive as they create the best experience for their customers. Because of this, companies of all sizes, from startups to larger Fortune 500 companies, will benefit from having a DevOps engineer on their team.

Software testers, reliability engineers, software developers, release managers, IT operators, and more can work to become junior DevOps engineers and work their way up to DevOps architects or senior DevOps engineers. Practical experience as well as proper certifications can help you move faster up the chain of command to reach your goals in this field. Industries including software, investments, defense, communications, and more are looking for DevOps to take their businesses to the next level.

DevOps Engineer Salary

According to Indeed.com, the average salary in the United States for this profession is $118,678, as of October 2021. 

Salaries can vary according to experience and geographical location, so listed below are the average salaries for workers in this field in some of the country’s top tech hubs.

Tech HubAverage Salary (as of October 2021)
New York, NY$131,645
Washington, DC$135,553
San Jose, CA$149,072
Atlanta, GA$114,604
Seattle, WA$124,049
Austin, TX$131,883

Browse bootcamps for DevOps Engineer.

Explore some of the top schools offering DevOps Engineer bootcamps and find the right fit for your needs and schedule.