Thanks to the continued dominance of cloud computing, there's never been a better time to start a career in the world of Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft's cloud platform offers a mind-bending range of cloud-based apps and services, giving users access to cutting-edge technological developments and formidable computing power they need to transform the way they operate.

To date, Microsoft has Azure data centers in 140 countries and serves more global regions than any other cloud provider. New locations will be coming to the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland in the next year. This enormous network of infrastructure is part of the reason why the majority of Fortune 500 companies trust Azure.

As more businesses flock to Microsoft Azure, demand for skilled cloud professionals is only going to increase. Right now, there's nowhere near enough Azure talent around to fill the increasing number of roles on the market. Companies are battling to land the best candidates, driving up wages in the process, and putting those with the skills to do the job in a very comfortable position.

They say there's no such thing as a job for life anymore, and in a fast-changing sector like tech, it's certainly true that professionals need to keep upskilling throughout their careers to stay up to speed. But if you want to build a rewarding, lifelong career in tech, you need to get on board with cloud.

According to IDC, almost 40% of all IT jobs will be cloud-focused by 2021. Serverless computing is the new normal, and those who start equipping themselves with valuable skills now will make themselves irreplaceable for years to come.

Let's look at some of the best Azure careers you can get into today, that'll take you into tomorrow.

All salary information is taken from our Microsoft Azure Salary Survey 2019 and is accurate as of July 2019. 

What does an Azure Administrator do?

The role of administrator is a vital one across many technologies; admins keep their fingers on the pulse of their systems, installing, configuring, and monitoring everyday functions and ensuring everything is running as it should.

Azure Administrators need to have a good grip on topics like SQL databases, back up and disaster recovery, virtualization, high availability techniques to ensure their Azure platform is in top shape at all times. They'll be expected to monitor the performance of Azure apps and services, perform audits, and proactively work to optimize functionality.

Admins often act as the bridge between Azure users and the technical team behind it, so they need to be able to communicate well with users of all experience levels.

As an Azure Admin, you might be working in-house at an end user organization, overseeing its own Azure products and leasing with users to help them get the most out of the services. Or, you could be working for a Microsoft Partner, providing managed services to their clients and working on a number of different Azure instances or providing support for businesses migrating to the cloud.

If you want to get a head start on your Azure Administrator career, Microsoft has released a brand new role-based certification, especially for those interested in this position.

The Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification verifies that you have the skills to perform the job efficiently, and tests your ability to implement, monitor, and maintain Microsoft Azure solutions. Expect to see exams questions on compute, storage, and security management, as well as deploying virtual machines, configuring virtual networks, and managing Azure Active Directory.

How much does an Azure Administrator earn?

Junior (0-3 years) Mid (4-7 years) Senior (8+ years)
United States (USD) $80,000 $100,000 $125,000
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What does an Azure Developer do?

Azure Developers build and deploy apps and services on the Azure platform. Having previous development experience is obviously a plus if you want to become an Azure Developer, as is being familiar with other Microsoft products like Powershell, Office 365, and Dynamics 365; all products that integrate with Azure.

As an Azure Developer, you'll be charged with designing, creating, implementing, and maintaining solutions from technical infrastructure to apps. You'll need to stay up to date with the latest developments in technologies and methodologies, and understand how to translate them into practical, reliable solutions that solve business problems.

Azure uses programming languages including JavaScript, C#, and HTML5, so you'll need a thorough understanding of these to be able to develop for Azure. Experience with ASP.NET, SQL Server, JQuery, Angular, and Visual Studio Team Services will also be expected of Azure Developers.

Given the huge variety of products available on Azure, there's a range of specialisms you could move into as an Azure Developer: developing for cloud storage, creating PaaS solutions, IaaS solutions, cognitive services like bots and AI, storage, or security to name just a few.

How much does an Azure Developer earn?

Junior (0-3 years) Mid (4-7 years) Senior (8+ years)
United Kingdom (GBP) £30,000 £60,000 £75,000
United States (USD) $115,000 $150,000 $175,000
Germany (EUR) €45,000 €63,000 €75,000
Netherlands (EUR) €36,000 €42,000 €54,000
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What does an Azure Solution Architect do?

Just like traditional architects, it's a Solution Architect's job to take specifications from end users and create a solution that meets the requirements given. In cloud terms, Azure Solution Architects are tasked with overseeing the structure and deployment of cloud environments.

That usually entails creating gathering requirements, determining a suitable infrastructure, designing applications, and configuring and securing the solution once it's implemented. Budding Azure Solution Architects should have a good working knowledge of Azure compute, network, storage, and security.

Solution Architects will often be required to be the "cheerleaders" for the new cloud platform too. They'll sell the cloud and its benefits to users, create adoption strategies to help them get the most out of it, and champion best practices.

The role of Solution Architect is both highly technical and consultative. SAs are the link between end users and the cloud teams that will build the solution, so need both hands-on experience with the Microsoft .NET stack, and excellent communication and relationship-building skills.

How much does an Azure Solution Architect earn?

Junior (0-3 years) Mid (4-7 years) Senior (8+ years)
United Kingdom (GBP) £56,000 £65,000 £75,000
United States (USD) $130,000 $160,000 $190,000
Germany (EUR) €75,000 €90,000 €120,000
Denmark (SEK) 660,000 kr 720,000 kr
Netherlands (EUR) €48,000 €60,000 €72,000
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What does an Azure Consultant do?

When an organization is ready to take the first step toward a cloud-first approach to their operations, they speak to an Azure Consultant. Often called a Pre-Sales Consultant, these professionals chat to businesses, find out what they want to get out of their switch to the cloud, gain an understanding of their requirements, and map out the best possible solution.

Once they've worked out what their client needs, a consultant will go away and translate those needs into a practical plan, advising on the best products and services to achieve their goals, and creating a migration plan to help them execute the big move.

Though not as technical a role as say, developer or architect, Azure Consultants need to have a broad knowledge of Azure as a whole. Every client will have different needs and different objectives—whether that's lowering costs, improving productivity, or tightening up security—so you'll need to be able to advise on all these fronts to be a great consultant.

How much does an Azure Consultant earn?

Junior (0-3 years) Mid (4-7 years) Senior (8+ years)
United Kingdom (GBP) £50,000 £75,000 £80,000
Germany (EUR) €33,000 €60,000 €90,000
Netherlands (EUR) €36,000 €48,000 €60,000
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What does an Azure DevOps Engineer do?

Azure DevOps Engineers are responsible for bringing together people, processes, and technologies to deliver and improve first-rate products that meet user needs and business objectives on an on-going basis. That means architecting, designing, building, and implementing scalable Microsoft Azure solutions, and working across areas like virtual machine environments, storage, and network architecture.

The role of a DevOps Engineer involves extensive expertise, not only covering development and coding with PowerShell, .NET, and C#, but also system deployment and the wider operations. They need to understand DevOps strategy, how to roll out continuous integration and delivery, how to implement dependency management and application infrastructure, and how to develop roadmaps for current and future cloud deployments.

DevOps Engineers will work hand-in-hand with system admins, architects and developers, so need to have outstanding soft skills like project management and communication to enable them to promote a DevOps culture across their organization.

How much does an Azure DevOps Engineer earn?

Junior (0-3 years) Mid (4-7 years) Senior (8+ years)
United Kingdom (GBP) £42,000 £65,000 £80,000
United States (USD) $125,000 $145,000 $185,000
Denmark (SEK) 660,000 kr 740,000 kr
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What does an Azure Security Engineer do?

In an age where cyber threats are constantly evolving, keeping up with developments and ensuring an organization's Azure platform is secure is a full-time job. It's an Azure Security Engineer's responsibility to implement and configure security controls and policies, manage access to data, and monitor threats to ensure that apps, containers, infrastructure, and networks are protected.

As anyone even the slightest bit familiar with cybersecurity will know, user error is the number one threat to an organization's security, so Security Engineers will also be expected to develop and champion best practices, and educate users to minimize risk.

How much does an Azure Security Engineer earn?

Junior (0-3 years) Mid (4-7 years) Senior (8+ years)
United States (USD) $120,000 $170,000 $225,000
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What does an Azure Data Scientist do?

Another key role in the ever-expanding and highly sought-after stable of data-based careers, Azure Data Scientists are tasked with designing data models that address unique business issues.

Organizations are increasingly looking to data analysis techniques like Big Data and visualization to give them a clearer picture of their business and make more informed decisions. To help them achieve this, Azure Data Scientists use Azure's machine learning techniques to coach, assess, and implement data models that surface patterns, trends, and insights.

Data Scientists will be expected to consultant with commercial leaders to determine business needs, prepare data for modeling, carry out feature engineering, and continually develop and evaluate their models. They should also be familiar with Azure data services like Machine Learning Studio, as well as tools like Hadoop, Spark, and be able to visualize data using platforms like Tableau and Power BI.

How much does an Azure Data Scientist earn?

Junior (0-3 years) Mid (4-7 years) Senior (8+ years)
United States (USD) $120,000 $150,000 $175,000
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What does an Azure AI Engineer do?

Equipped with the skills and knowledge to help organizations utilize cutting-edge tech within the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, Azure AI Engineers will be among the most sought-after tech professionals in the coming years.

As more businesses move to automate their processes and rely more heavily on machine learning processes, AI Engineers will be at the forefront of rolling out these developments, designing, training, integrating and deploying smart models across various tech platforms.

Given the wide range of AI products available on Azure, AI Engineers have plenty of options to specialize. Broadly, they'll be expected to be able to architect and implement Azure AI solutions such as natural language processing, speech, computer vision, bots, and agents.

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What does an Azure Data Engineer do?

Data is an organization's most precious commodity—making sure that data can be accessed efficiently and protecting it from damage, theft, or misuse should be a top priority. That's where the Azure Data Engineer comes in.

Data Engineers are responsible for designing and implementing ways to govern, supervise, and secure a company's data using tools from across Azure's swathe of data services.

An Azure Data Engineer will be expected to be able to create and deploy infrastructure that stores and organizes data so that it can be fed into data analytics platforms and help derive valuable insights that benefit the business.

They need to know how to implement relational and non-relational storage, design and develop processing solutions, design, monitor and optimize cloud data stores, and ensure that all data infrastructure is secure.

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Want to see more of the latest Azure salaries?

Get the inside track on compensation, market trends, and desirable skills in the Azure ecosystem with our first-ever Microsoft Azure Salary Survey.