DevOps Engineer vs Cloud Engineer: The Key Differences

The cloud continues to expand and more experienced professionals take on some skillful roles. Among these roles, there are DevOps engineers and cloud engineers. These two roles cause a lot of confusion for candidates and even hiring managers. 

This confusion mostly comes from the fact, that both these engineers have overlapping responsibilities and skills. However, the overall jobs and roles are quite distinct.

If you want to learn the key difference between a DevOps engineer and a cloud engineer, you are in the right place. Let’s get right to it!

What is a DevOps Engineer?

DevOps is short for Development Operations Specialists. There’s a lot of debate going on that suggests DevOps is not a job title. To clarify, it is suggested that DevOps should be defined as a concept. On the contrary, businesses disagree and would rather go with DevOps to enhance the digital product team’s production efficiency and quality.

Therefore, numerous companies and organizations specifically post DevOps engineer job opportunities.

As a DevOps engineer, you are responsible for releasing incremental improvements to the code base frequently. This is done through the use of continuous testing, integration, and delivery.

The gist of this is that a DevOps engineer is someone who is responsible for introduce process. In addition, He also has responsibility for tools and strategies required throughout SDLC (Software Development Cycle).

How to Become a DevOps Engineer?

To become a DevOps engineer, you must acquire specific skills and experiences. There is no single way to go on about this but there are a few things you can do:

  • Study a Lot – DevOps engineers are tasked with critical operations and must possess multiple technical skills. This includes automation, tools, software development, and processes in SDLC.
  • Learn Coding – There’s no particular language that you have to learn. However, you must be familiar with the latest and in-demand tech stacks. Thanks to the cloud, web applications are on the rise. Therefore, it is recommended you study them first before learning a language. In addition, you should also learn about Infrastructure as Code (IaC).
  • Acquire DevOps Certification – This is the bit that compiles all your knowledge and experience into a reward. You can trade this for a successful career in the cloud. To clarify, your certification sums up all your qualifications and skills. It is also crucial that you learn about IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL).
  • Build a Network – The world has become more connected. Even if you have skills you need to connect and interact with people. In addition to hunting for jobs, you can also interact with experienced DevOps engineers and learn from their experiences.

Remember that DevOps is all about exploring approaches that help create the best software. To truly excel in this field, you need to be willing to explore every day.

What is a Cloud Engineer?

A cloud engineer can be defined as an IT expert who is responsible for the development and management of cloud infrastructure. In addition, you must also develop and manage cloud platforms for both, consumers and companies.

Similar to DevOps, as a cloud engineer, you must utilize your knowledge to determine services to accept and avoid. In addition, you need to have good enough communication skills to be able to explain your reasoning.

In a way, a cloud engineer can be considered a subset of DevOps. This is mainly because cloud engineers have to come up with best practices for software engineering. However, what separates a cloud engineer from DevOps is that they work on specific cloud platform-related components. Whereas, DevOps engineers work on legacy code.

How to Become a Cloud Engineer?

Choosing cloud engineering as a career path is a great choice. It’s a road filled with rewarding experiences and of course, a lot of money. As a cloud engineer, you need to be competent in the following:

  • In-Depth Knowledge and Experience in Data Security – Since cloud engineers work closely with cloud architects, it is important for you to comprehend security. This includes both, infrastructure levels and also software layer.
  • Practical Understanding of Software Architecture – Cloud computing is mainly involved in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. This means, even if it is not your cup of tea. You will need to be capable of engaging with them at any point in your career.
  • Expertise in Infrastructure Scalability and Elastic – Other than coding, you also need to be competent enough to develop scripts and policies. These play a vital role in improving resilience while minimizing cloud resource usage.

Furthermore, a piece of advice is that you pay attention to CI/CD, observability, operational and systems thinking, and data storage among others. The best route is to take a cloud engineering course first and get a decent certification as a Google Associate Cloud Engineer.

The Difference Between a DevOps Engineer and Cloud Engineer

You already have a good understanding of both DevOps engineers and cloud engineers. In addition, you know how to pursue a career as one. Let’s break it down in a simple comparison.

DevOps EngineerCloud Engineer
DefinitionBridges software development. In addition, engineering and management to make SDLC more efficient and faster.Creates and maintains cloud infrastructure. In addition, creates and maintains platforms for consumers and companies.
ResponsibilitiesDevelopment and application software operations.Technical responsibilities within cloud computing.
Key FocusDevelopment, operations, and quality assurance.Cloud infrastructure and operations.
HierarchySuperset of cloud engineer.Subset of DevOps engineer.
Job GrowthHigherLower
SDLC UnderstandingHigherLower
Agile MethodologyDiligently followed.Partially followed.
RoleFind ways to increase automation efficiency.Create brainstorming cloud solutions.

Salaries Compared: DevOps Engineer vs Cloud Engineer

Now that you know the difference between a DevOps engineer and a cloud engineer. Let’s talk money and compare the salaries. A DevOps engineer at Google earns approximately 203,063 USD per year. Whereas, a DevOps engineer earns 238,819 USD per year. These salaries were taken from research data collected by Glassdoor. The table below shows the full breakdown:

Pay TypeEstimate (USD/Year)Range (USD/Year)% Of Total
DevOps EngineerBase138,64393,000 – 207,00068.3
Bonus21,28516,000 – 30,00010.5
Stock43,13532,000 – 60,00021.2
Cloud EngineerBase21,63686,000 – 202,00055.2
Bonus45,33216,000 – 63,0009.1
Stock40,01234,000 – 63,00019
Commission40,01230,000 – 56,00016.8


Whether it is a cloud engineer or DevOps engineer, it all comes down to what you are passionate about. Both disciplines are reputable and salaries are more than good. DevOps engineers may earn more than cloud engineers but it involves a lot of work. As you have already learned above, DevOps engineers and cloud engineers are different from each other. However, both are glamorous professions and worthy of respect for the skill and effort it takes to become one. Regardless of which one you choose as a career path, both have an incredible career scope.