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JS Padoan

Cloud Certifications: Azure Solutions Architect Expert (AZ-300, AZ-301)

JS Padoan

  • Jun 23, 2020
  • 8 Min read
  • Jun 23, 2020
  • 8 Min read
Cloud Architecture and Design
Architecture and Design
Microsoft Azure Architect Design AZ-301
Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies AZ-300



This guide provides information and resources to prepare for the Microsoft certification, Azure Solutions Architect Expert. It also gives you some tips and recommendations based on the experiences and analytics on engineers who are also certified in Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft's certifications are classified by a number of stars:

  • One star for a Fundamentals certification
  • Two stars for an Associate certification
  • Three stars for an Expert certification

By obtaining this certification, you will earn a three star certification which is the highest level of Microsoft Azure certification worldwide.

Who Is This Certification For?

This certification is for Azure administrators and/or solution architects who want to demonstrate their expertise in designing and implementing solutions that run on Microsoft Azure, including aspects like compute, network, storage, and security.

The Exam

There are two required exams to pass to earn the Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification:


You must pass AZ-300 and AZ-301 to achieve the certification

As with all Microsoft exams, each exam will have between 40 and 50 questions (possibly including a few use cases to study) and the passing score is 700 over 1000. Assuming that all questions have the same weight, about 35 of the 50 questions need to be answered correctly.

The exams are available in English, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), and Korean. Their lengths are between 180 and 210 minutes.


Strong experience (more than two years) in building and deploying solutions on Azure is recommended in order to best understand all the skills assessed during the exam. As it is a three stars certification, it is also highly recommended that candidates for these exams also have one or more Azure Associate (two stars) certification or be proficient in at least one of these Azure knowledge domains: administration, development, or DevOps.

Skills Measured

  • The AZ-300 exam measures the ability to candidates to accomplish the following tasks :

    • Deploy and configure infrastructure (40-45%)
    • Implement workloads and security (25-30%)
    • Create and deploy apps (5-10%)
    • Implement authentication and secure data (5-10%)
    • Develop for the cloud and for Azure storage (15-20%)
  • The AZ-301 exam measures the ability to candidates to accomplish the following tasks :

    • Determine workload requirements (10-15%)
    • Design for identity and security (20-25%)
    • Design a data platform solution (15-20%)
    • Design a business continuity strategy (15-20%)
    • Design for deployment, migration, and integration (10-15%)
    • Design an infrastructure strategy (15-20%)

The exams change periodically, so these lists are not definitive or exhaustive.

Compensation and Employment Outlook

According to Microsoft:

Upon earning a certification, 23% of Microsoft certified technologists reported receiving up to a 20% salary increase. What’s more, certified employees are often entrusted with supervising their peers—putting them on the fast track for a promotion. On average, certified employees earn 15% more than those without certification and are nearly 20% more productive.

According to Indeed, the average salary for a cloud engineer is US$120,000 per year in the United States.


Microsoft certifications have been around for many years and are highly valued in the industry. Historically, they have taken place in approved and supervised examination centers, but for some time now it has also been possible to take them from home or the office with remote monitoring by a supervisor (you must be absolutely alone during the examination, have the webcam and microphone open at all times, no paper/pencil at your disposal, etc.). This option allows everyone to be able to take this exam regardless of health conditions, but in all cases, before you attend, make sure you are well prepared and able to check off all of the competencies that may be assessed during the exam.

This achievement requires a lot of effort on your part and you will have well deserved your badge!

I wish you all the best in your certification journey!