Devop Skills

5 Best Linux Certifications for IT Professionals In 2023

Do you know how much a Linux-certified tech enthusiast makes annually? Well, let me provide you with some facts from Glassdoor:

  • The Linux System administrators are pulling in around $94,000.
  • System engineers are getting an average of $132,000.
  • Senior Linux system engineers are hitting $144,000 to $232,000

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that a system admin earns an average of $100,000 annually. Tech enthusiasts know the increasing demand for Linux skills in the job market. It is a valuable tool in systems administration, DevOps, ethical hacking, and more. 

Linux certifications can be challenging, but the payoff is worth it. These certifications validate your skills and add value to your resume. This way, you stand out in the crowd and get preferences whenever possible.

I checked the data from Glassdoor dated April 2023.

I found that tech guys like Systems administrator earn $77,695, cloud computing analyst earns $83,492, information systems security manager earns $111,108, systems engineer earns $112,841, DevOps Engineer earns $134,366, cloud engineer earns $152,909, network architect earns $179,973, and a cloud architect earns $200,521.

If you are looking for a career boost and a better paycheck, dive into the world of Linux certifications. Trust me, it’s a journey that you will not forget. Read along to know more!!!

Linux Certifications and Their Value

Linux certifications are like official stamps proving I know my way around the open-source operating system. They can be general, like Linux Pro, or specific to certain companies, like Red Hat or Oracle.

First off, there are two main types of Linux certifications. One type is not tied to any specific version of Linux – they are like universal certifications. Organizations like the Linux Professional Institute (LPI), CompTIA, and the Linux Foundation offer these. The other type is the certifications linked to specific Linux flavors like Red Hat or SUSE.

LPI offers levels like Linux Administrator, Engineer, and Linux Enterprise Professional for the universal ones. CompTIA has its Linux+ certification, and the Linux Foundation has certifications for sysadmins and engineers.

On the other hand, if I’m into a particular Linux system, Red Hat has certifications for sysadmins, engineers, and architects. SUSE and Oracle have their versions too.

These certifications are like keys to job opportunities. When I looked at job openings, I found that Linux Foundation certifications are in demand. Employers like them, and people with these certifications earn more.

Some companies prefer interviewing you directly to ensure you know about Linux. But having any Linux certification is still a good move. It shows you have put in the effort to learn, which might even help you earn a higher salary.

Linux certifications are like my personal badges of honor in the tech world. They might not be necessary for every job, but having them makes me stand out.

Top Linux Certifications for Career Advancement

I am going to mention the top Linux Certifications that helped me in my career development and more:

Linux+ (CompTIA XK0-005)

Certification NameCompTIA Linux+ 
Prerequisites & Required CoursesNone required
Number of ExamsOne90 multiple choice questions over 90 minutes
Cost per Exam$358 per exam; prices vary by geography

There’s this excellent certification called Linux+ by CompTIA for beginners in the IT world, especially those who want to be system administrators for Linux. 

It’s all about keeping up with the changes in Linux, like how it works with the cloud and plays a significant role in the tech world. Infrastructure as code is called Linux containers.

There are no prerequisites to get this certification. All I needed was to bring enthusiasm and some basic computer skills. It’s like a gateway for people just starting their IT journey.

Once I pass the exam, I get this Linux+ badge for three years. But don’t worry, it’s not a one-time thing. I can keep it fresh by either collecting 50 education credits or getting other certifications that automatically renew my Linux+ status.

Linux+ certification opens up doors to other CompTIA certifications. It’s like a ticket to a whole bunch of IT adventures. They have cloud and server technology certifications, and having Linux+ in my pocket makes it even more remarkable.

Having Linux+ on my resume makes me stand out. It tells employers I know my way around Linux systems, and that’s a big deal. Plus, it’s not just about getting a job; it’s about growing in my career. 

LPI (Linux Professional Institute) Certifications

Certification NameLPIC-1
LPIC-3 Mixed Environments
LPIC-3 Security
LPIC-3 Virtualization and Containerization
LPIC-3 High Availability and Storage Clusters
Prerequisites & Required CoursesLPIC-1: None; Linux Essentials recommended
LPIC-2: Active LPIC-1 certification
LPIC-3 certification paths: Active LPIC-2 certificationTraining is recommended but not required
Number of ExamsLPIC-1: Exam 101-500 and Exam 102-500
LPIC-2: Exam 201-450 and Exam 202-450
LPIC-3: One of the 300 series exams: Mixed Environment (Exam 300-300)Security (Exam 303-300)Virtualization and Containerization (Exam 305-300)High Availability and Storage Clusters (Exam 306-300)
Cost per ExamLPIC-1: None; Linux Essentials recommended
LPIC-2: Active LPIC-1 certification
LPIC-3 certification paths: Active LPIC-2 certification training is recommended but not required

LPI (Linux Professional Institute) has been an essential certification since 1999. They’ve become big shots in the Linux certification game because they cover various Linux topics. 

They have this certification program called LPIC (Linux Professional Institute Certification), and it comes in three levels:

LPIC-1: Junior-Level Certification

  • Focus: Basic Linux skills, like setting up Linux on a computer, working with commands, doing essential maintenance, and connecting to the internet.
  • Prerequisites: None; it’s like the starting point.
  • Exam: Two exams to pass.

LPIC-2: Advanced-Level Certification

  • Focus: More complex stuff like the kernel, system startup, advanced storage, web services, and troubleshooting.
  • Prerequisites: We need to have LPIC-1 first.
  • Exam: Two exams to conquer.

LPIC-3: Senior-Level Certification

  • Focus: Now, it splits into three paths: Mixed Environment, Security, and Virtualization/Containerization.
  • Prerequisites: LPIC-2 is a must.
  • Exam: Pick one from the variety of exams in your chosen path.

As a beginner, you can also check out the following certifications:

Linux Essentials Professional Development Certificate (PDC)

  • Focus: Foundation skills, like running scripts, working with the command line, and understanding Linux basics.
  • Prerequisites: None; it’s the entry-level cool kid.
  • Exam: One exam to show what I’ve got.

As a beginner, below is a certification for a kick start in DevOps:

LPIC-OT DevOps Tools Engineer

  • Focus: Using tools for collaboration in system and software development.
  • Prerequisites: None needed.
  • Exam: A 90-minute adventure with 60 questions.

Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) certifications

Certification NameOracle Certified Professional (OCP)
Oracle Linux 8 System Administrator
Prerequisites & Required CoursesOCP: Oracle recommends a mix of hands-on experience and taking classes in their learning subscription
Number of ExamsOCP: One exam 1Z0-106 Oracle Linux 8 Advanced System Administrator
90 minutes, 60 questions and 60 percent to pass
Cost per ExamOCP: $245
URLOCP: One exam 1Z0-106 Oracle Linux 8 Advanced System Administrator
90 minutes, 60 questions, and 60 percent to pass

Oracle, one of the most prominent players in tech, didn’t just stick to its UNIX roots when it got Sun Microsystems in 2010. Fast forward, and now we have Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) certifications.

Below, I am mentioning the OCP certification:

Oracle Certified Professional, Oracle Linux 5 and 6 System Administrator (OCA)

  • Focus: Being a whiz at managing Oracle Linux systems, versions 5 and 6.
  • Prerequisites: None. You can jump right in!
  • Exam: One exam to show you’ve got the Oracle Linux magic.

Oracle Certified Professional, Oracle Linux 6 System Administrator (OCP)

  • Focus: Stepping up the game from OCA, this one’s about advanced skills in handling Oracle Linux version 6.
  • Prerequisites: OCA in Oracle Linux 5 and 6 System Administrator.
  • Exam: Another exam to prove you’re good and seriously excellent with Oracle Linux.

Oracle did not force me to sit through mandatory courses before taking the exams. I am in the Oracle Linux world and working for a company that uses Oracle Linux. These certifications were like golden tickets to success in my career. 

RHCSA, RHCE and RHCA Facts & Figures

Certification Name:Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)
Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)
Prerequisites & Required CoursesRHCSA: No prerequisites 
Recommended training:
Windows system administrators: Runnin Containers with Red Hat Technical Overview (RH065), Red Hat System Administration I (RH124) and II (RH134) Linux/Unix Administrators, RHCSA Rapid Track Course with exam (RH200)
RHCE: RHCSA credential 
Recommended training: Same as for RHCSA, plus Hat Enterprise Linux Automation with Ansible (RH294)
RHCA: RHCE-certified (Infrastructure track) — Candidates currently holding an RHCE certification must pass five additional exams from the Infrastructure track belowRHCEMD/RHCCD-certified (Enterprise Applications track) — Candidates currently holding an RHCJD or an RHCEMD certification must pass five additional exams from the Enterprise Applications track below
Cost per Exam$400 each
Total cost is $2,000 for RHCA exam costs 

Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)

  • Focus: This is the starting point where I can handle basic Linux tasks. Think about taking files, working with commands, managing systems, and configuring storage. It’s the foundation of Red Hat certifications.
  • Prerequisites: No specific requirements – it’s open to everyone.
  • Exam: A hands-on exam that lasts a couple of hours, where I prove I can navigate the Linux world.

Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)

  • Focus: Stepping up from RHCSA, I dive deep into the skills needed for a senior-level Linux system administrator. It’s like going from beginner to pro, covering automation, managing multiple systems, and integrating cool things like Ansible Automation.
  • Prerequisites: You must nail RHCSA first – it’s like leveling up in the Linux game.
  • Exam: Another hands-on challenge that lasts a reasonable amount of time, testing my skills in managing complex Linux environments.

Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)

  • Focus: This is like the grand finale – the pinnacle. There are two paths here: one for folks into Enterprise Applications and another for Infrastructure geeks. It’s for those who want to dive deep into specific areas.
  • Prerequisites: Depends on the path I choose. I’m eligible if I’ve aced specific advanced Red Hat certifications.
  • Exam: A set of specialized exams that dive into specific areas like enterprise applications or infrastructure. It’s like proving I’m the ultimate expert in my chosen field.

RHCSA is the foundation, RHCE is the advanced level, and RHCA is for those who want to be Linux experts. Having these certifications on my resume means employers see me as someone who doesn’t just know Linux but owns it. It opens doors to higher-level jobs, more responsibility, and a fatter paycheck.

GIAC Certified UNIX Security Administrator (GCUX)

  • Focus: This certification is like a badge for IT superheroes who want to show off their skills in handling Linux and UNIX systems with top-notch security. It’s all about proving I can protect these systems from lousy stuff like security flaws and breaches. With GCUX, I show off my powers in tackling problems, keeping an eye on systems, and using fancy forensic concepts.
  • Prerequisites: Before diving into GCUX, it’s helpful to have some experience in the IT world, primarily dealing with Linux and UNIX systems. It’s like having a bit of background music before hitting the main stage. 
  • Exam: The real deal here is an exam that tests my skills. It’s like a challenge where I can investigate incidents, gather evidence, and track what users and applications are up to.
  • Key Benefits: Having GCUX on my resume makes employers think I am the expert they need in Linux and UNIX systems. This certification is my ticket to showing off my security prowess in the IT arena.

Choosing the Right Linux Certification for Your Career Goals

Let me share the process of choosing the proper Linux certification for your career goals. The key is to align your certification choice with your career goals, skills, and preferred learning style. 


You must know your career aspirations and skill level. Consider where you see yourself in the tech world. Are you aiming for a broader understanding of Linux, or are you set on becoming an expert in a specific area?

Skill Level evaluates your current skill level. Are you just starting your Linux journey, or are you already familiar with the basics?

Determine Your Focus: Broad v/s Specific.

Broad Certification provides a comprehensive understanding of Linux that is not tied to a specific distribution; certifications like Linux+ or LPIC might be your go-to. These are great for showcasing overall knowledge and are often recognized across various Linux environments.

Specific Certification gives you a Linux flavor, like Oracle or Red Hat. Going for their certifications is a solid choice if you want to work with systems that specifically use those distributions. 

Match Certification Paths with Job Roles

Linux Administrators have certifications like Linux+ or LPIC-1; they lay a strong foundation for administrative roles.

Linux Engineer (Intermediate-Level): As you progress, certifications like LPIC-2 or Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) become valuable. They delve into more advanced skills, preparing you for engineering roles.

Linux Architect (Advanced-Level): For those eyeing high-level roles, Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) or other specialized certifications like LPIC-3 offer in-depth knowledge for architectural positions.

Consider Individual Strengths, Experience, and Learning Style

Hands-on Learners thrive in practical scenarios, and certifications with performance-based exams, like Red Hat certifications, might suit you well.

In case of Vendor-Specific Experience. If you’ve already been working extensively with a particular Linux distribution, aligning your Certification with that vendor could leverage your existing expertise.

Tips for Selecting the Best Linux Certifications

  • You must carry out research job requirements to look into the job roles you’re interested in.
  • Check what certifications are commonly requested. This helps you target your efforts effectively. 
  • Make sure to explore learning resources. 
  • Check out the available training materials for each Certification. 
  • Find a program that matches your learning style, whether self-paced online courses, classroom training, or hands-on labs. 
  • Networking Opportunities come with vibrant communities. 
  • Being part of these networks can provide additional support and insights.

How To Prepare and Succeeding in Linux Certification Exams

Below, I am going to provide my personal to prepare and succeed in Linux Certification Exams:

Choose Your Certification Path

Considering my journey, I will guide you through how you can prepare for RHCSA and RHCE certifications. First, nail the RHCSA; then, pass the RHCE. 

Find the Right Course

For RHCSA, I jumped into RH124 and RH134 courses. Perfect for those diving into Linux or expanding their skills. But if you have less time, I recommend you take the RH199 Rapid Track course. It is a bit more intense.

RHCE is the advanced level. It’s mainly for the professional or someone who knows enough about the Linux Foundation. Do you want to know my course of choice? It is RH294. It’s all about Ansible and taking Linux to the next level.

Assess Your Skills with the Red Hat Tool

Before diving in, I used the Red Hat Skills Assessment Tool. It’s like a knowledge checkpoint. Remember to save time on the things you already know. This tool guides me on the right path. The best part of this tool is that it is free.

Set Up Your Virtual Battle Station

Since everything’s online now, I also adapted to dual monitors for no distractions. I took control of my online learning, one virtual class at a time.

Embrace the Practical Labs

Labs are where the magic happens. Whether in class or after, I was not just focusing on theoretical knowledge but concentrated on improving my practical skills. It prepared me for real-world problems and scenarios.

Print and Master Exam Objectives

The exam objectives became my roadmap while preparing for Linux Certification. I printed the objectives on paper and used them to mark what I had done. Green means I know it, and red means diving deep. It’s my roadmap to success.

Learn from Experienced Instructors

I am all in for online training, but the instructor of my course matters a lot. I used to stay focused, ask questions, and do every lab. I asked questions without hesitation every time I doubted. 

Build Your Home Lab

I used a local RHEL 8 installation for two virtual machines – hands-on practice. If I can configure SSH per the objectives, I can. You can do the same with a bit of practice.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practicing exams is one of the main things to do before you appear for the exam. They boosted my confidence and prepared me for the real deal.

Online Resources

Online practice tests and extra reading will prepare you for the exam day. If I stumble upon a tricky topic, there’s always a helping hand online.

Time Management Is Key

Balancing study, practice, and life is an art. I set a schedule and stick to it. Time management is one of the significant factors that helped me succeed in the exam.

The journey is challenging, but the hard work is worth it!!!

Maximizing the Value of Your Linux Certification

Here is how you can maximize the value of your Linux Certification: 

Elevate Network Analysis Game

With your Linux certification, you are diving deeper into configuration processes. It’s not just about knowing Linux; it’s about mastering it to enhance your network analysis skills.

System Administration Skills

Linux is my trusty companion for network analytics and system performance monitoring. My Linux system administration certification is my secret weapon for troubleshooting, data analysis, and staying ahead of the curve.

Navigate the Linux Engineering Landscape

Linux certification is my roadmap. It guides me through the ever-evolving landscape of Linux technologies. With each certification, I’m not just an engineer but a Linux engineer.

Embrace Continuous Learning

Continuous learning is what anybody needs to succeed in the Linux Foundation. I’m staying updated with the latest trends and technologies in the Linux universe. My certification isn’t a one-time achievement; it’s a commitment to ongoing growth.

Online Communities

Online communities are my companions. I share my experiences, seek advice, and connect with fellow Linux enthusiasts.

Boost My Career Prospects

Linux certification is a career booster. It opens doors to new opportunities and positions me as a valuable asset in the tech industry.

Negotiate with Confidence

When it comes to salary negotiations, Linux certification speaks volumes. It’s not just about asking for more; it’s about showcasing my expertise. I negotiate with confidence, knowing that a recognized certification backs my skills.

Final Thoughts on Best Linux Certifications

Hopefully, this article about the Best Linux Certification has told you about the transformative experience with a proper career path and continuous learning.

From foundational certifications like Linux+ to advanced levels such as RHCE and the pinnacle expertise of RHCA, the diverse certification landscape caters to various career stages. 

The emphasis on hands-on experience, practical labs, and community engagement contributes to a holistic approach to mastering Linux skills. These certifications open doors to new opportunities and serve as powerful negotiation tools in salary discussions. 

The call to action is clear. Professionals should strategically align their certification choices with career goals, prepare diligently, and leverage Linux certifications to maximize career value. 

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