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Your complete Guide to pass the AZ-104 Exam and achieve the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification

  • Microsoft
  • AZ-104
  • Certification Guide
  • Published by: Maria Forsberg on Sep 25, 2022
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If you want a rewarding career in cloud computing, becoming a Microsoft Azure Administrator is a great path. In this article, we’ll go over what a Microsoft Azure Administrator is, how to become one, and what to expect from a Microsoft Azure Administrator job and salary.

Let’s get started!

What Is a Microsoft Azure Administrator?

A Microsoft Azure Administrator is someone who implements, manages, and monitors an organization’s Microsoft Azure cloud environment. This includes the cloud environment’s identity, governance, storage, compute, and virtual networks. In short, a Microsoft Azure Administrator keeps a pulse on the Microsoft Azure system. But that’s not all.

As part of a larger team dedicated to implementing cloud infrastructure, Microsoft Azure Administrators coordinate with other teamplayers to provision, size, monitor, and adjust cloud resources as needed. Any Microsoft Azure networking, security, database, application development, or DevOps solutions come under the purview of a Microsoft Azure Administrator.

In the next sections, we’ll go over how to become a Microsoft Azure Administrator and what you can expect from this unique career path. Read on to learn more!

How to Become a Microsoft Azure Administrator

To become a Microsoft Azure Administrator, you must first meet some prerequisites. Microsoft recommends that aspiring Microsoft Azure Administrators have all of the following:

  • Six months of hands-on experience administering Azure
  • A strong understanding of core Azure services, Azure workloads, security, and governance
  • Experience using PowerShell, Azure CLI, Azure portal, and Azure Resource Manager templates

To verify your skills in these areas, Microsoft offers a dedicated training path for Azure administrator prerequisites. You may also consider taking the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification and training. Though it’s not required for getting the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification, it’s a great way to learn the basics of Microsoft Azure for only $99.

The actual Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification requires passing the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam (AZ-104). This exam lasts 120 minutes (of which only 100 minutes are allotted for answering exam questions). The test contains 40 to 60 questions that measure your ability to manage Microsoft Azure identities and governance, implement and manage storage, deploy and manage Azure compute resources, configure and manage virtual networking, and monitor and maintain Azure resources.

You can register for (and schedule) the exam online for $165 in the US (the price will vary based on the country or region in which the exam is proctored). Available exam languages include English, Chinese (Simplified), Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Arabic (Saudi Arabia), Chinese (Traditional), Italian, and Indonesian (Indonesia).

To pass the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam, you must score 700 out of 1,000 points. Keep in mind that there is no penalty for wrong answers. You simply won’t receive points for that question, so you might as well guess. Also, the exam includes some unscored questions, but you won’t know which they are. Expect to see your exam score within minutes of finishing the exam. If you pass, you’ll receive a shareable digital certification badge (issued through Credly) on your Microsoft Learn profile.

If you fail the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam, you can retake it 24 hours after the first attempt. After that, you must wait 14 days between each attempt and you are limited to five attempts within a 12-month period. If you must reschedule or cancel the exam, you can do so up until 24 hours before your exam time. After that point, your exam fee won’t be refunded.

Lastly, to maintain your Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification, you must renew it annually. The certification expires every year. You can renew your Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification anytime within six months of the expiration date. If you let the certification lapse, you will need to register for (and pass) the full Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam again.

You can renew your Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification by passing a free 45-minute online assessment. The assessment has no retake limit and you can take it any time, so there is no need to ever reschedule. If you don’t pass the renewal assessment, you can retry immediately. After the second attempt, you must wait at least 24 hours between subsequent attempts.

That’s how to become a Microsoft Azure Administrator in a nutshell. In the following sections, we’ll go over some of the steps to becoming a Microsoft Azure Administrator in more detail.

What Is the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification?

The Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification is an official credential issued by Microsoft. It certifies that you can administer a cloud infrastructure in Microsoft Azure, which involves managing Azure identities and governance, implementing and managing storage, deploying and managing Azure compute resources, configuring and managing virtual networking, monitoring and maintaining Azure resources, and more.

The actual certification comes in the form of a digital certificate that you can share online (via Credly). For example, you can list it on your LinkedIn profile, share it on social media, or embed it in your email signature. Wherever you are online, the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification badge will validate you as a Microsoft Azure expert.

Of course, you can also download and print off your Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification to hang on a wall or simply keep for your personal records. However you choose to show off your certification, you’ll be recognized throughout the cloud industry and beyond as a Microsoft Azure professional.

How Long Does It Take To Complete the Azure Administrator Certification?

The amount of time it takes to complete the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification varies considerably. It all depends on how long it takes you to gain the necessary experience and knowledge to pass the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam. The exam itself only takes 120 minutes.

So how much time should you plan on setting aside? To answer that question, you must consider a few different learning options:

  • Study guides—You can learn on your own from the official Microsoft Azure Administrator Study Guide. It goes over all of the exam policies, objectives, and skills measured. It also provides helpful links to other online learning resources.
  • Self-paced training—Another way to study for the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam is through self-paced trainings. Try the one that Microsoft offers for free on its online learning platform.
  • Instructor-led training—If you prefer to learn from a live teacher, then an instructor-led training might be for you. You can search for one in your area on Microsoft’s website or take a look at the one by Readynez. It allows you to get ready for the exam in just four days through a $2,750 virtual version or a $3,790 classroom version. Both come with all course materials, an exam voucher, and a certification guarantee!

How you choose to prepare for (and pass) the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam will determine how long it takes you to get the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification. Just remember to prepare well enough to pass the exam on the first attempt. Not learning all material sufficiently will only cause you to have to retake the exam.

What Is the Cost of the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification?

The Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification costs 165 USD at minimum. That’s the price of registering for the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam (though the price will vary based on the country or region in which the exam is proctored).

That said, there are other costs associated with becoming Microsoft Azure Administrator certified that you may want to take into account. For example, should you choose to take an exam prep course like the one by Readynez, that will cost 2,750 Euro or 3,790 Euro depending on whether you enroll in the virtual or classroom version. Keep in mind, however, that the exam prep course includes an exam voucher, which covers the cost of exam registration. Plus, by completing the Readynez exam prep course, you are much less likely to need to retake the Microsoft Azure Administrator exam. After all, the course comes with a certification guarantee.

Other items that could add to the cost of getting the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification include the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification and training. It costs $99, but the investment is well worth it. It will teach you all the basics behind Microsoft Azure if you’re unfamiliar.

You may also want to invest in Microsoft’s official Azure Administrator practice test. It includes detailed answers and references, instance score reports, and two study modes: study mode and timed certification mode. You can get 30-day access to the practice exam for $99 or 60-day access for just $109.

Lastly, Microsoft (in partnership with Pearson VUE) also offers special exam replay packages. Exam replays give you a second chance to pass the certification if you don’t pass on your first try. You can get one exam voucher plus one exam replay for $230 or one exam voucher plus one exam replay plus one official practice test for $265.

As you can see, the cost of getting the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification depends on how much you want to invest in preparing for the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam. At the end of the day, it could cost you anywhere from $165 to a few thousand dollars. It all depends on how confident you are in your Microsoft Azure knowledge and skills going in.

Microsoft Azure Administrator Certifications: Benefits, How to Prepare?

At this point, you may wonder if getting the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification is worth it, and if it is, how to go about preparing for it. If so, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to help.

The truth is that the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification is well worth the cost. Think of it as an investment. Though it will cost you a little money, time, and effort upfront, the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification will pay for itself many times over in the long run. How? By helping you do all of the following:

  • Gain global recognition. The Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification is recognized by companies and organizations worldwide. The highly valued credential will help you stand out to employers and open new doors in the US and abroad.
  • Advance your career. Say you already work at a great company. The Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification could help you get a promotion. But if you ever feel like a change, the credential will help you get job offers from other companies and organizations as well. Either way, it will help you advance your career.
  • Boost your salary. The average salary of a Microsoft Azure Administrator is $104,658 per year. That’s $8,721 per month, $2,012 per week, and $50 per hour! Top earners can make as much as $156,000, while the 75th percentile makes $124,000 and the 25th percentile makes $79,500. Unless you’re already making more than these figures, getting the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certificate will help increase your salary.
  • Become a vital asset to your company. As a Microsoft Azure Administrator, you get to help companies migrate their data infrastructure to the cloud and lower its IT costs as a result. This means you’ll become a vital asset to your organization, and who doesn’t like to feel needed?
  • Demonstrate your commitment to the field. When you invest your time, effort, and money into certifying as a Microsoft Azure Administrator, it shows that you’re committed to the cloud computing industry. Employers will come to respect you as an expert and you’ll have more career opportunities as a result.
  • Stay up to date on industry trends. To maintain your Microsoft Azure Administrator, you must take an annual renewal assessment on the latest cloud technology. So as a Microsoft Azure Administrator, you’ll stay current on cutting edge cloud technology and methods.
  • Improve your skills. Whether it’s in IT, coding, DevOps, or AI, Microsoft Azure Administrators are always improving their technical skills. This is because they work with other experts every day. Over time, you’ll have many skills under your belt that will make you a valuable asset to your company.

If that all sounds good to you and you want to take your cloud computing career to the next level, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare for the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Exam:

  • Get familiar with the exam. Before you do anything else, you need to know the format and content of the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam. The exam lasts 100 minutes (seat duration is 120 minutes) and contains 40 to 60 questions that cover managing Azure identities and governance (15-20%), implementing and managing storage (15-20%), deploying and managing Azure compute resources (20-25%), configuring and managing virtual networking (20-25%), and monitoring and maintaining Azure resources (10-15%). The exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 1,000, and you need to score at least 700 points to pass. If you fail the exam, you must wait 24 hours before retaking it. You can also cancel or reschedule the exam up to 24 hours before the exam date.
  • Take an exam prep course. An exam prep course will help ensure you actually pass the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam. If you don’t take one, you’ll be shooting in the dark. Microsoft offers an official self-paced training for free and paid instructor-led courses that you can search for by location and date. Alternatively, you can take an exam prep course from a third-party vendor like Readynez. It offers a virtual exam prep course for 2,750 USD and a classroom version for 3,790 USD. Both last four days and come with all course materials, an exam voucher, and a certification guarantee. The in-person classroom version also comes with accommodations and all meals.
  • Take advantage of other learning resources. On top of taking an exam prep course, you can learn from many other exam prep materials online. For example, you can review the official Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam Study Guide, post questions in the Microsoft help forums, ask questions to the Azure support community, find answers in Microsoft Docs, or check out Microsoft’s Exam Readiness Zone.
  • Take a practice exam. You won’t know what it’s like to take the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam until you take a practice exam. Practice exams help simulate the real experience by having you complete sample questions under time pressure. You can buy access to the official Microsoft practice exam It costs $99 for 30-day access and $109 for 60-day access. It also comes with detailed answers and references, instant score reports, and two modes: study mode and timed mode. Alternatively, you can find other practice tests online with a simple Google search. You can also go over Microsoft’s 20 sample questions or demo the exam with Exam Sandbox. The more practice you get in a test environment, the better you’ll perform on the actual exam.
  • Develop good test-taking skills. Part of succeeding on the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam comes down to good test-taking skills. Make sure you pace yourself. If you divide 100 minutes by 40 to 60 questions, that’s 1.6 to 2.5 minutes per question. So if you find yourself taking any longer than that on a single question, mark it and return to it later. Skipping difficult questions ensures you have enough time for the easy ones. Also, if you find yourself unsure about the right answer, try using the process of elimination. Cross off the answers you know are incorrect until you’re left with only one option. Good test-taking skills are crucial. Without them, you might fail the exam—no matter how well you know the material.
  • Come prepared on exam day. Make sure to come to the exam well rested and not hungry. You want to be in your best physical shape so that you can give your full attention to the exam. That also means staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Request accommodations (if needed). If you suffer from a disability (e.g. a learning or physical disability), you can request exam accommodations like extra time, assistive technology, or a personal care assistant. If you do, make sure to request it from your test delivery provider (either Pearson VUE or Certiport) before you schedule the exam. Also, if the exam is not available in your native language, you can request a 30-minute ESL (English as a second language) extension. That way, you won’t be testing at a disadvantage.

Now that you know how to prepare for the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Exam, you’re much more likely to pass. In the next sections, we’ll go over what you can expect from a career as a Microsoft Azure Administrator.

What Are the Skills Required to Be an Azure Administrator?

The skills required to be a Microsoft Azure Administrator are found in the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam Study Guide. Here’s an abbreviated list of all the skills that the exam tests for and that you need to know to be successful at the job:

  • Manage Azure identities and governance (15-20%)
    • Manage Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) objects
    • Manage access control
    • Manage Azure subscriptions and governance
  • Implement and manage storage (15-20%)
    • Configure access to storage
    • Manage data in Azure storage accounts
    • Configure Azure Files and Azure Blob Storage
  • Deploy and manage Azure compute resources (20-25%)
    • Automate deployment of resources by using templates
    • Create and configure VMs
    • Create and configure containers
    • Create and configure an Azure App Service
  • Configure and manage virtual networking (20-25%)
    • Configure virtual networks
    • Configure secure access to virtual networks
    • Configure load balancing
    • Monitor virtual networking
  • Monitor and maintain Azure resources (10-15%)
    • Monitor resources by using Azure Monitor
    • Implement backup and recovery

There are many ways to learn these Microsoft Azure Administrator skills: work experience, self-paced training, instructor-led courses, and more. The key is to learn the skills well so that you can pass the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam and be successful in your future Microsoft Azure Administrator role.

If you want to acquire the necessary Microsoft Azure Administrator skills fast, consider enrolling in Readynez’s four-day MICROSOFT CERTIFIED AZURE ADMINISTRATOR (AZ-104) course. This boot camp style course goes over everything you need to know to pass the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam and do well at your job. The virtual version of the class is $2,750 Euro, and the classroom version is $3,790 Euro. Both last four days and include all course materials, an exam voucher, and a certification guarantee! The in-person classroom version also includes all meals and accommodations. Contact us today to learn more!

Microsoft Azure Administrator Career Path

The career route to becoming a Microsoft Azure Administrator is relatively straightforward. You must first meet all the prerequisites for the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification. These include:

  • Six months of hands-on experience administering Azure
  • A strong understanding of core Azure services, Azure workloads, security, and governance
  • Experience using PowerShell, Azure CLI, Azure portal, and Azure Resource Manager templates

From there, you must get the right training to pass the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam. This could include starting with the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals training and certification, which costs $99. Otherwise, you’ll want to review the official Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam Study Guide and consider taking a self-paced or instructor-led training like the one by Readynez.

You can then take practice exams until you feel ready to register for the actual Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam. Exam registration costs $165 in the US, but the price will vary based on the country or region in which the exam is proctored.

After you take and pass the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam, it’s time to find a job as a Microsoft Azure Administrator. Look for open positions online on sites like LinkedIn.com and Indeed.com, ask around in your personal network, and go to job fairs. Fortunately, the job search won’t take long since Microsoft Azure Administrators are in high demand, which brings us to our next point.

Microsoft Azure Administrator Job Demand

More and more companies are moving their data infrastructure to the cloud. Consider these cloud adoption statistics reported by Exploding Topics:

  • 100 ZB of data will be stored in the cloud by 2025
  • 50% of the world’s corporate data is stored in the cloud
  • Cloud data centers account for 3% of the world’s energy consumption
  • Cloud infrastructure services generate $178 billion per year in revenue
  • 90% of large enterprises have adopted a multi-cloud infrastructure
  • Enterprises use an average of 2.6 public and 2.7 private clouds

There’s no question that the cloud is the future of business, and Microsoft Azure is one of the top cloud computing providers. That means there is and will continue to be a high demand for Microsoft Azure experts. As a Microsoft Azure Administrator, you can take advantage of this trend.

The average salary for a Microsoft Azure Administrator is $104,658 per year. That’s $8,721 per month, $2,012 per week, and $50 per hour. Top earners even make as much as $156,000, while the 75th percentile makes $124,000, and the 25th percentile makes $79,500. If you want to boost your salary and enjoy high job security, becoming a Microsoft Azure Administrator is a great way to do it!

Career Development Opportunities With the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification

Once you receive your Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification, you’re on your way to becoming a Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate. This is a top position within the cloud computing industry that involves administering the Azure platform to an organization. As more companies migrate their data infrastructure to the cloud, the demand for Microsoft Azure Administrator Associates will increase.

After working as a Microsoft Azure Administrator, you can work your way up to nearly any level of manager or executive within an organization’s IT or cloud department. Start small and see where your career in cloud computing takes you. You’d be surprised at how high up the corporate ladder you can climb after certifying as a Microsoft Azure Administrator.

If you want to become a Microsoft Azure Administrator quickly, consider taking the MICROSOFT CERTIFIED AZURE ADMINISTRATOR (AZ-104) exam prep course by Readynez. It’ll prepare you to ace the Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam on your first try so you can jumpstart your career in cloud computing. The virtual course costs only 2,750 USD, and the in-person classroom course costs only 3,790 USD. Both last four days and include all course materials, an exam voucher, and a certification guarantee! The in-person classroom version also includes all meals and accommodations. Contact us today to get started!

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