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Become An Application Lead

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Working As An Application Lead

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Processing Information
  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $102,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Application Lead Do

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.


Computer systems analysts typically do the following:

  • Consult with managers to determine the role of IT systems in an organization
  • Research emerging technologies to decide if installing them can increase the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness
  • Prepare an analysis of costs and benefits so that management can decide if IT systems and computing infrastructure upgrades are financially worthwhile
  • Devise ways to add new functionality to existing computer systems
  • Design and implement new systems by choosing and configuring hardware and software
  • Oversee the installation and configuration of new systems to customize them for the organization
  • Conduct testing to ensure that the systems work as expected
  • Train the systems’ end users and write instruction manuals

Computer systems analysts use a variety of techniques such as data modeling to design computer systems. Data modeling allows analysts to view the processes and data flows even before programs have been written. 

Once programs have been written, analysts conduct in-depth tests and analyze information and trends in the data to increase a system’s performance and efficiency.

Analysts calculate requirements for how much memory and speed the computer system needs. They prepare flowcharts or other kinds of diagrams for programmers or engineers to use when building the system. Analysts also work with these people to solve problems that arise after the initial system is set up. Most analysts do some programming in the course of their work.

Most computer systems analysts specialize in certain types of computer systems that are specific to the organization they work with. For example, an analyst might work predominantly with financial computer systems or engineering computer systems.

Systems analysts help other IT team members understand how computer systems can best serve an organization by working closely with the organization’s business leaders.

In some cases, analysts who supervise the initial installation or upgrade of IT systems from start to finish may be called IT project managers. They monitor a project’s progress to ensure that deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Many computer systems analysts are general-purpose analysts who develop new systems or fine-tune existing ones; however, there are some specialized systems analysts. The following are examples of types of computer systems analysts:

Systems designers or systems architects specialize in helping organizations choose specific types of hardware and software systems. They translate the long-term business goals of an organization into technical solutions. Analysts develop a plan for the computer systems that will be able to reach those goals. They work with management to ensure that systems and the IT infrastructure are set up to best serve the organization’s mission.

Software quality assurance (QA) analysts do in-depth testing and diagnose problems of the systems they design in order to make sure that critical requirements are met. They also write reports to management recommending ways to improve the systems.

Programmer analysts design and update their system’s software and create applications tailored to their organization’s needs. They do more coding and debugging than other types of analysts, although they still work extensively with management and business analysts to determine what business needs the applications are meant to address. Other occupations that do programming are computer programmers and software developers.

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How To Become An Application Lead

A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire analysts with business or liberal arts degrees who have skills in information technology or computer programming.


Most computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Because these analysts also are heavily involved in the business side of a company, it may be helpful to take business courses or major in management information systems.

Some employers prefer applicants who have a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. For more technically complex jobs, a master’s degree in computer science may be more appropriate.

Although many computer systems analysts have technical degrees, such a degree is not always a requirement. Many analysts have liberal arts degrees and have gained programming or technical expertise elsewhere.

Many systems analysts continue to take classes throughout their careers so they can learn about new and innovative technologies. Technological advances come so rapidly in the computer field that continual study is necessary to remain competitive.

Systems analysts must understand the business field they are working in. For example, a hospital may want an analyst with a thorough understanding of health plans and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and an analyst working for a bank may need to understand finance. Having knowledge of their industry helps systems analysts communicate with managers to determine the role of the information technology (IT) systems in an organization.


With experience, systems analysts can advance to project manager and lead a team of analysts. Some can eventually become IT directors or chief technology officers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Analysts must interpret complex information from various sources and be able to decide the best way to move forward on a project. They must also be able to figure out how changes may affect the project.

Communication skills. Analysts work as a go-between with management and the IT department and must be able to explain complex issues in a way that both will understand.

Creativity. Because analysts are tasked with finding innovative solutions to computer problems, an ability to “think outside the box” is important.

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Application Lead Jobs


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Application Lead Career Paths

Application Lead
Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager Senior Manager
Practice Leader
11 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Enterprise Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Owner Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Development Manager Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Senior Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Supply Chain Manager Process Improvement Manager
Change Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Consultant Senior Technician Specialist Senior System Administrator
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Consultant Systems Architect Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Consultant Senior Leader Technology Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Lead Engineering Manager Manager, Systems Engineering
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Lead Senior Business Analyst Business Systems Senior Analyst
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Customer Relationship Management Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Lead Technician 3.3 years
Application Lead 3.0 years
Project Leader 2.7 years
Developer Analyst 2.5 years
Lead Developer 2.5 years
Module Lead 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Application Lead
Developer 6.9%
Consultant 5.8%
Programmer 3.5%
Top Careers After Application Lead
Consultant 6.4%
Manager 3.5%

Do you work as an Application Lead?

Average Yearly Salary
Show Salaries
Min 10%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
IAP Worldwide Services
Highest Paying City
San Jose, CA
Highest Paying State
Avg Experience Level
3.0 years
How much does an Application Lead make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Application Lead in the United States is $103,004 per year or $50 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $81,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $130,000.

Real Application Lead Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Application Development Lead Jpmorgan Chase & Co. New York, NY May 16, 2016 $160,000
SAP Application Development Technical Lead KLC Consulting Inc. Tallahassee, FL Oct 14, 2016 $160,000
Application Development Lead-Appian First Republic Bank San Francisco, CA Jan 18, 2016 $155,000
Enterprise Business Applications Lead Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Apr 22, 2016 $150,008 -
Saas Applications Lead M. Arthur Gensler Jr. and Associates Inc. San Francisco, CA May 25, 2016 $150,000
Technical Lead-Applications PMC-Sierra Us, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Dec 14, 2015 $145,500 -
Application Development and Maintenance Cluster Lead Axis Specialty U.S. Services Inc. Berkeley Heights, NJ Jan 05, 2016 $145,000
Oracle Financials Application Leader RH Us, LLC. Corte Madera, CA Oct 26, 2015 $145,000
Java Application Development Lead Jpmorgan Chase & Co. NJ May 09, 2016 $145,000
Applications Development Lead Jpmorgan Chase & Co San Francisco, CA Jul 08, 2015 $143,000
Enterprise Business Application Lead Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 15, 2015 $142,376 -
Applications Development Lead Jpmorgan Chase & Co. Wilmington, DE Jun 27, 2016 $140,000
Application Lead Accenture LLP Saint Louis, MO Oct 03, 2016 $138,400
IT Application Delivery Lead Blue Shield of California San Francisco, CA Dec 01, 2016 $121,000 -
Applications Development Lead Niagara Bottling, LLC Ontario, CA Sep 13, 2016 $120,910
SR. Application Lead Pantar Solutions Inc. Parkton, NC Aug 17, 2015 $120,000
Applications Development Lead Jpmorgan Chase & Co. Columbus, OH Jun 20, 2016 $120,000
BI Application Delivery Lead Rapid Global Business Solutions, Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Nov 25, 2015 $118,000
Application Lead-Data Applications Axis Specialty U.S. Services Inc. Alpharetta, GA Dec 01, 2016 $117,000
Global SAP Application Development Lead AIG Enterprise Services, LLC Houston, TX Aug 31, 2015 $116,126
Application Development Lead Jpmorgan Chase & Co. Columbus, OH Dec 02, 2015 $102,300
Application Development Technology Lead AON Service Corporation Chicago, IL Apr 10, 2016 $102,058
Application Lead Gartner, Inc. Fort Myers, FL Sep 06, 2016 $101,000
Application Lead Gartner, Inc. Fort Myers, FL Apr 04, 2016 $101,000 Application Lead Accenture LLP Southborough, MA Apr 15, 2015 $100,500
Application Technology Lead Abbvie Inc. North Chicago, IL Jul 01, 2016 $100,000 -
Application Technical Lead Accident Fund Insurance Company of America Lansing, MI Aug 29, 2016 $100,000 -
Application Lead Gartner, Inc. Austin, TX Sep 20, 2015 $100,000 -

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Top Skills for An Application Lead

  1. Web Application
  2. Business Requirements
  3. Data Warehouse
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • End to end development of several web applications starting with initial client meetings, writing requirements and creating design/layouts prototypes.
  • Collaborated with IT upper management and outsourced developers, resulting in establishing effective best practices, procedures, and business requirements.
  • Eliminated system downtime by implementing a process to validate the data before data warehouse validation as a process improvement initiative.
  • Created PL/SQL packages, reporting views and procedures to support the metrics that were being developed within the team.
  • Key contributor to the overall product specification, user interface design, and information architecture.


Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Application Leads

  1. California
  2. Colorado
  3. New Jersey
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Texas
  6. Virginia
  7. Delaware
  8. Arizona
  9. Rhode Island
  10. New York
  • (7,208 jobs)
  • (1,162 jobs)
  • (1,558 jobs)
  • (534 jobs)
  • (3,687 jobs)
  • (2,446 jobs)
  • (156 jobs)
  • (708 jobs)
  • (141 jobs)
  • (2,275 jobs)

Application Lead Demographics












Hispanic or Latino


Black or African American



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Foreign Languages Spoken














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Application Lead Education


University of Phoenix


More Tech Institute


University of Houston


Rochester Institute of Technology


Pittsburg State University


University of Texas at Arlington


Illinois Institute of Technology


George Mason University


DePaul University


Michigan State University


National University


Wayne State University


University of Texas at Austin


University of Michigan - Dearborn


University of Oklahoma


University of Illinois at Chicago


University of New Orleans


University of North Texas


George Washington University


Ohio State University

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Computer Science




Electrical Engineering


Computer Engineering


Computer Applications


Information Technology


Management Information Systems






Computer Information Systems




Project Management


Information Systems




Mechanical Engineering






Electrical Engineering Technology




Computer Networking

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Lotus Notes 8 Composite Application Capability: Lead Manager

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