Summary. We reviewed real candidate profiles to learn the best path to become a lead designer. We'll guide you through the education, experiences, and skills hiring managers look for in a lead designer.

  • Most companies require a lead designer to have a bachelor's degree degree in a related field, such as graphic design or drafting and design.

  • It's important to have relevant work experience, with typical job requirements ranging from 2-4 years in related fields.

  • Common job titles before becoming a lead designer include designer, graphic designer, and senior designer.

  • Hiring managers expect a lead designer to have soft skills such as analytical skills, artistic ability, and communication skills.

  • Once you have all the required skills and experience, it doesn't take any job training to become a lead designer.

  • Getting a certification as a Certified Interior Designer (NCIDQ) will help you to earn more as a lead designer.

How to become a Lead Designer in 6 steps:

  • Step 1: Explore lead designer education
  • Step 2: Develop lead designer skills
  • Step 3: Complete relevent training/internship
  • Step 4: Research lead designer duties
  • Step 5: Prepare your resume
  • Step 6: Get lead designer experience

Key Steps To Become a Lead Designer

  1. Explore Lead Designer Education

    If you're interested in becoming a lead designer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 64.2% of lead designers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 9.3% of lead designers have master's degrees. Even though most lead designers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

    Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a lead designer. When we researched the most common majors for a lead designer, we found that they most commonly have graphic design, drafting and design and mechanical engineering.

    Lead Designer Degrees


    64.2 %


    19.5 %


    9.3 %

    Lead Designer MajorPercentages
    Graphic Design27.70%
    Drafting And Design9.30%
    Mechanical Engineering8.20%
    Fine Arts7.60%
    Other Degrees47.20%

  2. Develop Lead Designer Skills

    It'll be a good idea to develop lead designer skills before applying for a job. Here are some skills commonly requested in lead designer job descriptions:

    User Experience5.95%
    Design Solutions4.69%

  3. Complete Relevent Training/Internship

    Lead designers spend an average of None on post-employment, on-the-job training. During this time, new lead designers learn the skills and techniques required for their specific job and employer. The chart below shows how much time it takes to gain competency as a lead designer based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and data from real lead designer resumes.

    Average Amount Of Time At Training


    Less than 1 month

    1-3 months

    3-6 months

    6-12 months

    1-2 years

  4. Research Lead Designer Duties

    When you decide to become a lead designer, It's important to know what duties and responsibilities are required for this position. Some common responsibilities are a part of most lead designer jobs. Here is a list of the main duties that define the role:

    • Lead development of HTML5, CSS3 and mobile platform prototypes.
    • Lead team in fit meetings and collaborate with TD on sketch updates.
    • Lead & design all creative content stemming from apparel design to web identity.
    • Prepare HTML, CSS and JavaScript coding guides and best practices, and implement, enforce through peer code reviews.
    • Provide expertise skills in CSS, dynamic HTML, java script, and Java development languages.
    • Develop interactive UI features, database schema design, security module design and development.

  5. Get Lead Designer Experience

    Generally, it takes 2-4 years to become a lead designer. The most common roles before becoming a lead designer include designer, graphic designer team lead and senior designer.

  6. Prepare Your Resume

    Finally, when you already have checked the skills and responsibilities for this role, you can start creating your resume. Everything that goes into creating a perfect resume can take hours, days, or even weeks. No worries, we created a resume builder to make this process as easy as possible with tips and examples of skills, responsibilities, and a summary.

    Choose From 10+ Customizable Lead Designer Resume templates

    Build a professional Lead Designer resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Lead Designer resume.

    Lead Designer Resume
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  7. Apply For a Lead Designer Job

    With your ready resume, it's time to start searching for a new job. Consider the tips below for a successful job search:

    1. Browse job boards for relevant postings
    2. Consult your professional network
    3. Reach out to companies you're interested in working for directly
    4. Watch out for job scams

    Lead Designer Jobs

  8. How To Become a Lead Designer
    How To Become a Lead Designer Career Overview

How To Become a Lead Designer Without A Degree

Becoming a lead designer without a degree is possible with the right approach. One way is to start as a designer or freelance designer, where you can learn the ropes and gain practical experience. You can also seek out mentorship from experienced lead designers, participate in online courses, or earn lead designer certifications. Building a strong network, staying up-to-date with industry trends, and having a positive attitude can also increase your chances of success in this career path.

With the right courses, you can start a successful career as a lead designer.

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19. Graphic Design Masterclass Intermediate: The NEXT Level


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