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What is a Lead Developer

If you want to become a designated in-house authority or a technology guru, the role of a lead developer may right up your alley. In the IT world, a lead developer is a software engineer in charge of several projects. In many organizations, the role of lead developer goes beyond software development and reaches the technical leader of a team of developers.

In general, a lead developer is responsible for advocating on best practices, communicating progress, monitoring other developers, and providing technical guidance to the team; in short, they are responsible for facilitating the smooth running of projects. They may collaborate with makers, stakeholders, designers, CEOs, or top managers to ensure that the goals of the team align with the business goals of clients. Moreover, they act as a bridge between their development team and other business-oriented departments in their organization.

This career requires a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, math, physics, or a related field. Most employers prefer an individual with several years of experience in software development. Lead developers should also have in-depth knowledge of software development, hands-on experience with coding and delivering digital products, and the ability to delegate tasks to other team members and peer developers.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Lead Developer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $56.99 an hour? That's $118,541 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 21% and produce 284,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Lead Developer Do

There are certain skills that many Lead Developers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Analytical skills, Communication skills and Creativity.

Learn more about what a Lead Developer does

How To Become a Lead Developer

If you're interested in becoming a Lead Developer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 68.0% of Lead Developers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 20.9% of Lead Developers have master's degrees. Even though most Lead Developers have a college degree, it's impossible 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 Developer. When we researched the most common majors for a Lead Developer, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Master's Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Lead Developer resumes include Associate Degree degrees or Diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Lead Developer. In fact, many Lead Developer jobs require experience in a role such as Developer. Meanwhile, many Lead Developers also have previous career experience in roles such as Senior Software Engineer or Software Engineer.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Microsoft Jobs (116)
  2. Cisco Systems Jobs (45)
  3. American Red Cross Jobs (74)
  4. Office Depot Jobs (70)
  5. Wipro Jobs (74)
Average Salary
$118,541
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
21%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
315,790
Job Openings
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Average Salary for a Lead Developer

Lead Developers in America make an average salary of $118,541 per year or $57 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $154,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $90,000 per year.
Average Salary
$118,541
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How much should you be earning as an Lead Developer? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
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12 Lead Developer Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Lead Developer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Lead Developer resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Lead Developer Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Microsoft Jobs (116)
  2. Cisco Systems Jobs (45)
  3. American Red Cross Jobs (74)
  4. Office Depot Jobs (70)
  5. Wipro Jobs (74)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Lead Developer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Lead Developer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Lead Developer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Lead Developer Demographics

Lead Developer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
76%
Female
Female
24%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Lead Developers, 23.6% of them are women, while 76.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Lead Developers is White, which makes up 56.3% of all Lead Developers.

  • The most common foreign language among Lead Developers is Spanish at 43.3%.

Job Openings

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Lead Developer Education

Lead Developer Majors

11.1 %

Lead Developer Degrees

Bachelors

68.0 %

Masters

20.9 %

Associate

6.0 %

Top Colleges for Lead Developers

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

6. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

7. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

8. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

9. Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,453
Enrollment
4,312

10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451
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Top Skills For a Lead Developer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 6.6% of Lead Developers listed Web Services on their resume, but soft skills such as Analytical skills and Communication skills are important as well.

Best States For a Lead Developer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Lead Developer. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Oregon, and Montana. Lead Developers make the most in California with an average salary of $142,966. Whereas in Washington and Oregon, they would average $141,883 and $129,812, respectively. While Lead Developers would only make an average of $124,788 in Montana, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Utah

Total Lead Developer Jobs:
1,032
Highest 10% Earn:
$159,000
Location Quotient:
2.1
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Montana

Total Lead Developer Jobs:
345
Highest 10% Earn:
$161,000
Location Quotient:
1.95
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Nevada

Total Lead Developer Jobs:
576
Highest 10% Earn:
$159,000
Location Quotient:
1.79
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Lead Developers

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Top Lead Developer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Lead Developers and discovered their number of Lead Developer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that IBM was the best, especially with an average salary of $93,500. Accenture follows up with an average salary of $117,474, and then comes American Express with an average of $125,577. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Lead Developer. The employers include Deloitte, Charles Schwab, and IBM

Most Common Employers For Lead Developer

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Lead Developer SalaryAverage Salary
1$182,234
2$147,042
3$134,618
4$132,982
5$130,782
6$127,545

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