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Lead Developer Careers

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 $49.49 an hour? That's $102,930 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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a lead developer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 6.6% of lead developers included web services, while 5.7% of resumes included java, and 5.7% of resumes included javascript. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the lead developer job title. But what industry to start with? Most lead developers actually find jobs in the technology and finance industries.

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 53.2% of lead developers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 30.6% of lead developers have master's degrees. Even though most lead developers 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 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 doctoral degree 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.

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Average Salary
$102,930
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
21%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
86,941
Job Openings

Lead Developer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Lead Developer

Developer
18.8 %

Top Careers After Lead Developer

What is the right job for my career path?

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

Average Salary for a Lead Developer

Lead Developers in America make an average salary of $102,930 per year or $49 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $135,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $78,000 per year.
Average Salary
$102,930

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range106k - 160k$130k$130,431
Seattle, WA
Salary Range104k - 151k$126k$126,134
Washington, DC
Salary Range95k - 144k$118k$117,690
New York, NY
Salary Range86k - 131k$107k$106,888
Reston, VA
Salary Range86k - 130k$106k$105,919
San Antonio, TX
Salary Range87k - 126k$105k$105,304
$69k
$160k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Lead Youth Development Instructor
Lead Youth Development Instructor
YMCA of Greater Seattle
YMCA of Greater Seattle
03/26/2021
03/26/2021
$37,04403/26/2021
$37,044
After School Leader-Youth Development
After School Leader-Youth Development
City of Aurora, Co
City of Aurora, Co
03/25/2021
03/25/2021
$31,30503/25/2021
$31,305
Lead Back End Developer
Lead Back End Developer
Epiroc
Epiroc
03/25/2021
03/25/2021
$81,55703/25/2021
$81,557
Lead SAP Hybris Developer
Lead SAP Hybris Developer
Randstad
Randstad
03/25/2021
03/25/2021
$140,00003/25/2021
$140,000
Lead Curam Developer (633514)
Lead Curam Developer (633514)
Bisoft LLC
Bisoft LLC
03/25/2021
03/25/2021
$146,09003/25/2021
$146,090
See More Recent Salaries

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Lead Developer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Lead Developer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Lead Developer Resume

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

View Detailed Information

Lead Developer Demographics

Gender

male

72.3 %

female

22.5 %

unknown

5.2 %

Ethnicity

White

57.4 %

Asian

27.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.3 %

French

12.9 %

German

4.9 %
See More Demographics

Lead Developer Education

Majors

Business
11.2 %

Degrees

Bachelors

64.3 %

Masters

19.8 %

Certificate

5.8 %

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 • Public

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
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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 Washington, California, New York, and Virginia. Lead developers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $125,596. Whereas in California and New York, they would average $124,138 and $106,570, respectively. While lead developers would only make an average of $105,734 in Virginia, 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. California

Total Lead Developer Jobs:
4,815
Highest 10% Earn:
$183,000
Location Quotient:
1.07
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. Nevada

Total Lead Developer Jobs:
576
Highest 10% Earn:
$149,000
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

3. District of Columbia

Total Lead Developer Jobs:
543
Highest 10% Earn:
$172,000
Location Quotient:
2.11
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
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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 Headstrong was the best, especially with an average salary of $88,309. IBM follows up with an average salary of $77,952, and then comes Tata Consultancy Services with an average of $99,462. 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 DXC Technology, Perficient, and Micro Focus

1. Headstrong
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$88,309
Lead Developers Hired: 
761+
2. IBM
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$77,952
Lead Developers Hired: 
340+
3. Tata Consultancy Services
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$99,462
Lead Developers Hired: 
168+
4. Accenture
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$117,063
Lead Developers Hired: 
136+
5. Microsoft
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$138,269
Lead Developers Hired: 
116+
6. Cognizant
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$96,315
Lead Developers Hired: 
114+

Lead Developer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020