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Become A Lead Engineer

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Working As A Lead Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • $101,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead Engineer Do

A Lead Engineer is in charge of an engineering department and their duties include the procurement of project resources, development of plans for the various phases of a project, and supervising the manufacturing process. They also manage quality assurance for the facility and its services.

How To Become A Lead Engineer

Industrial engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value experience, so cooperative education engineering programs at universities are also valuable.


Industrial engineers need a bachelor’s degree, typically in industrial engineering. However, many industrial engineers have degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering technology, or general engineering. Students interested in studying industrial engineering should take high school courses in mathematics, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; computer science; and sciences such as chemistry and physics.

Bachelor’s degree programs include lectures in classrooms and practice in laboratories. Courses include statistics, production systems planning, and manufacturing systems design, among others. Many colleges and universities offer cooperative education programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

A few colleges and universities offer 5-year degree programs in industrial engineering that lead to a bachelor’s and master’s degree upon completion, and several more offer similar programs in mechanical engineering. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a professor at a college or university or to engage in research and development. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative education plans combine classroom study with practical work, permitting students to gain experience and to finance part of their education.

Programs in industrial engineering are accredited by ABET.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Industrial engineers use creativity and ingenuity to design new production processes in many kinds of settings in order to reduce the use of material resources, time, or labor while accomplishing the same goal.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineers create new systems to solve problems related to waste and inefficiency. Solving these problems requires logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to the problems.

Listening skills. These engineers often operate in teams, but they also must solicit feedback from customers, vendors, and production staff. They must listen to customers and clients in order to fully grasp ideas and problems the first time.

Math skills. Industrial engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. In designing facilities for manufacturing and processes for providing services, these engineers deal with several issues at once, from workers’ safety to quality assurance.

Speaking skills. Industrial engineers sometimes have to explain their instructions to production staff or technicians before they can make written instructions available. Being able to explain concepts clearly and quickly is crucial to preventing costly mistakes and loss of time.

Writing skills. Industrial engineers must prepare documentation for other engineers or scientists, or for future reference. The documentation must be coherent and explain their thinking clearly so that the others can understand the information.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an industrial engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education in order to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licenses from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.


Beginning industrial engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers also may receive formal training in classes or seminars. As beginning engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move on to more difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Eventually, industrial engineers may advance to become technical specialists, such as quality engineers or facility planners. In that role, they supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Obtaining a master’s degree facilitates such specialization and thus advancement.

Many industrial engineers move into management positions because the work they do is closely related to the work of managers. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

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Lead Engineer jobs

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Lead Engineer Career Paths

Lead Engineer
Project Leader Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Engineering Director Vice President Of Engineering
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Program Management Consultant Program Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Engineering Director Technical Director Production Manager
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager Account Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Project Engineer
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Chief Engineer Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Program Manager Marketing Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Chief Engineer Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager Director Of Product Development
Vice President Product Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager Technical Director
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Systems Engineer Senior Project Manager Product Management Director
Vice President-Products
13 Yearsyrs
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Lead Engineer Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Carrier

  • Chinese

  • German

  • Mandarin

  • Arabic

  • Portuguese

  • Italian

  • Hindi

  • Russian

  • Japanese

  • Persian

  • Korean

  • Dakota

  • Polish

  • Cantonese

  • Tamil

  • Hebrew

  • Kannada

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Lead Engineer

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Lead Engineer Education

Lead Engineer

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Real Lead Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Engineer (Mobile) Castlight Health, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 05, 2016 $190,000
Lead Front-End Engineer Medallia, Inc. Palo Alto, CA May 29, 2015 $185,000
Engineering Lead Zillow, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 22, 2016 $180,500 -
Lead Rendering Engineer Activision Publishing Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 31, 2016 $180,000
Pipe Stress Lead Engineer Advantage Technical Resourcing, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 21, 2016 $176,000
Lead Engineer, Data Analytics Drivescale, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 19, 2015 $175,000 -
Engineering Lead Square Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 14, 2016 $173,056
Mechanical Discipline Lead Engineer Kelly Services, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Mar 10, 2016 $171,134
Executive Producer/Lead Engineer Rumble Entertainment, Inc. San Mateo, CA Jan 05, 2016 $170,000
Identity and Access Management Lead Engineer American International Group, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jun 15, 2015 $170,000
Lead Engineer Robert Bosch LLC Palo Alto, CA Apr 20, 2016 $166,223
Engineering Lead Relayrides, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 30, 2015 $165,000
Technical Lead Engineer Viasat, Inc. San Jose, CA Mar 25, 2016 $165,000 -
Lead Engineer-Performance & Data Magic Leap, Inc. Mountain View, CA Oct 11, 2015 $165,000
Lead Engineer Eaton Eden Prairie, MN Jan 09, 2015 $77,730 -
Lead Engineer Eaton Eden Prairie, MN Sep 01, 2015 $77,730 -
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited San Jose, CA Jun 18, 2015 $77,564
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Milpitas, CA Jun 18, 2015 $77,564
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Morrisville, NC Dec 25, 2015 $71,094
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Mooresville, NC Nov 02, 2016 $71,094
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Morrisville, NC Aug 10, 2015 $71,094
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Cary, NC Jan 06, 2016 $71,094
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Cary, NC Jun 20, 2016 $71,094
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Cary, NC Apr 25, 2016 $71,094
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Raleigh, NC Apr 19, 2016 $71,094
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Cary, NC Jun 05, 2016 $71,094

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Top Skills for A Lead Engineer


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Top Lead Engineer Skills

  1. Test Procedures
  2. Hardware
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed manual test procedures and automated test scripts align with product requirements.
  • Provide technical training on software and hardware for customers.
  • Oversee night time shift crew for safety and property handle job assignment.
  • Documented existing Windows 2000 Active Directory environment for a 2500+ user environment.
  • Project Manager Stone & Webster Engineering Corp.

Top Lead Engineer Employers

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