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Working as a Lead Engineer

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a lead engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $34.85 an hour? That's $72,494 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 12,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Lead Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many lead engineers 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 mechanical skills, listening skills and math skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a lead engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 8.6% of lead engineers included python, while 7.4% of resumes included architecture, and 4.9% of resumes included java. 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 engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most lead engineers actually find jobs in the technology and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Lead Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a lead engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 45.1% of lead engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 32.7% of lead engineers have master's degrees. Even though most lead engineers 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 engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a lead engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on lead engineer resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a lead engineer. In fact, many lead engineer jobs require experience in a role such as engineer. Meanwhile, many lead engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as software engineer or senior engineer.

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Average Salary$72,494
Job Growth Rate4%

Lead Engineer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Lead Engineer

Engineer
14.9 %

Top Careers After Lead Engineer

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

Average Salary for a Lead Engineer

Lead Engineers in America make an average salary of $72,494 per year or $35 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $93,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $56,000 per year.
Average Salary
$72,494

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range79k - 126k$100k$100,333
Quincy, MA
Salary Range72k - 108k$89k$88,571
Wilmington, DE
Salary Range71k - 109k$88k$88,308
Stamford, CT
Salary Range70k - 109k$88k$87,944
Englewood, CO
Salary Range72k - 106k$88k$87,509
Richmond, VA
Salary Range70k - 105k$86k$86,275
$61k
$126k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Leader, Cloud Engineering
Leader, Cloud Engineering
Western Union
Western Union
01/31/2021
01/31/2021
$105,97401/31/2021
$105,974
Lead Front End Engineer
Lead Front End Engineer
Management Decisions, Inc.
Management Decisions, Inc.
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$180,00001/29/2021
$180,000
Lead Full Stack Engineer (162431)
Lead Full Stack Engineer (162431)
Randstad
Randstad
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$135,65501/28/2021
$135,655
Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer
Randstad
Randstad
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$165,00001/27/2021
$165,000
Lead Engineer (React Native + Typescript) [Remote, No C2C]
Lead Engineer (React Native + Typescript) [Remote, No C2C]
Braintrust
Braintrust
01/26/2021
01/26/2021
$146,09001/26/2021
$146,090
See More Recent Salaries

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Lead Engineer 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 Engineer. 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 Engineer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Lead Engineer 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 Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

84.1 %

female

10.7 %

unknown

5.2 %

Ethnicity

White

72.8 %

Asian

15.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

6.9 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

30.4 %

Carrier

9.1 %

French

8.4 %
See More Demographics

Lead Engineer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

45.1 %

Masters

32.7 %

Associate

6.5 %

Top Colleges for Lead Engineers

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

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

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

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

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

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

4. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

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

5. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

6. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

7. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

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

8. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

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

9. Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,646
Enrollment
5,736

10. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Lead Engineer

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, 8.6% of lead engineers listed python on their resume, but soft skills such as mechanical skills and listening skills are important as well.

Best States For a Lead Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a lead engineer. The best states for people in this position are Maryland, Utah, California, and Massachusetts. Lead engineers make the most in Maryland with an average salary of $100,892. Whereas in Utah and California, they would average $96,850 and $94,673, respectively. While lead engineers would only make an average of $88,424 in Massachusetts, 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. Maryland

Total Lead Engineer Jobs:
2,182
Highest 10% Earn:
$149,000
Location Quotient:
1.45
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. District of Columbia

Total Lead Engineer Jobs:
714
Highest 10% Earn:
$156,000
Location Quotient:
1.43
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. Utah

Total Lead Engineer Jobs:
597
Highest 10% Earn:
$142,000
Location Quotient:
0.94
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 Engineer 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 engineers and discovered their number of lead engineer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Wipro was the best, especially with an average salary of $63,595. HCL America follows up with an average salary of $64,634, and then comes General Electric with an average of $121,702. 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 engineer. The employers include Goldman Sachs, TSYS, and Mutual of Omaha

1. Wipro
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$63,595
Lead Engineers Hired: 
15,618+
2. HCL America
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$64,634
Lead Engineers Hired: 
341+
3. General Electric
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$121,702
Lead Engineers Hired: 
165+
4. Target
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$123,543
Lead Engineers Hired: 
152+
5. Infosys Public Services
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$63,611
Lead Engineers Hired: 
143+
6. Boeing
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$130,622
Lead Engineers Hired: 
114+

Lead Engineer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020