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Become A Lead Engineer

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Working As A Lead Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $83,572

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead Engineer Do

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.

Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs). Many also work in areas closely related to computer hardware.

Duties

Electrical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget

Electronics engineers typically do the following:

  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
  • Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
  • Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure that they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance

Electronics engineers who work for the federal government research, develop, and evaluate electronic devices used in a variety of areas, such as aviation, computing, transportation, and manufacturing. They work on federal electronic devices and systems, including satellites, flight systems, radar and sonar systems, and communications systems.

The work of electrical engineers and electronics engineers is often similar. Both use engineering and design software and equipment to do engineering tasks. Both types of engineers also must work with other engineers to discuss existing products and possibilities for engineering projects.

Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers.

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How To Become A Lead Engineer

Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical experience, so participation in cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience. Having a Professional Engineer (PE) license may improve an engineer’s chances of finding employment.

Education

High school students interested in studying electrical or electronics engineering benefit from taking courses in physics and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting are also helpful, because electrical and electronics engineers often are required to prepare technical drawings.

In order to enter the occupation, prospective electrical and electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology should be accredited by ABET.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education. Cooperative programs combine classroom study with practical work. Internships provide similar experience and are growing in number.

At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in research and development.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Electrical and electronics engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and electronic components and products. They must be able to keep track of multiple design elements and technical characteristics when performing these tasks.

Initiative. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to apply their knowledge to new tasks in every project they undertake. In addition, they must engage in continuing education to keep up with changes in technology.

Interpersonal skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to work with others during the manufacturing process to ensure that their plans are implemented correctly. This collaboration includes monitoring technicians and devising remedies to problems as they arise.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to use the principles of calculus and other advanced math in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot equipment.

Speaking skills. Electrical and electronics engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. They must be able to explain their designs and reasoning clearly and to relay instructions during product development and production. They also may need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or no technical expertise.

Writing skills. Electrical and electronics engineers develop technical publications related to equipment they develop, including maintenance manuals, operation manuals, parts lists, product proposals, and design methods documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as electrical and electronics engineers. 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
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken right after graduation from a college or university. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After getting work experience, EITs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

Advancement

Electrical and electronic engineers may advance to supervisory positions in which they lead a team of engineers and technicians. Some may move to management positions, working as engineering or program managers. Preparation for managerial positions usually requires working under the guidance of a more experienced engineer. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

For sales work, an engineering background enables engineers to discuss a product's technical aspects and assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile on sales engineers.

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Lead Engineer Jobs

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Lead Engineer Career Paths

Lead Engineer
Engineering Director Consulting Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Systems Administrator Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Systems Engineer Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Architect Design Drafter Electrical Designer
Electrical Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Supervisor Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Consulting Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Sales Engineer Senior Project Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Engineering/Maintenance Manager Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Product Manager Product Development Manager
Research And Development Director
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Chief Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Technical Consultant Sales Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Product Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Research And Development Technician Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Chief Engineer Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Technical Director Research And Development Director
Vice President Of Research And Development
13 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Operations Manager Assistant Vice President
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Lead Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.7 years
Principle Engineer 4.5 years
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Senior Engineer 4.2 years
Head Engineer 3.7 years
Team Lead Engineer 3.3 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Lead Engineer 3.0 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 14.4%
Consultant 3.5%
Top Employers After
Engineer 9.3%
Consultant 6.2%
Manager 4.2%
Owner 2.5%

Do you work as a Lead Engineer?

Lead Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

86.0%

Female

10.5%

Unknown

3.4%
Ethnicity

White

53.1%

Asian

17.6%

Hispanic or Latino

13.7%

Black or African American

10.2%

Unknown

5.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

27.6%

Carrier

9.6%

French

9.2%

Mandarin

6.8%

Chinese

6.8%

German

6.8%

Arabic

4.8%

Hindi

4.0%

Russian

4.0%

Portuguese

4.0%

Italian

3.6%

Japanese

2.4%

Korean

2.0%

Cantonese

1.6%

Polish

1.6%

Tamil

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Dakota

1.2%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Basque

0.8%
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Lead Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.3%

Purdue University

6.5%

Illinois Institute of Technology

6.4%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

6.4%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.4%

University of Texas at Austin

5.9%

Pennsylvania State University

5.6%

University of Houston

5.4%

Johns Hopkins University

4.8%

More Tech Institute

4.6%

Wayne State University

4.5%

Texas A&M University

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.0%

George Mason University

3.8%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.8%

Arizona State University

3.7%

University of Florida

3.7%

Iowa State University

3.7%

Northeastern University

3.7%

Villanova University

3.5%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

19.0%

Electrical Engineering

16.9%

Computer Science

12.5%

Business

11.4%

Computer Engineering

4.4%

Engineering

4.3%

Civil Engineering

3.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.2%

Information Technology

3.1%

Chemical Engineering

2.6%

Management

2.5%

Computer Information Systems

2.5%

Aerospace Engineering

2.2%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.2%

Computer Applications

1.9%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.8%

Project Management

1.7%

Finance

1.5%

Heating And Air Conditioning

1.5%

Computer Networking

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.6%

Masters

30.6%

Other

14.6%

Associate

4.4%

Doctorate

4.1%

Certificate

3.1%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.1%
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Internship
Temporary

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
Completions Engineering Lead Occidental Petroleum Corp Houston, TX Dec 30, 2015 $185,000
Search Lead, Data Engineering Zillow, Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 14, 2016 $184,288 -
$215,000
Engineering Lead Zillow, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 22, 2016 $180,500 -
$215,000
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 -
$180,000
Engineering Lead Square Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 14, 2016 $173,056
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
Lead IOS Engineer Eva Automation, Inc. Redwood City, CA Jan 26, 2016 $165,000
Platform Engineering Lead Adobe Systems Incorporated San Jose, CA Oct 24, 2016 $165,000
Lead Engineer The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Nov 23, 2015 $165,000 -
$200,000
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Boxborough, MA Jun 18, 2015 $77,543
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Boston, MA Jun 18, 2015 $77,542
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Lexington, MA May 14, 2015 $77,542
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Andover, MA May 14, 2015 $77,542
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Quincy, MA May 11, 2015 $77,542
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Boston, MA May 11, 2015 $77,542
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Cambridge, MA May 11, 2015 $77,542
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Quincy, MA May 21, 2015 $77,542
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Calvert, AL Jun 18, 2015 $70,138
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Middletown, PA Jan 06, 2016 $70,117
Lead Engineer Wipro Limited Harrisburg, PA Dec 30, 2015 $70,117
Lead Engineer It Trailblazers, LLC Jacksonville, FL Mar 23, 2015 $70,000
Lead Engineer Hinduja Tech Inc. Saline, MI Oct 09, 2016 $70,000
Lead Engineer Softlabs Na, Inc. Cumberland, RI Feb 24, 2016 $70,000 -
$87,000
Lead Engineer Fierce Infotech LLC Irving, TX Sep 14, 2016 $70,000

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Top Skills for A Lead Engineer

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  1. Computer
  2. Safety
  3. Web
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created several diagnostic programs for the Concurrent computer utilizing Assembly language.
  • Have Initiated task request and safety permits with hazard analysis and qualifying operators.
  • Practiced controller of corporate LAN infrastructure for FirstAir Development network, ensuring the comprehensive support of e-Commerce websites.
  • Conducted data analysis and briefed results and recommendations to senior executives.
  • Managed Application testing for compatibility with windows XP.

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