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Lead Operator Careers

A lead operator is a mechanic who operates industrial machinery. They install, repair, and adjust industrial machines, perform routine maintenance on production equipment, and monitor operations, troubleshooting whenever necessary. They run quality tests and inspect products to make sure they reach the desired quality and adhere to standards.

Lead operators know their fair share about engineering and technology, and understand how to apply their knowledge in practical situations. They are familiar with raw materials and production processes and have insight on how to maximize productivity. They have a solid background in mathematics, as well, and have a strong affinity toward analytical thinking.

The average hourly salary of a lead operator in the U.S. is $18.26, and working hours are your usual 40 hours a week, often in rotating shifts.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a lead operator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $42.77 an hour? That's $88,958 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 32,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Lead Operator Do

There are certain skills that many lead operators 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 communication skills, coordination and mechanical skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a lead operator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 12.7% of lead operators included customer service, while 12.4% of resumes included communication, and 7.4% of resumes included hr. 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 operator job title. But what industry to start with? Most lead operators actually find jobs in the manufacturing and retail industries.

How To Become a Lead Operator

If you're interested in becoming a lead operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 30.7% of lead operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 8.9% of lead operators have master's degrees. Even though some lead operators 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 operator. When we researched the most common majors for a lead operator, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on lead operator resumes include associate degree degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a lead operator. In fact, many lead operator jobs require experience in a role such as operator. Meanwhile, many lead operators also have previous career experience in roles such as customer service representative or cashier.

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Average Salary
$88,958
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
37,234
Job Openings

Lead Operator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Lead Operator

Operator
15.7 %
Cashier
7.0 %

Top Careers After Lead Operator

Operator
10.5 %

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 Operator

Lead Operators in America make an average salary of $88,958 per year or $43 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $153,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $51,000 per year.
Average Salary
$88,958

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range86k - 186k$127k$126,959
Washington, DC
Salary Range80k - 174k$119k$118,687
Austin, TX
Salary Range70k - 150k$103k$102,868
Phoenix, AZ
Salary Range66k - 146k$99k$98,725
Englewood, CO
Salary Range64k - 125k$90k$89,847
OFallon, MO
Salary Range61k - 123k$87k$87,276
$42k
$186k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Operations Lead
Operations Lead
Dick's Sporting Goods
Dick's Sporting Goods
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$34,01801/29/2021
$34,018
Lead Worker Custodial Operations (DA)
Lead Worker Custodial Operations (DA)
Melwood
Melwood
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$28,92601/29/2021
$28,926
Lead Operator-Warehouse
Lead Operator-Warehouse
Remedy Intelligent Staffing
Remedy Intelligent Staffing
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$35,47901/28/2021
$35,479
Lead Operator
Lead Operator
Metromedia Technologies
Metromedia Technologies
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$30,26201/27/2021
$30,262
Gluer Operator/Lead Operator
Gluer Operator/Lead Operator
Malnove
Malnove
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$33,39201/27/2021
$33,392
See More Recent Salaries

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Lead Operator 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 Operator. 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 Operator Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Lead Operator 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 Operator Demographics

Gender

male

68.9 %

female

26.6 %

unknown

4.5 %

Ethnicity

White

64.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

19.3 %

Black or African American

10.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.6 %

French

5.9 %

German

4.6 %
See More Demographics

Lead Operator Education

Majors

Business
32.5 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

31.6 %

Bachelors

30.7 %

Associate

15.5 %

Top Colleges for Lead Operators

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

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

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

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

4. Maine Maritime Academy

Castine, ME • Public

In-State Tuition
$13,478
Enrollment
979

5. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

6. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

7. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

8. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

9. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

10. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Lead Operator

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, 12.7% of lead operators listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and coordination are important as well.

  • Customer Service, 12.7%
  • Communication, 12.4%
  • HR, 7.4%
  • Company Policies, 6.3%
  • Ensure Compliance, 4.3%
  • Other Skills, 56.9%
  • See All Lead Operator Skills

Best States For a Lead Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a lead operator. The best states for people in this position are California, Louisiana, West Virginia, and New Mexico. Lead operators make the most in California with an average salary of $112,735. Whereas in Louisiana and West Virginia, they would average $112,456 and $110,521, respectively. While lead operators would only make an average of $105,117 in New Mexico, 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. Louisiana

Total Lead Operator Jobs:
454
Highest 10% Earn:
$201,000
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

2. Wyoming

Total Lead Operator Jobs:
111
Highest 10% Earn:
$180,000
Location Quotient:
1.86
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 Operator Jobs:
386
Highest 10% Earn:
$183,000
Location Quotient:
1.85
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 Operator 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 operators and discovered their number of lead operator opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Bank of America was the best, especially with an average salary of $98,002. General Electric follows up with an average salary of $124,845, and then comes H. H. Gregg with an average of $91,658. 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 operator. The employers include USAA, Baker Hughes, a GE company, and Special People In Northeast

1. Bank of America
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$98,002
Lead Operators Hired: 
572+
2. General Electric
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$124,845
Lead Operators Hired: 
125+
3. H. H. Gregg
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$91,658
Lead Operators Hired: 
109+
4. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$72,864
Lead Operators Hired: 
106+
5. Google
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$161,156
Lead Operators Hired: 
99+
6. Island Operating
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$79,938
Lead Operators Hired: 
85+
Updated October 2, 2020