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Become A Lead Product Developer

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Working As A Lead Product Developer

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

  • $105,793

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead Product Developer Do

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Duties

Industrial engineers typically do the following:

  • Review production schedules, engineering specifications, process flows, and other information to understand methods that are applied and activities that take place in manufacturing and services
  • Figure out how to manufacture parts or products, or deliver services, with maximum efficiency
  • Develop management control systems to make financial planning and cost analysis more efficient
  • Enact quality control procedures to resolve production problems or minimize costs
  • Design control systems to coordinate activities and production planning in order to ensure that products meet quality standards
  • Confer with clients about product specifications, vendors about purchases, management personnel about manufacturing capabilities, and staff about the status of projects

Industrial engineers apply their skills to many different situations, from manufacturing to healthcare systems to business administration. For example, they design systems for

  • moving heavy parts within manufacturing plants
  • delivering goods from a company to customers, including finding the most profitable places to locate manufacturing or processing plants
  • evaluating job performance
  • paying workers

Industrial engineers focus on how to get the work done most efficiently, balancing many factors, such as time, number of workers needed, available technology, actions workers need to take, achieving the end product with no errors, workers’ safety, environmental concerns, and cost.

To find ways to reduce waste and improve performance, industrial engineers study product requirements carefully. Then they use mathematical methods and models to design manufacturing and information systems to meet those requirements most efficiently.

Their versatility allows industrial engineers to engage in activities that are useful to a variety of businesses, governments, and nonprofits. For example, industrial engineers engage in supply chain management to help businesses minimize inventory costs, conduct quality assurance activities to help businesses keep their customer bases satisfied, and work in the growing field of project management as industries across the economy seek to control costs and maximize efficiencies.

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How To Become A Lead Product Developer

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

Education

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.

Advancement

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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Average Length of Employment
Product Manager 3.3 years
Product Lead 3.0 years
Product Developer 2.8 years
Top Careers Before Lead Product Developer
Consultant 5.1%
Internship 4.7%
Engineer 3.4%
Top Careers After Lead Product Developer
Consultant 6.4%
Manager 5.2%
Director 3.5%
Owner 2.9%

Do you work as a Lead Product Developer?

Lead Product Developer Demographics

Gender

Male

68.6%

Female

26.9%

Unknown

4.6%
Ethnicity

White

53.7%

Asian

19.4%

Hispanic or Latino

11.5%

Black or African American

9.4%

Unknown

6.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.4%

French

18.8%

Chinese

12.5%

Japanese

6.3%

Mandarin

6.3%

Italian

6.3%

German

3.1%

Russian

3.1%

Carrier

3.1%

Gurung

3.1%

Hebrew

3.1%
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Lead Product Developer Education

Schools

Purdue University

8.9%

University of Florida

6.3%

University of Rochester

6.3%

Michigan State University

6.3%

University of Illinois University Administration

6.3%

Lehigh University

5.1%

New York University

5.1%

Texas A&M University

5.1%

Northeastern University

5.1%

University of Arizona

5.1%

Carnegie Mellon University

5.1%

Cornell University

5.1%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

3.8%

University of Alabama

3.8%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.8%

Drexel University

3.8%

Villanova University

3.8%

Wayne State University

3.8%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

3.8%
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Majors

Business

22.8%

Computer Science

12.5%

Mechanical Engineering

11.2%

Electrical Engineering

8.9%

Management

4.3%

Finance

4.3%

Chemical Engineering

4.3%

Marketing

4.3%

Chemistry

3.3%

Biology

2.6%

Project Management

2.6%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

2.3%

Biomedical Engineering

2.3%

Computer Engineering

2.3%

Graphic Design

2.3%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.3%

Engineering

2.3%

Food Science

1.7%

Small Business Management

1.7%

Computer Information Systems

1.7%
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Degrees

Masters

41.1%

Bachelors

34.7%

Other

8.9%

Doctorate

8.9%

Certificate

3.8%

Associate

2.1%

Diploma

0.5%
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Lead Product Developer Videos

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Real Lead Product Developer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR. Business Leader, Product Development Mastercard Worldwide NY Oct 01, 2010 $200,000
Business Leader, Product Development Mastercard International Incorporated NY Oct 01, 2014 $142,000
Lead Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. San Jose, CA Jun 04, 2011 $135,000
Lead Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 24, 2014 $131,076
Lead Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 18, 2014 $129,924
Software Technical Lead, Custom Products Development Thales Avionics, Inc. Irvine, CA Mar 17, 2015 $126,547
Lead, Product Development Airline Tariff Publishing Company (Atpco) Dulles Town Center, VA Aug 31, 2016 $123,718
Group Leader, Pulmonary & Nasal Product Developmen Catalent Pharma Solutions Morrisville, NC Aug 10, 2014 $123,000
Lead Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 06, 2013 $121,500
Lead Product Software Developer Huge, LLC New York, NY Sep 21, 2012 $120,000 -
$125,000
Business Leader, Product Development and Innovation Mastercard International Incorporated San Carlos, CA Jun 09, 2016 $120,000 -
$221,200
Lead Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 26, 2015 $119,697 -
$190,100
Business Leader Commercial Product Development Visa U.S.A. Inc. Foster City, CA Apr 20, 2013 $119,600 -
$137,600
Lead Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. Lexington, MA Aug 08, 2016 $119,000 -
$167,600
Lead Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. New York, NY Mar 08, 2016 $114,100 -
$190,100
Lead Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. New York, NY Sep 10, 2015 $114,100 -
$190,100
Lead Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. Lexington, MA Sep 25, 2012 $112,174 -
$161,200
Team Lead-Product Development FIS Management Services LLC Wayne, PA Sep 29, 2016 $112,029
Lead Engineer-Product Development Harman Connected Services, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Sep 17, 2016 $108,600
Product Leader, Partner and Infrastructure Develop Mastercard International Incorporated NY Aug 20, 2012 $108,347 -
$130,000
Lead Engineer-Product Development Symphony Teleca Services, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Jul 26, 2013 $105,100
Lead Engineer-Product Development Symphony Teleca Services Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 24, 2013 $105,100
Leader-Product Development Mastercard International Incorporated OFallon, MO Apr 08, 2014 $103,000
Project Lead, Product Development ISN Software Corporation Dallas, TX Dec 01, 2011 $100,000
Lead Engineer-Product Development Symphony Teleca Services, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Sep 17, 2013 $100,000

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Top Skills for A Lead Product Developer

  1. New Product Development
  2. R
  3. Project Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Support quality engineering and new product development.
  • Solved manufacturing issues, entered daily metrics and coordinated overtime.
  • Improved project management and methodology skills throughout the project team by coordinating appropriate training/mentoring sessions.
  • Support manufacturing through formal release to manufacturing procedures and eliminating quality issues, while decreasing costs and improving customer satisfaction.
  • Project Management: Led software development team to develop a manufacturing quality control database system and launched product on schedule.

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Top 10 Best States for Lead Product Developers

  1. Washington
  2. Texas
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Colorado
  6. California
  7. Arizona
  8. New Jersey
  9. Delaware
  10. Wyoming
  • (1,175 jobs)
  • (1,703 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (994 jobs)
  • (656 jobs)
  • (4,525 jobs)
  • (320 jobs)
  • (952 jobs)
  • (78 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)

Top Lead Product Developer Employers

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