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Lead systems engineers are in charge of projects and activities that are related to the development of the company's systems. They lead the design of systems based on the company's needs and other requirements or specifications. They ensure the project they are working on is in line with the company's business direction and goals. In designing the systems, they ensure that everything is feasible from a technical standpoint. They would then work on the development of the system and the eventual implementation. As the lead systems engineer, they are also expected to act as mentors to more junior system engineers in the team.

In order to be qualified for this role, one should have graduated with at least a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, computer science, or any related course. Some companies may require a graduate degree in the said fields as well. Given that this is a managerial role, extensive work experience as a systems engineer is a must. One should also have leadership qualities.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a lead systems engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $56.56 an hour? That's $117,636 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 5% and produce 18,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Lead Systems Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many lead systems 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 analytical skills, communication skills and problem-solving skills.

Learn more about what a Lead Systems Engineer does

How To Become a Lead Systems Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a lead systems engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 66.2% of lead systems engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 19.1% of lead systems engineers have master's degrees. Even though most lead systems 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 systems engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a lead systems 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 systems engineer resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

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

Lead Systems Engineer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Lead Systems Engineer

Lead Systems Engineers in America make an average salary of $117,636 per year or $57 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $158,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $87,000 per year.
Average Lead Systems Engineer Salary
$117,636 Yearly
$56.56 hourly
$87,000
10 %
$117,000
Median
$158,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Lead Systems Engineer Education

Lead Systems Engineer Majors

Lead Systems Engineer Degrees

Bachelors

66.2 %

Masters

19.1 %

Associate

10.2 %

Top Colleges for Lead Systems Engineers

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

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

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

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

4. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495

5. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

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

6. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

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

7. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,353
Enrollment
24,841

8. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

9. Minnesota State University - Mankato

Mankato, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,184
Enrollment
11,675

10. Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$3,926
Enrollment
9,835

Top Skills For a Lead Systems 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, 8.3% of lead systems engineers listed hardware on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Lead Systems Engineer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Lead Systems Engineer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Lead Systems Engineer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Lead Systems Engineer Demographics

Lead Systems Engineer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
88%
Female
Female
12%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among lead systems engineers, 11.9% of them are women, while 88.1% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among lead systems engineers is White, which makes up 63.1% of all lead systems engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among lead systems engineers is Spanish at 29.7%.

Online Courses For Lead Systems Engineer That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Introduction to Systems Engineering
coursera

"Introduction to Systems Engineering" uses a structured yet flexible approach to provide a holistic, solid foundation to the successful development of complicated systems. The course takes you step by step through the system life cycle, from design to development, production and management. You will learn how the different components of a system interrelate, and how each contributes to a project's goals and success. The discipline's terminology, which can so often confuse the newcomer, is presen...

Product Development & Systems Engineering
udemy
4.6
(915)

The complete Product Development & Systems Engineering course! Earn 25 contact hours AND prepare to take the INCOSE Exam...

MBSE: Model-Based Systems Engineering
coursera

This Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) course and the Digital Thread courses featured earlier in this specialization bring together the concepts from across digital manufacturing and design, forming a vision in which the geometry of a product is just one way of describing it. MBSE is where the model resulting from the evolution of system requirements, design, analysis, verification and validation activities is the focus of design and manufacturing. Students will gain an understanding of sys...

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Best States For a Lead Systems Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a lead systems engineer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, California, Oregon, and Connecticut. Lead systems engineers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $157,835. Whereas in California and Oregon, they would average $146,810 and $142,355, respectively. While lead systems engineers would only make an average of $135,795 in Connecticut, 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. California

Total Lead Systems Engineer Jobs:
8,621
Highest 10% Earn:
$198,000
Location Quotient:
1.33 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. Washington

Total Lead Systems Engineer Jobs:
1,761
Highest 10% Earn:
$210,000
Location Quotient:
1.08 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. Oregon

Total Lead Systems Engineer Jobs:
1,065
Highest 10% Earn:
$189,000
Location Quotient:
1.16 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
Full List Of Best States For Lead Systems Engineers

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Top Lead Systems Engineer Employers

Most Common Employers For Lead Systems Engineer

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1The Home Depot$130,258$62.6229
2Sears Holdings$127,295$61.2031
3General Dynamics$118,921$57.1751
4DXC Technology$117,367$56.4337
5MITRE$115,606$55.5860
6SAIC$115,434$55.5033
7Boeing$115,332$55.4586
8BAE Systems$114,202$54.9036
9Raytheon Technologies$113,039$54.3547
10L3Harris$112,281$53.9838

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