A lead systems engineer is responsible for maintaining the safety and security of the systems infrastructure and improving the stability of the operating systems to support business operations. Lead systems engineers install and upgrade software applications and ensure that the technical strategies meet the quality standards and business requirements. They also enhance the performance of the existing systems, configuring features for optimization. A lead systems engineer must have excellent communication and technical skills, especially in supporting the end-users with technical failures and identifying accurate resolutions.

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Lead Systems Engineer Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real lead systems engineer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Lead multiple audits for manufacturing/management processes to meet ISO and CMMI requirements.
  • Create, share and manage LUN's using EqualLogic, EMC and StoreSimple.
  • Convert legacy batch scripts to PowerShell scripts, and automate them using FIM management agents.
  • Manage QA teams in local and distribute international locations.
  • Manage security, which includes monitoring and controlling database access, assigning permissions to application owners.
  • Accomplish responsibility to configure, administer and support new infrastructure solutions on Microsoft platforms to meet enterprise level requirements.
  • Resolve system architecture, integration, infrastructure communications and other engineering issues relate to migrating to new infrastructure hardware and software.
  • Maintain storage environments with technologies such as EMC.
  • Install approve O/S security patches during maintenance windows.
  • Test services using python base unit test scripts.
  • Configure IIS for web applications and ftp access.
  • Utilize VBScript and JavaScript to link Visio diagrams to SharePoint repository.
  • Used Firefox Imacros to have repeatable validation of the GUI windows.
  • Review and analyze critical events and provide detailed results to high level DOD planners.
  • Develop user interface using JSP, JavaScript, JQuery, HTML, CSS and custom tags.

Lead Systems Engineer Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, lead systems engineer jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a lead systems engineer?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of lead systems engineer opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 18,200.

On average, the lead systems engineer annual salary is $119,705 per year, which translates to $57.55 an hour. Generally speaking, lead systems engineers earn anywhere from $90,000 to $158,000 a year, which means that the top-earning lead systems engineers make $71,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a lead systems engineer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a systems administrator lead, systems analyst, principal engineer, and senior engineer.

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Lead Systems Engineer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 10% of Lead Systems Engineers are proficient in Systems Engineering, Architecture, and Infrastructure. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Communication skills, and Problem-solving skills.

We break down the percentage of Lead Systems Engineers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Systems Engineering, 10%

    Selected to lead cross-functional systems engineering projects that requires flexibility and the ability to handle ambiguity in an emerging market.

  • Architecture, 10%

    Defined the architecture for a Net-Centric service oriented architecture, which consisted of algorithm services that perform image exploitation and processing.

  • Infrastructure, 6%

    Defined UML systems software requirements for $48,000,000 re-engineering of Network Engineering and Service Assurance workstation infrastructure and legacy software applications.

  • DOD, 5%

    Participated in securing the application in anticipation of the DoD Information Technology Security Certification & Accreditation Process (DITSCAP).

  • System Design, 4%

    Researched and developed new alternatives in meeting system security requirements, system designs, and testing abilities.

  • C++, 4%

    Participated in the reduction of air bag controller test times and costs by automating tests via C++ programming and networked hardware.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Lead Systems Engineer Resume templates

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"systems engineering," "architecture," and "infrastructure" aren't the only skills we found lead systems engineers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of lead systems engineer responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a lead systems engineer to have happens to be analytical skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "administrators need to evaluate networks and systems to make sure that they perform reliably and to anticipate new requirements as customers’ needs change." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that lead systems engineers can use analytical skills to "created java web application using hibernate, struts and javascript to browse db2 databases and report data to clients. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling lead systems engineer duties is communication skills. According to a lead systems engineer resume, "administrators must describe problems and their solutions to non-it workers." Here's an example of how lead systems engineers are able to utilize communication skills: "developed communications network management requirements for dod and intelligence networks. "
  • Problem-solving skills is also an important skill for lead systems engineers to have. This example of how lead systems engineers use this skill comes from a lead systems engineer resume, "administrators must quickly resolve problems that arise with computer networks." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "developed internet based solutions using html, java, vbscript and xml. "
  • See the full list of lead systems engineer skills.

    We've found that 66.2% of lead systems engineers have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 19.1% earned their master's degrees before becoming a lead systems engineer. While it's true that most lead systems engineers have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every nine lead systems engineers did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The lead systems engineers who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied electrical engineering and computer science, while a small population of lead systems engineers studied mechanical engineering and business.

    Once you're ready to become a lead systems engineer, you should explore the companies that typically hire lead systems engineers. According to lead systems engineer resumes that we searched through, lead systems engineers are hired the most by Deloitte, Centene, and L3Harris. Currently, Deloitte has 181 lead systems engineer job openings, while there are 99 at Centene and 87 at L3Harris.

    Since salary is important to some lead systems engineers, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Meta, Google, and Cloudflare. If you were to take a closer look at Meta, you'd find that the average lead systems engineer salary is $192,761. Then at Google, lead systems engineers receive an average salary of $178,580, while the salary at Cloudflare is $171,476.

    View more details on lead systems engineer salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire lead systems engineers from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, and General Dynamics.

    In general, lead systems engineers fulfill roles in the technology and transportation industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the lead systems engineer annual salary is the highest in the automotive industry with $123,397 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the manufacturing and finance industries pay $114,647 and $109,577 respectively. This means that lead systems engineers who are employed in the automotive industry make 16.7% more than lead systems engineers who work in the transportation Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious lead systems engineers are:

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    What Systems Administrator Leads Do

    A systems administrator lead is responsible for planning, designing, and implementing procedures for critical enterprise systems. Typical duties of systems administrators include managing the day-to-day operations of a company's computer and network systems, developing new application and system implementation plans, and establishing guidelines for installing and managing the organization's computer operating systems. In addition, you are expected to ensure the security of computer systems by preventing unauthorized use, user abuse, and acts of nature.

    We looked at the average lead systems engineer annual salary and compared it with the average of a systems administrator lead. Generally speaking, systems administrator leads receive $19,749 lower pay than lead systems engineers per year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both lead systems engineers and systems administrator leads positions are skilled in dod, project management, and linux.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a lead systems engineer responsibilities require skills like "systems engineering," "architecture," "infrastructure," and "system design." Meanwhile a typical systems administrator lead has skills in areas such as "system performance," "microsoft windows," "network infrastructure," and "itil." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Systems administrator leads really shine in the telecommunication industry with an average salary of $103,205. Whereas lead systems engineers tend to make the most money in the automotive industry with an average salary of $123,397.

    Systems administrator leads tend to reach lower levels of education than lead systems engineers. In fact, systems administrator leads are 8.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.0% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Systems Analyst?

    A systems analyst is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of technology systems and analyzing its efficiency for business operations and clients' needs. Systems analysts create specific modifications to operating systems and help design solutions and processes. Other tasks include managing the system's workflow, diagnosing and detecting malfunctions, performing troubleshooting, and assisting clients' with their concerns. A systems analyst must have excellent command with programming languages and the knowledge with the technology industry to understand systems' complexities and processes.

    The next role we're going to look at is the systems analyst profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $44,322 lower salary than lead systems engineers per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of lead systems engineers and systems analysts are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "c++," "java," and "project management. "

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that lead systems engineer responsibilities requires skills like "systems engineering," "architecture," "infrastructure," and "dod." But a systems analyst might use skills, such as, "customer service," "c #," "data analysis," and "business processes."

    On average, systems analysts earn a lower salary than lead systems engineers. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, systems analysts earn the most pay in the finance industry with an average salary of $86,904. Whereas, lead systems engineers have higher paychecks in the automotive industry where they earn an average of $123,397.

    On the topic of education, systems analysts earn lower levels of education than lead systems engineers. In general, they're 5.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Principal Engineer Compares

    A principal engineer is responsible for monitoring the overall design phase of the construction process, including coordinating with the client for progress and updates, as well as performing adjustments as needed based on clients' specifications and requirements. Principal engineers also inspect the materials and resources used to ensure that the project stays within the budget goals and set timeframe. They should have excellent communication and organizational skills, especially in preparing reports and training new staff.

    The third profession we take a look at is principal engineer. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than lead systems engineers. In fact, they make a $10,508 higher salary per year.

    By looking over several lead systems engineers and principal engineers resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "architecture," "dod," and "system design." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a lead systems engineer is likely to be skilled in "systems engineering," "infrastructure," "database," and "configuration management," while a typical principal engineer is skilled in "python," "c #," "product development," and "windows."

    Additionally, principal engineers earn a higher salary in the telecommunication industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $125,415. Additionally, lead systems engineers earn an average salary of $123,397 in the automotive industry.

    Principal engineers typically study at similar levels compared with lead systems engineers. For example, they're 2.8% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 4.4% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Senior Engineer

    A senior engineer is responsible for overseeing all operations within a designated area. With years of experience and expertise, a senior engineer may take charge of establishing goals, deadlines, and budgets for a particular project. They must devise and implement strategies that would improve the quality of workflow and deliver significant results. Furthermore, a senior manager must also supervise a team of skilled engineers, leading them in the joint effort to reach the company's vision and mission, all while adhering to the safety standards and regulations.

    Senior engineers tend to earn a lower pay than lead systems engineers by about $10,962 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, lead systems engineers and senior engineers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "architecture," "dod," and "system design. "

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a lead systems engineer might have more use for skills like "systems engineering," "infrastructure," "software development," and "system integration." Meanwhile, some senior engineers might include skills like "python," "c #," "javascript," and "api" on their resume.

    Senior engineers earn a higher salary in the start-up industry with an average of $125,167. Whereas, lead systems engineers earn the highest salary in the automotive industry.

    Senior engineers reach similar levels of education when compared to lead systems engineers. The difference is that they're 0.1% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 1.3% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.