What is a Program Lead

A program lead is an individual who is in charge of a team that performs a certain purpose in an organization. Most program leads find their jobs in the technology and healthcare industries. Their role is to guide a group or team with the project's completion in mind. They help start a program and supervise it.

They oversee projects or tasks until their completion. They also help retain engagement throughout the entire process and give feedback to management. An example of a project that requires a project lead in healthcare is a drug trial focus group. They must have excellent communication skills, leadership skills, and program management skills.

According to the bureau of statistics, between 2018-2028, the job will grow by 80% producing 33,800 new jobs. The average salary is $36.1 per hour, translating to $75,081 a year. They need a bachelor's degree or a master's degree, although it is possible to become one with a high school diploma or GED with experience in the industry.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Program Lead. For example, did you know that they make an average of $41.87 an hour? That's $87,090 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 33,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Program Lead Do

There are certain skills that many Program Leads 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 Flexibility, Physical strength and Leadership skills.

Learn more about what a Program Lead does

How To Become a Program Lead

If you're interested in becoming a Program Lead, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 63.1% of Program Leads have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 11.0% of Program Leads have master's degrees. Even though most Program Leads 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 Program Lead. When we researched the most common majors for a Program Lead, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Program Lead resumes include Master's Degree degrees or High School Diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Program Lead. In fact, many Program Lead jobs require experience in a role such as Internship. Meanwhile, many Program Leads also have previous career experience in roles such as Sales Associate or Cashier.

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And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Citigroup Jobs (27)
  2. Lockheed Martin Jobs (29)
  3. General Electric Jobs (62)
  4. Accenture Jobs (48)
  5. AstraZeneca Jobs (25)
Average Salary
$87,090
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
61,946
Job Openings
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Program Lead Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Program Lead

Program Leads in America make an average salary of $87,090 per year or $42 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $171,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $44,000 per year.
Average Salary
$87,090
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12 Program Lead Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Program Lead Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Program Lead resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Program Lead Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Citigroup Jobs (27)
  2. Lockheed Martin Jobs (29)
  3. General Electric Jobs (62)
  4. Accenture Jobs (48)
  5. AstraZeneca Jobs (25)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Program Lead Resume templates

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

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Program Lead Demographics

Program Lead Gender Statistics

female

59.1 %

male

40.9 %

Program Lead Ethnicity Statistics

White

65.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.7 %

Black or African American

10.7 %

Program Lead Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

66.1 %

French

6.7 %

Chinese

3.9 %
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Program Lead Education

Program Lead Majors

16.1 %

Program Lead Degrees

Bachelors

63.1 %

Associate

13.7 %

Masters

11.0 %

Top Colleges for Program Leads

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

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

2. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

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

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

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

4. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

6. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

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

7. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

8. SUNY at Albany

Albany, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,011
Enrollment
13,434

9. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079
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Top Skills For a Program Lead

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, 17.5% of Program Leads listed Communication on their resume, but soft skills such as Flexibility and Physical strength are important as well.

  • Communication, 17.5%
  • Procedures, 11.8%
  • Project Management, 10.7%
  • Customer Service, 9.5%
  • HR, 8.6%
  • Other Skills, 41.9%

Best States For a Program Lead

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Program Lead. The best states for people in this position are Maine, New York, Massachusetts, and West Virginia. Program Leads make the most in Maine with an average salary of $154,216. Whereas in New York and Massachusetts, they would average $152,544 and $147,128, respectively. While Program Leads would only make an average of $144,993 in West Virginia, 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. New York

Total Program Lead Jobs:
1,645
Highest 10% Earn:
$230,000
Location Quotient:
1.41
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. Maine

Total Program Lead Jobs:
140
Highest 10% Earn:
$229,000
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

3. West Virginia

Total Program Lead Jobs:
152
Highest 10% Earn:
$227,000
Location Quotient:
1.1
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 Program Leads

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Top Program Lead 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 Program Leads and discovered their number of Program Lead opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Boys & Girls Clubs of America was the best, especially with an average salary of $24,882. Wisconsin Youth follows up with an average salary of $79,698, and then comes City of Palmdale with an average of $26,773. 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 Program Lead. The employers include AbbVie, MUFG Americas Holdings, and Square

Most Common Employers For Program Lead

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Program Lead SalaryAverage Salary
1$165,813
2$132,641
3$126,198
4$123,631
5$123,432
6$115,514

Program Lead Videos

Becoming a Program Lead FAQs

How do I get a job as a program manager?

To get a job as a program manager, a person should first have a bachelor's degree. Some employers may require a master's degree or other advanced credentials in their specific industry. Common degree programs for program directors include business administration, human resources, or communication.

Program managers oversee the activities and personnel of a department or an organization. Their responsibilities typically include budgeting, grant writing, and evaluating employees. They also coordinate and plan programming and other events, create and monitor schedules, and keep accurate records of all projects.

Most program managers receive training within their educational programs and related internships. There are entry-level positions, such as an administrative assistant or program organizer, that serve as on-the-job training for future program managers.

Program managers must have strong organizational and communication skills to oversee multiple employees and tasks. They may also need to work with various technology, so some experience with computer software and websites may be beneficial.

A program manager's primary goal is to ensure that every program is completed successfully and adds the highest possible value to the organization and program participants.

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How much do program leads make?

Program leads make an average of around $80,000 annually. However, the average range is from $60,000 per year to over $100,000 in a year.

The salaries for program leads can vary depending on region, education, and experience level. Other than these two factors, salary expectations for program leads largely rely on experience level and developing skills that will make you valuable.

Experience and education are the most important qualifications that influence salary for program leads. Companies typically hire program managers with at least three years of experience and a relevant bachelor's degree.

This is because program leads are integral to the planning, coordinating, and overseeing multiple employees to successfully run programs that often span across departments. They are also responsible for maintaining budgets and records and implementing policies.

The best program leads use a variety of skills to complete their duties effectively.

They should be especially skilled in the following areas:

Being an expert in these skills will ensure that a person is in the top 10% of earners as a program leads.

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