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Working As a Programmer/Analyst Lead

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Processing Information
  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $98,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Programmer/Analyst Lead Do

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.


Computer systems analysts typically do the following:

  • Consult with managers to determine the role of IT systems in an organization
  • Research emerging technologies to decide if installing them can increase the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness
  • Prepare an analysis of costs and benefits so that management can decide if IT systems and computing infrastructure upgrades are financially worthwhile
  • Devise ways to add new functionality to existing computer systems
  • Design and implement new systems by choosing and configuring hardware and software
  • Oversee the installation and configuration of new systems to customize them for the organization
  • Conduct testing to ensure that the systems work as expected
  • Train the systems’ end users and write instruction manuals

Computer systems analysts use a variety of techniques such as data modeling to design computer systems. Data modeling allows analysts to view the processes and data flows even before programs have been written. 

Once programs have been written, analysts conduct in-depth tests and analyze information and trends in the data to increase a system’s performance and efficiency.

Analysts calculate requirements for how much memory and speed the computer system needs. They prepare flowcharts or other kinds of diagrams for programmers or engineers to use when building the system. Analysts also work with these people to solve problems that arise after the initial system is set up. Most analysts do some programming in the course of their work.

Most computer systems analysts specialize in certain types of computer systems that are specific to the organization they work with. For example, an analyst might work predominantly with financial computer systems or engineering computer systems.

Systems analysts help other IT team members understand how computer systems can best serve an organization by working closely with the organization’s business leaders.

In some cases, analysts who supervise the initial installation or upgrade of IT systems from start to finish may be called IT project managers. They monitor a project’s progress to ensure that deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Many computer systems analysts are general-purpose analysts who develop new systems or fine-tune existing ones; however, there are some specialized systems analysts. The following are examples of types of computer systems analysts:

Systems designers or systems architects specialize in helping organizations choose specific types of hardware and software systems. They translate the long-term business goals of an organization into technical solutions. Analysts develop a plan for the computer systems that will be able to reach those goals. They work with management to ensure that systems and the IT infrastructure are set up to best serve the organization’s mission.

Software quality assurance (QA) analysts do in-depth testing and diagnose problems of the systems they design in order to make sure that critical requirements are met. They also write reports to management recommending ways to improve the systems.

Programmer analysts design and update their system’s software and create applications tailored to their organization’s needs. They do more coding and debugging than other types of analysts, although they still work extensively with management and business analysts to determine what business needs the applications are meant to address. Other occupations that do programming are computer programmers and software developers.

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How To Become A Programmer/Analyst Lead

A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire analysts with business or liberal arts degrees who have skills in information technology or computer programming.


Most computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Because these analysts also are heavily involved in the business side of a company, it may be helpful to take business courses or major in management information systems.

Some employers prefer applicants who have a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. For more technically complex jobs, a master’s degree in computer science may be more appropriate.

Although many computer systems analysts have technical degrees, such a degree is not always a requirement. Many analysts have liberal arts degrees and have gained programming or technical expertise elsewhere.

Many systems analysts continue to take classes throughout their careers so they can learn about new and innovative technologies. Technological advances come so rapidly in the computer field that continual study is necessary to remain competitive.

Systems analysts must understand the business field they are working in. For example, a hospital may want an analyst with a thorough understanding of health plans and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and an analyst working for a bank may need to understand finance. Having knowledge of their industry helps systems analysts communicate with managers to determine the role of the information technology (IT) systems in an organization.


With experience, systems analysts can advance to project manager and lead a team of analysts. Some can eventually become IT directors or chief technology officers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Analysts must interpret complex information from various sources and be able to decide the best way to move forward on a project. They must also be able to figure out how changes may affect the project.

Communication skills. Analysts work as a go-between with management and the IT department and must be able to explain complex issues in a way that both will understand.

Creativity. Because analysts are tasked with finding innovative solutions to computer problems, an ability to “think outside the box” is important.

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Programmer/Analyst Lead Career Paths

Programmer/Analyst Lead
Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Enterprise Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Senior Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager-Finance Systems
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Business Systems Senior Analyst
Business Systems Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Business Development Manager Consultant/Project Manager
Manager, Project Management Office
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Systems Architect Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Technical Project Manager Implementation Manager
Integration Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Customer Relationship Management Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Technician Specialist Senior System Administrator Information Technology Operations Manager
Manager Information Technology Applications
11 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Human Resources Manager Talent Acquisition Manager
Hris Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Staff Programmer 4.7 years
Programmer Analyst 3.8 years
Senior Programmer 3.5 years
Top Careers Before Programmer/Analyst Lead
Programmer 8.6%
Consultant 6.3%
Developer 1.8%
Top Careers After Programmer/Analyst Lead
Consultant 9.7%
Programmer 2.4%
Manager 2.0%

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Average Yearly Salary
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Min 10%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
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Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Avg Experience Level
4.8 years
How much does a Programmer/Analyst Lead make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Programmer/Analyst Lead in the United States is $98,293 per year or $47 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $76,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $125,000.

Real Programmer/Analyst Lead Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Programmer Analyst Enquero Inc. Milpitas, CA Jun 16, 2016 $165,000
Lead Programmer Analyst Enquero Inc. Milpitas, CA Mar 06, 2016 $165,000
Lead Programmer Analyst Enquero Inc. Milpitas, CA Jun 06, 2016 $165,000
Lead Programmer Analyst Pixel Systems Inc. Princeton, NJ Sep 02, 2015 $144,000
Lead Programmer Analyst Hot Topic, Inc. Industry, CA Oct 16, 2015 $135,102
Lead Programmer Analyst Masterminds Consulting Inc. Woburn, MA Jun 10, 2016 $132,000
Lead Programmer Analyst Masterminds Consulting Inc. Woburn, MA May 10, 2016 $132,000
Lead Programmer Analyst FIS Management Services LLC New York, NY Oct 31, 2016 $130,666
Lead Programmer Analyst Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jul 12, 2016 $130,666
Lead Programmer Analyst Prosoft Technology Group, Inc. Downers Grove, IL Feb 12, 2015 $130,000
Lead Programmer Analyst Hot Topic, Inc. Industry, CA Nov 04, 2016 $130,000
APP Programmer/Analyst Lead University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Nov 24, 2015 $128,393
Programmer Analyst Lead Indus Corporation Vienna, VA Oct 17, 2016 $127,379
Lead Programmer Analyst Codesoft International, Inc. Atlanta, GA Oct 15, 2015 $104,437
Lead Peoplesoft Programmer/Analyst Jarden Corporation Boca Raton, FL Mar 23, 2015 $102,500 -
Lead Programmer Analyst Decisionwave Technologies Inc. Bedford, NH Aug 09, 2016 $102,000
Lead Programmer Analyst ACI Infotech Inc. Piscataway, NJ Oct 10, 2016 $102,000
Lead Programmer Analyst Decisionwave Technologies Inc. Bedford, NH Jul 09, 2016 $102,000
Lead Programmer Analyst Transamerica Life Insurance Company Plano, TX Feb 11, 2015 $101,067 -
Lead Programmer Analyst Magellan Health Services, Inc. Glen Allen, VA Aug 01, 2015 $101,000
Lead Programmer Analyst TEK Tree LLC Newark, DE Mar 18, 2016 $85,405
Programmer Analyst/BI Lead Magna Infotech, Ltd. Madison, WI Aug 17, 2015 $85,000
Lead-Programmer Analyst Valuemomentum, Inc. Trenton, NJ Jun 16, 2015 $85,000
Lead-Programmer Analyst Valuemomentum, Inc. Piscataway, NJ Nov 16, 2015 $85,000
Lead Programmer Analyst Renee Systems, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Nov 14, 2015 $85,000 -
Lead Programmer Analyst Docmation LLC Norcross, GA Nov 07, 2016 $85,000
Lead-Programmer Analyst Valuemomentum, Inc. Chevy Chase, MD Nov 07, 2016 $85,000
Lead-Programmer Analyst Valuemomentum, Inc. Erie, PA Feb 05, 2016 $85,000

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Top Skills for A Programmer/Analyst Lead

  1. Pl/Sql
  2. Web Application
  3. Data Warehouse
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created Oracle PL/SQL scripts to find the blocking locks and kill the runaway processes on the scanners.
  • Developed large high performing, scaling and innovative end-to-end distributed web applications for reverse logistics.
  • Developed database triggers that moved data from a departmental data warehouse to designated data marts.
  • Completed Programmer Analyst training program and progressed to Lead Programmer Analyst position with expert level mainframe programming and database technology skills.
  • Translated business requirements into technical requirements and interface with both business and IT to ensure understanding.


Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Programmer/Analyst Leads

  1. New Jersey
  2. Virginia
  3. Rhode Island
  4. District of Columbia
  5. California
  6. Texas
  7. Connecticut
  8. Massachusetts
  9. New York
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (774 jobs)
  • (1,543 jobs)
  • (81 jobs)
  • (514 jobs)
  • (2,868 jobs)
  • (1,848 jobs)
  • (299 jobs)
  • (762 jobs)
  • (1,345 jobs)
  • (841 jobs)

Programmer/Analyst Lead Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,028 Programmer/Analyst Lead 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.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Programmer/Analyst Lead Resume

View Resume Examples

Programmer/Analyst Lead Demographics












Black or African American


Hispanic or Latino



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Programmer/Analyst Lead Education


University of Phoenix


Pennsylvania State University


Columbus State University


DePaul University


George Mason University


New York University


Webster University


Texas A&M University


Ohio State University


Drexel University


George Washington University


Pace University - New York


New Jersey Institute of Technology


Arizona State University


University of Texas at Austin


Michigan State University


Bowling Green State University


Illinois State University


University of California - Los Angeles


University of Akron

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Computer Science




Computer Information Systems


Computer Programming


Electrical Engineering


Information Technology


Information Systems


Management Information Systems


Computer Engineering


Computer Applications


Project Management










Data Processing






Information Sciences



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Updated May 19, 2020