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Team Lead Vs. Technical Lead

Learn about the daily responsibilities of team leads and technical leads, as well as the educational requirements, salaries, and career outlooks of these two careers.

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Comparing Team Leads to Technical Leads

Team leads and technical leads are hired by companies to support groups focusing on projects and daily assignments. Readers will learn about the differences between the educational requirements, salaries, job outlooks, and focuses for these professionals.

Job Title Educational Requirements Average Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Team Leads Bachelor's Degree $75,823 (Team Leaders, all industries) 8% (Managers, All Other)
Technical Leads Bachelor's Degree $84,232 6% (Computer Network Architects)

Sources: *Glassdoor, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Team Leads vs. Technical Leads

Team leads can work in various fields, leading a group during a shift or throughout a major project. Although they can work in information technology, technical leads typically dominate this field. Technical leads give direction to development teams working on building a company's technical infrastructure or designing consumer software. Both of these professionals define the project objectives for team members, whether they are completing a product or designing a cloud system.

Team Leads

These professionals may work in industries such as manufacturing or technology. Much like project leaders, they should communicate with team members about expectations and project specifications. Part of this is ensuring the product quality by standardizing work procedures based on the company policies. They also work to motivate employees and bring about win-win agreements within the team. Team leads also know what team members to partner together in sub-teams, allowing for tasks to be completed faster. When working in technology, they take on the role of a lead developer or software architect. They are familiar with what the software product should look like and assist in developing the code that will bring it to life.

Job responsibilities of a team lead include:

  • Standing as an example for their team in regard to work ethic
  • Disciplining dysfunctional behavior
  • Developing prototypes of software and testing these for bugs
  • Attending meetings with managers to update company leaders on the project or discussing technical requirements

Technical Leads

Working as project and product managers, these professionals define the technical aspects for a software or computer system development team. Working with company executives or clients, they define the specifications for their unique system, ensuring it will meet the needs of their business processes. They also develop the product to fit the larger architecture of the company or requirements of the client. To make integration intuitive and ensure all the parts work together, technical leads create diagrams of the entire network architecture. To be versatile employees, these leads should have an engineering background and understand various digital technologies and platforms.

Job responsibilities of a technical lead include:

  • Building relationships with software and hardware vendors
  • Pointing out limitations with the technical architecture and fixing them
  • Utilizing Java and Apex to build software
  • Outsourcing certain development tasks to partner companies

Related Careers

Because team leads and construction foremen both provide direction for workers, you could consider a future in either position. Similarly, technical leads and computer information systems managers both work towards building the technical architecture of a company, so these are also viable options for a great career.

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