Career Definition of a Technical Lead
Technical leads oversee a team of personnel focused on technical issues, including software development, product releases, and engineering tasks. In addition to hiring and training staff and delegating work assignments, technical leads may also collaborate with colleagues to identify and repair technical issues. They often evaluate their team's work processes and best practices and implement changes to streamline operations. Leads are needed in a variety of office environments, including technology consulting providers and television service providers. These workers may also be needed in industries such as retail and education.
While specific job duties will vary depending on the type of team, general job responsibilities may include creating service goals for their team; ensuring current applications are updated and align with the implementation of new applications; analyzing end users' needs; and selecting applications to meet those needs. Other tasks may include developing troubleshooting programs and supervising system modifications.
Technical leads could also create and implement risk mitigation processes and conduct security audits to determine weaknesses in applications. Some leads create reports or articles for publication in industry publications and make presentations on new technology.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Excellent technical abilities, leadership, decision making, strong communication skills, and adaptability to new technology|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$100,469|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||12% (Computer & Information Systems Managers)|
Sources: *PayScale.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related discipline is required to work as a technical lead. A strong background in troubleshooting and technology support will be beneficial. Individuals in this field can further display their leadership skills by completing the Project Management Professional certification offered by the Project Management Institute.
Technical leads must have excellent technical abilities in order to successfully perform their job responsibilities. Applicable skills may include the following: mobile or website systems; security principles; open source security tools; programming languages; and shell scripting. Aside from key technical abilities, these professionals need to have strong leadership skills to motivate team members and know how to efficiently make important decisions. Technical leads should also have strong communication skills to oversee personnel and foster collaboration with other organizational departments. These leads should display a high degree of adaptability in order to learn new technologies as needed and successfully manage the daily challenges of a technical environment.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide statistics on technical leads; however, the organization estimated a 12% job growth for computer and information systems managers during 2016-2026. This growth is faster than average when compared to all occupations. In January 2018, PayScale.com reported a median annual salary of $100,469 for tech leads.
People interested in working as a technical lead have other technical positions to choose from. Other career options include an information technology manager and a data security analyst.