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Team Leader

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree or higher in computer science, information systems, software engineering or a related field
Average Salary: $81,000
Job Outlook: Good

Technical team leaders are information technology professionals who head teams in the fields of software development and design projects. Team leaders typically lead small teams of software engineers and other professionals, and may make changes to the overall design of the project. The most important duty of a technical team leader is to ensure that the project is completed on time, on budget, to specifications and as bug free as possible.

Technical team leaders should have strong skills in managing large-scale projects, have a firm grasp of the limitations of the various hardware the software they’re developing may have, and be diligent in testing and analysis of their work. Solid technical skills are a must, and technical team leaders should be conversant with the nuts and bolts of their trade, such as extensible markup language, J2EE, and Java.

Education and Training Requirements

Experience and education requirements vary by employer, but in general, technical team leaders have years of experience in their field and are well educated. Most technical team leaders have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, management information systems, software engineering, or computer programming. A team leader typically has at least 10 years experience in his or her field, and master’s and doctorate degrees are common among team leaders.

Getting the Job

A technical team leader is usually promoted to head a team after having proven himself or herself with a company. To move up to team leader, employees should demonstrate the ability to take initiative and act without direction, good interpersonal skills, sound technical knowledge, and the ability to complete projects in a timely manner.

Good technical team leaders should be able to collaborate with a diverse team, as outsourcing makes it more likely that technical team leaders may be working with engineers in other parts of the world.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

As information technology becomes a more ubiquitous part of modern life, it is reasonable to expect an increase in the need for technical team leaders. Increased demand for business, entertainment, and security software applications makes it highly likely that more technical team leaders will be needed in the future. Job prospects are brightest in geographic areas known for high tech industries, such as Silicon Valley in California and the Pacific Northwest.

Technical team leaders may further develop their careers, moving into senior management and executive positions such as chief technology officer or chief information officer.

Working Conditions and Environment

Technical team leaders typically work in comfortable, well-lighted, climate controlled office environments. Most work a typical 40-hour work week, but the demands of projects and management of other employees may often result in longer hours.

Salary and Benefits

Technical team leaders are typically well-compensated for their work. Benefits vary from company to company, but technical team leaders can typically expect to enjoy health and retirement benefits, and many companies pay performance-related bonuses to top performers.

Where to Go for More Information

Association for Computing Machinery
2 Penn Plaza, Ste. 701
New York, NY 10121

Data Management International
19239 N Dale Mabry Hwy., No. 132
Lutz, FL 33542

The League of Professional System Administrators
15000 Commerce Parkway, Ste. C
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesComputers, IT & Telecommunications