Top 10 Lead Engineer Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for lead engineers, including requirements, benefits, and best practices.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are important for lead engineers because they demonstrate a certain level of expertise and knowledge in the field. They show prospective employers that the individual has taken the time to gain additional training and knowledge beyond what is typically required for their job. Employers often look favorably upon individuals with certifications when considering them for a lead engineering position, as it shows that they have a higher level of understanding of the profession than those without certifications. Furthermore, having certifications can help lead engineers stand out amongst their peers and increase their chances of getting hired.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Lead Engineers and explain how they can help to enhance a lead engineer's career.

What are Lead Engineer Certifications?

Lead engineer certification is a professional credential that demonstrates an individual's knowledge, skills, and abilities in the engineering industry. It is awarded to those who have completed an accredited program or training course and have passed the necessary tests. With lead engineer certification, engineers demonstrate their commitment to professional development, as well as their ability to design and develop complex engineering projects. This certification can help engineers advance in their careers by providing them with the credentials they need to be eligible for promotions or other job opportunities. Additionally, it can help employers identify qualified candidates for positions requiring specialized skillsets. Lead engineer certification also provides engineers with a competitive edge when competing for contracts and grants from public or private organizations. Ultimately, lead engineer certification helps ensure that engineers remain current on industry trends and technologies, allowing them to stay ahead of the competition and remain successful in their chosen field.

Pro Tip: When considering lead engineer certification, make sure to research the requirements and any additional certifications that may be needed in order to become certified. Check with potential employers to determine if they require any specific certifications or qualifications for their lead engineer positions.

Related: What does a Lead Engineer do?

Top 10 Lead Engineer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Lead Engineers today.

1. Certified Professional Engineer (CPE)

Certified Professional Engineer (CPE) is a designation given to engineers who have met the specific requirements set by their respective engineering boards. The CPE designation is intended to demonstrate that an engineer has achieved a high level of professional competence and experience in their field.

In order to become a CPE, an individual must first meet certain educational and professional requirements. This typically includes having a bachelor’s degree in engineering from an accredited institution, as well as having at least four years of relevant work experience. Additionally, individuals must pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).

Once these criteria have been met, applicants can then apply for certification with their state or provincial engineering board. The application process may vary depending on the jurisdiction but generally requires submission of documents such as transcripts, proof of work experience, and payment of applicable fees. Once approved, applicants will need to complete continuing education courses in order to maintain their certification status.

The amount of time it takes to become certified may vary depending on the individual's background and experience level; however, it generally takes between two and five years.

The cost associated with becoming a CPE also varies depending on jurisdiction; however, most states require applicants to pay an application fee ranging from $50-$200 USD. Additionally, there are fees associated with taking the FE exam which range from $175-$225 USD per attempt.

2. Certified Lead Software Engineer (CLSE)

Certified Lead Software Engineer (CLSE) is a professional certification that recognizes software engineers who have demonstrated their ability to lead and manage software engineering projects. It is an advanced credential that sets apart software engineers as having the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to lead software engineering teams.

The CLSE certification is offered by the International Association of Software Engineers (IASA). To qualify for the certification, applicants must have at least five years of experience in software engineering and must demonstrate proficiency in project management, system design, coding standards, testing and quality assurance, and other related topics. The exam consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical exam. The written exam covers topics such as project management principles, system design concepts, coding standards, testing strategies, quality assurance methods, and more. The practical exam tests the applicant's ability to apply these concepts in a real-world environment.

It typically takes about six months to prepare for the CLSE certification exam. This includes studying the material covered on the exam as well as gaining hands-on experience in leading software engineering projects. Applicants may also be required to attend training courses or workshops related to their field of study.

The cost of taking the CLSE certification exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it can range from $500 to $1,000 USD per person.

3. Certified Lead Systems Engineer (CLSE)

Certified Lead Systems Engineer (CLSE) is a professional certification program offered by the International Association of Certified Engineering Professionals (IACEP). This certification program is designed for experienced IT professionals who have the technical skills and experience to lead complex system engineering projects. The CLSE certification is a globally recognized credential that demonstrates an individual's commitment to excellence in systems engineering.

The CLSE certification requires applicants to have at least five years of professional experience in systems engineering, including at least three years of leadership experience in the field. Applicants must also pass a rigorous exam that tests their knowledge of systems engineering principles and practices. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as project management, risk management, quality assurance, system architecture, and software development.

The cost of obtaining the CLSE certification varies depending on the provider and format chosen by the applicant. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$2,000 USD for the application fee and exam fees combined.

In order to obtain this certification, applicants must first submit an online application with supporting documents such as resumes or CVs and transcripts from accredited educational institutions. Once accepted into the program, applicants will need to complete an online course or attend a classroom-based training session depending on their preferred learning style. After completing the coursework or training session, applicants will then be eligible to take the CLSE exam which typically takes around two hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the exam, applicants will receive their CLSE certification which is valid for three years before needing to be renewed.

4. Certified Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Lead Engineer

Certified Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Lead Engineer is a certification that demonstrates a professional’s ability to lead IT service management initiatives. This certification is designed for experienced IT professionals who have a deep understanding of the ITIL framework and how it can be used to improve IT service delivery.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the training and exams required for this certification. Generally, you will need to pass two exams: the Foundation exam and the Lead Engineer exam. The Foundation exam covers the core concepts of ITIL, while the Lead Engineer exam focuses on more advanced topics such as service design, implementation, and optimization.

To get certified as an ITIL Lead Engineer, you will need to take an accredited course from an approved training provider. You can find accredited courses online or at local universities and colleges. Prices vary depending on the provider and length of course, but generally range from $1,000 - $3,000 USD.

5. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is a professional certification for individuals who have demonstrated an understanding of the Scrum framework and its application to agile project management. The CSM certification is administered by the Scrum Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and advancing the use of Scrum.

To become a Certified Scrum Master, you must complete a two-day training course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). During this course, you will learn about the core principles of Scrum and how to apply them in practice. After completing the course, you must pass an online exam to receive your certification.

The cost of taking the CSM course varies depending on where it is offered and who is teaching it. Generally speaking, courses range from $1,000-$2,500 USD. The cost of taking the exam is usually included in the price of the course.

Once you have completed your training and passed your exam, you will receive your CSM certificate from the Scrum Alliance. This certificate is valid for two years after which time you will need to renew it by attending a refresher course or passing another online exam.

6. Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) is a professional certification offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a level of proficiency in the principles and practices of Six Sigma. The CSSBB certification is intended to demonstrate an individual’s commitment to quality improvement and their ability to lead successful Six Sigma projects.

It typically takes about 6-12 months to complete the requirements for the CSSBB certification, depending on how much prior experience you have with Six Sigma. To get certified, you must first pass the ASQ’s Certified Six Sigma Black Belt exam. This exam covers topics such as project management, process improvement, data analysis, and problem solving. You will also need to complete a project demonstrating your mastery of Six Sigma tools and techniques.

The cost of getting certified varies depending on which route you choose. If you are taking a course or attending an in-person training program, these can range from $2,000-$4,000 USD depending on the provider. If you choose to self-study for the exam, there are several online resources available at no cost that can help you prepare for the exam.

Overall, getting certified as a CSSBB requires dedication and hard work but can be very rewarding in terms of career advancement and job opportunities.

7. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure (MCSE: CP&I)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure (MCSE: CP&I) is a certification that validates an individual’s expertise in designing, implementing, and managing cloud infrastructures and applications. This certification demonstrates the ability to build on-premises and cloud infrastructure solutions with Microsoft Azure, Windows Server, System Center, and other Microsoft technologies.

It typically takes around 6-12 months to earn the MCSE: CP&I certification. This timeframe can vary depending on the individual’s experience level and how much time they are able to dedicate to studying for the exam.

To get the MCSE: CP&I certification, an individual must pass one or more of the following exams: Exam 70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions; Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions; Exam 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions; Exam 70-413 Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure; Exam 70-414 Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure.

The cost of each exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, each exam costs around $165 USD.

8. AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional is an advanced-level certification from Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is designed for experienced professionals who have a deep understanding of designing and deploying scalable, highly available, and fault-tolerant systems on the AWS platform. The certification validates an individual’s ability to design, deploy, and troubleshoot distributed applications on AWS.

The exam consists of multiple choice and multiple answer questions that cover topics such as designing highly available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, secure applications; implementing best practices for scalability; designing for performance; designing for cost optimization; and troubleshooting complex distributed systems.

It typically takes about 2 months to prepare for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional exam. Preparation involves studying the official AWS documentation, taking online courses or attending instructor-led courses offered by authorized training partners, and practicing with hands-on labs or practice exams.

To get the certification you must pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional exam. The exam is administered by Pearson VUE and costs $300 USD. You can register for the exam online at

9. CompTIA Security+

CompTIA Security+ is an internationally recognized certification that validates the knowledge and skills of IT professionals to secure a network and manage risk. It is an entry-level certification for IT professionals who are looking to gain expertise in networking security, compliance, and operational security.

The CompTIA Security+ exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 90 minutes. The passing score for the exam is 750 out of 900 points. To get the CompTIA Security+ certification, you must pass the exam with a score of at least 750 points.

To prepare for the CompTIA Security+ exam, you can take online courses or attend instructor-led training sessions. Additionally, you can use study guides and practice tests to help you prepare for the exam.

The cost of the CompTIA Security+ exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs around $320 USD to take the exam in North America, while it may cost slightly more in other countries or regions.

10. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is a globally recognized certification for project managers. The PMP credential demonstrates that an individual has the knowledge and experience to lead and direct projects in any industry.

To get the PMP, you must have at least 4500 hours of project management experience and 35 hours of formal project management education. You must also pass an exam, which consists of 200 multiple choice questions. The exam covers topics such as initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing a project.

The process to obtain the PMP can take several months or longer depending on how much time you are able to dedicate to studying for the exam. It is recommended that you begin studying at least two months before taking the exam.

The cost of obtaining the PMP varies depending on your membership status with PMI. Non-members must pay $555 to register for the exam while members pay $405. In addition to this fee, there may be other costs associated with study materials or courses needed to prepare for the exam.

Once you have obtained your PMP certification, it is valid for three years from the date it was issued. To maintain your certification after this period, you will need to earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years by attending workshops or conferences related to project management or by teaching classes related to project management topics.

Do You Really Need a Lead Engineer Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your individual goals and career path. If you are looking to become a lead engineer, then a lead engineer certificate may be beneficial in helping you stand out from the competition and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the field. A lead engineer certificate can also help you increase your earning potential, as it is an indication of your specialized skillset.

On the other hand, if you are already working as an engineer or have extensive experience in the field, a lead engineer certificate may not be necessary for you to advance in your career. You may still benefit from taking additional courses or obtaining certifications related to engineering and leadership, but it is ultimately up to you to decide if these steps are necessary for reaching your professional goals.

Related: Lead Engineer Resume Examples

FAQs About Lead Engineer Certifications

Q1. What is a Lead Engineer Certification?

A1. A Lead Engineer Certification is a professional certification that verifies an individual's knowledge and skills in engineering, allowing them to lead engineering teams, develop and manage complex projects, and provide technical guidance for others.

Q2. How do I become certified as a Lead Engineer?

A2. To become certified as a Lead Engineer, you must pass a series of exams that cover topics related to engineering principles, project management, and leadership skills. You may also need to have several years of experience in the field of engineering or related disciplines.

Q3. What are the benefits of becoming a Lead Engineer?

A3. Becoming a Lead Engineer can provide many benefits such as increased job opportunities, higher salaries, recognition from colleagues and industry peers, improved problem solving skills, and greater job satisfaction.

Q4. How long does it take to complete the Lead Engineer Certification?

A4. The amount of time it takes to complete the certification will depend on several factors such as your current knowledge level in engineering concepts and principles, how much you study for the exams, and how quickly you progress through them. Generally speaking however, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete the certification process.

Q5. Is there any ongoing education requirement for maintaining my Lead Engineer Certification?

A5. Yes, most certifications require continuing education or training credits in order to maintain your status as a Certified Lead Engineer (CLE). This typically involves attending workshops or seminars on relevant topics every few years in order to stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices