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Team Lead vs. Supervisor: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A team lead and supervisor are both management positions that come with a certain level of responsibility. If you’re interested in a management role, it’s important to understand the key differences between these two positions. In this article, we’ll discuss the job duties, skills and experience required for each role, as well as the average salary you can expect to earn.

What is a Team Lead?

A Team Lead is responsible for the day-to-day supervision of a team of employees. They provide guidance and support to team members, help resolve conflicts and ensure that tasks are completed according to deadlines. Team Leads often develop schedules, assign tasks and monitor progress. They may also provide training to new team members and offer feedback to help employees improve their performance. In some cases, Team Leads may also be responsible for hiring and firing team members.

What is a Supervisor?

Supervisors are responsible for managing a team of employees in order to achieve specific goals or objectives. They create work schedules, assign tasks, monitor employee performance and provide feedback. Supervisors may also be responsible for training and development of employees. In some cases, supervisors may also be responsible for payroll and disciplinary action. Supervisors typically report to a manager or director.

Team Lead vs. Supervisor

Here are the main differences between a team lead and a supervisor.

Job Duties

A team lead may have more responsibilities than a supervisor. Team leads often manage projects, so they might create project plans, assign tasks and delegate work to their teams. They also monitor team members’ performance and provide feedback. In comparison, supervisors usually manage the employees in their specific department or on their team, but they don’t typically oversee projects. Supervisors may perform the same job duties as the team or department they’re leading, such as answering phones or taking customer orders.

Job Requirements

Team leads and supervisors often need at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration or another related field. They might also need to have several years of experience working in their department before they can be promoted to a leadership role. Additionally, team leads and supervisors often complete management training programs to learn more about how to effectively lead a team and handle conflict resolution.

Work Environment

Supervisors and team leads typically work in similar environments, but supervisors often have more responsibilities than team leads. Team leads usually work closely with their teams to ensure they’re completing tasks correctly and efficiently. They may also attend meetings with other departments or clients to discuss projects.

Supervisors are responsible for overseeing the entire department, so they may spend most of their time in an office setting. They may also travel to visit different locations where their employees work.


Both team leads and supervisors need to have excellent communication skills. This is important because they will be responsible for conveying information to their team, as well as receiving feedback. They also need to be able to effectively motivate their team and resolve conflicts.

Supervisors tend to have more authority than team leads, as they are typically in charge of a department or group of employees. Because of this, they may need to have more advanced leadership skills, such as the ability to delegate tasks and make decisions that will impact the entire team. Supervisors may also need to have more knowledge about the company’s policies and procedures.

Team leads often work closely with their team and may need to have more developed interpersonal skills. This can be helpful in building relationships with team members and understanding their individual needs. Team leads may also need to be more flexible in their approach to problem-solving, as they may need to come up with creative solutions that address the specific needs of their team.


The average salary for a team lead is $69,148 per year, while the average salary for a supervisor is $62,225 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the industry in which you work, your level of experience and the size of the company at which you work.


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