Proteases cut with enviable precision and regulate diverse molecular events in biology. Such qualities drive a seemingly inexhaustible appetite for proteases with new activities and capabilities. Comprising 25% of the total industrial enzyme market, proteases appear in consumer goods, such as detergents, textile processing, and numerous foods; additionally, proteases include 25 US Food and Drug Administration-approved medicines and various research tools. Recent advances in protease engineering strategies address target specificity, catalytic efficiency, and stability. This guide to protease engineering surveys best practices and emerging strategies. We further highlight gaps and flexibilities inherent to each system that suggest opportunities for new technology development along with engineered proteases to solve challenges in proteomics, protein sequencing, and synthetic gene circuits.