dcsimg

Video Game Design Career and Salary

Article Sources

Sources:

"Computer Programmers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151131.htm

"Computer Programmers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.htm

"Game Developer Salary Survey," Game Developer Magazine, Game Career Guide, January 30, 2014, http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/1279/game_developer_salary_survey_.php

"Multimedia Artists and Animators," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271014.htm

"Multimedia Artists and Animators," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm

X

Anyone who has ever gotten wrapped up in a video game has perhaps wondered what it takes to design a product that can be so engrossing.

Although most video games are developed by a team of experts, including artists, writers and programmers, the central figure is the designer, who develops the overall concept of a game. People interested in a video game designer careers should be strong storytellers, but they also have enough training in other disciplines, including art, theater, computer graphics and computer programming, to understand how to guide their team in the creation of an effective game.

Key subjects to study

Video game designers acquire their skills by studying fine art, film, computer graphics, animation, computer science, mathematics, literature or some combination of these areas.

Video game designer careers are often require a bachelor's degree in game design, game development or computer science. Those interested in a career in video game design can gain experience and start building a portfolio of games by studying at specialized vocational schools where interactive media or game design is taught.

Most of their skills will come from working on video games, however, and employers want to hire game designers who have successfully collaborated with others. Successful collaborations indicate the designer has the ability to communicate with a diverse group of people and can perform well under pressure.

What the job is like

Video game designers kick off the development of a video game by writing a detailed design document that describes all aspects of the game and everything a player will encounter while playing the game. This requires that video game designers be creative and well as concise writers, but they also have to understand how to create a story in which the players control the action and the outcome.

Those pursuing careers in video game design also have to be able to describe their concepts to other members of the development team, including the artists who will draw the scenes in the game, the programmers who will write the code to create the action, and the testers, who will play the game and try to find flaws in it.

Job prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), job growth for multimedia artists and animators is expected to grow at the relatively slow pace of 6 percent annually from 2012-2022, while job growth for software designers is projected at 8 percent for the same time period, which is about average.

The BLS doesn't track specific wage and job growth data for video game designers, but includes them with multimedia artists and animators. Game design also requires the expertise of programmers in most instances, so it may be helpful to look at data for that career as well. The BLS reports the following national median annual wages as of May 2013 for those careers as follows:

  • Multimedia artists and animators: $64,470
  • Computer programmers: $76,140

According to a 2013 salary survey by Game Developer magazine, game designers earned an national average salary in 2013 of $75,065. Freelance video game designers earned an average of $46,786 during that same time. Average salaries for entry-level designers was $6,300 higher in 2013 than in 2012, but salaries for designers with 3-6 years experience was down $1,500.

Although large studios are producing fewer games, narrowing the employment options for video game designers, smaller studios are increasingly producing smaller games for use on social media and mobile devices. This may give those interested in a video game design career opportunities to build their portfolios and gain the experience needed to work for larger studios. If a career as a game designer piques your interest, you may wish to check game design programs offered by vocational and technical schools.

Article Sources
Video Game Designer Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
 
Results:  10
Matching School Ads
Game Programming (BS)
  • Online and Bachelor's programs include B.S. in Advertising, B.S. in Web Design, B.A. in Interior Design, and more
  • Curriculum focus on preparing students for a creative career by teaching them the fundamentals of advertising and design
  • Students can choose from courses that cover areas such as advertising concepts, art direction, experience design, and online marketing
  • Over 50 locations nationwide, with a student support team dedicated to helping students grow
  • Join our next Open House on 10/21 (10/28 @ select locations)!
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
Game Development (Bachelor)

50 Years of Excellence In Education

Coleman University is a private non-profit teaching university founded in 1963 and located in San Diego, California. Its undergraduate and graduate programs prepare individuals for technology-focused careers and leadership. As San Diego’s oldest school dedicated to information technology, Coleman University has historically educated a large number of the region’s business-technology professionals.

 

B.S. in Computer Programming
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Web Development Programming Diploma Program
Platt College , Ontario
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Mobile Gaming
  • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
  • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
  • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
  • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
  • Online Courses
Certificate - Electrical Technology
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
Computer Programming (AAS)

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

 

Congratulations! Your interest in California College San Diego is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a new career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

Certificate - Computer Technician
  • At Charter College the entire curriculum is built around student success
  • Accredited by the ACICS with easy-to-use online remote classroom platforms
  • Offers training programs in healthcare, business, veterinary care, IT, & more
  • Receive excellent online support from faculty and staff members
  • Many members of the military have found their ideal fit at Charter College
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Electrician
Milan Institute , Bakersfield
  • Offers career programs in accounting, cosmetology, massage therapy, physical fitness training, and more.
  • Provides hands-on training led by instructors who have relevant, on-the-job experience.
  • Each campus features a public salon and spa for student practice.
  • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 11 campuses across California, Texas, Nevada and Idaho, as well as 8 additional Milan Institute of Cosmetology campuses.
Show more [+]
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid