Are You in Demand?: 2006 Game Industry Salary Survey [09.08.06]
- Jill Duffy
This article originally appeared in Game Developer’s Game Career Guide 2006. Not all career paths are featured here but are available in the print version.
You’ve heard it all before: Jobs in game development are hard to come by. Competition is fierce. Personality counts (since team-structured environments are the norm).
But what you might not have heard before is that the majority of game developers in the field aren’t doing what they’re doing for the money. The average game developer salary isn’t astronomical—it’s comfortable, but not astronomical. It’s about $70,000 per year.
How much money game creators make is one of the biggest misconceptions students have about the working industry, says Professor John Small, a long-time industry professional (Criterion) and game development instructor at Savannah College of Art and Design.
Another issue new recruits must tackle is to decide what job title they’re after. Designer or level designer? Rigger or animator? AI programmer or Java developer?
These next few pages of 101 material are designed to give you a crash course in salary and job title expectations. We’ve mapped out some of the job titles that have been in greatest demand over the last few months with an emphasis on the ones that accept entry-level candidates. Knowing which positions game companies are recruiting most often these days will open up more opportunities for your success and decrease the length of time it takes you to start working.*
* The statistics contained in this article originally appeared in the April 2006 issue of Game Developer magazine, where information on the survey’s methodology can also be found. Game Developer thanks Audience Insights for its support in carrying out the survey.