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  • Game Developer Salary Survey 2012

    - staff

  • QA Test

    Average Salary, 3 Years or Less: $37,000

    Quality-assurance professionals are the lowest-paid people in the game industry, especially the entry-level hires. On the bright side, they did manage to make an extra $800, on average, over the previous year. If you're trying to break into the game industry without any trade skills like programming or art, you will probably find QA the easiest place to start out. But not many studios offer a QA career track that is as developed as the other disciplines, so talented QA leads often end up moving over to design or production instead.

    Most QA employees are hired on a contract basis, with salaried positions mostly given to QA leads. QA contractors across all skill levels made an average of $27,065 in 2011, up about $4,150 from 2010.

    Interestingly, average salaries for testers with less than three years of experience rose about $6,200 from 2010, and QA leads with 3 years to 6 years of experience saw a $3,700 boost. Canadian QA professionals across all skill levels made an average of $43,125 (USD), up $5,100 from 2010. European QA workers made $32,500 (USD), which was about $6,750 less from 2010.

    Business and Legal People

    Average Salary, 3 Years or Less: $71,818

    The "Business and Legal People" category includes chief executives and executive managers, community managers, marketing, legal, human resources, IT, content acquisition and licensing, and general administration staff. Younger people on the business side made an average of $71,818 in 2011, $14,000 up from $57,778 in 2010.

    Business professionals received the highest average salary (across all skill levels) in the industry ($102,160), as well as the most additional nonsalary income ($24,874). However, both those numbers are actually down from 2010 by $3,300 and $4,000, respectively.

    Women were relatively well represented in the business side of the game industry, reaching 17.6 percent in 2011, which is 7.6 percent higher than average across the entire industry this year, and 3.6 percent higher than in 2010.

    Average Salary by Region


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