Do you love games? Would you like to transform your love and passion for gaming into a successful career? The gaming industry is one of the world’s largest, with over three billion players globally. Accenture reports that the gaming industry is valued at $300 billion and is larger than the music and movie industries combined.
The gaming market has been experiencing rapid growth for both gamers and gaming professionals. There are numerous video game career opportunities to explore in many areas of the gaming industry. Depending on your skills and interests, you could work in the technical, creative, or business fields, such as software development, human resources, or sales and marketing.
This article will discuss the different types of gaming jobs and provide you with in-depth information about what gaming professionals do.
What Is Gaming?
Gaming is the act of playing video games on gaming consoles such as the Xbox, Nintendo, Playstation, and personal computers. Gaming involves a wide range of activities, from playing Solitaire on your phone to immersing yourself in Call of Duty on your Xbox. There are many genres of games such as action and adventure, sports, puzzles, and role-playing games.
The advent of modern technology and increasing internet capabilities has transformed gaming into a collaborative activity between many players. Gaming platforms provide a space for gamers to interact, socialize, and make friends. A report by the Consumer Technology Association revealed that about 53 percent of US households own a video game console.
If you’re a gamer, you’ve probably considered how games were created at a certain point in time. Maybe you want to be a game developer in the long run. Gaming jobs are some of the most interesting employment opportunities in technology, providing a good salary and a promising future.
What Do Gaming Professionals Do?
Gaming professionals perform many activities to bring creative ideas to life through visually appealing graphics, mesmerizing sounds, and an immersive storyline. They employ game development tools and techniques to meet the technical and creative aspects of the job.
Game developers may also work in development teams to focus on different job areas and shorten the time it takes to complete a project. Below you will find some typical job descriptions of gaming professionals.
- Animation design. Gaming professionals design the visuals of the game, which includes the environment, characters, game mechanics, special effects, and animations.
- Programming. Game development involves advanced knowledge of programming languages like C++, C#, C, Python, and Java to create the code for the game engines. Some major game engines are Unreal, Unity technologies, and Cryengine. Game developers also utilize application programming interfaces (APIs) in game design.
- Storyline creation. Gaming professionals develop the plot and context of the game. They create dialogue for the story and determine how the users will experience the story.
- Soundtrack production. The soundtrack and music are as important as the graphics. Gaming professionals create an immersive gaming experience by mixing, mastering, and designing audio files for the various game scenes.
- Quality assurance. Like any other tech product, gaming professionals also conduct quality assurance tests to ensure that the game follows the set specifications and requirements. They identify and fix bugs, glitches, and any errors that may affect the quality of the game before the game is released to the public.
How Much Do Gaming Professionals Make?
Glassdoor reports that gaming professionals earn between $41,000 and $124,000. The gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar entity and gaming professionals earn substantial financial compensation for their services. Apple, Sony, Tencent, and other major employers generate billions of dollars in revenue every year.
Gaming Average Salaries
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for game developers is $71,295 per year. However, this depends on factors such as job title, skillset, location, experience, and the company they are working for.
What Is the Job Growth for Gaming?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that software developers will experience job growth of 22 percent between 2020 and 2030. If you become a game developer, you belong to the group of software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers.
The Highest-Paying Types of Gaming Jobs in 2022
- Cloud Engineer | $111,165
- Marketing Manager | $104,295
- Video Game Producer | $84,216
- Video Game Programmer | $74,693
- Video Game Designer| $74,118
- Narrative Designer | $69,961
- Game Artist | $60,814
- Game Audio Engineer | $53,540
- Interpreters and Translators| $52,330
- Video Game Tester | $41,294
There are many career options in the different sectors of the video game industry. You can build a career in game production’s technical, business, or creative side. Below you will find more information regarding some of the highest-paying gaming jobs in 2022.
- Average Salary: $111,165
Cloud engineers design the infrastructure and technologies for running video games on remote servers. They develop policies for cloud gaming services, create secure cloud environments and adopt new technologies to ensure services are available to gamers. They have a deep knowledge of cloud services like Docker, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and SQL.
- Average Salary: $104,295
Marketing managers coordinate the video game marketing department. They perform market research to identify the best brand strategies and marketing materials to maximize profits, improve the customer base and meet the customers’ needs. They are responsible for social media campaigns, advertising, and budgeting.
They also work with market research analysts and retail sales associates to sell the video games to the target customers. Marketing managers have outstanding communication skills, creativity, analytical skills, and excellent decision-making abilities.
Video Game Producer
- Average Salary: $84,216
Video game producers are responsible for all the business, logistics, and financial aspects of game development. They are in charge of all activities that take place behind the scenes of the production, such as staff hiring, budgeting, project planning, and scheduling. They manage all gaming professionals to ensure that production meets the set requirements.
Video game producers must have strong decision-making skills, project management skills, and efficient communication skills to thrive in their job roles.
Video Game Programmer
- Average Salary: $74,693
Video game programmers create the source code that underpins the gaming infrastructure and instructs the computer to run the game. They collaborate with the game development team to design the technical aspects of the game. Video game programmers are well-versed in game design and major game engines and have a strong knowledge of programming languages.
Video Game Designer
- Average Salary: $74,118
Video game designer is a senior-level job role at the bedrock of video game production. They develop the ideas, game features, and concepts that eventually become the video game. They guide the production process and collaborate with the artists, programmers, audio engineers, and game producers to ensure that the game is what they envisioned.
- Average Salary: $69,961
Narrative designers, or writers, create the game’s storylines, scripts, and dialogue. They utilize their creative skills to produce a plot that adds depth to the game’s characters and context to the overall game structure. They are an important part of the game development team as they determine the story experience of the game.
- Average Salary: $60,814
Game artists, also known as animators, design the graphics and the visual aspects of the game. They employ specialized software and 2D/3D techniques to create interactive images, characters, scenery, and sequences that bring the story to life. They work with the programmers and designers to ensure that the visual elements flow seamlessly into the game production.
They have strong technical expertise regarding visual design software such as ZBrush, Illustrator, Maya, and Photoshop.
Game Audio Engineer
- Average Salary: $53,540
Game audio engineers design immersive sound effects, music, character voices, and ambient sounds that add realistic features to the game. They work with specialized computer equipment to create dynamic sounds that improve the overall gaming experience. Audio engineers work with other game development team members to blend sounds into the game.
- Average Salary: $52,330
Translators interpret and convert the game language into other languages. As the game sector is an international market, there is a need to localize scripts, change documentation, and translate dialogue from the original language into the language that the international audience understands.
Video Game Tester
- Average Salary: $41,294
Video game testers work in the quality assurance team to ensure that the game meets the specified requirements. They perform extensive checks on the game to find bugs, glitches, and defects that may affect the quality of the game. They also organize quality assurance practices like functionality, localization, certification, and compatibility testing on games.
They possess expert knowledge of project management systems, have strong analytical skills, an eye for detail, and efficient communication skills.
Gaming Career Path
There are numerous job roles in the gaming sector. If you are interested in turning your love for gaming into a full-time job, you may be wondering how to break into the gaming industry. There are several career paths that you can take to land your dream gaming job. Below you will find some of the most common steps to help you out.
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- Seek education. Depending on your dream job, you should first seek a college education in computer science, animation, or a related field. You may need a college degree before qualifying for high-paying job roles in the industry. Alternatively, you can also attend a game development coding bootcamp that offers short yet intensive training that equips students with job-ready skills.
- Learn game development tools. It is important to learn how to use the necessary game development tools for your dream position. This will help you gain essential hands-on experience in preparation for the industry.
- Find gaming internships. Most job posts in the gaming industry require that candidates have prior experience in similar job roles. It may be challenging to break into the industry without experience. Look for gaming internships or seek apprenticeship opportunities at gaming companies to gain the valuable experience you require.
- Attend gaming events. You should also attend gaming events. Gaming events bring together gaming professionals and potential recruiters. During these events, you will have the opportunity to showcase your talents and skills. You also get to network and connect with potential employers and peers.
- Conduct a thorough job search. Once you feel ready to kickstart your career, you should start preparing job applications. This begins with a well-drafted resume and a cover letter that highlights your technical expertise and establishes you as the best person for the job.
Should You Become a Gaming Professional?
Absolutely. If you are interested in video game development and want to make a living from it, you should become a gaming professional. The game industry is an exciting one as it provides favorable pay, a positive job outlook, and a healthy work-life balance.
Types of Gaming Careers FAQ
Yes, gaming can be a career. There are numerous jobs in the gaming industry’s creative, technical, and business side. Aside from game development, you can also build a career as a professional gamer, gaming content creator, or gaming streamer.
Audio engineers, writers, game artists, game producers, game programmers, and technical support specialists are good examples of gaming jobs. All of the professions listed above are some of the available gaming roles in the industry.
Short for electronic sports, eSports is a gaming competition played by top professional gamers. There are many job opportunities in eSports for professional gamers, analysts, hosts, referees, journalists, and social media managers, to mention a few.
For starters, you would need to get the necessary education and gain technical expertise in game development tools that you will need for your dream position. A coding bootcamp is an excellent alternative to a degree to acquire the necessary skills. Once you reach the point where you are feeling confident with your knowledge of gaming tools, you can then start applying for gaming jobs.
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