Many students are turning their love for playing video games into a career. The professionalism of developing video games comes with enjoyable work environments and good salaries. If you’re serious about gaming but not sure how to make it anything more than a hobby, we’ve compiled some need to know information to get started.
Gaming is a highly competitive field that consistently offers employees new opportunities to learn and and grow in a challenging and enjoyable work environment. Given that degrees in the discipline are focused on the production aspects, video game development is a mix of disciplines including mathematics, graphic design, software engineering, and programming. Students looking to get into the field should thus be aware of the specialization and diversification involved with the career area.
The world of video games offers a wide range of career opportunities, including:
Game design is the catch-all term for a field that has many specializations; including but not limited to disciplines such as graphic design, creative writing, computer programming, and even science! While the exact role of a game designer may vary from project to project, their primary task is to oversee the overall design of a game.
Game developers ar a core part of the creation process in video games, and oversee many aspects of a game throughout its development. Their primary function is to make the game development process run smoothly and to assure the overall quality of a product before launch.
Game testing deals with the rigorous testing of a game’s software to document any bugs or defects within the code or the programmers and developers to rectify before a game’s commercial launch. As games become more and more complex, and new technology is interfaced, a large part of game testing has also started to involve monitoring overall quality assurance of the product.
Game programming involves the building blocks of video games, concerning the creation and writing of the code which brings a game to life. Game programmers work closely with not only producers and developers, but other departments as well to help translate a shared vision into a playable format.
While salaries in the gaming world vary depending on the job, here are the average industry standards for the above-mentioned careers;
Your level of experience has a lot to do with the salary amounts of video game designers. On average though, video game designers in Canada can expect to earn an average of about $53,825 annually.¹
A career in game development offers great flexibility, so pursuing one is definitely worth it! Game developers in Canada can expect to begin their careers with a salary of around $50,000 annually, with earning up to $136,5000 annually.²
How much a game tester earns has a lot to do with the company you work with, but those who are now beginning there careers can expect an average salary of about $42,186.³
Salary for a programmer depends on experience, but on average a game programmer in Canada will receive a base salary of about of $62,800 a year.⁴
The field of video games and game development requires a corresponding degree, so we’ve some options and information on the schooling involved with the mentioned careers;
The average degree in game design will require anywhere from 3-4 years of schooling depending on the university of your choice. While universities will often time offer a wide range of disciplines, to better give you a more diverse skill set, be on the lookout for those that specialize or offer work-study opportunities as well; proficiency in a specific skill set can make you desirable to employers, and work-study opportunities can help you to get a foot in the door of this competitive field.
Since game development covers such a wide variety of jobs, ranging from animation to design to programming, the degree you study will depend on what discipline within the industry you want to pursue. Keep in mind that high-level software skills and IT proficiency are recommended, if not required, no matter what field you end up pursuing.
Game testing, in general, does not have a standardized course of classes or a dedicated degree. However, as video game testing becomes a more competitive field, a degree within the technology and development sphere has been shown to sway prospective employers when seeking new employees; a degree in the realm of game design, video graphics, computer, and programming, can only help when applying for a game testing position.
A career in programming will at the very least require a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, though a Master’s degree with catch the eye of an employer especially well. The fields to focus on for these degrees are computer science, software engineering, and others within that vein.
Game Creation As A Lucrative Career
We hope this article has helped to show you can turn your hobby into a future career with a push in the right direction and the proper dedication and schooling. With its wide range of opportunities and high starting wages, the benefits of a career in this field are many. Consider looking into the possibilities around you for job opportunities in Australia.
 “Average Video Game Designer Salary in Canada.” PayScale, accessed July 2020. https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Video_Game_Designer/Salary
 “Game Developer salary in Canada.” Neuvoo, accessed July 2020. https://neuvoo.ca/salary/?job=Game%20Developer
 “How to Become a Video Game Tester.” GetEducated, accessed July 2020. https://www.geteducated.com/career-center/how-to-become-a-video-game-tester/
 “What is the salary for the Game Programmer role in Canada?” LinkedIn Salary, accessed July 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/salary/game-programmer-salaries-in-canada