What Do Game Designers Earn? Salary Information
This is a guide to the potential salaries of what game designers earn.
Game Design degrees are available on campus and online at colleges and universities around the US. Students who are interested in pursuing a Game Design degree want to know what potential game designer job prospects are available after graduation.
There are many established and burgeoning game development companies that need game designers. The minimum degree requirement for professional game design companies is commonly a bachelor’s degree in Game Design, Game Development, or Game Art and Animation.
Game Design is a generic term which represents the many jobs in the world of creating games. Here are some common careers of game creators:
- Level Design
- User Experience/User Interface (UX/UI)
- Character Animator
- Sound and Audio Engineer
- Graphic Designer
- Game Marketing
- Game Programming
- Creative Director
- Game Tester
Game Designers can work as game developers, which involves programming languages and coding, and is a discipline within computer science. Other Game Designers can work as Game Artists, focusing on aspects of animation, such as 2D and 3D graphic designs. The game artists create the visuals for games, rendering the characters, atmosphere, background, and settings for games.
Salary for Game Designers varies by state. Some states, such as Washington, have a larger presence of Game Design companies and relevant positions for Game Designers. Salaries in these industry hubs can be and often are larger than in other states with less of a Game Design industry.
According to Indeed.com, the states with the highest paying salaries for Game Designers are:
- Irvine: $102,870
- San Diego: $101,140
- Chicago: $102,574
- Redmond: $102,191
- Austin: $97,805
- St. Louis: $95,436
- Las Vegas: $93,084
Nationwide Salary Averages:
|Reporting Agencies for Position: Game Designers||Annual Average Salary|
The above salary aggregators have different salary amounts, making understanding the average salaries of Game Designers challenging. They are all relying on their own collections of internal salary data that is proprietary. One difficulty in these data is that there are varying levels of Game Design salaries, and limited reporting. The best way perhaps to determine more specific details of salary information is to decide which position you would want to work, such as Game Art, or Level Designer, and find the state that you want to work in, and drill down to the level of detail to find the salary data, per position, per state. Another way to approach the salary question is to look at individual Game Design companies and see what positions they have open and what their salaries are. This data will vary by company and position, but it will give real-world salary data in real time.
See our rankings of the best Game Design degree programs:
- The Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Science: Game Design
- The Best Video Game Art and Animation Degrees
- The 50 Best Video Game Design Colleges
- The 10 Best Online Video Game Design Colleges
- The 10 Best Game Design Programs at Christian Colleges
- The 20 Best App Development Colleges
Game Designer Salary Information | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a video Game Designer make a month?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, video game designers make a median wage of $6,000 a month. The lowest paid video game designers can earn $3,000 a month, which is equal to the average monthly earnings for all occupations.
Do Game Designers get paid well?
Video game designers earn a great wage compared to the national average. The top ten percent of designers earn upwards of $130,000 per year. The lowest ten percent of video game designers still earns a great wage of $40,000.
Are Game Designers in high demand?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, video game designers are in average demand when compared to the national average. As the popularity of video games and virtual reality grows, it is likely that there will be more positions available for designers. Video game designers with impressive portfolios are sought after in the gaming industry.
What is a Game Designer’s salary?
Game designers earn a salary between $86,000 and $70,000 every year. Compared to the national annual wage of $39,810, video game designers have a very comfortable salary.
Is Game Design a good career?
Game design is a great career! Designers work regular hours but may need to work extra to meet project deadlines. The large majority of video game artists are self-employed or work for video game companies. A career in game design allows designers to be creative and use cutting edge technology to make their art come to life. Video game designers can choose to specialize in a specific area of game design or work as a generalist. Designers will use computers on a daily basis and spend much of their time developing graphics and game programs.
Is becoming a Game Designer hard?
Most designers need a bachelor’s degree to qualify for positions in video game design. Many choose to earn a degree in art, computer science, film, or other related fields. Some designers attend specialized art institutes or colleges to major in game design. Regardless of the degree earned or the school attended, it is important that aspiring game designers develop a robust portfolio of their work. Most employers will want to see a portfolio of prior work during the hiring process. After earning a bachelor’s degree, designers are eligible for positions in the game industry. Employers are interested in hiring game designers with artistic talent, creativity, and excellent communication and time-management skills. All jobs in game design will also require applicants to have impressive computer programming skills.