The video game industry is growing, which means that employment prospects are also looking bright. According to Game Developer Research, approximately 53,000 people are working in the video game industry in the United States. With an average salary of $87,000 per year, this is an attractive employment option.
Salaries in the industry can range into six figures. Computer programmers are among the most highly paid video game workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities for computer software engineers will grow by almost one-third in the next 10 years. Some people who choose this line of work are involved in developing video games.
Many people who end up choosing to work in the video game industry come to it from their love of playing games. They take the adage, "find something you love, and the money will follow" and turn it into reality.
Young people who are introduced to computer and video games in childhood have many years of playing experience under their belts before they start to think about training for a job in the industry. During that time, they have gone from passively playing the game to becoming experts in different platforms and have formed their own ideas about what makes a good quality game.
Another indication of how important the video game industry is becoming can be found in the growth of educational programs developed to prepare students for positions within the industry. Specialized programs are being offered at art schools, colleges and universities, and prospective students can choose from approximately 200 certificate, diploma, and degree programs offered across the United States.
Where are the jobs? While your dream may be to work for a large corporation working on multi-million dollar projects, your employment prospects may be better if you include smaller businesses in your video game job search. The market for products developed by smaller, independent enterprises is growing, since they can bring new games to the marketplace quickly and more economically than a big company can.
The video game industry also draws people who are interested in working in a work environment where they can be part of a team without being part of a traditional corporate culture.
Since the industry is about creating products that end users will enjoy interacting with, the atmosphere is more casual than in other types of workplaces.
If the idea of working hard on fun projects for good pay in a growing industry is appealing to you, consider the employment opportunities available in the video game industry. Not only do video game companies need creative types to work on product development, but companies need people to work in sales, management and administrative roles.