Video Game Music Composer Jobs

A composer who works in the computer and video games industry works in a different way than someone who is hired to write music for a film does. Rather than work with a film where they can see the story unfold as they are composing, the computer or video game composer is given instructions to write music that will be in the foreground of the piece. They write music to convey a certain mood, and the games are driven by the action of the piece, not the dialogue, as is the case with movies.

Search Video Game Music Composer Job Listings

If you are interested in becoming a composer, a first major step is to become an accomplished musician. Easier said than done, right?

Friend Playing Console Video Games on Couch

That way, you will understand and appreciate the potential and the limitations in the types of sounds that can be produced by different instruments, either on their own or in different combinations. Mastering an instrument is essential, but if you can play multiple instruments well, it will only help you in your work.

Being able to sing is a helpful attribute as well. People who want to work in this field should also have a good foundation in music history, since it gives them a better understanding of how musical styles have evolved over the years.

Composer Education and Training

People who are interested in becoming composers and working in the computer game industry can get the training they need by enrolling in a Bachelor’s degree program in Music Composition. Some programs offer students the opportunity to concentrate their studies in techniques for composing music to accompany a moving image. This program is particularly helpful to those people who are looking to careers in the computer and video games industry.

Students who enroll at a university offering this concentration learn how to analyze visual images effectively, as well as delve into the history of using images to tell stories. They also get the skills they need to use modern technology for composing and producing music. The program also helps students learn how to use real-time tools to create their own brand of music. As a Music Composition student, you can look forward to taking the following types of courses:

  • Composition
  • Computer Music
  • Counterpoint
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Harmony and Form
  • Keyboard Skills
  • Macromusic
  • Music History
  • Writing About Music

In Focus: Interview with Video Game Music Legends

Salary Range for Composers

A fully-trained music composer working in the computer and video games industry can expect to make approximately $55,000 per year, according to Once a composer has at least three years of experience, his or her salary increases to approximately $62,000 per year. At the six year mark, pay takes another jump to about $90,000 per year. For someone at the top of the heap as far as working as a composer is concerned, an annual salary of over $200,000 is possible.


Learn More: Game Designer Jobs