Video Game Designers' Salary Information

Whatever game design specialty you'd like to pursue, go into your studies with a knowledge of your potential salary.

blonde game designer with laptop and money

Ask video game designers why they got involved in the gaming industry, and most will probably tell you it was a labor of love: an ongoing devotion to video games, a knack for technical design, and, for many, the inevitable follow-up to attending video game design school. However, the average video game designer's salary isn't a bad motivation, either.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has more good news for would-be video game designers: salaries are also high in the software publishing industry, a sector which includes video game publishers. Nevertheless, wages can vary widely depending on your specific job title and area of expertise. So if your goal is to work for a company like Electronic Arts or Microsoft, take a look at the following median salaries before choosing your video game design schools.

Software Publishing JobMedian Annual Salary*
Art Director $85,610
Computer Software Engineer, Applications  $85,430
Programmer $77,550
Producer/Director $69,100
Multimedia Artist/Animator $63,630
Sound Engineering Technician $41,350
Graphic Designer $45,900

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition; Art Directors; Software Engineers; Computer Programmers; Producers and Directors; Multimedia Artists and Animators; Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians; Graphic Designers.

Other Factors that Affect Salary

Experience, of course, isn't the only variable that contributes to video game industry salaries. Factors such as overall market forces, company size and the level of education you attained at video game design school can all have an effect on your earnings. Even your geographic location can lead to significant differences in salary.

No matter how you break it down, though, the video game industry continues to grow and provide excellent employment opportunities for game designers with the right training and education. Research schools in our extensive database today to find your ideal video game design school.

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.