Game Developers Salary Survey 2012

2011 was a great year for gaming industry as the industry saw a significant growth in terms of sales (both hardware and software). And the industry’s journey in positive direction was also eminent from the paychecks of the developers, which were quite fatter as compared to previous year’s paychecks.

This year’s report, just like the previous ones, also suggested that programming was the most in-demand and highest paid profession while quality assurance was the worst paid profession in the gaming industry. Let’s take a look how much game developers made in 2011.


Programmers


Compared to the previous year (2010), programmers saw a massive increase of more than $10,000 in their paychecks. A junior programmer, with less than three years of experience, made around $66,000 in 2011 as compared to $54,000 in 2010. Experienced lads (with three to six years of experience) made an average of $80,000, almost $14,000 more compared to non-experienced ones while those with more that six years of experience saw their paychecks in six figures.

LESS THAN THREE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Junior Programmer: $65,411
Lead Programmer: $77,500

THREE TO SIX YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Junior Programmer: $80,096
Lead Programmer: $90,061

MORE THAN SIX YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Junior Programmer: $102,746
Lead Programmer: $119,187
Technical Director: $135,183

Designers


Designers also saw their paychecks getting fatter by a respectable amount though not as significant as that of programmers. A designer in 2011 made almost $4000 more as compared to the previous year. Newbies (with less than three years of experience) made around $48,000 while the experienced ones got a paycheck of $62,000.

LESS THAN THREE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Game Designer: $48,281

THREE TO SIX YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Game Designer: $61,787
Lead Designer: $70,500

MORE THAN SIX YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Game Designer: $77,700
Lead Designer: $99,331

Audio Engineers


2011 was not the year for fresh audio engineers as the survey shows that fresh audio engineers made only $32,500 which is even less than the salary of fresh quality assurance engineers, the profession considered as the least paid profession in the industry. However, experienced ones received solid paychecks as audio engineers with more than six years of experience saw their income crossing the six figure mark.

LESS THAN THREE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Audio Engineer: $32,500

THREE TO SIX YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Audio Engineer: $57,885

MORE THAN SIX YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Audio Engineer: $109,500
Audio Director: $110,500

Quality Assurance


Once again, just like the previous years, quality assurance department was the least paid in the gaming industry. A fresh engineer made almost $37,500 while those having three to six years of experience saw a meager increase of only $3500. Even engineers with more than six years of experience made only $55,000, less than the salary of a fresh programmer.

LESS THAN THREE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Tester: $37,500

THREE TO SIX YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Tester: $41,071
QA Lead: $48,382

MORE THAN SIX YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

QA Lead: $55,192

Artists & Animators


These professionals also saw a respectable increase in their paychecks with a fresh entrant making around $49,000. Those having more than six years of experience saw a solid paycheck of almost $93,000.

LESS THAN THREE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Artist/Animator: $49,481

THREE TO SIX YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Artist/Animator: $58,981
Lead Artist: $72,244

MORE THAN SIX YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Artist/Animator: $92,939
Lead Artist: $93,349
Art Director: $118,500

Producers


This profession is one of the most highly paid professions in the whole gaming industry. An entry level producer made an average of $56,000 while experienced ones received a paycheck in six figures.

LESS THAN THREE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Associate Producer: $56,111

THREE TO SIX YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Associate Producer: $58,382
Project Leader: $68,065

MORE THAN SIX YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Project Leader: $98,680
Executive Producer: $139,375

Click Here to read the complete report at Game Career Guide 2012 issue.


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