Game Tester Salary

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Game Tester Salary

The earning potential of gaming professionals has risen drastically in recent years, owing to tremendous growth opportunities in the gaming industry. But does this passion pay enough to make a career out of it? This CareerStint article will give you some important insight on the game tester salary range.

Apart from a strong love for video games, a keen eye for detail, good written and verbal communication skills, and good critical thinking skills are required, if you want to work as a video game tester.

The advent of the Internet has given wings to some fascinating industries, without which, we would have missed breathtaking movies, stories, and the brilliance of visual arts. For instance, the animation industry has carved a niche for itself in a relatively short period of existence. Be it the penguins of Happy Feet or the mammoths of Ice Age, animation has changed the rules of the entertainment market.

And parallel to it, has been the exponential growth of the video game industry. Yes, video games, something that fascinates children, teens, youth, and the elderly alike. Vying the phenomenal growth of this industry, the need of game testers and game designers has been immense, and that has compelled companies to hunt for some talented game testers.

Game Tester Salary

⇉ Facts to consider…
The salary depends on many factors, the most important of which is the company that hires you for the job. If you work for the top gaming companies, and are very good at your job, you can get paid well.

Experience in game testing also makes a difference in the salary. If you are a pro, and have good work experience, most companies will happily offer an attractive salary.

Many gaming firms hire those game testers that are of at least 18 years of age. However, you will be happy to know that this age factor varies for companies. So, while you apply, inquire about their selection procedure and eligibility criteria.

⇉ Show me the money…
Most gaming companies pay game testers on an hourly basis. One can even get paid on a job-to-job basis. Game testing happens mostly when a new version, level of the game, or a new game is in line for release. As such, there seldom is a fixed monthly income for game testers.

The salary for a game tester can be anything between $15 to $30 per hour. On an average, one can earn around $15 per hour. If an individual is very talented and well-known with good gaming companies, he can even make up to $30 per hour. This again will vary with the above mentioned factors.

A game tester works an average of 40 to 50 hours a week. This can increase if deadlines are fast approaching. So even if we consider an average salary of $12 per hour, one can make anything between $2,000 to $2,500 a month, at least.

The annual salary of a game tester with a decent flow of testing jobs in a year can be anything around $15,000 TO $35,000. Those with very good experience can even get up to $50,000 to $60,000, depending on the number of jobs on hand, and the companies that they are dealing with.

According to Indeed, as of June 2015, the average annual salary of a game tester is $22,000. It varies from place to place, and it is 61% lower than average salaries for all job postings nationwide. It is around $30,000 in New York, while in Dallas, it is around $23,000.

According to the Game Developer Magazine, which surveys the industry each year, the average salary for a video game tester with less than three years of experience was about $36,136 in 2011. Those with 4-6 years of experience averaged $45,769 per year. The median annual salary of a male video game tester was about $48,000 per year, while that of a female tester was about $62,500. Sounds like a good deal!

⇉ The downside…
Not all gamers work on a yearly contractual basis. Mostly, game testers work on an hourly basis or job-by-job basis. This means that they work on a ‘per game schedule’. So, they are paid on a weekly/hourly basis. There may be times when more work comes in than an individual can handle, while sometimes, there can be a long gap until you get a new project. The first few years will be a lot of struggle, especially to get an attractive salary. So, work hard, and also be patient, while you are in the line. There are thousands of gaming enthusiasts wanting to make a career in gaming. You have to be smart, enthusiastic, and efficient, to excel above the rest of the talent in the industry.

Game Tester Profile

Game testers are professionals who play games designed by gaming companies. They are expected to play and observe every detail of the game. This includes not only detecting programming faults, also called bugs, but also the different levels, versions, graphics, animation, and text. A game tester should have a sharp eye for detail to identify even the smallest error in the game. He needs to check the game and levels thoroughly before the game is released to the general public. This is important as any bug after release, degrades the image of the gaming company. A game tester identifies and reports problems with the game, while the lead tester, who oversees the quality assurance team, notifies other departments of problems that must be fixed.

What’s on their Resume?

⇉ Excellent gaming skills and hawk’s eye….
A game testing job will not require you to be a qualified programming expert, and there is no checklist in terms of educational qualifications. However, there are some basic requirements like passion for games, playing skills, experience, and knowledge about playing different games, which are important. Programming and related technical knowledge would obviously be an added advantage.

⇉ The craze-o-meter…
It is obvious that when you are called for an interview to the company in which you’ve applied, you’ll be asked questions like how many video games you’ve played in your life, what are your favorite games, which types of games have you played, etc. Ensure that you’ve genuine interest in video gaming. It should be more than a habit (perhaps a DNA that screams gaming!). You must be able to come up with ideas for innovation and improvement of the game.

⇉ Work experience…
The most important criteria by which companies select game testers is the experience in handling and detecting bugs in games. Even if you are a fresher, there are opportunities. There are many companies that upload online games that are intended for game testing, and are just like the Do-it-yourself kits for learners. By practicing at home, you can get good amount of experience, and that you can list in your resume. You can acquire experience by frequently practicing on the web too.

There are many teenagers with a passion for gaming, and are excited about a career in this flourishing industry. However, parents are skeptical about success in this field. But the fact is that the video gaming industry has a huge market in today’s time. Career opportunities in this field are no less than other traditional careers like engineering, medicine, etc. Well, if salary is a concern, it all depends on the person’s capabilities, dedication, and above all, enthusiasm in putting the passion for gaming and hard work together.

To sum it up, a game tester’s salary would depend on passion, experience, and most importantly the size of the company. A few years of struggle and hard work will give you excellent returns. Once you surface to be among the best game testers, work offers will be never-ending! So be it an Xbox game or a Playstation one, if you’ve the passion for gaming, this new field is ready to welcome you with both hands. All the best for a flourishing career!

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