This is one reason why it’s best to try and get a full-time employment (“FTE”) testing job at an established game company. Most regions require that employers provide medical benefits to their full-time employees, so it’s often a safer way to go. If you can’t find and FTE job initially, you may want to consider working as a temp at first, just to learn the job and get some experience on your resume.
Hi Jason, I seem to find myself in a predicament. Currently I am moving on to my senior year at Penn State and I need a new major. I was pursuing Computer Engineering, but programming and I do not get along very well (Once you go past “if” statements I’m Lost). So my first question is, what majors are good for entering the game industry, that don’t involve programming. My next question is about finding an entry-level position that I can learn on the job. I used your job search tool that you provided and most jobs seemed to require previous experience, any suggestions there?
If being laid off isn't bad enough, finding continued employment is also difficult. "Everyone tries to advance to positions that aren't available and won't get," says Phil. While this may also be true for other careers within the games industry, he believes this problem is compounded because testers are often hired through a staffing company and not internally. Many publishers won't offer a reference because of contractor policies. Most testers are not, technically, employees.
Game testing does not typically require specialized education, so you could start applying for jobs now. Search online for game studios or testing companies that have open positions for “game tester” or “QA tester”, and apply online. There are numerous articles on this site on how to write your resume and apply for jobs, look under the “Blog” menu for more information. I wish you luck!
There are many basic skills and abilities that you will need for a career as a video game tester, but probably the most important attribute is a foundational experience with video games. You need to understand the top genres of games, know what makes for a good video game, and grasp the essentials of game play. Knowing video games, however, is just a start.
I’m 14 and I’m really involved in gaming. Not just gaming but also I have taught myself to do things like mod android apps (apk files) and recently became a Playstation mobile “developer”. To play around with Unity and make little parts of a crappy game. While playing for instance skyrim I look for glitches and bugs I can profit from. I know I’m probably too young and all, but where can I get educated, like are there any programming clubs for teens? And even more I am interested in game testing. Why wouldn’t I? Are there any major or minor gaming companies who provide this for people in my age? For like summer Jobs?
Hi Nima, there aren’t really any jobs as “work from home” or online game testers. You should apply for normal, on-site testing jobs in your country. If there aren’t any game studios or game testing companies near you, then consider working for a non-game software company as a tester, because you may still get useful experience in software development.
I’m afraid I can’t help with financial advice. But as far as your game design goals, I think it will be hard to start a career in games in Alaska, because there aren’t any game studios up there that I know of. The closest US city with a strong game industry would be Seattle, so one strategy might be to move to Seattle and get a non-game job while you pursue a video game design certificate or degree. But you’d want to be sure that your health and finances are in order before making such a move. Be smart about it.
Hi Kyler, most game testing jobs don’t require a degree unless they also require some computer programming skills. In high school, I’d recommend taking some computer classes, maybe a programming class, and technical writing. (Or whichever equivalents your school might offer.) Many people move away from their home town to get a job after school, it’s normal to move to a new city where there are more jobs in your field.
Besides a typical “game tester” job, there’s also a job that you may not have heard of yet called an “SDET” (pronounced “ESS-det”). That stands for “software design/development engineer in test.” It’s a cool job that’s basically a tester that writes computer code – code that tests the game in an automated way. So it’s like a testing job, but the salary is much higher since it requires programming skills. A programming degree or some programming classes would be really helpful for landing a job as an SDET.
“I used to think I was super lucky, but then I realized that those hours I spent every week on the gaming club at Emerson watching eSports, following League of Legends and playing video games were all a part of it,” she says. “Many people might not think of that as professional experience, but it’s the same thing as a film major who watches a lot of movies.”