According to the Gamasutra Salary Survey of 2014, the online publication for Game Developer Magazine, the average salary for testers is about $54,833 annually. The same study found that testers with over three years of experience average roughly $48,426 a year. If you work for over six years, you can expect to reach an average of $62,885 a year, and those with a master’s degree earned on average $65,000.
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.
Reuben says that maintaining a healthy family life extremely difficult. "Once the overtime starts, the hours seem to be nearly endless...My longest period of straight overtime lasted just over seven months where my shortest work week was 65 hours and my longest was 92. This was stretched out over two projects that just bled straight into each other."
While being laid off can be a part of any career, he adds that the process is cold. "The way [my employer] used to handle these things was to send out meeting notices. You would go to a meeting, and someone would walk into the QA area where everyone who didn't have the meeting request were still sitting and simply say, 'If you're here, you've been let go, pack up your stuff, we're escorting you out'...you always hoped that you would be one of the few that would be kept on."
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Hi Evan, thanks for the questions. First of all, playtesting isn’t a full-time job, you might be thinking about the QA Tester job that’s described in this article. That is a full-time job, and most companies do not require a degree to do that job. Also, there are dozens (hundreds?) of game studios in the US, so I recommend you don’t limit yourself as to which one you’d work for when you first start out — you’ll have a lot to learn, and you can learn at most any game company.

Hi Satadala, I think you have enough experience to get a job as a game tester. So it’s hard to know why you have not been hired yet, you may just need to be persistent and keep applying. You should also try applying for smaller game studios, as EA/Ubisoft/Etc. likely receive hundreds of applications each week. You may have better luck with a smaller studio to start out.

Hi Robert, you’re right that there’s a lot to learn to be in the video game industry – but that’s the same with any industry. The sooner you start learning, the sooner you’ll get good at it. 🙂 A college degree isn’t required, but a degree or at least a certificate would help a lot when you’re applying for jobs. If you don’t know where to start, then I’d suggest maybe taking a game-related certificate from a local college if possible – it will teach you the basics, and help you start making a portfolio. Best of luck!
Most companies do not have a formal process for selecting a Lead Tester. If you want to progress in your career, then you should do great work and help your leads accomplish their goals for the project. Always work to take on more responsibility. If your leads come to see you as a hard worker who is capable of more responsibility, then they may promote you next time there’s an opening for a lead tester position.
i am eleven years old and i have been playing video games for about 4 years now i love playing video games its my true passion i think i would be great for a job of this and i have been looking around for a while but i cant find any good ways/website that i can apply on please reply back with a couple of website i could use or email adresses to send email to thanks

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2. Most of the bug software works the same as all the others. For each bug you find, you create a new “page” (database entry) and fill out the form. The form will ask for information such as which area of the game you found the bug in, how “bad” the bug is (e.g. does it just look bad, or does it actually crash the game). Then you type up the exact steps you took to find the bug, so that a member of the development team can do the same thing to see the bug in action and fix it.
I have found this to be one of the easiest and most fun ways to make money online today (mostly because I get to spend more time with my family and hangout with friends and still have time for my other hobbies beside playing video games). You can have this life too. Start NOW by putting your first name and email address in the box above and click 'Continue' to get started.
Don’t wait. It’s important to start on your ISTQB software testing certification now to get your job testing games. Begin by reviewing the free software testing glossary, exam syllabus (what you need to know to pass the exam) and sample exams below, as well as the steps to certification / FAQ. Then register to take the ISTQB exam from ASTQB. We hope to see you soon on ASTQB’s official American list of ISTQB certified testers!

Initially, the lead designer works with a small core team, defining the artistic approach for the game. The lead artist will supervise, if not undertake, the production of concept art which indicates the visual atmosphere and graphic design. They also research and test out different modeling, texturing, animation, rendering and lighting techniques and tools. The lead designer then manages the art and animation team (including outsourced staff), specifying what needs to be produced, ensuring deadlines and budgets and are met, and planning for any contingencies. Lead designers are employed by development studios, both independent and publisher-owned.
I had no intent to offend but I figured I would just be blunt and there was no point in sugar-coating. I had clicked on some ebooks of yours and saw they cost money, linked in some of your replies. This coupled with your smiling face beside it I immediately thought it was a scam. My mistake, I apologize for labeling you a gimmick and thank you for this reply. There are just too many people out to get you these days. If you think about it, the rise of the video game industry could be a good way for people to prey on kids these days who have dreams of being a game developer simply because they enjoy video games.

"At this point, the 'testing madness' started to hit. One of our testers started cursing out loud regarding waffles and their condescending desire to be like pancakes. One by one I sent each tester home as their sanity became too unstable to control. At one point, I realized I was the only one left and we still had at least 3 more hours of work remaining."
Thank you for the advice and knowledge on Game Testers. I am currently in college taking the Game Simulation and Development program. I’ve been studying this for about 2 years in college and got the basics down. How would I find a stepping stone for becoming a game play tester? I don’t want to try for big named companies and etc… I want to actually build a portfolio on testing games, Designing games, and programming games but I don’t know what to look for when finding something where I can give my first professional attempt to test a video game or project.
Hi Fellow Gamer … did you know everyday Gaming companies pay big bucks to people like you and me just to know what we are thinking? It's true! They are desperate to understand how you think and shop and why you buy certain Games or Products because this helps their companies improve their products, and they in turn they pay YOU good money for your opinion. They Need You! Right now, I have hundreds of market research firms and game companies looking for video game testers, survey takers and beta testers. If you are looking for working full time, or want to make some extra cash, Gamingjobsonline.com is your ticket to fun, easy money.

It might surprise you to learn that strong writing and communication skills are essential for a good video game tester. The ability to write in a clear, brief, and effective manner will help you describe the glitches you find and how you found them. Your clear writing will give developers a clear path to addressing the issue and creating a fix. You don’t have to be a poetic, colorful author; you need to be a clear, concise, and detailed communicator.
After you use the link for minors under sixteen for the application on the parent's behalf and there is a link to a Microsoft connect thing. When you click the link, it says the Microsoft connect thing has been expired over a decade ago. Please help. I really want to figure out how to do this and nowhere else can I find out how. There are so many people doing it, and it's genuinely frustrating that its so difficult to figure out how. Do you know what to do?
Hi, I’m in my first semester in college now and I was thinking about going into gaming since I’ve been playing games for a long time since I can remember. I am thinking about changing my major into something like programming, but I never took a class in high school that was computer oriented and such. I was wondering do you think it would be a good idea to go ahead and change my major or not since I don’t really know about programming?
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.
As an integral part of the video game development team, animators and other artists make video games come to life visually. Using specialized software, animators create the series of pictures that form the images in a video game, including the characters and the environment. Artists also design packaging that makes games stand out on store shelves.
Hello! I know this is from a few years ago, but I see you still answer peoples inquires, thanks so much for that! I only have one question, what are the reports on bugs like? Is there a format that you need to use, and do many of the reports look similar if the bug is similar? For instance, if you glitch through the floor in a building, but also in another town over of a game, would that be two different reports written the same, except for location? And how long are the reports typically? I’m actually about to buy your book in a few minutes so sorry if you address this within it, but thought I’d just get a jump start and ask here. Thank you!
Game testers may also have to run through matrix testings. Matrix testing is often used in fighting games like Mortal Combat, Tekken, or Soul Calibur. Say a fighting game has 20 different characters and 20 different levels. When doing matrix testing, the video game tester would need to play as each character vs each character (including Character 1 vs Character 1) on all 20 levels. That’s 8,000 different matchups! That’s just one example of the highly-detailed, often monotonous work that video game testers have to do.
Grammar check and spell check your resume. That's a personal pet peeve of mine and many hiring managers I work with.  Someone that applies for a testing role but can't catch spelling or grammatical errors in their own resume is usually passed over.  Writing bug reports is a large part of a game tester's job, and developers and test managers don't have the time to guess what you meant.
While this overwhelmingly looks like a gimmick, from your picture, Jason, to the e-book, this site has a lot of information and I hope it is true. I’ve done my homework and saw you were a part of Griptonite Games, which made largely handheld console games, which are based mostly on movies. Knowing this I am a bit skeptical because handheld games certainly can’t be as difficult to make as console games, and games based on movies are notorious for being bad. So how would you know about joining those big companies, or making “big” games? To be honest, I never heard of Griptonite Games until just now. Could you ease my skepticism here?

Hi Tyffani, you seem very passionate about games, that’s awesome! There are lots of different careers, so you need to figure out which one(s) might “click” with your interests and talents. You could start by finding out whether you are more attracted to art, or to programming, or design. Check out the Quest for Your Career articles to learn more about each one – once you find something that sounds interesting, then you can start thinking about how to pursue it. Have fun!


Hey Jason, I have read so much on become a QA tester and have a few questions. First I’m going to start off by saying I am a successful BDA for All State insurance, I am 27 years old, and I have 3 diploma’s all in the business field. You might be wondering why I would be interested in pursuing a video game testing job as I do have a successful career already but to be honest gaming is the thing I love the most and I’ve never had that feeling of waking up and being excited to go to work, I kind of just do it cause the money is good and its what I’ve got at the moment so I roll with it. I now understand that you need to do a job you love over a job that pays well because its the thing you do most of the time! and lets be honest, I don’t get excited everyday about selling insurance or handling someone’s claim. I have been a hardcore gamer since I was 5 years old, all started with a Sega genesis. Ive played competitive in league of legends, heroes of the storm, overwatch, cs:go, wow arena (when it was big), I’ve literally played all these gamers with the best of the best and at one point was sponsored by 2 different companies to pursue a competitive scene in overwatch and league of legends. So my gaming experience and skills at games are well above average, as well as my knowledge for games themselves (I’ve played so many!) My question to you is do you think it is possible for someone being 27 years old to get into the gaming career? Am I limited by my age? And I also live in Canada (close to Toronto) and I feel Canada may not have the best gaming studio’s, if any near me at all….. Now I tried reading a few things from your book and tried using your “search for studio’s near you” engine but I don’t think its geared for Canadians. What steps do you think I should take to pursue this dream I have to become a game tester or even just work with a gaming company through marketing or design, writing (I have a very smart mind and I feel I can create a very good gaming story line, Ive created 2 previous games with my friends and the story line was killer! Story was all me!) etc.
I live in the UK and am currently trying to decide what career I want to do in the future. I’ve been playing vdeo games for as long as I can remeber so I feel like a job in this sector would be great. Unfortunately to get a degree that would mean I could become a game developer I would need to study IT at A-Level and to study it at A-Level I would have to study it at GCSE and unfortunately that was not possible. I feel that becoming a games tester would be satisfying but I would really like to move up in that line of work to become a developer so I was wondering if there was anything that I could do?

Hello! I’ve been playing video games for nearly all my life. I’ve put in so much time on gaming it’s crazy. But what do I do half the time I game? I find glitches. I’ve participated in private beta trials in nearly 6 PlayStation exclusive games and two other well-known games. I have also acquired the knowledge to use Microsoft Office programs proficiently, and I am studying game programming for the sake of learning how to better grasp the terminology and understanding of how a glitch is caused, and how it can be fixed. I’m only 17 and I am a junior in high school, however my dream is to become a QA Tester at Insomniac Games, the developers of Ratchet & Clank (which happens to be my favorite game franchise of all time). With the progress I’m making and these goals I have in mind, do you think they would accept me in the event I choose to apply for the job? Thanks for your input in advance. 🙂

Hi Darren, I do not think it’s too late for you to start transitioning careers, there are plenty of examples of people chaining to the game industry as a second career. I have some specific advice on an episode of the podcast about how to transition to a new career in games, so check that out for sure. You also might like 10 proven ways to break into the game industry. I wish you luck!
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!
Compounding the physical and mental stresses that QA testers endure was the complete lack of job security. "During training, they told us it's not a matter of 'if' you'll be laid-off but 'when'," says Keith. "They flat-out tell you that what makes a good employee is the number of bugs you find and it is this number that will determine if you are kept on or not." This methodology, however, did not accurately take into account the quality of dedication that went into a project. "Here I was recreating and logging how to get stuck in the tail of a helicopter. I would have other testers comment on how much they liked my bugs, because I was one of those guys who would be able to reproduce those bugs that stumped everyone else, but when it came to the end of the project, the guy next to me had more bugs, so I was laid-off and he was not."
“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.”
i practically live and breathe video games. I can talk about them for hours. (ask my boyfriend.) when people tell me that they never got into video games it almost breaks my heart a little bit. but, I am going to college, and since I’d like to have my career based around video games whether it would be designing them, programming, or testing them, what kind of classes should I take? 3D animation? graphic design? does it all depend? I would love to make this into a career so I would like to be able to have some degrees and proper knowledge to make my resume more impressive, and eventually climb the ladder.
Reuben says that maintaining a healthy family life extremely difficult. "Once the overtime starts, the hours seem to be nearly endless...My longest period of straight overtime lasted just over seven months where my shortest work week was 65 hours and my longest was 92. This was stretched out over two projects that just bled straight into each other."
Equally important is a growth mindset. You should see every day as an opportunity to improve yourself. We’re not looking for the feedback averse. You need conviction, passion, and horsepower to excel at Riot. We’re not in the rockstar business—we want smart, collaborative, and creative team players. It’s always about players. If it needs to be about you, we’re not the right spot.
Of course, this is a little bit of a stretch, considering that the number of video game jobs actually on the market is very minimal. With the right determination and effort, however, getting your foot into the industry is possible. Like many careers involving constantly-evolving knowledge and technology, there are always new opportunities: Game developer opportunities are expected to increase by about 11% annually over the next few years and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates occupation growth of 6% from 2014 to 2024.
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