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.
Do you find that extra hour, no matter your day, to squeeze in one more game? Do you lose yourself in interactive worlds? When you’re not playing games, are you strategizing ways to increase your win rate or solve that final puzzle? If yes, you’re a gamer. Whatever you play, if you make time to play, you’re a gamer. We believe that when you bring a passion for gaming, you’ll be able to empathize with player joy and player pain to help us make better, player-focused decisions.
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.

Online Game Tester charge a flat rate no matter how much you earn. Instead of charging 25-50% percentage of what you earn (like other companies do), we want to make a simple and cheap solution. The cost cover maintenance, creating the job database and partnerships with 2k, Rockstar etc, keeping our tools, software and content up-2-date, e-books worth over 49 USD, guides, video tutorials, life-time support and much more. We have tried to lower cost to a minimum.

QA testing is generally considered an entry-level position in the game industry, and most companies do not require a college degree to be hired as a game tester. But if you do get a degree, then you’ll have a much better chance of moving into higher-paying jobs in QA/testing, or even moving into other areas of game development like art, design or programming — game jobs that almost always pay a lot more than a job as a tester. So if you want to have a career in the game industry and not just a job then it’s smart to get an education.

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Hi Tim, if you’re getting an Associates in Software Development then that’s a good ground to start out on. Here’s my advice: Build a very small game project while you’re in school, to use as a portfolio piece when you start looking for jobs. Then once you graduate, you can apply to jobs in other cities – just be prepared to move to a new city if you get a job offer. I wish you luck!
Game testing can most definitely lead to other roles in the game industry.  A common complaint that I hear from candidates is that "I can't apply for this job because I haven't worked in the industry for x years" or "I can't get the experience because I can't get the job to start with".  Game testing is one of the few roles in the entire tech industry where you can get a chance without the years of experience behind you.  That being said, just because you are working as a game tester doesn't mean you're going to be a game designing in 5 years.  You need to continue learning new things and focus on skills and technologies that are relevant to the specific area in the industry you'd like to advance into.  Work on side projects with friends or co-workers that will allow you to continue learning new things, continue taking classes to keep your knowledge current.
Hi Roman – if you’re old enough to get a job, you have a lot of experience playing games, and you have a good work ethic? Then yes, you might have a good shot at getting a job as a game tester. You may not be able to get a job at the specific company right away, any testing job will help you get started. But it doesn’t hurt to try – why not apply for the job?
I know you’re just the author and may not have the exact answer I’m looking for,but I’m currently 16 and I play on PS4(mostly FPS,rpg,and anything in between),is there any other beta testing jobs available to me?Also the link where it allows your parents to apply a job application for their teen who is 16 and below doesn’t appear to work.Thanks in advance.
I read through many of these comments and noticed that many of the questions are from younger and eager future designers who hopefully have a fantastic career laid before them. However, I am 24 years of age and have struggled to find a way to break into the gaming industry in Arizona. I am fluent in a handful of coding languages with experience and will be concluding my Associates program for Software Development in in the next few months but none of that means much if there is no ground to find my footing on. The kicker is, I cannot leave this state without having a solid foundation laid out in another state, but I do not want that to stop me from gaining professional experience in the Game Dev industry.

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This can vary widely depending on the specific team/project you are working on. I've placed some testers into roles where they literally are pushing buttons for an entire day waiting for an error to occur, and other roles where a tester is sitting right beside the game developers testing a game in real time as game code is being written.  There are some companies that work extreme hours in order to finish projects on time but from what I've seen over the years this is not as common as it used to be.  There always will be crunch time where you can expect to work some OT, but extended periods of OT for months on end are not that common anymore.
Looking for a PC gamer to help me set up the ultimate gaming PC for my son. I own a medical software company but none of my developers are into gaming. I I want to customize the PC in a number of ways to make it fun and easy to use for my son. He is only 7 and this is his first gaming PC so I need some help installing games, creating shortcuts, installing the GTAV patch that removes violence, etc. I also want recommendation on good games for a kid his age. I also want assistance control some of the content on the computer to limit access to some content on Youtube and the web in general. I will provide you access to the PC via TeamViewer and you will be able to customize remotely.
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