We are seeking the industry’s best to help us create, publish and support multiple AAA PC games being developed. Join us, and you’ll have the power of Twitch, AWS, and the entire Amazon ecosystem to shape the future of games. You will work alongside talented industry veterans, including key contributors from dozens of titles: League of Legends, Half Life 2, Left for Dead, Portal, Thief, System Shock 2, Age of Empires, Dawn Of War II, Halo, The Last of Us, Gears of War, The Sims, and Bioshock.
As more technology becomes available to video game developers, the consumer market will expand to offer a wider range of products, thus creating jobs for all you hardcore gamers out there. After all, VR is only just getting started and there’s already over 1,100 VR supported games on Steam! Here’s a list of five video game jobs gamers might find interesting:
hi im very curious about becomeing a Video Game tester and I’ve been playing video games since I was a child and really want to get into this industry. I live in Canada but I don’t know what area’s around here might employ me so i really wanna know just how i can become a Game tester in Canada and im in to Role playing Games like Dark Soul’s and Skyrim games like that so is there any advice you can offer me
Hi Robert. It’s cool to see that you have so much passion for games! If you want to pursue a career making games, you need to figure out how to turn that passion into a skill set that you can use. I actually do think that getting a job as a tester could be a good place for you to start, because you could use your attention and focus to make money while you learn about the process of making games. Then after a while, you may start to see which other roles might be good for you to get into, for example you might make a good game producer.

I’ve been playing games for the majority of my life. Even so much that it interfered with my classes to the point of me just getting a G.E.D. Needless to say I dont have much schooling but I tend to look for bugs in games almost everyday. Recently I began editing and modding games using C+ programming and have a bit of experience with it. Would it still be possible for me to be a tester or would I need to go back to school.
A video game company doesn't function like your typical workplace. Rather than working regular office hours throughout the year, the company goes into "crunch mode" as a game's release date approaches. Because release dates are inflexible – the company has to get the game out by Christmas, the television ad time has been purchased months in advance, and so on – if there's more work that needs to be done, everyone just has to work harder. Any video game tester can tell you that crunch time means long, long days, running on an intoxicating blend of caffeine, junk food and sleep deprivation.
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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.
Hi, there, my name is Robert. I’m a gamer that loves JRPGs, and would love to be in this business, but I feel you need to know rocket-science do be in this industry. Am I wrong? I also have no college degree. Is a game tester the best way to start, or trying to a make phone game, if I want to be a game designer? Or should I go to a college? I’m lost.
Hi Dalton, some testing jobs are fine and others might require a lot of overtime. It just depends on the company you’re at, some companies are well-run and some aren’t. And some are well-run, but sometimes external factors cause problems with the game’s shipping schedule and overtime might be required. I’d recommend doing some research on any company before you take a job offer to find out whether their employees seem to be happy or not.
Hello, sir. I am a young student going into his first year of college next fall. Although I am majoring in Mechanical Engineering (its a well paying job source), I have alot of interest in video game design. I am a bit inexperienced with terms, but I would eventually like to pursue a field of design in which I could help create worlds and sandboxes for games. Whether it be the single player cinematics of worlds like Skyrim or the Multiplayer arenas of Halo. In high school I took many classes in AutoCAD, Architecture and Technical. Using programs to 3D model objects and areas was a thrill! Game tools like Halo’s “Forge”mode really have me Iinterested In map designing for video games one day. Your article addresses becoming a videogame tester as an entry level position. What advice could you lend to me for a goal that I cannot even properly name yet? Also, most of those big cities are not in the Michigan area, so I worry for my chances of getting a job anytime soon…. anyways, thank you for your article. It was a good read and very imformational.
Hey. I’ve been gaming most of my life and am meeting my ends as a teenager. im 17 almost 18 and am a senior in high school. For my English 4 class im required to ask a few questions that hopefully you can answer? I Love most games, and I always replay levels on games over and over, simply to see if I can do weird things anyways, so I thought maybe starting as a beta tester and working towards a game designer would be really nice. Id rather work from home though, as im limited on transport. any suggestions?
Jeez, some of the kids commenting here really can't type well. Either that or they're not good at English. You know it isn't all just fun and games you have to have some English skills because you have to write well detailed reports. You aren't just playing the game you have to analyze it and see where the bugs are or where are the rough patches and then report them to the company. I don't think that this kind of job is for 11 or 13 year olds. I think maybe you should explain that in your article above. This is coming from a 17 year old who has tested and now I make small games with a group of friends. (we're just learning the programs right now). Learning to program is a pain in the butt, but I think rather than small kids looking for jobs in video game testing, I think they should be encouraged to learn more about the games they love. You guys are to young. It bothers me just how many of you believe it is just getting paid to play when it isn't. Well those are just my two cents.
Nearly any game studio needs testers, and some of the big companies like Nintendo, EA, and Microsoft employ hundreds of game testers either directly or through temp agencies. Like any job, you can start by searching for job postings near your city using the video game job search tool. You can also search on popular tech-industry job sites like Monster.com, or on job aggregator sites like Indeed.com.
Today's teens—13 to 17-year-olds (Gen Z)—make up 27% of all gamers. One generation ahead of them are millennials (18 to 34-year-olds) who represent 29% of all gamers ("How Different Generations Play Video Games, From Platforms To Genres"). If you are a member of either of these generations, you may have thought, or even dreamt of, a career in the video game industry. Fortunately, there are many options from which to choose, both on the technical and business sides of this industry, that will take advantage of your passion for gaming.
Hi Jackie, it’s interesting that you mention an interest in translation. Do you mean that you’re bilingual or multilingual? If so, you should investigate jobs as at companies that do “localization testing” because they employ translators and also testers. One company I’ve worked with before is Babel Media, so that could be a good place to start your search.
Hello , Im a 15 year old teen that would like to get into the game testing industry. I have good teamwork and also leadership communication skills. The consoles that I have are an Ipod 4th gen. Xbox 360, and an apple computer. I play about 9 hours a day on the weekdays and 19 on weekends. Though I would prefer an at home job cause I am currently in highschool. I would really like some feedback or maybe some job opportunities thanks also I am very good at locating glitches and will provide a very detailed report on every one I find. Please email me at jcastorillo@gmail.com .
I recently got to “play test” a game for the first time. It was at an anime convention and they had a demo for it up and running. I found the game itself kind of slow and a little boring but when I clicked on the trees they would either disappear or, if they were dead, flicker back to life. I thought it was so cool that I immediately started looking for more bugs that the creator had missed, he was right at the table so it was easy to show it to him. I’m trying to choose a career with something I love and wanted to know more about this as an option. I’m interested in play testing but also in translation and programming. Those are all very different fields and I’m wondering what to expect from each one when it comes to jobs and requirements. If you could give me any insight it would be helpful.
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.
You’ve heard of Blizzard Entertainment, right? They are the incredibly successful company behind games like “World of Warcraft,” “Heroes of the Storm,” “Overwatch,” and “Starcraft”. Blizzard Entertainment has so many ISTQB certified software testers that they are an ISTQB Platinum Partner through ASTQB, the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (this site). This demonstrates Blizzard Entertainment’s commitment to ISTQB software testing certification for their software quality. Think about that.
Maybe I am barking up the wrong tree, but I’ve reached a point in my life where I am grateful for any kind of advise. For the last three years, I have been attending college for a degree I didn’t even want. Long story short, parental figure says there is no demand for game designers/programmers, go into oil! In those three years I have accomplished only 2 years worth of credit in degree, a seething hatred for the Midwest, diagnosis in major depression disorder, a large debt for an unfinished degree and medical expenses, and academic probation for dropping below a 2.0. I have always been a very good student and earned mostly “A”s and “B”s, however over the last year, things have been going downhill in a spiral. I don’t want to explain everything but the end results. I am now taking a break from education to reevaluate my options while I try to find work to pay my hospital bills. My medical condition doesn’t allow me to work very laborious jobs, so finding an appropriate job in the small town that I live in has become nearly impossible. Upon searching for at-home work, which I suspected would be a dead end, I have stumbled upon this article of yours. I have aspired to be in the video game industry for years. I have done my own designing and free-time self teaching for years. I have written dialogue scripts, screenplays (mostly for animations, theatre classes, and my own amusement), and tried my hand out on 3D modeling, and rigging, and animation. I have even worked on table top mechanics for my own board game designs. These things are just what I can think of on the top of my head right now. My point is, I really enjoy nearly all aspects I have tinkered with regarding the topic. I play a fair amount of games as well. From card games to tabletop to video game. I have all these unfinished projects floating around my head, all these ideas I feel could be great. I used to have no free time to myself, and the free time I did find was usually spent lounging on my couch with a controller in my hand ignoring the increasing load of homework I didn’t know how to complete because rent required me to work that day instead of attend class. Now, after doctor visits and therapy sessions, I find myself with all free time and no idea what to do next. I have no health insurance, no job, and no degree. The time I spent working hard for a degree I didn’t want seems to be for nothing. I know I want to get into the game industry, one way or another, and I’ll be damned if I let someone else try to run my life again. So this is what I am asking. What can a debt riddled, determined, small town of Kenai, Alaska resident woman do to get into the game industry?
I asked one of my friends who has run several QA groups over the years, and he’s heard good things about uTest. They provide a “crowdsourced” testing service, and he thinks that many of their QA employees work from home. But in general, if you want solid, full-time employment as a game tester, you won’t be able to work from home because nearly all game companies do not hire work-from-home testers. In fact, please be careful, because there are several scam websites that you need to watch out for. Learn more in my podcast about work from home testing scams. If it seems too good to be true… it is.
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.
Testers can be paid hourly or they can be on an annual salary. Either way, the pay rate can vary a lot — it’s based on factors such as which game company you’re working for, what geographical location the studio is located within, and how many years of experience you have as a game tester or a game testing lead. Read more about the specific salary numbers per job and years of experience in my article about video game tester salary. I update it with the latest pay figures every year.
The overall job outlook for Video Game Designer careers has been negative since 2004. Vacancies for this career have decreased by 32.33 percent nationwide in that time, with an average decline of 5.39 percent per year. Demand for Video Game Designers is expected to go up, with an expected 7,940 new jobs filled by 2018. This represents an annual increase of 11.59 percent over the next few years.
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.
Over 40% of homes in the United States own video game consoles. Games like Super Mario Brothers, Halo, Wii Fit, Final Fantasy, Metroid, SSX, Grand Theft Auto, Shrek Forever After, and 1000s of others are being played for enjoyment and competition across the country. It takes a long time for these games to be designed, created, and debugged. No video game would ever make it to the store’s shelf it wasn’t for a video game tester.
Sales/Game Advisors — Sales associates earn starting pay around $8.00 per hour. Also called game advisors, employees provide customers with information on games and products. Other tasks include greeting patrons, completing sales, and keeping stores clean and organized. Read the GameStop game advisor job description to learn about entry-level employment opportunities with the retail chain.
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