3 Hottest Art & Design Jobs in the Video Game Industry
Filed under: Gaming & Technology
September 18, 2017
Jobs in the video game industry require passion, commitment, professional training, and hard work. They’re not for the faint of heart. But for those willing to put in the time and effort, the reward is the opportunity to contribute to games that offer endless hours of entertainment to vast numbers of people. In fact, gaming is so popular that, in 2016, games generated over $91 billion around the world and employees in the industry earned an average compensation of $97,000. With any of the following three jobs in the video game industry, you’ll get a chance to put your creative mind to work and play.
1. Game Designer
The role of a video game designer is to develop innovative game concepts and assemble and lead teams—artists, writers, developers, audio engineers, game testers, and more—in making the game idea a reality. The game designer is the driving force behind all of the core elements in the game, including the story flow, characters, settings, and game play rules.
In 2017, CNN Money listed Video Game Designer as #33 on their list of 100 best jobs, ranked based on growth, pay, and job satisfaction. CNN Money also reported a median salary of $81,600, top pay at $147,000, and an anticipated 10-year job growth of 13%.
2. Game Artist
A game artist is another of the most popular jobs in the video game industry. During pre-production, game artists start by designing concept art and storyboards based on the game designer’s vision. Once those initial sketches have been approved, they are refined and fleshed out into vivid, detailed scenery, characters, objects, surface textures, and other assets to be used in the game.
Artists often specialize in particular parts of the video game, such as character art, 3D object modeling, texture, environments. Depending on the game, some drawings will need to be lifelike, while others may be more stylized. Sometimes, these same artists may also create designs for promotional materials, websites, or even packaging. According to the BLS, multimedia artists and animators earn a median annual wage of $65,300.
Animators use industry standard software and specialized techniques to create the movement and character behavior within the game. While animators most typically focus on characters, animations may also be needed for game objects and environments. In both cases, the animator’s goal is to create believable, seamless animations that immerse players inside the game. This may involve storyboarding as well as researching any unusual animals or characters inside the game to determine the manner in which they should move. Rigging and skinning characters are also commonly key part of an animator’s job. The BLS places Game Animators in the same category as Game Designers, thus also reporting their median annual wage at $65,300.
How to Prepare for Jobs in the Video Game Industry
At The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, our Game Art & Design degree and certificate programs can prepare you for a career where you can feed your passion for gaming—and turn the skills you've honed into exciting jobs in the video game industry where you’re doing what you love. Explore our programs today.
The Art Institutes does not guarantee employment or any particular level of compensation following graduation.