Average Salary
$88,861
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
28,316
Job Openings

Game Designer Careers

Game designers work with a team of programmers, designers, artists, and management to oversee the complex task of creating a video game. They design, develop and implement game features as well as complete accurate documentation for all assigned features. They assist in managing budgets, work schedules, and project timelines. Also, they help with the constant review of the game's progress to adjust the implementation of assigned features. Additionally, they are responsible for writing the game codes and testing the early versions.

As a game designer, you'd be required to have a bachelor's degree in game design or a related field with a minimum of three years of experience working in a design capacity. Essential skills include communication, creativity, presentation, collaboration, project management, interpersonal, and analytical skills. You must also be familiar with computer systems and programming languages. Game designers make an average salary of $72,833 annually. Their salary varies between $48,000 and $112,000.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a game designer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $42.72 an hour? That's $88,861 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 3% and produce 8,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Game Designer Do

There are certain skills that many game designers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed detail oriented, problem-solving skills and analytical skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a game designer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 16.7% of game designers included game engine, while 11.4% of resumes included unity, and 6.2% of resumes included c++. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the game designer job title. But what industry to start with? Most game designers actually find jobs in the technology and hospitality industries.

How To Become a Game Designer

If you're interested in becoming a game designer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 74.2% of game designers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 10.7% of game designers have master's degrees. Even though most game designers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a game designer. When we researched the most common majors for a game designer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on game designer resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a game designer. In fact, many game designer jobs require experience in a role such as level designer. Meanwhile, many game designers also have previous career experience in roles such as design internship or internship.

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Average Salary
$88,861
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
28,316
Job Openings

Game Designer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Game Designer

Top Careers After Game Designer

Game Designer Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for a Game Designer

Game Designers in America make an average salary of $88,861 per year or $43 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $125,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $63,000 per year.
Average Salary
$88,861
Find Your Salary Estimate
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Best Paying Cities For Game Designers

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range78k - 126k$100k$99,743
Seattle, WA
Salary Range78k - 124k$99k$99,179
Reno, NV
Salary Range67k - 108k$86k$85,557
New Orleans, LA
Salary Range67k - 106k$85k$84,518
New York, NY
Salary Range65k - 105k$83k$83,494
Salt Lake City, UT
Salary Range64k - 104k$82k$81,897
Denver, CO
Salary Range64k - 102k$81k$81,413
Urban Honolulu, HI
Salary Range64k - 102k$81k$81,360
Pittsburgh, PA
Salary Range61k - 98k$78k$77,904
Naperville, IL
Salary Range62k - 97k$78k$77,643
Washington, DC
Salary Range60k - 96k$76k$76,377
Austin, TX
Salary Range60k - 94k$76k$76,046
Duluth, GA
Salary Range59k - 94k$75k$74,984
Coral Springs, FL
Salary Range55k - 92k$72k$71,529
$55k
$126k

Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Game Designer
Randstad
07/01/2021
$85,00007/01/2021
Augmented Reality Game Designer
Immersivetouch, Inc.
03/22/2021
$75,00003/22/2021
Game Designer
Naughty Dog a Limited Liability Company
03/11/2021
$110,00003/11/2021
Game Designer
Electronic Arts, Inc.
03/09/2021
$85,00003/09/2021
Game Designer
Skillz Inc.
03/08/2021
$150,00003/08/2021
See More Recent Salaries

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Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Game Designer Demographics

Gender

male

78.6 %

female

12.2 %

unknown

9.3 %

Ethnicity

White

72.3 %

Asian

11.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

27.4 %

Japanese

11.3 %

Chinese

9.7 %
Show More Game Designer Demographics

Game Designer Education

Majors

Degrees

Bachelors

74.2 %

Masters

10.7 %

Associate

10.6 %

Top Colleges for Game Designers

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

5. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

6. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

7. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

8. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

9. University of Chicago

Chicago, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$58,230
Enrollment
6,600

10. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568
Show More Game Designer Education Requirements

Online Courses For Game Designer That You May Like

Unreal Engine: Intro to Game Design
udemy
4.7
(637)

Like "Fortnite?" Master the tools used to build it as we build a simple shooting gallery game using Unreal Engine 4!...

Become a Game Designer the Complete Series Coding to Design
udemy
4.1
(7,163)

Master Unity, 3D game design, 2D game design, coding, C#, game development, 3D animation, programming, level design...

Game Writing: Storytelling through Video Game Design
udemy
4.5
(647)

Write and design your own games; develop ideas, character and plot to create a compelling storyworld. (Made with Unity)...

See more
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Game Designer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 16.7% of game designers listed game engine on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and problem-solving skills are important as well.

Best States For a Game Designer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a game designer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Alaska, California, and Oregon. Game designers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $97,986. Whereas in Alaska and California, they would average $96,485 and $92,029, respectively. While game designers would only make an average of $90,294 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Game Designer Jobs:
686
Highest 10% Earn:
$151,000
Location Quotient:
1.7
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Oregon

Total Game Designer Jobs:
383
Highest 10% Earn:
$140,000
Location Quotient:
1.67
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total Game Designer Jobs:
2,600
Highest 10% Earn:
$144,000
Location Quotient:
1.61
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Game Designers

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Top Game Designer Employers

1. Riot Games
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$80,416
Game Designers Hired: 
33+
2. Electronic Arts
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$101,068
Game Designers Hired: 
33+
3. Activision Blizzard
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$75,486
Game Designers Hired: 
24+
4. Zynga
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$100,051
Game Designers Hired: 
22+
5. Aristocrat Technologies
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$68,563
Game Designers Hired: 
17+
6. Microsoft
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$133,221
Game Designers Hired: 
17+

Game Designer Videos

Updated August 18, 2021