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Lead Game Designer Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a lead game designer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $48.58 an hour? That's $101,038 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 Lead Game Designer Do

There are certain skills that many lead 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 computer skills, time-management skills and analytical skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a lead game designer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 18.4% of lead game designers included game engine, while 8.7% of resumes included unity, and 7.1% of resumes included ip. 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 lead game designer job title. But what industry to start with? Most lead game designers actually find jobs in the technology and hospitality industries.

How To Become a Lead Game Designer

If you're interested in becoming a lead game designer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 62.7% of lead game designers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 8.7% of lead game designers have master's degrees. Even though most lead 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 lead game designer. When we researched the most common majors for a lead game designer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on lead game designer resumes include master's degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

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

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Average Salary
$101,038
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
25,783
Job Openings

Lead Game Designer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Lead Game Designer

Cashier
9.5 %

Top Careers After Lead Game Designer

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Lead Game Designer

Lead Game Designers in America make an average salary of $101,038 per year or $49 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $144,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $70,000 per year.
Average Salary
$101,038

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range90k - 151k$117k$117,012
Redmond, WA
Salary Range85k - 139k$109k$109,101
New York, NY
Salary Range70k - 117k$91k$91,234
Las Vegas, NV
Salary Range68k - 115k$89k$88,906
Austin, TX
Salary Range64k - 106k$83k$82,955
$64k
$151k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Lead Game Designer
Lead Game Designer
Penn National Gaming
Penn National Gaming
10/30/2019
10/30/2019
$49,99910/30/2019
$49,999
Lead Game Designer
Lead Game Designer
Scopely, Inc.
Scopely, Inc.
10/03/2018
10/03/2018
$115,00010/03/2018
$115,000
Lead Game Designer
Lead Game Designer
Pocket Gems, Inc.
Pocket Gems, Inc.
03/16/2018
03/16/2018
$133,14103/16/2018
$133,141
Lead Game Designer
Lead Game Designer
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
02/07/2018
02/07/2018
$134,20502/07/2018
$134,205
Game Designer (Lead Multiplayer Designer)
Game Designer (Lead Multiplayer Designer)
Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft Corporation
06/12/2016
06/12/2016
$133,27206/12/2016
$133,272
See More Recent Salaries

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Lead Game Designer Demographics

Gender

male

66.1 %

female

28.5 %

unknown

5.3 %

Ethnicity

White

72.3 %

Asian

11.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.2 %

French

9.7 %

Italian

9.7 %
See More Demographics

Lead Game Designer Education

Majors

Degrees

Bachelors

63.7 %

Certificate

14.1 %

Associate

8.7 %

Top Colleges for Lead Game Designers

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

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

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

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

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

5. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

6. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

7. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

8. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,530
Enrollment
4,571

9. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

10. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582
See More Education Info
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Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Lead 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, 18.4% of lead game designers listed game engine on their resume, but soft skills such as computer skills and time-management skills are important as well.

Best States For a Lead Game Designer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a lead game designer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, California, Alaska, and Oregon. Lead game designers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $107,995. Whereas in California and Alaska, they would average $107,401 and $104,187, respectively. While lead game designers would only make an average of $100,007 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. Alaska

Total Lead Game Designer Jobs:
123
Highest 10% Earn:
$154,000
Location Quotient:
2.32
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. Washington

Total Lead Game Designer Jobs:
688
Highest 10% Earn:
$171,000
Location Quotient:
1.48
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. Idaho

Total Lead Game Designer Jobs:
278
Highest 10% Earn:
$153,000
Location Quotient:
2.67
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
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Top Lead Game Designer Employers

1. Six Flags
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$44,431
Lead Game Designers Hired: 
52+
2. Microsoft
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$137,417
Lead Game Designers Hired: 
8+
3. Activision Blizzard
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$93,949
Lead Game Designers Hired: 
6+
4. Best Buy
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$109,307
Lead Game Designers Hired: 
6+
5. Barnes & Noble
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$84,352
Lead Game Designers Hired: 
4+
6. Awana
3.5
Avg. Salary: 
$56,646
Lead Game Designers Hired: 
4+
Updated October 2, 2020