The Highest-Paying Game
Design Careers of 2021
The video game industry is experiencing its peak. From consoles to mobile devices, the demand for entertainment has reached high levels. According to Statista, the value of the United States video game market is $65.49 billion.
The growth of this industry means more employment and opportunities for game design professionals. If you want to start down a video game career path, take a look at the best game design careers in 2021.
What Is Game Design?
Game design is the visual aspect of game development. It is the creation and planning of a gaming platform for users. This process includes the collaboration of many experts to achieve the final result: a functional, innovative, and enjoyable video game. The field of game design includes many different types of jobs.
Why You Should Pursue a Career in Video Game Design
There are many reasons why you should become a game designer. Careers in this field can be demanding but highly rewarding. Game projects require creativity and discipline. The demand for employees in this field is significant, which means you can find a job quickly. Also, salaries can be higher than in other tech fields.
Another reason to choose game design jobs is that many companies allow you to work remotely. This means that you can work from anywhere in the world with Internet access. In addition, you can access free educational content and online courses if you want to upskill.
Top 10 Game Design Careers at a Glance
Before choosing a game design path, you should analyze the market in your location. In the list below, you will see career options, education requirements, job outlook, and average salaries for each position.
The information in this table is sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, PayScale, and Zip Recruiter. The percentages listed for projected job growth are based on BLS data exclusively, and pertain to the period between 2019 and 2029.
|Job Title||Education Requirement||Projected Job Growth||Median Pay|
|Software Developer||Bachelor’s Degree||22%*||$110,140|
|Game Developer||Bachelor’s Degree||22%*||$101,644|
|Multimedia Programmer||Bachelor’s Degree||-9%||$89,190|
|UX/UI Designer||Bachelor’s Degree||8%||$77,200|
|Application Developer||Bachelor’s Degree||22%*||$70,318|
|Video Game Designer||Bachelor’s Degree||22%*||$66,461|
|Graphic Designer||Bachelor’s Degree||-4%||$53,380|
|Concept Artist||Bachelor’s Degree||4%**||$51,261|
|Audio Engineer||Associate Degree||9%||$47,420|
*Sourced from BLS data on Software Developers and related careers
**Sourced from BLS data on Special Effects Artists and Animators and related careers
The Best Game Design Careers in 2021
Read below to learn more about the best game design careers in 2021. Our data includes the best education tracks, resources, certifications, and more.
Software development is an important part of creating video games. This is one of the most critical and highest-paying positions in the tech industry. These professionals can work in the video game industry. Unlike game developers, these specialists often build their own gaming platforms and code games from scratch.
Software Developer Responsibilities
- Develops software for game developers
- Monitors the development process
- Corrects errors in the video game interface
- Manages and corrects bug reports or recommendations
A game developer is a software engineer who specializes in creating video games. These workers turn the ideas of concept artists, animators, and directors into reality. As a game developer, you can create online games, systems for consoles, or mobile apps. This work includes programming skills to create digital systems for running games.
Game Developer Responsibilities
- Attends meetings with concept artists, animators, and directors
- Codes the game itself
- Monitors the development of the game with video game testers
- Improves and updates the game functions
A multimedia programmer is a software engineer who works to create interactive systems in a video game. These people are in charge of directing the connection and integration aspects of functions for playing video games. As a multimedia programmer, you must know tools like HTML, Java, Ruby on Rails, and PHP.
Multimedia Programmer Responsibilities
- Leads game development teams
- Programs and integrates all game functions on the platform
- Attends meetings with creative directors, concept artists, and screenwriters
- Supervises the work of the game developers
An animator can work on movies and video games. This position is essential in the gaming market because character design and world-building are the aspects that gamers see the most. If you become an animator, you will have to use graphic skills and 3D and 2D programs to create characters and environments according to the game’s story.
- Participates in meetings with the game development team to define the characteristics of the characters and environments
- Creates characters and environments with animation tools
- Sends proposals to the art department
- Checks and corrects errors in the animation
A UX/UI designer is a web designer who creates user-friendly systems. UX, also known as user experience, evaluates customer behavior to offer platforms and functions according to their needs. On the other hand, UI, also known as user interface, works with the software and digital functions of a game. Both of these aspects are vital to game design.
UX/UI Designer Responsibilities
- Studies the behavior of the players to offer services appropriate to their needs
- Supervises the game development process
- Presents design and function proposals to company executives
- Tests video games to evaluate UX/UI elements
An app developer is a specialist in creating software and programs for smartphones and tablets. In the video game industry, application developers work as game developers. The only difference is that they create games for mobile devices. This can include both tablets and smartphones.
Application Developer Responsibilities
- Creates app games for mobile devices
- Works with the art and design team to advance the project
- Updates and repairs the gaming platform
- Manages and uses user feedback to optimize the platform software
Video Game Designer
A video game designer is a perfect job if you’re interested in learning how video games are visually created and developed. This position combines art and animation with storytelling. Video game designers work with many other developers and concept builders to help create a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing game.
Video Game Designer Responsibilities
- Stays up to date with industry trends
- Works with others in the industry to plan games
- Creates visual elements for a game
- Conceptualizes a game based on the story and industry trends
A graphic designer is responsible for making images, advertising campaigns, designs, and commercial illustrations for a game or company. In addition, professionals in this field can collaborate with animators and artists. To become a graphic designer, you must have experience with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, ProofHub, and other design software.
Graphic Designer Responsibilities
- Creates ad campaign designs for the game
- Designs covers and previews of the game
- Participates in meetings with the game design and development team
- Presents creative ideas for managers and discusses the impact of campaigns
A concept artist is an expert in drawing and creating characters and environments for a game. This career is in high demand thanks to the increase in audiovisual productions. The directors of the video game company make proposals for new projects, and the concept artists are responsible for turning ideas into illustrations.
Concept Artist Responsibilities
- Makes sketches of characters, costumes, landscapes, and props
- Collaborates with programmers and animators to turn drawings into animated characters
- Attends trips and galleries to find inspiration
- Participates in meetings with directors and members of the art department to discuss new projects
An audio engineer, also called an audio technician or sound engineer, is a specialist in sound systems in video game development. In the game industry, these experts work to create and coordinate sound effects. You can get an associate degree to learn the necessary tools to become an audio engineer.
Audio Engineer Responsibilities
- Adapts soundtrack to video games
- Coordinates game commands and effects with audio
- Records sound effects for a video game
- Attends meetings with the art and music department to define the sound functions on the platform
What Education Is Required for a Career in Game Design?
Most positions require a bachelor’s degree as a standard requirement for game design. This is important because you need to know many different tools to be able to design games. You should also be familiar with trends in the industry.
You will need a different type of degree depending on your job. An associate degree can also help you earn a position in the video game industry. Sound technicians can attend community colleges to receive professional training. Some companies also admit freelancers for openings such as concept art or game testing.
Can I Study Game Design Online?
Yes, you can study game design online. One of the advantages of the digital age is that you can access high-quality education from your home, especially for jobs in tech. With modern higher education alternatives such as online colleges, you can receive a bachelor’s or master’s degree studying from anywhere in the world.
Personality Traits Necessary for a Game Design Career
One of the leading personal characteristics in this industry is creativity. The most creative and innovative minds know how to create new and exciting games for any gamer. You must also be patient and responsible. The working hours in these careers can be long and grueling, especially when there are deadlines.
Is a Game Design Job Good for Me?
Yes, a game design job is good for you. All careers in the video game industry have positive prospects for the next few years. As a student, you can access hundreds of educational tools and resources to become a professional in no time.
Thanks to the job opportunities, salaries, and benefits available in this industry, 2021 is an ideal year to start a game design career.