Play Video Games as a Career — Prove to Your Parents You’re not Wasting Time

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Sgt. Kalyntae Williams, top, and Sgt. Deveon Landfair, soldiers with the Army's Second Cavalry Regiment, play the final round of Street Fighter V, at the E-game tournament at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (MARTIN EGNASH/STARS AND STRIPES)
Sgt. Kalyntae Williams, top, and Sgt. Deveon Landfair, soldiers with the Army's Second Cavalry Regiment, play the final round of Street Fighter V, at the E-game tournament at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (MARTIN EGNASH/STARS AND STRIPES)

If you’re a video game enthusiast — meaning you spend most of your free time playing video games, or standing in line waiting for the latest video game system  — you might want to consider making a career out of your hobby.

Video gaming is one of the fastest growing industries today. And, companies are champing at the bit to hire qualified, knowledgeable employees. In fact, every year more than 500 games hit store shelves, and video game studios work over time to find skilled gamers to produce the next hit game.

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However, the video gaming industry is not all “fun and games.” A career in this field can be fast paced and high pressure.

“[For some companies] there’s a lot of burnout,” said Jason Della Rocca, a former executive director for a chapter of the International Game Developers Association in a Monster.com report.

But if you thrive in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, then this might be a good career for you. Take a look at these various positions to see which one is the best fit for your skills (originally published by the International Game Developers Association):

Audio - Average Salary: $94,412

The audio components of video games are quickly becoming just as important as the visual aspect. Composers, sound engineers/designers, and audio programmers stand to make an impact on the industry.

Search for audio programming jobs.

Design - Average Salary: $54,000

Designers are responsible for the playability and “Fun Factor” of the game. Designers write, diagram, and document the details of the game. A team of designers work together to create elements of the player experience.

Search for graphic designer jobs.

Production - Average Salary: $73,000

Production is one of the most difficult roles to describe, because there are many definitions of this position. A producer can lead and support the project simultaneously. It’s a challenging role, with big rewards.

Programming - Average Salary: $95,300

If you’re new to the video game industry, you’ll probably want to start out as a junior programmer. You first have to demonstrate your talent, ability to code and finish projects on time.

Search for computer programmer jobs.

Visual Arts - Average: $54,000

Along with the film industry, the gaming industry is one of the best places to expand your career as an artist. Traditional hand skills and digital know-how are required.

Search for jobs in visual arts.

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