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How much does a game programmer earn???


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#1 RSL   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 03 January 2007 - 12:34 PM

I just wanted to ask you people, how much does a game programmer exactly earn??? I mean, like just your average game programmer. Like how much do they get paid every: Hour Day Week Month Year And if they can work overtime for money, if they get paid a lot in relation to other jobs, and whether it's really enough to support yourself. I mean, I like to program games, but I won't choose it as a career, unless I can make some good money off of it. And, if game programming doesn't make you so much, then what other areas (college and university majors) of computer science can make you a lot of money??? Thanks, -RSL

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#2 jpbb   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Posted 03 January 2007 - 01:17 PM

Contractors tend to be paid hourly, otherwise usually monthly. Contracting usually pays more as well, though the difference varies.

Off the bat, a university graduate can probably expect to be paid £25,000 - £30,000 as a junior programmer. Apparently game programmers get paid less than other programmers. For example, the average wage for a senior programmer in the UK is £42,748, but for a senior games programmer it is £33,333.

Jobs in Consulting, DBA and Project Management are very high paying (£45,000 - £50,000).

Take a look at the follow website, it has average salaries of pretty much every IT job there is:

http://www.itjobswatch.co.uk

#3 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3730

Posted 03 January 2007 - 01:25 PM

They generally earn less than their non-game programming brethren. 80-95% of the equivalent title on normal salary surveys [salary.com] should give you a fair idea. Actual numbers are hard due to salary (and cost of living) disparity by location. And of course that is only in general, situations will vary.

As for the second question, I seem a little confused. What other areas of computer science? Take computer science. Go to the best school you can get into. You can focus on particulars after that is sorted out (usually in your spare time)

(No, not what you can afford... schooling loans are plentiful and what you spend will directly effect your lifetime income potential)

#4 KittyRa   Members   -  Reputation: 259

Posted 03 January 2007 - 01:33 PM

Here are the results of the 2006 IGDA game developer salary survey.

#5 nilkn   Members   -  Reputation: 960

Posted 03 January 2007 - 01:36 PM

Although slightly outdated, Gamasutra published an article on salaries in the game development industry.

#6 Ricin   Members   -  Reputation: 140

Posted 03 January 2007 - 01:51 PM

When I left the games industry a year ago my annual salary was $108,000 with a 20% annual bonus target.



#7 yaustar   Members   -  Reputation: 530

Posted 03 January 2007 - 04:21 PM

For Graduate Game programmers, I believe it can range from £18k - £22k on average in the UK.

#8 Jack9   Members   -  Reputation: 102

Posted 03 January 2007 - 05:03 PM

Blizzard WoW programmers make about 120-140k US / year, plus bonuses and have to work 60+ hours a week for it. Not a bad gig. According to employees I know, only one of the C++ programmers is married (Read: family).

#9 TheKreature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 501

Posted 03 January 2007 - 05:29 PM

I work in film as a research engineer. Before film I worked in eng research and simmulation in Australia. My starting salary was 70k a year in security research, also Australia. I'm degree qualified, not masters. In Australia I earnt circa 130 k a year (around 90k - 100k US). I earn roughly the same now with better benifits.

If you are looking for dollarpounds comming out your ears I would suggest you take up stock broking, politics (if you have 0 scruples) or economic / market research or failing that if you hate yourself become an actuary. Not games.

But at least you don't have to die before your art is worth anything :p.

#10 Dancin_Fool   Members   -  Reputation: 621

Posted 03 January 2007 - 05:35 PM

Wow I'd like to know where some of you guys are working lol.

my first game programming job I was making around 22k
second job was a bit bigger company and I was making 30k
now I'm working for a very large company and making 55k

#11 0BZEN   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2025

Posted 04 January 2007 - 11:14 PM

in the UK, you'll be lucky to make more than £2000 / month (£1600 after tax) as a junior programmer. But with pay reviews, it goes up quite quickly.

Programmers with a few years experience get around £2200 - £2800 after tax. That can go up to the £3.5K if you are lead and senior.

#12 JY   Members   -  Reputation: 289

Posted 05 January 2007 - 04:16 AM

I've been contracting for the last ten years earning anything between 25 and 55 GBP per hour. I don't get paid holidays or sick days but I have free time to work on other projects - swings and roundabouts. For example, in 2006 I probably earned around 100k with additional projects.

Unfortunately some companies pay less because they think it's a privilege to work in the gaming industry, but the right company will pay good money for people with good skills - instead of pigeon holing you as junior/senior whatever...



#13 yaustar   Members   -  Reputation: 530

Posted 06 January 2007 - 05:14 AM

Quote:
Original post by Dancin_Fool
Wow I'd like to know where some of you guys are working lol.

my first game programming job I was making around 22k
second job was a bit bigger company and I was making 30k
now I'm working for a very large company and making 55k


Don't forget that some people are quoting in pounds rather then dollars ;).

#14 VladR   Members   -  Reputation: 722

Posted 06 January 2007 - 05:26 AM

I`d like to ask somebody from UK - how much does one receive (after taxes) at his bank account each month with a salary of 35k ? About 2400 GBP ?

#15 BrianL   Members   -  Reputation: 530

Posted 06 January 2007 - 07:21 AM

Quote:
Blizzard WoW programmers make about 120-140k


All second hand info... Take it with a grain of salt - ex employees don't typically have glowing things to say about their employers. It may also have changed in the last year or so.

I am a bit surprised if that is common. I know a pair of ex Blizzard guys who left because they had higher offers elsewhere. Granted, they weren't on WoW, but they were paid well industry average at the time. Their feeling was that Blizzard felt like people should take a pay cut for the priviledge of working there.

#16 yaustar   Members   -  Reputation: 530

Posted 06 January 2007 - 08:39 AM

Quote:
Original post by VladR
I`d like to ask somebody from UK - how much does one receive (after taxes) at his bank account each month with a salary of 35k ? About 2400 GBP ?


Possibly less but that is about right.

#17 iNsAn1tY   Members   -  Reputation: 476

Posted 06 January 2007 - 09:00 AM

I'm starting on £22,000 in the summer, fingers crossed.

Generally, you get a fixed wage, so overtime isn't taken into consideration. I hear that working in IT for investment bankers and other large financial organisations pays very well.
My opinion is a recombination and regurgitation of the opinions of those around me. I bring nothing new to the table, and as such, can be safely ignored.[ Useful things - Firefox | GLee | Boost | DevIL ]

#18 Ricin   Members   -  Reputation: 140

Posted 06 January 2007 - 09:11 AM

Quote:
Original post by Dancin_Fool
Wow I'd like to know where some of you guys are working lol.

my first game programming job I was making around 22k
second job was a bit bigger company and I was making 30k
now I'm working for a very large company and making 55k


So, when I started at EA in 1999 I was making $70k, and when I left in 2003 I was making $92k. Took a job at Sony at $100k and left in 2005 at $108k. Now I work for a semiconductor company at $115k, and I'm expecting at least a 4% raise. Also FWIW, I don't have a college degree (although I do have some college, and many years of experience).

As for the comments about the programmers at Blizzard - and I do know at least three people that work or have worked on World of Warcraft as we worked together at EA - I can imagine that many (but not all, certainly) of the senior programming staff make about the amount that was quoted. They also live in a more expensive market, and these people would make around 15% to 20% more than what they would make in Austin. Also, every large team has junior/mid-range staff that I can guarantee you do not make $100k.

I don't buy that most of them (senior staff) do not have families. That would be extremely abnormal.




#19 SunTzu   Members   -  Reputation: 286

Posted 06 January 2007 - 12:43 PM

Quote:
Original post by yaustar
Quote:
Original post by VladR
I`d like to ask somebody from UK - how much does one receive (after taxes) at his bank account each month with a salary of 35k ? About 2400 GBP ?


Possibly less but that is about right.


My salary is approx 30K and I tend to get about 1600 each month, after tax.


#20 yaustar   Members   -  Reputation: 530

Posted 06 January 2007 - 04:04 PM

Quote:
Original post by SunTzuMy salary is approx 30K and I tend to get about 1600 each month, after tax.


Does the rate of tax go up that much when you earn more. I am currently on a lot less then 30k and get 1200 every month.




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