Posted in Career Insights
how much do game designers make

If you’re an avid video gamer, you might wonder, how much do game designers make? reports that, on average, a video game designer’s salary is around $90,000 per year.

Not all video game designer jobs are the same, so the salary will be different depending on the job and various other factors.

Below are some factors to consider when thinking about a career as a video game designer and the salary you will make.


One of the biggest video game designer salary factors is where you live. Salaries widely vary based on your location and the cost of living in your area.

For example, the cost of living in Nebraska is relatively low, so according to, video game designers living in the state can expect to earn about $47,000.

Comparatively, the cost of living in California or New York is much higher. reports that, on average, video game designers in those states earn between $90,000 and $100,000


A video game designer’s salary can be different depending on the industry in which they work.

For instance, video game designers making popular games can earn a higher video game designer salary because the product will bring in more money once the game is released.  

Studies show that more than 65% of American households have at least one video gamer. Subsequently, if you get a job with one of the big video game creators, you will be part of a massive industry that can pay you a higher salary.

Also, video game designers working at large game studios can earn more money compared to video game designers at independent game studios. 

Finally, the platform the games are released on can have a significant impact on earning potential as well.

Years of Experience

When wondering how much do video game designers make a year, you have to think about the number of years of experience the video game designer has.

The longer you work as a video game designer, the more hands-on experience you will gain and the higher salary you will earn for your dedicated work.

The longer you work as a video game designer, the more hands-on experience you will have.

As you gain more experience in the industry, you will have more to offer game studios, earning you a higher video game designer salary. Skills in drawing, computer programming, 3D modeling, or animation will all increase your earnings.

The top video game designer’s salary is close to $135,000, according to These earners are highly experienced and have worked in video game design for a long time.

As a new video game designer, you should expect to earn a much more modest salary. On average, entry-level video game designers earn somewhere in the $40,000 to $50,000 range.

Also, if you work for a long time at a prestigious company, you can leverage that experience to earn a higher salary at other game design studios.


When it comes to a video game designer’s salary, having an education in video game design will allow you to earn a higher salary.

You can learn programming, animation, graphics, 3D modeling, and more. These are all skills a video game designer needs to be successful. There are also shorter certification programs that teach you the skills you need for a career as a video game designer.

Salaries for video game designers are dependent on an applicant’s education. More than 60% of video game designers hold a Bachelor’s degree, and those video game designers likely started with a higher salary than one with an Associate’s degree or certificate.

However, if you work hard, you can work your way up in whatever company you work for, even if you start with less education than other video game designers.

Having a solid foundation of knowledge about video game design is a great way to start your career and to eventually earn a higher salary.

Responsibilities and Success

Finally, although it might seem obvious, the better you are at your job as a video game designer, the more likely you are to be eligible for a salary raise. How much do video game designers make? It depends on how good they are at their job.

A talented video game designer that is dedicated to their projects stands to earn more than the employee who does the bare minimum.

If you want to fast-track your career to maximize your earning potential, take on more responsibilities around the office. Further, perform those responsibilities well.

A well-respected video game designer will earn promotions faster. Even if you start out as an entry-level designer, once you start being promoted, estimates that your salary will quickly jump up to the $64,000 to $90,000 range.

Interested in a Career as a Video Game Designer?

Of course, salaries for video game designers aren’t everything. If you are passionate about video game design, you should learn more about the profession and the industry.

Check out Stratford Career Institute’s video game designer course to learn more about a career in video game design today. It will teach you everything you need to know about a career in video game design, including:

  • Starting your video game career,
  • Writing your resume and building your portfolio,
  • Interviewing for jobs and career networking,
  • Evolution of video games,
  • History of video games,
  • Video game design principles and practices,
  • World building and player motion,
  • Field of play an objectives of play,
  • First order optimal strategies,
  • Player motivation, pacing, arc, scene, and action,
  • Preparation, prototyping, and testing,
  • Character design, level design, and mood boards,
  • Using publishers or going independent.

Enroll in StratfoEnroll in Stratford Career Institute’s video game design class today to learn more about a career in game design.

This educational program is an introductory course designed to help students gain the knowledge necessary for the vocational application of this subject. Completion of this program does not fulfill the legal requirements of particular state licenses or certifications, which may require additional training or apprenticeships.


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Become a Video Game Designer

Become a Video Game Designer

Stratford Career Institute offers a convenient and affordable online course to teach you the ins and outs of a video game design career.