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  • The Game Industry Salary Survey 2007

    - Jill Duffy

  • Quality Assurance, Testers
    Average salary for three or fewer years experience: $26,410
    Average salary across all experience levels: $37,861

    There's a myth that starting out in the game industry as a tester is equivalent to starting in the mailroom of a major corporation circa 1950: It's only a matter of getting one foot in the door before the gates to bigger and better things open wide.

    When it comes to getting paid, game testers don't get no love. They are the runts of the industry, and everyone-including the people who determine their salaries-knows it. It's no surprise that the Q/A department pulls in the lowest average salary, has the lowest chance of receiving additional income (like a bonus), is the least likely to have a graduate degree, and is the least likely to earn benefits [though on that last note, a good chunk of them (72%) in fact do].

    The beauty of Q/A, of course, is that one needs zero formal experience to get a job. As long as you can show you know a thing or two about video games, are capable of breaking them, and can intelligently articulate what broke and when, you're hirable. It seems the difficult part is figuring out exactly how to rise above the daily duties of repetitively collision-testing while sitting in a super-air conditioned dungeon, all the while scheming about how the rent is going to get paid.


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