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  • The Game Industry Salary Survey 2007

    - Jill Duffy

    Average salary for three or fewer years experience: $65,833 or $57,913 (see explanation in text)
    Average salary Across all experience levels: $80,886

    Let's be real. Programming is where the money's at. Unless your sights are set on becoming an executive of a game company, the most financially rewarding position within game development (not to mention the job that typically employs the greatest number of people) is that of a programmer. The average salary for a game programmer across all levels of experience has been more than $80,000 for two years in a row.

    Across all job titles (such as lead programmer, technical director, and so forth) the average salary for an entry-level programmer is almost $66,000. However, when we considered only the entry-level people holding the specific titles "programmer" or "engineer," the average salary dropped to just $57,913 -- which still isn't a bad paycheck to rake in your first year out of college.

    Speaking of college, we found that programmers, alongside businesspeople, were the most likely group to hold a master's degree (18%), though the degree didn't necessarily correlate to an increase in base salary. When it comes to experience, though, it's worth it for the average programmer to hang in there: those with six or more years earned more than $100,000. So if you're interested in game programming, know that it pays (handsomely!) to stick around.


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