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STEAM Career Spotlight: Video Game Designer

Updated: Jan 1

By Keerthana Vinod


The video game industry is ever-growing; with thousands of new releases of games each year, being a video game designer is no small feat. Being a video game designer allows one to create and design games that tell a story, contain engaging gameplay, as well as bring people together. If you love video games and design, this may be just the job for you! If you are looking to go into this career, or are just curious about it in general, this article will cover most of the details of what being a videogame designer is as well as ways you can get a head-start in getting into the industry. This article will analyze what being a video game designer is all about, the recommended high school and college courses students should take, and the salary of a video game designer.

Let’s get the most obvious question out of the way. What is a video game designer? In a general sense, they help to develop a video game by helping create its design, layout, and story. Some specific aspects of what they do include: improving the game’s quality, meeting with clients, researching developments in the industry, creating/directing games, and possibly training new team members to get them up to speed with current projects. This job is based on three main skills: creativity, communication, and experience in computer science.


Knowing that game designers need to be creative and have communicative skills, as well as knowledge in the computer science field, what classes/degrees would be ideal? In high school, there are a plethora of classes that are available to students that would be beneficial. For example, any sort of computer science class (even better if it is an AP or IB course) will help students get experience in coding languages early on. Additionally, it is also advised to take some design classes as well. As a game designer also has to work with aspects of storytelling, character development, and overall design, taking classes such as graphic design, creative writing, as well as drawing and/or painting would prove helpful. At the college level, having a bachelor’s degree in video game design, computer programming, computer science, or other related field would be extremely advantageous when applying for jobs in the game design industry.


Now, I know what you’re thinking. How much money do I get from being a game designer? There are several answers to this question as this, like many other jobs, has different salaries depending on the situation. As an entry-level designer, you would be able to earn around $59,000 annually. For more experienced designers, they would earn more than $98,600 as a base salary. There are also differences depending on the percentile the game designer happens to be in. The 10th percentile offers around $42,000, the 50th percentile offers $67,000, and the 90th percentile offers $105,000. So, with enough hard work, you’d be able to make quite a lot of money!


Being a game designer is a much-needed job in an ever-growing industry of video games. From character development to working with clients, game designers play a crucial role in modern entertainment. Though becoming a game designer may seem like a lofty goal, the journey to become one can start as soon as today. Who knows, maybe it’ll be your game that’ll be the next hit to make it onto screens across the world.


Works Cited

Tobin, James. “What Is a Video Game Designer? | Skills and Career

Paths.” Www.computerscience.org, 1 Mar. 2022,

www.computerscience.org/careers/video-game-

designer/#:~:text=Video%20game%20designers%20create%20the.

“Video Game Designers - Helpful High School Courses.”

Apps.illinoisworknet.com,apps.illinoisworknet.com/cis/clusters/

OccupationDetails/100553parentId=110300§ion=courses§ion

Title=Helpful%20High%20School%20Courses.


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