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Be a Game Artist: Requirements and Information

Sep 11, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a game artist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and necessary skills to find out if this is the career for you.

Experience with games and art may be enough to begin a career as a game artist. Most employers do prefer those with experience, and a bachelor's degree may be required to advance within the field.

Essential Information

Game artists work alongside game development, production, design and marketing teams to create new video games. They use computer software programs to create animation, characters, environments and user interfaces. While there are no specific requirements for this field, employers typically prefer applicants who have game-related experience or some formal training.

Required Education Some experience with games or art, or some training
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 4% (multimedia artists and animators)
Median Salary (2018)* $72,520 (multimedia artists and animators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Game Artist Career Requirements

There are usually no minimum education requirements to work as a game artist; however, most employers prefer those with 3-5 years of experience working in game development or game art. Although formal education is not usually required, some employers do prefer job candidates who have received formal training in art, graphic design, game design or a related area. A bachelor's degree may be required for more advanced positions. Those who choose to complete a formal education program will likely take courses in 3-dimensional modeling and animation, color theory, interface design, level design, scene design and illustration. Students may also be required to complete an internship.

Game artists should be familiar with Adobe imaging software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and Maya. Some employers prefer game artists who have experience working with ActionScript or FLEX. Web development and cartooning skills may also be helpful. It is also strongly recommended that game artists have distinguished art and design skills including illustration, typography, color theory and composition, according to a November 2010 job search on Careerbuilder.com, as well as the ability to work in vector art style.

Game Artist Career Information

Game artists develop 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional animated characters, environments and other graphics for video games. They may be responsible for concept development and often create storyboards to present their ideas. In addition to creating art for the game itself, game artists may also contribute to logo design, marketing materials and new artwork for already existing games. Game artists must be proficient at multi-tasking since it is common for game artists to work on multiple projects at once.

A game artist's job duties may extend beyond creating art. They may be required to play games in order to inspire ideas for new games or use their knowledge of the game industry to evaluate new products. They may also conduct research to stay up-to-date with consumer profiles and gaming trends. Experienced game artists may be responsible for mentoring employees with less experience.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed an annual median salary of $72,520 for multimedia artists and animators. Those working in software publishing earned $82,360 on average, according to the BLS. Multimedia artists and animators could expect an average employment growth of 4% from 2018-2028, per the BLS.

Game artists participate in the production of new video games. They create animation, characters and environments using computer software. Training in art and computers is an asset for those pursuing a career in this field.

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