Career Definition for a Game Technician
Game technicians work with a team to develop video games. Depending upon a game technician's education and expertise, he or she can be responsible for various aspects of a video game including programming and game development. Game technicians have duties including writing game code, testing games, analyzing and optimizing game code, designing modifications, and expanding game design.
|Education||Associate's or bachelor's degree in video game development, computer science, or related field|
|Job Skills||Familiarity with programming and conceptual game design, math proficiency, strong interpersonal communication, flexibility, organizational skills|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$84,280 (all computer programmers)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||7% decline (all computer programmers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Game technicians typically have an associate's or bachelor's degree in video game development, computer science, interactive media or a similar field. Typical courses in a video game development degree program include video game art, game testing, 3D modeling, physics for game developers and game production. An associate's degree typically takes one or two years to complete, while a bachelor's degree requires four to five years of study.
Game technicians often come into the field with a variety of skills. Some are best at programming while others may be best at conceptual game design. Game technicians typically need to be skilled in math, communicate well with a team, know C and C++ programming, be able to adapt to changes in a project and be relatively organized. Game technicians may need to work long hours to meet deadlines, but may find that hours are flexible and that telecommuting is an option.
Career and Economic Outlook
Game technicians are compensated according to their specialty. Computer programmers are expected to see 7% job decline from 2016-2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and they earned a median annual salary of about $84,280 as of May 2018 (www.bls.gov). Computer and information systems managers are expected to see 12% growth in that same time period, which is faster than the average for all occupations. As of May 2018, the median annual salary for this profession was approximately $142,530.
Alternate Career Options
Similar career options within this field include:
Software developers come up with new computer programs based on users' needs, such as software applications or operating systems. They also describe the specs for a new program with diagrams and notes for computer programmers to use in writing computer programs. A bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field is usually required for employment.
The BLS predicts that employment of software developers in general will increase 24% from 2016-2026; growth of 31% is predicted for applications software developers, and growth of 11% is predicted for systems software developers. The BLS also reports that the median salary for software developers in general was $103,560 in 2017, while the median pay for applications software developers was $101,790 and the median pay for systems software developers was $107,600.
Computer Network Architect
Computer network architects are responsible for creating and managing various data networks. These include local area networks, wide area networks, and cloud-based server infrastructures. They are also responsible for protecting the information used by network customers and release patches when security threats arise. At least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field is needed for entry-level employment.
According to the BLS, job opportunities for computer network architects are expected to grow by 6% from 2016 to 2026, which is an average rate. The median annual salary for computer network architects as of May 2018 was $109,020.