Video Game Tester Salary
Everyone wants to be a video game tester and be paid to stay home and play video games all day. But of course, everyone wants to know how much do testers get paid.
As with any job, wages for testing jobs depends largely on how much experience you have. Beginning testers earn about $7 to $8 per hour depending on the company. They may work a full-time schedule of 40 to more than 50 hours in order to thoroughly evaluate a game and meet the company's production deadline.
Hmm. $280 for 40 hours of sitting around playing video games doesn't sound too bad, does it? It looks even better when you consider you don't have to pay for transportation, business attire, lunches and other expenses related to a "real job".
Average Salary - What's The Pay?
However, there is a downside that must be considered. Most video game testing jobs are awarded on a task-by-task, or contract, basis. There will be some weeks in which you will work 50 hour a week or more, then other weeks when you will have no work at all. Most beginning video game testers have other jobs to see them through the lean times. Some testers work for several companies at once, balancing the workload. As contract workers, you can decline work if you are swamped with something else. Just don't do so too often or you won't be contacted very often.
As your experience grows, you will get more jobs and higher pay rates. Testers with the most experience receive about $20 per hour. Keep in mind that because most testing jobs are short-term contracts, you will have to take care of taxes and insurance yourself.
Benefits of Video Game Playing
Working at home as a video game tester has many benefits beyond money. You get to set your own schedule. If you have family commitments, you can adjust your work schedule around them. Not many people can make that claim. If the weather outside is terrible, you can still work from home. Likewise, if you have the sniffles, you can curl up under a blanket and play (that is, work) anyway.
Of course, there is also the cachet of playing the hottest games before anyone else can. You will know which games are great and which ones are not worth the money. Sometimes, you even get to keep the titles you test.
Is It Hard Work or Not?
Every job has some disadvantages. Video game testing has only a few. We've already discussed the uncertainty of the work: Some weeks you will be insanely busy, other weeks will be very slow.
In addition, the amount of work depends on the game styles and platforms you are interested in. If you only want to work on Nintendo Game Cube sports games, then testing opportunities will be few and far between. However, if you have access to all the major game systems and are interested in all types of games, then the world is your oyster.
Another disadvantage is that sometimes testing jobs have tight deadlines. You may find yourself working extremely long hours because the company needs the work done immediately. Forget shaving, forget eating, and just get the work done. Because of the competition for testing jobs, you may feel pressured into accepting work. After all, if you turn it down, there's somebody right behind you ready to snap it up.
That's not to say a career in video gaming isn't worth it. If you truly love video games, then a testing job is an ideal way to make a living.