How to Get a Job in the Gaming Industry Explore available roles Do you need a degree? Become a noticeable candidate Conclusion
How to Get a Job in the Gaming Industry Explore available roles Do you need a degree? Become a noticeable candidate Conclusion
Updated 07/12/2020

How to Get a Job in the Gaming Industry

Planning to land a career in gaming? Learn how to enhance your skills, become an interesting candidate for industry leaders, and bridge all hiring process challenges.

Planning to land a career in gaming? Learn how to enhance your skills, become an interesting candidate for industry leaders, and bridge all hiring process challenges.

Video games never stop gaining popularity, leading to market growth and growing demand for specialists in this industry. However, employers become choosy, as vicious competition makes them fight for the quality of the end product. Thus they are looking for the highest possible qualification and creativity among candidates. Does it mean that it’s impossible to enter the gaming world with no experience or be hard to advance to a more prestigious position with a higher wage? Absolutely not. Explore the ways of how to get a job in the gaming industry with any amount of initial experience. Using our tips, you can boost your chances for a successful hire, no matter what role in creating games you choose.


Explore available roles

If you think you are limited to only one of two paths — coding and drawing games, let us surprise you. There are far more job opportunities to choose from. Before thinking about how to get into the games industry, observe available positions to decide which one fits your technical skills and personal qualities best. GetCoverLetter has reviewed 500+ job openings to find out the average wages for major gaming roles.

1. Programmer

This is the most technical role in the entire game development process. It brings an annual salary of $50k - $120k. The main programming languages in the modern video game industry are C#, C++, Java, Python, Lua, Swift, Javascript, and HTML5. If you possess strong skills in any of them, you are highly welcomed to break into the game industry. The significant advantages of the gaming programmer role are a highly flexible career and transferable skills.

2. Game designer

A game designer is the team’s creative leader who works on making new game products. This profession combines technical and creative skills. Everything about how the game looks and plays is under the designer’s responsibility. The average wage is $50k - $80k yearly. The key advantage of a game designer job is high creativity. But you should be ready to take criticism: lots of your ideas can be rejected on the path to choosing the best one.

3. Digital artist

Artists draw the game. Lighting, texturing, rigging, and all other game visuals are what a digital artist creates. The wages vary from $40k per year for entry-level positions up to $120k for upper-level. It requires a good grasp of technology and an excellent eye for details. Digital artists can be employed in various industries, as gaming opens lots of doors. The significant downsides are long hours and almost no ability to make your own decisions in the process — you just bring others’ ideas to life.

4. Animator

Animators make characters and gaming environments in 2D and 3D. You can earn $40k - $100k in the mid-term contract. If you want to become a video game animator, you need to develop your graphic design and drawing skills and deepen your knowledge of color theory and modern animation software. Further game animators can switch to animated filming.

5. Sound designer

Sound designers bring the mood to the game, making characters talk and filling every movement or gesture with sound. Music, synthetic sound, and real effects are what you will work on. The wage is $30k - $130k per year.

6. Writer

Programming or design skills are not must-haves for getting a job in the video game industry. If you are a good story-teller and have a creative mind, you can enter this niche as a writer. Writers create the plot of the game, write scenarios, and dialogues. Such work brings a $50k-$80k salary.

Want to get the highest chances to get hired? Build a customized resume for your desired position in just about 15 minutes.
Build A Winning Resume

Do you need a degree?

Education requirements depend on the role. Most employers prefer programmers with a degree in Computer Science. If you aim to get a designer role, education doesn’t matter for making a hire decision. On its own, education doesn’t demonstrate the level of a designer’s qualifications, as it is almost all about creativity and practical skills. That is why a portfolio speaks much louder than a diploma.

Jennifer Schneidereit, a co-founder of Nyamyam, a UK-based game studio, has shared her opinion regarding degree importance in gaming to The Guardian:

“For newcomers, a degree is definitely helpful, especially if you are looking to go into mainstream games. A lot of companies are looking for candidates with a solid educational background and passion. People that already have 3-5 years experience in the industry can probably get by without a degree, as long as they have worked on notable titles.”

Business Insider reports about a new tech world trend: big companies don't require their employees to have a 4-year college degree. Google, Netflix, Apple, and Tesla already don’t consider education a must-have for qualifying candidates.

While expert opinions regarding degree importance in gaming are divided, here are available educational options:

  1. University or college degree. If you are planning a career in gaming and choosing which higher education course to take, consider Computer Science, Design, or related fields.
  2. Training courses by the chosen specialization (offline or online). There are options to learn regardless of your current level. You can find classes for people with zero skills or upgrading qualifications for the video game industry. Usually, they take up to a year, and you can combine them with studying at the university, working, or any other activity.
  3. Self-learning. Programmers busy in other spheres often start experimenting with gaming, using available free tutorials, books, and videos.
  4. Internship. Usually, game studios launch internship programs for students and recent graduates, hunting for fresh talents. As a rule, they are non-payable programs that offer employment for the best interns. Even if you don’t get the job, an internship is an excellent chance to learn and practice in a real environment.

Become a noticeable candidate

Game developers are usually people who decided to turn their passion into a profession. Are you wondering how to get a job in the game industry without much experience? Become a noticeable candidate and prepare yourself for the hiring process. Don’t drift expecting cool job offers to show up unsolicited. The game job market is hugely competitive. Take every opportunity to attract potential employers. Here are the tips on how to pump your professional profile for gaming jobs.

1 Build a portfolio

No matter how experienced you are, it will help to have a portfolio. Even if you haven’t worked in gaming yet, a portfolio is a must. How to make one without prior experience? Create your own projects to demonstrate the skills required in the field you’ve chosen. If it is programming, start posting your code into a public repository. Take ideas from your studying, coding interesting features to demonstrate your problem-solving capabilities, state of mind, and technological grasp.

If you’re looking towards design, post your arts publicly on freelance boards, online galleries, or even create a portfolio website to publish your works. Of course, prior experience and works published on the app store will be a huge plus. However, it is, by far, not the only way to prove your qualifications and potential. An impressive portfolio is at least a half-success for starting a gaming career.

2 Post your works on discussion boards

Besides exchanging thoughts and knowledge, you can use discussion boards to show your works to the community. Besides professional developers and designers, talent hunters also read such threads. If your works are worth attention, you may get noticed. IndieDB, r/gamedev,, TIGForums, Unity Forum — there are plenty of boards you can use. Developing interesting discussions, asking for advice, and pushing your ideas makes you noticeable and helps you grow professionally.

3 Build your own game

If there is nothing to show yet, consider creating an indie game, a small project with interesting logic and tricks. Indie projects are a great way to get into the game industry with no experience, proving that you are skilled, highly motivated, and passionate about producing games.

4 Take part in game gams

Networking is a powerful tool for promoting your skills and chumming up with industry leaders through their representatives. Game jams are great for networking. A game jam is a competition where amateur and professional developers create a video game from scratch. It can be a team or an individual contest, where anybody can show their talent. You can print business cards with a link to your portfolio and share them with the attendees. If you participate in a game jam, you can also demonstrate your knowledge in action, improve your skills, and get a better view of the game creation process.

5 Make social media work for you

The facts say that 9 out of 10 companies use social media for hiring. It is a convincing argument to start using social media for your career. Recruiters perform a selective search for candidates they need, often not posting the job details publicly. Your LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles should speak for your passion for the gaming industry and showcase your achievements in this field. Here are a few tips on how to adjust your profiles to appear in recruiters’ search results:

  • If you’ve just started learning design or programming, post your works with hashtags relative to the gaming world.
  • Join gaming communities and discussion groups, participate in discussions, and create posts to engage community members to talk.
  • Update your profile with information that you are looking for a gaming job—post details about your hobbies (gaming, arts, animation, programming — whatever is related to your dream job).
  • Extend your network with contacts from gaming industries, follow the industry players’ pages, and be an active follower (like, repost, comment, etc.).

6 Be an active job seeker

Use every opportunity to find job openings in your desired specialization. Here are a few available sources you should surf:

  1. Professional social networks
  2. Company websites
  3. Job boards
  4. Gaming forums communities
  5. Networking

If you aim to work in a specific game studio or a gaming job in a particular location, visit company websites to check for available employment. If there is no information posted publicly, contact the studio representatives directly to ask if any openings are planned. Networking also helps to find jobs not published online. Take care of extending your contact list with people from the industry.

7 Create a catchy resume

Start by deciding what you want to do and what you are looking for in the next career step. Your resume should reflect the skills, knowledge, and experience that fit your professional goal. You can skip the information about your previous jobs if it doesn’t say anything your future employer may find interesting. A resume should be neat and straightforward, answering the only important question: are you a suitable candidate for the job?

Besides your existing skillset, mention the skills you are just developing and want to improve. List the activities relevant to your future role, like taking part in gaming events, undergoing training courses, etc.

While the resume is just a list of facts from your professional experience and skills, you can make it stand out using the correct structure and an attractive layout.

Create a powerful professional introduction to potential employers and recruiters. Use our builder to get a winning resume in a matter of minutes!
Build My Resume

8 Add a cover letter to each job application

A cover letter is what makes your job application personalized. It helps to describe why you consider this specific job as your next career move and shows the employer what benefits you offer as a candidate. A portfolio, a resume, and a cover letter are a must-have trio for a successful job application. Make sure your cover letter contains:

  • The position you’re applying for;
  • How you heard about it (where you found the job opening);
  • A very brief summary of your experience related to the position;
  • A point-by-point description of how your skills and experience match the job requirements;
  • Reasons why this job caught your interest;
  • Advantages you can bring to a company if hired;
  • A ‘thank you’ note for the reader.
Not sure how to formulate your thoughts for a cover letter? Use a professional document builder. Just choose your strengths and get a job-winning self-presentation.
Create My Cover Letter

9 Arm yourself before the interview

You can get both an online or in-person interview invitation. The process is the same. You will need a PC, laptop, or a mobile phone with proper software onboard for an online interview. Usually, a recruiter or another contact person specifies the chosen software, so make sure to install it and test if it works properly on your device.

Interviews are a nerve-wracking experience. Being prepared makes the process much more comfortable, and you will look and feel more confident while answering questions. You are one step away from your dream job! Here are a few simple tips to help to win:

  • Learn everything you can about the hiring company: its products, reputation, values. Don’t limit yourself by reading the company website, google a bit deeper.
  • If you are not sure about the interview format, contact your hiring person to check who you will be meeting with, if there are tests included, etc. Knowing what to expect gives the ability to prepare, respectively.
  • Play the company’s games and analyze them both as a player and a professional. Be prepared to express your own opinion about their products.
  • Never be late for an interview. Respect your employer’s time and show how responsible you are from the start.
  • Prepare to answer typical questions for your position. You may find lots of popular questions and answers online.

Don’t forget to take copies of your resume and cover letter, and your best portfolio works for the interview. Besides just answering, prepare your questions regarding the future position. It demonstrates your interest in the future job and helps to clarify essential points from the get-go.



Now you are ready to enter the race for your place in the gaming industry. Many candidates realize how crazy the competition is and feel unconfident when fighting for prestigious positions. Don’t think about competitors. Put all your resources into becoming a candidate that any employer would like to see on their team. Develop your skills, practice as much as possible, keep yourself abreast of the industry news, and prepare all supporting documents for a successful hire. It is a winning formula for getting your game job.

Want to make your job application noticeable among hundreds of others? Use a professional builder to compose an outstanding cover letter for your dream job.
Build My Cover Letter

You may also be interested to read