Video Game Tester Salary Guide and Career Outlook

Video game manufacturers rely on testers to find bugs and other problems with games. Their “play” also includes attempting to find holes in the secrets and security of the coding that operates these games. In the United States, the mean pay for a video game tester stands at $31,000. These workers fetch mean salaries of C$30,224 ($24,240 USD) in Canada, £21,585 ($29,631 USD) in the United Kingdom, AU$90,531 ($71,629 USD) in Australia, and NZD$75,981 ($55,029 USD) in New Zealand. The mean registers at INR219,892 ($3,458 USD) in India and R237,337 ($19,162 USD) in South Africa.

video game tester salary

How Much Does a Video Game Tester Make per Year by State?

Video Game Tester Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $14.90 C$14.53 £8.37 AU$44 NZD$37 INR105.72 R114
Annual Pay $31,000 C$30,224 £21,585 AU$90,531 NZD$75,981 INR219,892 R237,331

Video Game Tester Salary Influencing Factors

Salaries for video game testers turn especially upon the duration of the position. Depending on the company, testers may occupy temporary or contract positions. Other pay determinants include the size of the video game publisher, location and experience.

1. Location

Pay for video game testers in Montreal descends to 12 percent beneath the Canadian mean of C$30,224, says PayScale.

In Melbourne, Australia, video game testers make on average AU$92,038 and those working in Sydney earn AU$96,441. Pay for testers in Wellington, New Zealand stands at NZD$75,666, close to the national mean in the country. The pay in Auckland rises just above the mean, at NZD$76,389. According to SalaryExpert, salaries run on average at R257,038 for testers in Cape Town, South Africa. In Johannesburg, the mean rises nearly R80,000 above the nation average, at R316,365.

How Much Does a Video Game Tester Make in the US?

Video Game Tester Salary US Per Year Per Hour
Minimum $22,301 $10.72
Maximum $98,633 $47.42
Bonus/Tip $89.10 to $29,361 $0.04 to $14.12
Overtime N/A $12.00 to $29.68
Total Pay $22,301 to $98,633

How Much Does a Video Game Tester Make in Canada?

Video Game Tester Salary Canada Per Year Per Hour
Minimum C$26,425 C$12.70
Maximum C$57,192 C$27.50
Bonus/Tip C$17.50 C$0.01
Overtime N/A C$19.66
Total Pay $22,301 to $98,633

How Much Does a Video Game Tester Make in the UK?

Video Game Tester Salary UK Per Year Per Hour
Minimum £13,300 £6.39
Maximum £40,000 £19.23
Bonus/Tip N/A N/A
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay £13,300 to £40,000

How Much Does a Video Game Tester Make in Australia?

Video Game Tester Salary Australia Per Year Per Hour
Minimum AU$64,943 AU$31.22
Maximum AU$111,898 AU$53.80
Bonus/Tip AU$3,105 AU$1.49
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay AU$64,943 to AU$115,003

How Much Does a Video Game Tester Make in New Zealand?

Video Game Tester Salary New Zealand Per Year Per Hour
Minimum NZD$54,562 NZD$26.23
Maximum NZD$93,840 NZD$45.12
Bonus/Tip NZD$2,606 NZD$1.25
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay NZD$54,562 to NZD$96,446

How Much Does a Video Game Tester Make in India?

Video Game Tester Salary India Per Year Per Hour
Minimum INR121,469 INR58.40
Maximum INR413,412 INR198.76
Bonus/Tip Up to INR45,000 Up to INR21.63
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay INR121,469 to INR465,398

How Much Does a Video Game Tester Make in South Africa?

Video Game Tester Salary South Africa Per Year Per Hour
Minimum R171,438 R82.42
Maximum R295,390 R142.01
Bonus/Tip R8,140 R3.91
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay R171,438 to R303,530

2. Experience

According to PayScale, salaries for video game testers in the United States run 29 percent above the national mean of $31,000.

The National Careers Service reports that starting computer games testers in the United Kingdom earn between £15,000 and £20,000. Annual pay runs from £25,000 to £30,000 for “experienced” testers and up to £40,000 for highly-experienced ones.

SalaryExpert places the entry-level mean for Australia’s video game testers at AU$64,943. At the senior-level, mean pay increases to AU$111,989. Video game testers in New Zealand with one to three years of experience make NZD$54,462 and those with eight or more years achieve on average NZD$93,840.

Video game testers in South Africa see mean salaries of R171,438 on an entry-level basis. Those with at least eight years in testing make R295,390

3. Industry

Game makers often hire testers as contract workers. Few companies offer full-time, regular jobs in the quality control of particular game development. These employers tend to be larger game publishing or entertainment companies that can staff full-time quality assurance departments. Providers of testing positions include companies that design games for video game consoles, laptops, smartphones and tablets.

Schedule & Working Hours

Both full and part-time positions occupy the video game testing field. According to the National Careers Service, testers in the United Kingdom can expect long hours, including evenings and weekends. These schedules often precede and are created by launch dates and deadlines, such as holiday sales or in conjunction with other promotions. In many cases, companies have purchased advertising and timed marketing campaigns for specific times or seasons. Video game companies may offer many of these testing jobs on temporary basis, with the work ending once the manufacture readies the game for sale.

Bonuses & Benefits

PayScale puts the medical coverage rate for game testers in the United States at 62 percent. Approximately 57 percent get vision coverage and 57 percent receive dental benefits. Almost seven out of ten game testers in India receive medical benefits, while only three percent have dental and three percent have vision through their employment.

In India, video game testers can earn bonuses up to INR45,000 and collect on average benefits of INR1,000 from profit-sharing. According to PayScale, profit-sharing proceeds for testers in the United States run $900 on a mean basis, while bonuses range from just over $89 to $29,361. However, PayScale reports mean bonuses of just C$19.50 for video game testers in Canada.

Career Outlook

The popularity of video gaming, especially with mobile devices, translates to many opportunities for testers to find jobs and assignments. According to a January 2018 report from the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, mobile downloads of video games in India may more than double – specifically by 111 percent.

In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, Australian video game developers employed 832 workers, with six percent of those in quality assurance. The industry in Australia generated nearly AU$115 million. For the video game industry in the United States, revenues totaled more than $23 billion in 2017.

The United Kingdom ranks fifth globally in the gaming sector, with over 32 million players in 2017 yielding for companies $4.2 billion USD in revenue. North America, including the United States and Canada, hold second place in the world among markets for video games.

Job opportunities may prove more abundant in certain areas, especially technology centers. California is home to 935 of the 3,090 game companies in the United States.

In South Africa, a survey revealed that 17 of the 52 respondent game companies were headquartered in Cape Town. Overall, South Africa had 255 video game industry jobs in 2015. Canada claimed 472 video game companies in 2016.

Video game testing serves as an entry-level job in the industry. Those who accumulate experience may advance to positions such as supervisors or managers of quality control, marketing and, with additional education, training and work, become designers or programmers.

Conclusion

Job opportunities should prove ample for video game testers as the video game industry enjoys significant growth. Mobile devices such as smart phones contribute significantly to the number of games and platforms. Pay for video game testers generally sits in the lower half among overall occupations. Experienced ones and those who land full-time jobs can fetch higher pay than those working on a contract basis. Video game testing can lead to careers as video game or software designers.

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