Salary Survey: Are you getting enough?

Salary Survey: Are you getting enough?
Michael French

By Michael French

February 24th 2010 at 3:10PM

The results of Develop's international industry survey into wages and benefits

Last month, Develop invited games industry professionals from around the world to take part in an extensive salary and career survey. Over 400 people, from all sectors of interactive entertainment, took part. Here, Michael French offers up highlights and data from the results…

AVERAGE ANNUAL GAMES DEVELOPMENT SALARY: £31,964


Unlike last year, where the games development average was slightly lower than the industry average (which includes jobs at retail and publishing) the above number is higher – our data shows the average global games salary for the entire field is £31,509.

Sure, it’s only a few hundred quid higher – but the number shows a return to the number we’d reported in 2008 of £31,655, suggesting 2009’s wage dips were caused by the credit crunch. This new higher average could suggest recovery has come quicker than many thought it would.

This number takes into account developers globally. Over 300 of our sample held development jobs in the UK, various mainland Europe countries (especially France and Germany), USA, Canada and Australia. We’ve gone for a median average of the data rather than a mean average – the latter would include the handful of very senior execs who kindly took part as well. Factoring those high flyers back into the equation the average then rises a sizeable amount to £39,069.

We’ve also factored out the average salaries for each discipline and region of the UK over the page.


FUTURE PROSPECTS


WHO EARNS WHAT?

CODING
Average Yearly Salaries:
• Lead Programmer – £40,000
(but can rise to £51,000 depending on seniority/experience)
• Programmer – £31,455
• Junior Programmer – £21,000


ART
Average Yearly Salaries:
• Lead Artist – $41,125
• Artist - £30,441


DESIGN
Average Yearly Salaries:
• Lead Designer – £37,500
• Designer – £28,281
• Junior Designer – £22,500


PRODUCTION
Average Yearly Salaries:
• Lead Producer (Internal) – £44,000
• Producer (Internal) – £31,500
• Producer (External/Publishing) – £29,166
(but rises to £39,375 depending on publisher size)


AUDIO
Average Yearly Salaries:
• Lead Audio Roles – £46,750
(can rise as high as £60,000 dependent on experience/studio size)
• Junior Audio Roles – £27,000


QA & LOCALISATION
Average Yearly Salaries:
• Junior QA role – £15,000
• Lead QA role - £19,500


SENIOR MANAGEMENT

Average Yearly Salaries:
• COO / CTO / Creative Director - £60,313
• Studio Head & MD/CEO - £68,750
(rising to £76.923 depending on experience/seniority/studio size and location, etc.)


UK REGIONAL BREAKDOWN

South West Average Yearly Games Development Salary: £31,750

South East Average Yearly Games Development Salary: £32,692

East England Average Yearly Games Development Salary: £30,833

East Midlands Average Yearly Games Development Salary: £29,305

West Midlands Average Yearly Games Development Salary: £24,852

Yorkshire & Humberside Average Yearly Games Development Salary: £27,000

North West Average Yearly Games Development Salary: £33,125

North East Average Yearly Games Development Salary: £34,445

Scotland Average Yearly Games Development Salary: £25,000

London Average Yearly Games Development Salary: £33,681

Note: Regional results calculated from answers supplied by 270 UK games developers. Median average used to calculate answers, thus automatically discounting salaries from studio heads and similar selective highly-paid roles which would otherwise distort the data.

BENEFITS AND BONUSES