The Game Developer Magazine, in its eighth year doing so, compiled earnings made among industry professionals finding the average salary in 2008 to be a healthy $79,000.‚  That mark is wholly impressive and represents a 7% increase over 2007’s 74,000 figure.

Who makes the most in game development?‚  High-profile businesspeople aside, that slot is reserved for programmers, who take in an average annual pay of $85,024.‚  So if you’re into 0’s and 1’s and love games, programming looks damn fine.‚  The magazine also reports that those with six or more years of experience made 26% more than the average.

Individuals in the art and animation sector raked in $69,532 in 2008. Similar to programmers, experience is key earning the drawing folks 35% more moolah than those with less experience.

Game Design is the next highest paid position averaging $67,379.‚  Interestingly designers on the West Coast earned an average of $8,238 or 12% more than those working in other parts of the country.

Those in production, a welcoming field to females making up 21% of the field, more than twice the next closest occupation, took in an average of $82,905 annually.

If you’ve got the gift of music, Sound Designers in 2008 made $78,167, with 74% of those in the field reporting an increase from 2007.

Business and Marketing is by far the most lucrative sector of the industry with industry professionals taking in an average of $102,143 in 2008.

Quality Assurance brings up the rear with an average annual salary of $39,571.‚  While the job may seem glorious due to the hilarious Grandma’s Boy film, and is arguably a very important part of video game production, the annual take isn’t quite there.

Amidst this economic situation companies aren’t hiring the way they used to but, as the figures clearly show, those retaining their positions are receiving more and more compensation for their hard work.

About The Author

Eddie Makuch is a Blast staff writer. Reach him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch.

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