Earlier this year we asked MCVuk.com readers to take part in an extensive salary survey. Over 500 took part revealing details on their career and 2011 job prospects.
For 2011 our salary survey actually shows a dip in the average UK games industry salary. Last year we reported the number at £31,370 p.a, itself down on 2009’s £31,655.
For this number (and all the rest of the averages on this page) we’ve calculated the result using a median average, rather than a mean average, from 355 survey respondents based in the UK.
A mean average would otherwise distort the numbers by including the handful of very senior, and very well-paid, execs who also kindly contributed. With those high-fliers included the average rises to £34,000 – also down on last year’s total mean average of £37,352.
Including all the answers from US and European staff the median average is £28,932 (and the mean is £35,902). That suggests that right now more junior roles are garnering lower salaries outside the UK than they are inside. So count yourself lucky.
Average salaries per role are flat in line with our UK average, showing only minor variances of a few percent across roles.
Below, we run through the average salaries for key games industry positions from publishing to media.
There’s been a drop in confidence in the market – fewer respondents then ever tell us they are not optimistic about the year ahead.
Most of the misery stems from developers. “I feel the industry is in decline in the UK,” said one. “There has been a move towards more outsourcing. If we no longer nurture new talent, then where does new thinking and ideas come from?”
Said another: “There are limited employment opportunities in the UK and a lot of the larger developers are struggling or going bust.”
“Job security is not something you can be confident about in the UK,” added another developer.
But not everyone shared that view: “I’m very confident in the game we are about to ship and its marketing budget and publisher’s ability.”
Indeed, the picture was rosier amongst publishers and retailers.
“2011 sees a raft of triple-A titles coming. And a better spread of titles throughout the year means we will be packed with work and money being pushed around.”
But those lower down the chain were still cautious: “I feel I will still have a job but it will continue to be low paid with few chances of progression.”
AVERAGE SALARIES BY SECTOR
Store Manager: £17,500 p.a.
Other Store Staff: £13,000 p.a.
Distribution Executive: £38,570 p.a.
Creative & Promotional Services: £34,285 p.a.
QA & Testing Exec: £20.830 p.a.
Senior PR Exec: £36,429 p.a.
PR Executive: £25,000 p.a.
Community Manager: £21,500 p.a.
Senior Management: £71,563 p.a.
Marking Manager: £37,188 p.a.
Product Manager: £29,643 p.a.
Sales Manager: £41,364 p.a.
Finance: £45,625 p.a.
Senior External Development: £53,750 p.a.
Section Editor: £24,166 p.a.
Staff Writer: £17,885 p.a.
Lead Artist: £37,000 p.a.
Artist: £26,806 p.a.
Lead Programmer: £39,958 p.a.
(But can rise to £49,138 p.a. depending on seniority/experience)
Programmer: £27,416 p.a.
Junior Programmer: £19,643 p.a.
Lead Audio Roles: £45,200 p.a.
Junior Audio Roles: £27,500 p.a.
Lead Producer: £41,500 p.a.
Producer: £31,195 p.a.
Producer (External/Publisher): £41,250 p.a. (can rise to £46,000 depending on publisher size)
Lead Designer: £34,000 p.a.
Designer: £24,375 p.a.
Junior Designer: £21,785 p.a.